Globally recognized movie “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine)” is one of this year’s official entries for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), and while the award-winning film has gained traction in several international film festivals, it just seems timely for the film to get featured locally.
“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” is inspired by director Carlo Francisco Manatad’s experience of having his hometown ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, when several Filipinos lost their lives. Starring Charo Santos, Daniel Padilla, and Rans Rifol, the story revolves around Miguel (Padilla) looking for his missing loved ones during the aftermath of the storm, determined to leave their town before another typhoon approaches.
Fast forward to 2021, the country has once again been hit with typhoon Odette (Rai) and the narrative of the film is as timely as ever. But did you know that Manatad’s feature directorial debut took seven years to finish?
The director revealed that the film was already in the works even before the typhoon hit Tacloban, but he felt that there was still something missing from the output.
He shares, “When the storm happened, ang daming nangyari (so much happened) in between. Months after the storm para akong nagkaroon ng PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) nang hindi ko namamalayan na mayroon pa lang gano’n (I experienced PTSD without realizing that there was such a thing).”
“Sinasabi sa’kin na (It’s been said to me that) ‘The only thing that could help you is to let it all out like tell what happened to people, to your friends, your close relatives,’ so I started telling the story of what happened, and then we realized na baka (that maybe) what was missing from the previous writing was me to make it more personal.”
After realizing that what was lacking in their initial write up was Manatad’s personal touch from the story, they soon incorporated his experience.
Aside from the budget constraints, one reason while they took their time finishing the film was because of the risk that they took. That is, instead of heading to the usual filmmaking route wherein the film gets featured in local film festivals and cinemas, they brought it abroad first, and their hard work paid off after receiving several accolades from prestigious film festivals abroad, including Cinema e GioventÃ¹ Prize from the Conscoso Cineasti del presente Junior Jury at the 74th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, Special Mention by the Jury at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico, and Best Director at the London East Asia Film Festival in the UK.
“Everything was basically new to us, but I was enjoying this new experience and learning as well. Also it took seven years mainly because we didn’t have the budget for it… Madaming (There were a lot of) hesitations but we would still push to get funding,” Manatad shares.
Whenever we experience deadly typhoons and other calamities, Filipinos’ resilience has always been highlighted. While admirable, Manatad also stresses that there should be accountability and not just applause for Filipinos that know how to survive a tragedy without proper assistance.
“It’s kind of uplifting but at the same time kind of sad na (that) every time there’s a tragedy, specifically for Filipinos, we’re always called the resilient ones. It’s nice but at the same time, how do you define resiliency?” he asks rhetorically.
“Resilience doesn’t mean you’re placed in a tragic event tapos you survived and then ‘Yay! Resilient again!’ I feel there should be accountability… It should be something that people would know what to expect or what would happen in terms of a tragedy and then they survive,” he adds.
Despite all the recognition they received internationally, it’s still meaningful for Manatad and his collaborators to have the film shown in the Philippines.
Produced by iWant, Quantum Films, Blacksheep, Dreamscape Entertainment, Globe Studios, Cinematografica, Plan C, House on Fire, AAND, and KawanKawan, “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” will be featured in local cinemas until January 7, 2022.
Art Daniella Sison