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On its second week of showing, the movie “Felix Manalo” still ranks first with a gross of PHP 25 Million.  The overall gross to date is PHP 161 Million, a step below “Heneral Luna” which has earned PHP 197 Million  –

To break even we need to make at least PHP 450 million (See previous article – News & Updates “Felix Manalo”, Oct. 16, 2015)

Yesterday, my wife and I watched the movie at a nearby SM Mall.  She has been very persistent that we watch it despite her strong objections of current Church affairs. Mind you she knows perfectly well that the movie itself is business oriented but still, desired to know how the biography was presented. In her very younger days she had met the Sugo and therefore, would not permit a distortion of her views.

Actually, the story was presented quite well except for a few weak points. The exchange of dialogue. Too ceremonial, no one talks like that even during said era. The bio reached the 1960s but the manner of speaking remained the same – too proper too rigid. Another point is the make-up. Instead of using the same actors to portray the lead, they could have used a senior actor to portray the same role. Less distraction.  And finally, the story could have ended at the last rites of the Sugo.  In fact the last scene faded out at that point.  All of a sudden you hear the voice of (if I’m not mistaken) Jun Santos pointing out the advances of the Church from the Sugo, Ka Erdy, and ultimately to the present TP declaring, “mas pinalaki, mas pinarami kasalukuyang pamamahala …”

Overkill if I may say so.  Besides, a “continuation” of a program cannot be used as comparison to ascertain who “did the best.” And another thing, if the Sugo and his immediate successor had not handled the Church finances wisely, there would be no funds to build the Arena, Stadiums, Buildings, Chapels, Offices, etc. to which any successor can boast about.

Going back to the movie, my wife was deeply touched on the later part of the story where Ka Felix finally succumbed to illness, portrayal of  the wake and last rites.  I could see her drying her eyes there.  Well, when my wife cries, so do I, so there, we were both crying.  The memories of the death of the Sugo and the recent death of Ka Erdy were too much to bear.  Sadly though, there were different circumstances surrounding the death of Ka Felix and Ka Erdy.

When Ka Felix passed away, the Church was fully aware of his failing health and had been conducting devotional prayers during its regular pagsamba for his recovery.  During this period a broadsheet mistakenly published the death of Ka Felix at the Veterans Hospital.  As a result, hords of brethren and supporters flocked to the hospital forcing the sick Ka Felix to appear in a wheel chair to reassure his supporters.  He unfortunately passed away shortly after.

In Ka Erdy’s case, it was different.  No one knew (except probably for his family) about his failing health.  The Church was not advised. Not even his closest.  Queues going far back as the University grounds and the BEM dormitories during his wake.  As the aging Ka Emeng Magtuto embraced Ka Erdy’s coffin grieving and crying like a child, wails, “Ang daya daya mo, hindi ba sabi mo walang iwanan …” 

I sometimes ask myself why had he not informed us so that we could have offered prayers for his recovery.  Only Ka Erdy and probably Ka Tenny can answer that question.