A Late Appreciation for the Epic Amaya

I know my title sounded a bit like idolatry. I’m been thinking of blogging about Amaya, but was half-afraid my “sossy”  friends might find me a bit “bakya” for watching local TV.

Marian Rivera as Amaya; I was waiting for this costume

Truth is, Amaya was one Filipino program I could endure watching despite the long commercial breaks.

Since I saw its trailer, I knew it was something that would spark a bit of hope for my TV;  which is, at the moment, full of soap operas about rich people and the intrigues that surround them.

What’s different about Amaya is that it’s obviously not a cliché. It has its share of low graphic effects, true. But the story is set in a time that Filipinos barely have knowledge of (and sometimes not interested in): The Pre-Colonial Era.

Aside from depicting the rather unknown rich pre-colonial Filipino culture and traditions, there are so many modern Filipino culture myths that have been proved false by this TV programme. It obviously debunks a chunk of what we whole-heartedly learned against the Spaniards from our elementary history books.

Some of the mentalities we have, like the fascination of white skin, did not start during the Spanish Colonial Era. In fact, pre-colonial princesses (who are either Malay or Indonesian) were adored and recognized for their fair skin. Not all Filipinos are brown.

It also shows the fact that females were warriors too. Tattoo is a mark of honor and was not frowned upon.

I rejoiced to the fact that it didn’t end in a rescue-whoever-in-a-warehouse scene. Also, Amaya was not switched with whomever at birth! The costumes were elaborately made, too.

There are some things I actually didn’t like.

One is the non-existent chemistry between Marian Rivera and Sid Lucero. It annoyed me every time the Amaya-Bagani tandem is on the spot light. It’s not effective; even it was supposed to be, sorry.

This is funny but it shows the “chismoso” (eaves-dropping) culture, every time Amaya or Bagani’s troop would meet up. Lamitan always has a spy to listen to them, all the bloody time.

I didn’t know Magellan didn’t have the time to catch his breath the moment he landed on the shores of Mactan. Didn’t he have enough time to chat with the Datu?

Appreciation of arts and culture knows no stereotype, whether you are “bakya” or “sosyal”. I’m sure Amaya will be considered a classic soon, despite its few flaws. Do not expect too much conflict though as it is, as mentioned, pre-colonial.

P.S. Rochelle Pangilinan stood out as Bai Marikit. Another stand out was Ayen Munji-Laurel who played Hara Lingayan.

Read this too: http://dryedmangoez.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/review-gmas-amaya-its-about-time-the-philippines-gets-their-sprawling-epic/

Image from: http://www.starmometer.com/2011/04/21/amaya-official-cast-and-behind-the-scenes-photos/

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2 thoughts on “A Late Appreciation for the Epic Amaya

  1. My 2 cents:
    A few glimpse of this TV series on YouTube had caught my attention and roused my curiosity. It’s a film well made that tells the way life was back in the days, in the southern part of the Philippines. It somewhat brings forth a forgotten history and traditions of the old. The words they used and spoken, the attire and “battle-earned” tattoos which were a mixture of customs as far from northern to southern parts of the nation, were indicative of a believable Filipino heritage.

    Compliments to the actors and actresses is way over due but nonetheless, recognition worthwhile mentioning. I think this series, beats the record. I 
    ended up buying the DVD package but still missing the last 4. It’s the only way I could watch the epical story now. 

    The actress who played the role of Yang Telisayang was also quite impressive, may I add. She carried the character well enough to impress among viewers  how tough this princess was. She seemed entwined with the character much like living the life and able to play the role with confidence and performed good character balance between scenarios (less pitiful crying). 

    Kudos goes to the actress that played Lingayan. She nobbled my attention just the same and brought regality in the series.

    It would be really nice to see these 2 ladies in a separate movie and playing a major lead role, someday.

    1. thanks for your comment! I do agree! Those two actresses were really standouts, even Rochelle Pangilinan (Marikit) surprised me!

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