The Fault of Holding Back
by Jansen Musico

Nuwebe (2013)
D: Joseph Israel Laban
S: Barbara Miguel, Nadine Samonte, Jake Cuenca, Anita Linda

When a nine-year old girl gives birth to her own child, it’s bound to inflict a thirst for exposition. More often than not, the questions are groomed to find its cause. Is it the work of enchanted beings or a sick twist of fate? Any aftereffects of the girl’s current condition are merely updates to what’s already known; what is more enticing is the elusive reason for her pregnancy.

Joseph Israel Laban’s Nuwebe starts this way: It introduces Krista (Barbara Miguel), the child mother, through an opening monologue. Eyes locked on the camera, she tells the audience how difficult it is to revisit the events leading up to this point in her story. She is clearly pained, but despite the hint of tears lining the sockets of her eyes, her words are void of sincerity—a gap the film ever fails to fill.

The success of Nuwebe rides on Barbara Miguel’s performance. Though the girl is obviously talented, the role is just too heavy to be carried by such frail hands. Miguel puts on a mature face for her audience, but her tendency to overact and over-enunciate her Taglish lines ruins the illusion of truth she tries to create. Laban’s style only aggravates this problem, exposing her weakness rather than concealing it. Though Laban’s roots may be planted in journalism, and, in some way, documentary filmmaking, his use of character confessionals impeded whatever effect he wanted Nuwebe to have.

The film takes a lot of screen time setting up details leading up to Krista’s pregnancy. It teases the audience with the warring ideas of mysticism and science, pitting a faith healer (Anita Linda) against a pastor sidelining as a butcher (Jake Cuenca). When the story reaches its climax, it censors itself. It’s understandable why Laban opts to withhold that type of scene from his film. Works like Mysterious Skin, for example, prove that films like these can stand alone without visualizing a minor’s sexual encounters. But that approach doesn’t quite work here. This unwillingness to shock only widens the void between Krista and her audience. Every time she speaks, it becomes harder to sell the idea of her being a victim, and a resilient one at that.

The confessionals veer off the tracks Laban laid out during the film’s first half and render them useless. Instead of following through with a straightforward narrative, the storytelling is derailed and runs off with a string of tedious monologues framed as interviews. Resolutions are done through words rather than actions, with characters saying more than they show. They come off uninspired. Even the combined efforts of Nadine Samonte and Jake Cuenca, playing Krista’s troubled parents, could not save the ensuing wreckage.

Rape, especially those involving minors, is an issue deserving of a spot in Cinemalaya. It merits the right to be seen by a captive audience and start some form of discourse on the matter. Laban could have done so much with this subject, if only he took more time to recalibrate the choices he made.

Three movies today! Instant Mommy with Erika and Hannah. Debosyon and Nuwebe with Vae and Luis. This was really an awesome experience since last 2012 I only get to watch Oros. :( But this year, I’ll try to watch as many as possible. Aja to me and my friends! ☺👍👏
PS. Quite disappointed that Jake Cuenca and Paolo Avelino was not present at the Gala Screening of their movies. 😪
#cinemalaya2013 #instantmommy #debosyon #nuwebe

Nuwebe (2013)

Inspired by the actual story of one of the youngest mothers in Philippine history, NUWEBE follows the story of Krista who at the tender age of 9 got pregnant from the sexual abuse perpetrated by her own father.  Her story is complex.  Krista refuses to see herself as a victim.  With an almost documentary style, NUWEBE follows Krista’s story as she demonstrates a level of resilience uncommon to her age.  Her mother on the other hand is torn between her love for her child and her love for her husband. 

Director: Joseph Israel Laban

Jake Cuenca, Nadine Samonte, Anita LInda, Barbara Miguel

#Nuwebe is a feature film playing @queensworldfilmfestival, and well it was pretty intense, where you see the course of a 9 year old girl become pregnant.

Friday, August 2

Maaga nagising kahit wala akong prof sa first subject ko. Tas sabi may iniwan na activity tas wala naman pala nagpaattendance lang. Nagpaantay pa tas di naman pala makakaabot. Aabsent dapat sa Literature subject ko kahit may quiz pero nakiayon ang tadhana hahaha. Nagtx yung prof ko at sabi nagtatae daw siya kaya wala kaming klase (nakaall caps pa yung word na nagtatae hahaha funny talaga nun).
 Umuwe na ako ng mga 1:30 para mahabol ko si Mich kasi manunuod kami ng NUWEBE sa CCP. Kailangan ko sumabay kasi baka maligaw ako. Naghintay ng mga 2hours kasi nanuod pa siya nung ‘PUROK 7’. Muntik ko pa hindi makita yung couch na sinasabe niya, di ko kasi naintindihan yung directions. Tumambay lang ako sa couch sa may second floor at nagbabasa ng libro ni Ricky Lee na pinahiram ni Mich para hindi ako mabored. (ayan sa baba, wala man lang gwapo na tumabi sakin huhu)

Nasakto pa na puro kabadingan yang libro na yan kasi puro bading yun nasa paligid ko kanina hahaha. Dumating na si Mich at binigay yung carrot cupcake ko at brownies :) Tas gumora na kami para ikutin yung buong CCP. Kakaikot namin sa mga paintings na parang tatay ko lang yung drawing hihi JOKS ! Nakita namin si Ricky Lee at Dahil hawak ko na yung book niya nagpaautograph na kami :( Tas naging MICHELLE pa yung pangalan ko hahaha. SYET ! Kinilig ako kasi parang natuwa pa siya nung nakita niya yung book niya na dala namin hihi. K! 

So after ng pirmahan, nagpunta pa kami sa ibang exhibit. Medyo nakakapagod tas hindi pa kami naglalunch kaya kumain kami sa labas ng PAPA JOHN’s PIZZA :). Huhuhu ang sarap pramis ! Tas tangnuh ginto yung water nila 30pesos tas yung coke-in-can e 50 walanjo na yun ! Nagpapacute pa si kuyang tindero pero hindi pa din kami bumili at nauwe sa gulaman yung inumin namin hahaha. Kain construction worker na ginawa namin kasi magstart na yung movie. Ang chakaness nung movie huhuhu. Tinipid. Tas hindi ko bet yung mga artist na gumanap. Si Jake Cuenca lang yung gusto ko hahaha (ang hot e). So nadisappoint kami ng bongga. Ganda na sana nung story epal lang yung gumawa ng script at yung ibang artist na din, nakakairita.

After nung movie naghanap ako ng milktea at walang pumasa sa taste ko kaya umuwe na kami at nakakita ko ng d’cream pagbaba namin nung orange na jeep hihi. Kaya bumili ako :) 

 (Favorite drink with my mesel bebe. Joke lang yan pagaaral niya. May hot pa na kuya sa loob ng shop hihi)

After namin maubos gumora na sa LRT at simulan na ang bakbakan sa mga pauwe galing sa trabaho. Naipit ako, naapakan yung paa ko ng bonggang bongga at nasiksik. Para kong narape pag dating ko dito sa bahay kasi poreber traffic na ata sa Monumento. Tas ayun hindi ako piangalitan. Ang saya anu po ? :) Tumawag si Andi at Binaba din kasi bawal magkulitan may pasok bukas. Tas napagalitan ako ni papa dahil sa picture na pinost ko sa fb hahaha. Tas tapos na :)


Sold out tickets! 😭just done watching #cinemalaya #nuwebe Sad Movie! astig Nung performance Nung baboy! Next Year will be vigilant with those tickets! @sheirebadavia @andengirl

I’m not gonna able to use this tickets anymore. I’m now selling it. 1 ticket for Nuwebe 9:00pm July 28 - Monday. 2 tickets for Instant Mommy 9:00pm July 31 - Wednesday. I got this for 77.50php. Selling it for the same price. Who’s interested? #Cinemalaya2013 #InstantMommy #Nuwebe

I was able to meet my college buddies yesterday at Trinoma for the screening of Cinemalaya’s ‘Nuwebe’. The movie stars Jake Cuenca, Barbara Miguel, Nadine Samonte and our very own, Mike Liwag, the guy who played ‘Dan’ in Haplos. (I’ll make my own review of Nuwebe soon)

I missed my college classmates so much. There are a lot of things to catch up and I’m glad we are all the same like we were before. Parang walang nagbago. 

Nuwebe (New Breed Category) by Joseph Israel Laban


Inspired by the actual story of one of the youngest mothers in Philippine history, “Nuwebe” follows the story of Krista who at the tender age of 9 got pregnant from the sexual abuse perpetrated by her own father. What follows is a story of struggle and renewal. Krista’s story is complex. She refuses to see herself as a victim. Despite her situation, she demonstrates an incredible level of resilience and determination to overcome the trauma of her past. Her mother on the other hand is torn between her love for her child and her love for her husband.



Krista, the daughter that was raped, view herself not as a victim. She wanted to have a child, and that’s what she got. She gave all blame to the “nuno sa punso”. She experienced bleeding, she fainted many times, until her teacher discovers that she was pregnant. She pushed through the pregnancy. Yun nga lang, she was convinced to surrender her child instead of keeping it, because she was fucking-nine-years-old! Only to discover in the end that it was the same thing that happened to her mom.

This movie is an eye opener that even the people you trust may hurt you, may raped you, or worst may kill you, whatever age you may be.


March 21,2015

2nd year-2nd semester.

Fieldwork namin sa  nstp! Sa dagat dagatan navotas, hahahhahhaa parang laro laro lang eno. So ung activity namin is feeding and kid activity,.

8am ung call time sa plaza mayor, so dumating ako ng 7:30, habang nasa quadri park, nakita ko si chona so magkasama namin hinanap ung bus, lol. nasa tabi lang pala nung pinag upuan namin banda hahahahahaha mej tanga XD so ayun nga pmunta na kami sa bus, tapos naghanap ng mauupuan, sinave ko na rin ng seat si mau para tabi kami tas sa kabilang side si chona at gido. susmaryosef na yan alas otso na di pa naman pala aalis kaya bumili muna ko sa carpark ng breakfast kasi gutom na gutom na si belly belly ko! hahahaha

After 16237268432647384years! aalis na din dawwww juskoooo mag aalas nuwebe naaaa nakakalokaaaa, so ayun nga natulog muna kme ni mau tas shit pag gising namin hndi na namin alam kung nasang lumalop na kme, ewan ko kung mabilis ung byahe o sadyang mahaba lang tulog namin? Mga 9:30am kme nakarating tapos nag assign ng group kung sino ung magluluto at sino ung maiiwan para mag entertain ng mga bata, 2 groups ung na-assign magluto tapos 3 groups ung mag eentertain sa 3 grupo ng mga bata at kasama kme dun! yey! edi tuwang tuwa ang lola mooo! hahahaha nung pumasok na kme sa room,garaabiiii, ang liliit at ang papayat nila sguro mga 2-9 years old ung mga andun. Nung una hndi namin alam kung pano sila iaapproach kasi nagkakapaan pa, ganern. pero habang pinamimigay na namin ung mga I.D nila kumukulit na sila hahahaha!

May isa kong bata na napansin dun kasi naaalala ko sakanya si ketchup na inaanak ko, so nilapitan ko sya tinanong ko pangalan nya sabi nya “archelle” daw tapos tinanong ko kung ilang taon na sya sabi nya 6 na dawwww and i was likeeee sheeeeeeeeet kala ko 3-4 yrs old palang sya kasi ang liit nya tas sobrang cute nya hihi,nahihiya pa nga ata sya sakin hahahaha pagtapos namin pamigay ung I.D nila pinag color namin sila binigyan namin sila ng mga printed na kukulayan nila sguro mga 15minutes yun bago natapos sila tapos lumabas kme edi pinapila namin sila girls and boys at shempre bilang bida bida ako ung nasa harap pinapila ko sila na parang train para hndi masira ung pila HAHAHHA may sound effects pa yon ha! tapos pmunta kme sa stage nung court tas naglaro kme ng the boat is sinking ako ung host HAHAHAHA Laftrip lang kasi may mga nag away ta umiyak pa nagka traydoran na sa pag ggrupo XD

Nung natapos ung game, kung ano ano na pinag gagawa namin nakipag harutan at kwentuhan nalang kme sakanila hihi nakakatuwa si archelle kasi hndi na sya nahihiya, pag nakikita nga nya ko tumatakbo sya agad papalapit sakin tas yayakap odikaya magpapakalong o aangkas sa likod ko :”> pati si alliyah na alaga ni mau ganun din hahahaha ang cute cute lang talaga nila! tas ung ibang bata mahiyain, ung iba bibo, ung iba maligalig na pero kalmado pa naman sila sa lagay na yun jusko! HAHAHAHA nkipaglaro pa nga ako ng chinese garter HAHAHHAHA nag limbo rock pa ung gusto ng iba kaloka talaga prepared sila sa garter! kaso ung goma na pinag tagpi tagpi ung gamit namin XD  

Nung sinabi na nung prof namin sa NSTP na luto na ung pagkain nila pinapila na namin habang papunta kme dun sa pagkakainina nila sabi sakin ni alliyah “ate wag kna umalis dito ka nalang” tas parang malungkot at nakasimangot nyang sabi huhu kaya yakap ko silang dalawa habang naglalakad, tas nung kumakain na sila nag sserve lang kami, tas nung tapos na sheeeeeeeeeeet uwwian na pala yun T.T super bilis lang. sfter nila kumain pinamigay na namin ung mga dala naming biscuits at candies dinudumog kme lalo nakakaloka HAHAHAHA. tas may isa pa dun bakla na kala namin lalaki nung nakipag selfie kme aba nagpost ng bongga! XD hanggang sa maubos na goodies namin nag alisan na sila kasama parents nila..

Nakakalungkot huhu sabi ko kay mau naiiyak ako (OA LANG) SORRY NA super hilig ko kasi talaga sa mga ganun, lalo na mga bata parang ang hirap ksi naattach ka sakanila kahit saglit na oras lang, ang sweet pa naman lalo na si archelle at alliyah na nag hhug pa bago umalis pati din ung iba, naaawa ako para sa iba kasi ganun ung sitwasyon nila, kaya narealize ko kanina na sobrang blesse padin ako kasi may nakakain ako araw araw at nakakpasok sa magandang school, eh sila nga halos isang beses lang daw sila kumain sa isang araw.. nakakadurog ng puso, ang sarap nilang ampunin :( pero un nga balik nalang sa realidad. naiisip ko sila hanggang ngayon, kung pano kinabukasan nila, kaya nakakainis ung mga taong hindi pinapahalagahan ung mga bagay na meron at inaapreiciate kung ano lang meron sila, ung iba sinasayang lang pagkain o pera nag rereklamo pag hndi gusto ung ulam, eh ung iba nga walang makain. Si Lord nalang bahala sakanila, hndi nya naman sguro sila papabayaan, atlis may mga ganitong activity para makatulong sakanila. Pag tinitingnan at kinakausap ko sila nakikita ko na may hope pa naman sila kasi ung isa gusto maging doctor o teacher, tapos tinanong ko si archelle kung ano gusto nya maging paglaki sabi nya teacher daw tinanong ko kung bakit, para daw maturuan ung mga batang gustong matuto, sa murang edad naiisip nya na agad ung mga ganun bagay..

Kaya naman lesson learned for today is that it’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. at sabi pa ni mother teresa “Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love” Magiging kabuluhan lang ang pagtulong sa kapwa kung galing ito sa puso at hndi ito naghihintay ng anumang kapalit.. Ung mga bata kanina, hndi lang pagkain ang kelangan nila, naramdaman ko din na kelangan nila ng pagkalinga, ang sarap ng feeling kasi pinaramdam nila sakin na kelangan nila ko, ung para bang ang laki kong tulong sakanila kahit sa simpleng pakikipaglaro at pag eentertain lang sakanila, sana kahit papano may naituro ako sakanila na magandang bagay at sana wag nila yun makalimutan, sana din lumaki padin sila ng tama kahit ganun ung sitwasyon nila. Hihi Lord, bless them.

What a wonderful and fulfilling experience! <3 SEE PICTURES BELOW! <3

FULL TEXT: Andrew Wolff’s friend Rey Pamaran writes open letter to Melissa Mendez: Pagsasabi ng buong katotohanan at public apology.   Ito ang mga kundisyon ni Rey Pamaran upang sa gayon ay hindi na niya ituloy ang kanyang pagsasampa ng kaso laban sa aktres na si Melissa Mendez.   Kaugnay pa rin ito ng naganap na offloading incident sa aktres noong Biyernes, March 20, sakay ng eroplano ng Cebu Pacific papuntang Pagadian City.   Inilahad ni Rey ang kanyang bersiyon hinggil sa offloading incident ni Melissa, kung saan sinampal diumano siya ng aktres, noong March 20.   Dakong alas-nuwebe ngayong Linggo ng gabi, March 22, ipinost ni Rey sa social media accounts niya ang kanyang “Open Letter to Ms. Melissa Mendez.”   Ayon sa liham ni Rey, nagtagumpay man si Melissa sa kanyang “antics” upang maging laman ng headlines para sa kanyang media mileage, hindi raw siya sumasang-ayon dito.   Paninidigan daw niya ang kanyang mga pahayag na aniya’y ang siyang katotohanan.   “I want you to know that I am standing by that truth, and I shall never release twisted truths and half lies.   “I am a decent human being with a high respect towards other people, even to those who have attacked me without reason.”   Saad pa ng open letter ni Rey patukoy kay Melissa, “I would like to offer you my forgiveness.   “The moment you were escorted out from the airplane, I already forgave you.”   Sinabi pa ni Rey na hindi na niya itutuloy ang pagdedemanda kay Melissa sa ilang kundisyon.   “…that you set the records straight using the TRUTH and nothing else but the WHOLE TRUTH thru a genuine public apology.”   Isiniwalat din ni Rey na kasalukuyan nang inaayos ng kanyang mga abugado ang mga reklamong ihahain niya laban sa aktres.   “Just tell the public what the truth is, then we can end from there.   “If not, I shall be pursuing all cases against you in the proper courts I leave the choice to you.   “Thank you and have a pleasant day.”   Narito ang kabuuang open letter ni Rey Pamarin kay Melissa.   “An Open Letter to Ms. Melissa Mendez:   “Ms. Mendez, As you know the unfortunate incident that happened between us has already spread mainstream, and as expected, it now comes in different versions and accusations. Between you, me and the countless witnesses inside that flight know the real truth.   “As we know, your antics has made headlines already and while this may work for your media mileage, it doesn’t sit well with mine.   “I want you to know that I am standing by that truth, and I shall never release twisted truths and half lies.   “I am a decent human being with a high respect towards other people, even to those who have attacked me without reason. I am a private person and would love to keep things this way.   “The being said, I want to offer you two things that I feel is right and fair both in the eyes of man and hopefully God.   “I would like to offer you my forgiveness. The moment you were escorted out from the airplane, I already forgave you.   “While it is obvious that my character has been tarnished with this incident and also because of that false statements that you released, I would like to let you know that I will not be pressing any legal charges against you, on the condition that you set the records straight using the TRUTH and nothing else but the WHOLE TRUTH thru a genuine public apology.   “Upon doing so, I will not pursue all legal cases I intend to file against you which is already being drafted by my legal team.   “Just tell the public what the truth is, then we can end from there. If not, I shall be pursuing all cases against you in the proper courts I leave the choice to you. Thank you and have a pleasant day.” —PEP