By now you have probably already heard about Jaclyn Jose winning the Best Actress award at the recent Cannes Film Festival. The veteran actress bested Hollywood stalwarts such as Charlize Theron and Marion Cotillard. The film she won it for is Brillante Mendoza’s latest work, Ma’ Rosa. The movie tells the story of a married couple (played by Julio Diaz and Jose) who owns a sari-sari store, where they also sell packets of shabu. For people who choose to do these kinds of activities, life is complicated. The movie explores the struggles of “Ma Rosa” and her family as they deal with corrupt cops and drug dealers.

Ma Rosa 2
You know those shortcuts that Waze makes you take that makes your heart skip a bit faster? That’s the setting of this latest film by Brillante Mendoza.

Sobrang layo sa Finding Dory di ba? The thing about Ma’ Rosa is that it feels very real. Maybe even too real sometimes. You think to yourself, “ganito na ba talaga ang buhay sa Pilipinas?” But you already know the answer to that question. The movie paints a not-so pretty picture of life in our country and the sad part is thatit doesn’t feel like an exaggeration. When you watch the movie, you might even be reminded of some people that you’ve encountered in real life. Here are a few of them:

1) Walang Sukling Cashier

Also known as the “may piso na lang kayo, sir cashier. Can you remember the days when transactions only involved you giving the cashier money and then you getting your change in return. Now it’s common practice for cashiers to ask you if you have coins when you pay for something. Tinatamad ba sila magbilang ng coins? In the opening scene, Ma’ Rosa is buying cup noodles from the grocery and the cashier tells her that she doesn’t have 25 centavos so she gives Rosa a handful of candies instead. In this family, every centavo counts so Ma Rosa insists on her change. You know you’re hard up on cash when you go beastmode for 25 cents.

2) Tambay Ng Videoke

Ma Rosa’s eldest son “Jackson” is introduced as someone who’s a bit of a videoke aficionado. He rents out their videoke machine and microphone to the other tambays of the community. We’ve all seen groups like this before. Pinoys enjoy singing. Shirtless men singing “Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo” in the middle of the afternoon is common here. Sintunado pa.

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