Monday, April 07, 2008
Pinoy Film Focus: Bata, Bata...Paano Ka Ginawa? (1998)
Director: Chito S. Roño
Writer: Lualhati Bautista
Cast: Vilma Santos, Albert Martinez, Carlo Aquino, Serena Dalrymple, Angel Aquino, Cherry Pie Pichache, Raymond Bagatsing, Ariel Rivera
Runtime: 109 minutes
Bata, Bata...Paano Ka Ginawa? is an appealing and amusing film that bucks the trend of overindulgence in Philippine drama. Lea Bustamante (Vilma Santos) is an unconventional woman: a free-spirited single mother raising two children from different fathers, the pre-adolescent Ojie (Carlo Aquino) and precocious Maya (Serena Dalrymple). The film revolves around Bustamante's evolving womanhood, her balancing lust for life and love for her offspring, and maintaining her independence despite the well-intentioned meddling of others, including the fathers of her children (Albert Martinez and Ariel Rivera).
Award-winning Filipino author Lualhati Bautista has made an intelligent screenplay, made unconventional by its non-reliance on hysterics and convoluted plot twists. It is a joy to see Vilma Santos, one of Philippine cinema's most deservedly respected veteran actors, maintain her powerful screen presence even as she plays around with the acknowledged naughtiness of her character. The scenes where she flirts and makes subtle sexual advances are as priceless as those that show the intensity of her affection for her children. The film itself works as a whole, but it is difficult to imagine any actress other than Santos being able to handle the multi-dimensionality of the lead character.
Photo source: Philippine Cinema Vault