As of this writing, Siargao has emerged as one of the big winners along with Ang Larawan, which took home the plum prize of Best Picture, during Wednesday night’s Gabi Ng Parangal. Taking home the most number of awards, seven to be exact, including 2nd Best Picture, Best Director for Paul Soriano, Best Supporting Actress for Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and most of the technical awards. It seems almost on equal footing as the Best Picture winner.
Well, congratulations! That doesn’t stop us from tallying its popcorn points, though...
Jericho as Diego, a native of Siargao, is totally believable with his fake Visayan accent and surfing skills, being one of the handful of Filipino actors who can really actually surf. I’ve always been a fan of this man, and I believe that if you steer him in the right direction, he really shines. Some choices he took though, did not work for me but on the whole, his portrayal did. +3
Erich as Laura was just too adorable to watch! I loved her quirkiness as a vlogger carrying so much emotional baggage from Manila. I think this is the only notable performance of Erich in my recollection. Plus, her in a red bikini?! And then in another flesh colored one?! Oxygen please! +4
That kiss of Diego and Laura was fire!!! My beef in Philippine cinema is that most of the time, actors don’t know how to kiss, well at least cinematically. This has got to be one of the best screen kisses I’ve ever seen. +5
Siargao is indeed picturesque, which probably garnered for the film the Best Cinematography trophy. But it was far from perfect. Some drone shots had dropped frames, too much romped up landscape shots here and there and for such a scenic location, I wonder what’s behind the choice of a shallow depth of field in most of the shots. Sorry for being too technical on this one. -2
It also won for Best Editing. Hmm.. 'Cause there were actually some moments when it felt emotionally jagged for me, and it might have been because of the editing. Sometimes it felt like a particular emotion that a scene wanted to convey was in another angle or shot. Anyone else among you who’s seen it, feel the same way? Well, it might just be me. Besides, we’ll never know what really happened in that cutting room. -3
Jasmine once again wins another film festival award. Wow, what a batting average for her! It seems like she always gets to take home one whenever her film becomes part of a festival like in Cinemalaya 2013 as Best Supporting Actress and CinemaOne Originals as Best Actress in 2016. Though this is not one of my top Jasmine performances, she has still been consistently amazing. +2
I like the simplicity of the plot along with that somewhat surprise twist in the end which almost made me choke up. Since I don’t wanna spoil the film, I just wanna say I’ve been #Team*** in the film among the two female leads and that was quite a nice ending. I also loved the quotable quotes like, ‘Tama yung tanong nya, nagkamali lang ako ng sagot..’ among others plus the surfing-inspired punchlines, which I feel will strike a chord among the present millennial ‘hugot’ generation. +4
Sometimes, though, it felt that some scenes were not completely fleshed out. It may be due to some portions of the film ending up on the cutting floor or maybe a lack of coverage or something. Otherwise, I’m imagining on paper, it was such a promising script full of heart. -2
That brother character of Jericho though, felt a bit off. I can’t quite put my finger on it but, yeah, I couldn’t figure out his purpose in the film. -2
After watching the film, I felt the need of booking a trip to Siargao, which I feel is the objective of the film anyway, so kudos to Paul Soriano and the rest of the team for that. Well, a Best Director award ain’t bad at all, too. +3
[related: Hot Stuff: We Did Some MMFF 'Gabi Ng Parangal' Predictions Based On What We Saw And Knew]
With a total of 12 and with all my personal preferential issues regarding the film, I still thoroughly enjoyed Siargao and I guess the jurors of the MMFF did, too, earning it the recognition of 2nd Best Picture. At the end of the day, sensibilities are personal and tastes are arbitrary but I truly admire filmmakers who are passionate in offering us something different and not just there to pull out all the stops to make sure they kill it at the box office. So, go watch this film in cinemas now and have a taste of this beautiful surf town. Enjoy the surfing hugot lines while you’re at it, too.
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Banner photos taken rom Landrigan's and Rosales' Instagram accounts. Other photos taken from Siargao The Movie's official Facebook account