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Peque Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata (Review)

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Peque Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata (Review)

Last Saturday (June 14, 2014), I watched Director Peque Gallaga’s known masterpiece in the field of film making, Oro Plata Mata (Gold, Silver, Death), which was released in 1982. It was my first time to watch that movie, and it made me a bit bored because it ran for almost 3 hours. While watching it online, I was joined by my father, telling me that it really was a great film. He also added, “But sadly, after that, Filipino movies suddenly focused on explicit and x-rated movies that has something to do with appealing sexuality and sensuality.” I was never introduced to classic Filipino movies like Oro Plata Mata, making me see how different Filipino movies were during that time. I must also mention the scriptwriter of the movie, Mr. Jose Javier Reyes, who made a wonderful job in making such a meaningful and important story that relates with the Philippine History. Mr. Jose Javier Reyes shared, “Other than Peque asking me to do it, what inspired me to write this movie were stories I learned from my father, Marciano Reyes Sr., about the so-called peacetime and how we Filipinos were never really the same after the War.” (via


Director Peque Gallaga

Since I watched the movie online, the version available to watch was not in High Definition (HD) and there were many deleted scenes because of the violence and sexual scenes. Deleted scenes make the movie incomplete for me, but I understand why those scenes were deleted. The person who uploaded the videos may be banned. Anyway, away from digressing.

Oro Plata Mata was really a good movie in terms of its story and importance in the Philippine History. It started with Nick Joaquin’s quote about what happened during the time of war in the Philippines. He stated that, “There has been no peacetime since (the start of the Second World War)…” That certain state that was said by Nick Joaquin was shown in the film: how the Ojeda and Lorenzo families moved from one house or place to another in order to survive in the midst of a war, and how each of them coped up with it. Even rich families were having a hard time living in those times.

Honestly, for me, the theme of the movie was deep if you do not analyze it at all. It may be another film about lives during the war, but like Filipino literature, the director and writer included symbolism in Oro Plata Mata. One symbolism that I noticed was the title of the movie and the families moving from one place to another. Oro (Gold) was the first step: the rich families were all happy as they gathered for a birthday celebration. Plata (Silver) was the second step: the Ojeda family evacuated to the Lorenzo’s hacienda. The joy in the family fell continuously as they were considering safety measures from the Japanese army. Mata (Death) was the third and last step: the time when Japanese soldiers were seen approaching towards the hacienda of the Lorenzo family. They went to the Lorenzo’s forest house. In there, situations among the characters became worse. But in the end of it all, they returned to a happy state, but not as happy as how it once started. As how Trining Ojeda said (which was a highlight in the movie), “Naging hayop nang lahat sa atin. Ang digmaang ito, ginawang hayop tayong lahat (All of us became animals. This war made us all animals.).”

As for my overall comment about Oro Plata Mata: The realism depicted in the film was superb.

Cherie Gil on “Oro Plata Mata”:

“Oro, Plata, Mata” is what art is all
about. The masterful manner of Peque’s execution of
every scene, almost unmatched to this day, brought
us a masterpiece — one of the most important films
ever made in our country. (


Real Junior Now

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Real Junior Now

Yesterday, I went to a meeting with a curator, Miss Dayang Yraola along with some friends-slash-blockmates for an arts project as our internship. INTERNSHIP. I will be having an internship already! I can’t “somehow” believe that I’m an intern now because I am only an eighteen-year old yet I’ll be working with art projects, international artists, and curators. It’s exciting because it makes me feel like I will be a legit arts manager soon.The meeting was held in the organization’s office at Escolta, so going there from our house through commuting was a bit hassle for me because I have to choose between two options: ride the FX to Quiapo then walk to Escolta, or ride the FX to SM North EDSA, ride a jeep to LRT, then simply ride the LRT to Carriedo. I chose Option A. I love adventures, and the first option saves more money than the second one.

I wasn’t lost. I was able to go to Escolta safely without a friend, and I walked towards the location with the (guessing) knowledge of how to go there from Quiapo church. Plus, I wasn’t late for the meeting-slash-lecture! Throughout the meeting, I learned more about the art project where I will be be a part of, the tasks that I will be soon accomplishing and crowd funding. I realized that I need to know what I really can do and what I want in life because my learning ground won’t be the school anymore sooner. I lived long enough in my fantasy, not in the reality where I must be living. But I guess I need to live in my fantasy now and then to keep myself inspired.

Going to school with my friends-slash-blockmates, we rode the LRT altogether. Aren’t we sweet? Anyway, we met our (kind and probably an awesome) professor from our TECWRI (Technical Writing for Arts Management) class. We were late for almost an hour, and she dismissed the class earlier than the usual time (it should’ve been 17:40, but we were dismissed at almost 16:10).

I’ll have another blog post for personal reflections during that particular day. Please do get ready for a semi-artsy blog post every week. I’ve been gone for a long time now. I apologize. I was too lazy to open my blog and post random stuff again. Someday soon, I’ll post about my personal life, like how I’ve been doing these days. Thank you for continuously reading my blog posts! If you are fond of poems and personal sentiments, feel free to follow or read my posts in my other blog, God bless!