What can I say that has not already been said? To write a review about this latest Philippine cinema masterpiece would be presumptuous of me, and totally out of my field, since I am no expert on film, cinematography, and other technical aspects of the movies.
I only know what moves me. And this story went deeper than the heart. It is difficult to explain.
“Quezon’s Game” transported me to an era that was strangely familiar. Mine.
I vaguely remember as a little girl, seeing President Manuel Luis Quezon in a parade, probably in the Luneta. I recall he was slight of built but elegant, imposing. I often saw him in the papers and in some revistas.
I remember hearing stories at home about how Capt. Enrique Razón, my father’s eldest brother and a sea captain like himself, was commissioned by President Quezon to bring the Presidential yacht S.Y. Casiana from California to Manila.
Benito Razón, the second born of our clan, was Quezon’s friend and his economics confidante. When I worked on our family book in 2016, I came across several frayed and yellowed personal notes written by President Quezon to Tio Benito. Although written on official stationery bearing the presidential seal, they seemed quite informal and friendly.
At home I heard many stories about Quezon, who he was, what he did, what he said. My uncles spoke about him in very respectful tones, almost in awe. He had that same effect on everyone around him.
“Quezon’s Game” is an outstanding movie. The cast is brilliant. Raymond Bagatsing is excellent. I can think of no one who could have played Quezon better, except maybe Quezon himself. Dignified, refined, restrained. He was amazing as the fiery and compassionate man who loved his country and his people.
Rachel Alejandro was a very credible First Lady of the Philippines. Recalling her outstanding portrayal of Paula in “Ang Larawan,” I had no doubts that she would do a great job playing the kindhearted but strong-willed Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon.
Audie Gemora was a lovable Sergio Osmeña. He showed strength and resiliency, and displayed finesse even when in direct disagreement with some of Quezon’s decisions.
“Quezon’s Game” is the story of a touching, moving, and little-known chapter in our history. It shows our innate patriotism and genuine concern for our fellowmen, qualities today sorely missing in our national soul. This is a must-see experience for every Filipino, especially for our young people who desperately need someone to look up to, respect and emulate.
After his heartrending decision to welcome over 1,200 Jews into the Philippines, and being severely criticized for doing so, Quezon asked: “Could I have done more?”
In these times of hatred and greed one aches to see brief moments, even faint vestiges of kindness and loyalty.
Where has all that good stuff gone?
It is sad to hear that this movie has been pulled out of some theaters. Those are the realities of business. If you don’t make money, you’re out.
I pray the theater owners reconsider. I ask them to awaken their Filipino souls. We call on the Department of Education. It should be required viewing for every student.
“Quezon’s Game” makes you proud to be a Filipino.
Advice for the sleep-deprived
A friend called frantic, asking me for a quick fix for her insomnia.
Experts say that the average man or woman spends one-third of his life sleeping. Sleep is often referred to as nourishment and refreshment of the body.
But what is it that makes sleep so elusive?
Good health is closely related to good sleep. An Irish proverb says, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in a doctor’s book.
I recently read about ways to ensure sound sleep. No pills, no potions. And no, counting sheep was not one of them.
We are advised not to eat anything heavy two hours before going to bed.
Take deep breaths.
Listen to calming music.
Avoid all kinds of electronic devices at least 45 minutes before going to bed. Turn all gadgets off. If you are reading a book on Kindle, don’t take it to bed. Screens consume a lot of energy and brain activity. Your eyes have to work extra hard.
It helps to set your alarm at a favorable time. Study your patterns of sleep. Light sleep is important. It takes up more than half of the night. It’s when your body processes memories and emotions.
Keep a positive mental attitude. Go to sleep with the thought that tomorrow is going to be your best day ever.
Say a prayer of thanks for each day that ends.
“Your pillow is softest when you have paid your debts, when you have dealt fairly with friend and foe; when you have spoken the truth, not betrayed a trust, and you hold no grudges or resentments against anyone. He sleeps soundest whose heart is at peace.”
And I wonder about the rich and famous, about people scrambling for position, willing to do anything, and ready to sell their souls for a taste of wealth and power.