Saturday, December 22, 2007

9 Mornings

They should have made this a lenten movie

I remember watching a Christmas movie in '02 starring Piolo Pascual and Donita Rose. It was a Dante's climb to salvation wrapped up in a story where love does what it's supposed to-- interest, create conflict, liberate, exalt and ... well, "make happy ever after" a viable possibility. All this happens in the space of nine days. Each beneficent stage of Piolo's transformation from a baggage-laden corporate a$$ to a genuine, loving, and ultimately whole person is marked by a mass anticipating Christmas (our local simbang gabi).

One of the high points of the movie for me was when Piolo bumps into his ex-bed mate in the same church: now she is apparently on her own climb to redemption. Donita Rose must weave some powerful form of magic if it rubs of on Piolo's floozy.

I'm notoriously slanted against big local productions-- and mind you, Star Cinema was big then, and it still is now-- but I genuinely liked this movie. In hindsight, I'm glad my friend Eline marched me into the cinema that day.

(They really shoulda made it a Lenten movie: Piolo Pascual, his name itself comes from Paschal, which pretty much refers to Easter and the Passover. Another piece of grand irony-- Pascual and Donita Rose aren't Catholic.)

When you're a writer and a youngish theatrical ham, you can't help but make correlations, form analogies, draw parallelisms. I'm no broken Piolo Pascual, and it's far too late to run into broken pure-hearted school teachers who just happen to look like Donita Rose on a dawn mass. Far too late to even try to complete the whole set of nine. But every Dante has to crawl out of the pit sooner or later, hurt but on the road to being whole.


Say what you want about people who model their lives somewhat on the movies, but humankind defines the meanings in its lives through the stories it tells itself and the protagonists it sets up. Mayhap modeling your life to the script of Doom is a bad idea, but I'm sure, at one time or another, we all wanted to be Superman for all the right reasons.

Say what you want about relationships being "hard work" or about how "whole" you already have to be to engage in the act of genuinely loving-- my stand has always been that
  • we are all broken toys, perfect in concept but a hell of a work in progress
  • we love because we must, even if we love so brokenly:even in our broken-ness we instinctively seek to emulate our Creator;
  • love heals broken people-- I've seen this happen (and I've seen the process aborted); and sometimes, if you're lucky or blessed, love's enough.

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