my review notes on “BURGOS” (the closing film of 9th cinemalaya fest): a woman’s quest, a young man’s dream


the real jonas burgos
the real jonas burgos


It was like a feeling of deja vu as one blogger watched the closing film of the 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival- “Burgos”.

A feeling of being put again on the same situation that had happened years ago… A strange feeling, somewhat. Of being connected again with the real meaning of LIFE… and, the living and vivid colors of love…

A brief time travel that transported him in the past- when he met someone way back in his highschool days- whose life almost pictured the life of Jonas Burgos, the central character in the movie “Burgos”…

Everybody’s looking for something. And sometimes, it’s been taking them a lifetime to find it. But in their quest, even though they encounter so much difficulties, their journey through life only answers the true meaning of their very existence.

Meet Edith Burgos, the loving mom of a Desaparecido named Jonas Burgos. Obviously, Jonas was his favorite son. He was the answer to her long-life quest, but it was greatly interrupted after his disappearance.  She rarely cooked meals for their family, but when Jonas came to her life, her son, she willingly loved to cook meals for him and the rest of her family. It was a mother & son bondage that could reach ETERNITY.

You could almost feel her pains when he started to disappear. At the opening scene of the film, you would already see how much she tried to hold-on and never gave-up on looking for her son. A telephone call could send her to mixed feelings of hope and surrender. But she kept on. She roamed, together with her other two sons, the dangerous streets and alleys of the vicinity of Quiapo church, almost asking everyone there, holding the picture of her son, clinging with her faith, trying to know the reasons why…

The burden was unbearable. The mixed-up stories upon the disappearance of her son, bubbled-up by evil pranksters callers, the ridicules of the wife of a General whom she accidentally met, and the bad judgements on her by a nun-friend (Mrs. Burgos almost became a nun before she got married)- added much more pains, but, only challenged her to keep on to the FIGHT.

mrs. edith burgos with the picture of her son, jonas
mrs. edith burgos with the picture of her son, jonas

Thanks God, Mrs. Edith Burgos was greatly supported by her family. Especially her other 2 sons, 2 daughters and a daughter-in-law (Jonas’ wife). Without them, her second quest, her second journey, could have been so lonely…

direk joel: a different attack on directing a film
direk joel: a different attack on directing a film

Joel Lamangan, the director of this film on Edith Burgos, applied a straight-forward ‘touch’. He didn’t play-up with the emotions just to capture and captivate the audience, the director was not a USER on playing-up with people’s feelings. In fact, he didn’t even use melodramatic music on this film that would make you cry harder. He simply presented. He simply relayed a MESSAGE.

And that’s what’s a good film is all about. With an honest director, all the more it became so REAL. And somehow you would feel, LIFE IS INDEED STRANGER THAN FICTION.

joe burgos, the father of jonas burgos and husband to edith burgos embraces his sons
joe burgos, the father of jonas burgos and husband to edith burgos embraces his sons

Because the story of the Burgos family is really one for the books. Starting it up with the father- Mr. Joe Burgos (R.I.P.), a famous journalist and a principled man who left the world earlier than Jonas? This father, a controversial one, left a financially-rewarding P.R. job in an oil company because he didn’t want to be “eaten-up” by the ‘system’. He put-up his own newspaper and became a celebrated journalist.

But when the father died, the son took a quite different and a more ‘heroic’ task. He chose to be with the farmers, He chose to be on ‘the left side’. He chose to FIGHT.

He became a WARRIOR. For the humble people, and for the goodness of the LAND.


Two high school students of an exclusive school climbed-up the wall of their school grounds and drifted around the Metropolis. In one casual moment, they talked to each other:

Male Student No. 1: Huwag mong iwawala ang mga tulang nilikha ko, ha? Itago mo, para sa ‘yo ‘yun… Kasi, baka umalis na ako… Lalaban na ako…

Male Student No. 2: Huwag, huwag kang aalis…

Male Student No. 1: Kinamkam kasi nila ang mga lupain namin…

Male Student No. 2: Please, huwag… Please


rocco nacino shines
rocco nacino shines

And as one blogger continued watching the movie Burgos, he held-on to his tears. He didn’t have to cry. He is now on his late 40’s, and men (?) don’t cry… He remembered a PAST. And a young man he once loved. He saw it directly on the character of Jonas Burgos, perfectly portrayed by Mr. Rocco Nacino.

Rocco’s face captivated the screen with his brief but totally all-consuming presence, all-throughout the movie. He acted well and good. He was like Jonas Burgos himself. Yo could almost feel the SOUL.

ms. lorna tolentino: an acting great
ms. lorna tolentino: an acting great

Ms. Lorna Tolentino as Edith Burgos was efficient with her characterization, very motherly and very humane. Definitely, one or two Best Actress awards would await her via this film.

the wholes cast of "burgos", the film
the whole cast of “burgos”, the film

The rest of the cast also did well. Especially Allen Dizon and Kerbie Zamora- who portrayed as Jonas’ brothers in the film. Allen’s performance here was igniting and Kerbie was credible and sensitive.

The quest for JUSTICE lives-on. As long as there are people who continue fighting for it. As long as there are people who believes in the power of love, and as long as there are people who were brave enough to stand.

Standing in the middle of ordinary farmers and revolutionaries, Mrs. Edith Burgos will never stand alone.

And as the most beautiful vision and last frame shot of the movie showed Rocco Nacino smiling in all his dream-like beauty..

One blogger will cling-on to a dream, and like a pet dog that will follow the commands of his heart-



rocco nacino smiles. a bright performance in the movie "burgos".
rocco nacino smiles. a bright performance in the movie “burgos”.




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