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panaghoy sa suba by makulit1020.avi
Panaghoy Sa Suba (2004)
(The Call of the River)
Cast: Cesar Montano, Juliana Palermo, Jackie Woo, Caridad Sanchez, Joel Torre
This is an unusual love story set during the Japanese Occupation of a remote village in Central Visayas in the Philippines. A river is its main thorough fare and people’s lives ebb and flow with its waters.
Duroy (Cesar Montano) is attracted to a young lovely lass, Iset (Juliana Palermo). But she is an obedient child of her materialistic parents who are bent on improving their lot. She therefore attracts suitors who might help her achieve this: John Smith (Phil Anthony), an American doing both legal and illegal business in their village, and her employer, and Fumio Ohkohara (Jackie Woo), a handsome Japanese officer tasked to head the Occupation in the area. Duroy defers his courtship of Iset on account of his younger brother’s passionate obsession with her. The brother Ibo (Reiven Bulado) accidentally gets killed in a mad, suicidal fit of jealousy against Smith. Duroy wants to exact revenge and retribution, but war intervenes. For him, life has been a series of misfortunes since his father abandoned them when they were young, causing them to be mired in ignorance, illiteracy and poverty.
He joins a band of guerillas and later becomes their leader mainly because of his talent in creating innovative methods of fighting the enemy, in direct contrast to his father’s (now come-backing USAFFE soldier) and the American’s conventional warfare. After a series of sorties, he leads a final assault on the Japanese and the release of Duroy’s younger sister and fellow villagers from a river prison. And they succeed in annihilating the Japanese forces, boosting Duroy’s low self-esteem as an underachiever and illiterate person.
Iset is appalled at the brutality of the Japanese and her father’s collaboration with them. She makes a bold move against her parents and what they stand for by joining the guerillas. But she is not readily welcome. She must prove her worth as a woman and as a Filipino.
What appears to be a battle won in love and in war takes a strange twist in the end with the return of the American suitor. Who does she choose? Duroy, after getting rid of the ghosts of his troubled and deprived past, decides for everyone else: He answers the insistent call of the river.