By Ibarra C. Mateo
More than a decade ago, while I was doing research for an investigative report on how illegals drugs from foreign sources enter the country, a retired senior official showed me satellite photographs of Philippine coastal towns littered with “blocks” of drugs.
The satellite photographs displayed “blocks” of drugs in different colors, depending on what kind of illegal substance was inside the water-proof “containers”.
Syndicates, using modern speedboats, pick up illegal drugs “dropped by much bigger vessels in the high seas,” the official said. “But not all are collected, a big number are washed up, and these package end up lining the coastal towns,” the official said.
Now, Mina-Anud, a film directed by Kerwin Go closes the 2019 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival on Aug. 10. Screening will be at 9 pm, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).
The one-hour-and 44-minute film follows two surfers, Ding and Carlo, who must decide whether the lure of big money is worth risking family and freedom, after three tons of cocaine landed on the shores of a peaceful seaside community.
Go said the film was inspired by true events.
In 2009, in the province of Eastern Samar, waves tossed cocaine “blocks” along the shores of the province, “things turned downright surreal,” Go said.
“Being one of the poorest provinces in the country, people there lived a hand-to-mouth existence. Profits from the sale of cocaine enabled them to taste a little bit of a dream as they bought flatscreen TV sets, gadgets, motorcycles, cars, and jewelry. I was there and witnessed this first hand,” Go said.
Actors Dennis Trillo and Jerald Napoles headline the film, with special participation of Matteo Guidicelli as Paul.
The film also stars Dionne Monsanto, Elia Ilano, Anthony Falcon, Marc Felix, Mara Lopez, Lou Veloso, and Richard Manabat.
“The characters in the film are based on the director’s friends and acquaintances who gave in to the temptation of easy money. Several benefited financially. Others were not so lucky and wound up in jail, Go said.
A big fan of bungled crime and dark comedies, Go described Mina-Anud as “a black comedy film with a heart.”
The greed and corruption caused by arrival of the cocaine was a ripe breeding ground for black comedy, he said.
“They say you should make a film about something you know, and that there are stories out there that only you can tell. For me, that would be this story,” Go said.
The 2015 Cinemalaya Awards Night will be on Aug. 11, 7 pm, also at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).