Bartolome family has their blissful and normal life before entering the 70’s. The head of the family, Julian Bartolome together with his wife Amanda, give their children, who are all boys, their right to express themselves. It just shows how they love their sons. The family belongs to the middle-class, Amanda is the only woman, and they have five sons. However, they lives have changed when the new president have declared the martial law. Amanda and Julian have their own dilemmas while at it. They usually fight because Amanda, as a woman, wanted to achieve other things rather than being just a housewife, while Julian just want her to become the latter. She is torn between the laws back then and her responsibilities as being the mother and wife. Due to this upbringing front (martial law), Jules, the eldest son began to be exposed in such rebellious acts. He first hid it from his family, but still, they have found out what he has been doing because of the unruly papers Amanda saw. Jules’ decision on joining the NPA is approved by his parents, however, they still fear of losing him. Jules and his younger brother (and the third son), Emmanuel, are partners in fighting the government because Emmanuel writes what Jules dictates. The second son, Isagani became a member of the navy. Jules fought over Isagani being one of the US Navy since he obviously doesn’t like it; Jules is a nationalistic person. However, Gani still managed to become one. But before that, he made his mistake of getting his girlfriend pregnant and suddenly became married. Yet, their marriage did not work because his wife has something to accomplish with her life. The fourth son is Jason, Julian’s favorite. Jason is a typical teenager and enjoys life too much. He is a happy-go-lucky child. He brings cheers to the family especially when struggles come. But Jason died, not by his witty acts, but because the police killed him, unjustified. And the fifth son is Benjamin. He is merely in the middle of his teenage years back then and still doesn’t have a broad understanding about what is happening around him.
Five Philippine Constitutional Laws Present in the Movie
- Article II Section 14: The State recognizes the role of women in nation building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.
- Article III Section 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person shall be denied to equal protection of the laws.
- Article III Section 4: No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
- Article III Section 12 (2) : No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
- Article III Section 18 (1): No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.
Violations of the Laws
- Julian doesn’t want Amanda to work. Julian uses his authority by not letting Amanda work and just stay at home, without her having self-achievement. Julian doesn’t give Amanda her right and she is being discriminated by Julian, because he thinks he is superior and what he does, which is working, is enough for their family. Though Amanda just wants her self-fulfillment, Julian still doesn’t want her to work.
- Jason was put into prison and the reason is that he possessed drugs illegally. Jason shouldn’t be put in jail instantly, nor killed, because he still doesn’t get his right to have due process of law to prove that he really does such acts like what the police said about him.
- Jules’ friend, Willy, was killed because he’s a member of the Kapatiran, their association against the government. Jules was also brought to prison because of the same reason. Both of them were deprived from their rights.
- Jules was totally tortured and brought to such places where he was detained. He was being forced to say things against himself and it is not lawful.
- Jules was put into jail because of his political beliefs, and the constitution doesn’t allow that.
Five Most Unforgettable Scenes
- Bartolome family’s social standing and their way of living created a big impact on me because I feel like it’s already an ideal, happy family. I like the fact that everyone in the family is given their right to express themselves.
- When Willy, the friend of Jules, is being killed, I almost choked when I saw what kind of brutality the government had back then. They did not even care about Willy’s dignity and also the difficulties his family would be facing. The one who killed Willy should also be punished.
- Jules suddenly knocked into their house together with his friend, Domeng, who was injured. The Bartolome family helped them but towards the end, he was just an operative of the government and exposed Jules’ involvement in the NPA.
- Amanda and Julian’s arguments about their marriage and relationship. Actually, it made me cry because Amanda was shouting and brawling about herself and about what she wants. I was also affected by how Julian reacted on the decision of Amanda in the end.
- The scenario that really affected me so much is when Jason went missing. I already became worried at first when Amanda and Julian were looking for Jason at the precincts. I imagined my parents looking for me, too and it just really made my tears flow. The best scene that really touched my emotions is when Julian was crying and punching the wall because he just lost his favorite son. While he was shouting, “Pinatay nila ang anak ko!,” my eyes certainly became a waterfall.
I really can’t imagine myself and my family facing the same problems that the Bartolome family faced back in the movie. I think I cannot handle such situations like that. If I will be in the situation of Amanda, I think that I can not stand every word Julian will be saying to me. Amanda is torn between the problems in the country, her family, her sons and her husband. I do salute her for being strong. As for being a child, into that kind of situation, I think that it isn’t very good to see what the government has been doing back then – those bloodshed, wars and tears.
Suddenly, I realized how lucky I am that I don’t have to face those problems anymore. But I am really hoping that what happened in the martial law regime back then will never happen again in the future because I simply won’t know what to do when the time comes.
Martial law really gives so much power to the government and they exercise much of their police power. There is no equality, no respect, no human dignity, and no such things as rights. Every thing that the government will do, will eventually become all the laws. It is merely not fair for all of us. In Martial Law, everyone needs to be very vigilant since unexpected things might happen and your good fate might turn into hell. There’s no blame on the president, though.
*Please leave a comment if you found this post useful. 🙂