VETERAN teleserye writer Arden Rod Condez’s directorial debut John Denver Trending is remarkable for its confidently concise, yet sensitively nuanced treatment of timely issues such as bullying (both physical and cyber), adolescent depression, fake news and the marginalization of social misfits, especially when they are poor. Condez is a master, not only of the written word but also of cinematic language. He elicits amazingly natural, complex and credible performances from his ensemble of mostly untrained, regular folks (his family and townmates from Pandan, Antique) who all manage to convey their very real though flawed humanity. We know these people.
THE FUTURE may be female, but it isn’t here yet. However, since women generally outlive men -- even the natokhang (summarily executed) are overwhelmingly male -- the future will definitely have more feminine features. More women are realizing that all politics is not just personal but local too, and they are flexing their collective muscle. A recent manifestation was the widespread outcry over the interpretation of a Caloocan City ordinance on what constituted decent attire. The mayor himself had to declare that he was all for amending or scrapping this controversial piece of city legislation, which was deemed to discriminate against every woman’s right to wear short shorts in public. A senate bill is set to have the whole country follow Quezon City’s lead in penalizing cat-calling and wolf-whistling. Women continue to fight for every inch of safe space. Eternal vigilance is the price they must pay to keep the bastos (rude and crude) at bay.