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A movie of social relevance – Sigwa Essay

Sigwa began with Dolly (Dawn Zulueta, Megan Young) returning to the Philippines to look for her long lost daughter. She was a Filipino-American journalist sent to the Philippines in the 1970’s to write about the rising social unrest at that time. But later, she found herself being recruited to the revolutionary and underground youth group Kabataang Makabayan. While looking for her daughter, Dolly is also reunited with her fellow comrades, almost 40 years since they last saw each other.

They were Rading (Jaime Pebanco, Jay Aquitania) an urban poor out-of-school-youth activist, Oliver (Tirso Cruz III, Marvin Agustin) an arrested student activist who later became a presidential spokesman, Azon (Gina Alajar, Lovi Poe) who grew frail and weak caused by the trauma of the rape when she was arrested, and Cita (Zsa Zsa Padilla, Pauleen Luna), once a student activist now a leader of the New People’s Army. Sigwa was simply amazing.

The cast was great as well as their portrayal of their roles. It seemed so real. After watching Sigwa, I have realized that the movie provided more than just a retrospect of Philippine history. It also brought me back to the First Quarter Storm of the year 1970, where I have witnessed Martial Law through the lives led by six young activists. It is more than just a commemorative film: it had relived the tempest of our country’s history and allowed us to reflect about its significance in the present.

Sigwa gave us only a glimpse of how the Filipinos in the past have struggled to attain democracy, to relive the history of the Filipinos struggle against Martial Law, and to show our continuing aspiration for democracy, peace and justice. And yet through the movie, I had reflected from the country’s history how we continuously try to reach total democracy today; that the recurring problems about democracy that we are facing today are also the same in the past; watching the movie enlightened me more about the Martial Law and the events that took place during the First Quarter Storm.


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