Film & Series Review, Local Films/Series Reviews
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Pabasa Kan Pasyon | #Cinemalaya2020 Film Review

Presented in black and white, the next film that caught my eye is “Pabasa Kan Pasyon” or in English, Chanting the Passion by Hubert Tibi. Here a Bicolano family turns to religion to make both ends meet.

Pabasa Kan Pasyon
(Chanting the Passion)

By Hubert Tibi
Short Feature Category

SYNOPSIS: Religion and economy take centre stage in a Bicolano family’s story, set during the Lenten season. To make ends meet, one of them turns to religion and pushes his mother to make a living off her faith.

Again, I didn’t read the synopsis before watching this but their trailer spoke for itself. As mentioned, the film is presented in black and white which I greatly appreciate. Though Holy Week is very quiet, the church has Liturgical colours. Purple or wine-red is suitable for the Holy Week while red or purple are appropriate for Palm Sunday. Stripping the film of colour and focusing on the story works well.

Moreover, this helps highlight the film’s beautiful composition. In fact, everything that appears on the screen including the sound and music is breathtaking. Now for the story.

The way I see it Pabasa Kan Pasyon (Chanting the Passion) is about a family’s faith and the will to survive. Now. Is it wrong to make a living off your faith? Honestly, yes. But if people give you something from the goodness of their heart, as in you do not require it, then I don’t see anything wrong accepting it.

In our province, this is normal. I’ve seen elderlies performing the pabasa on various houses and the owners would give them something in return.

A side note:

Pabása ng Pasyón, known simply as Pabása is a Catholic devotion in the Philippines popular during Holy Week involving the uninterrupted chanting of the Pasyón, an early 16th-century epic poem narrating the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Pabása ng Pasyón is not easy. Life, in general, is not easy especially with modern technology which rapidly changes. People who don’t have access to that, especially the elderly, are greatly affected. And that is why I understand the choices of our characters in this film.

BUT what I didn’t like is how the son pushes his mother. In the Catholic church, though they encourage and there are some youth serving, most of them are not on the younger side. I think that this should change. If the son enjoys being part of the Senakulo — a stage or street play about the Passion of Christ and performs whole-heartedly, then why can’t he do the pabasa instead? His mother badly needs rest.

The good thing about him though is he passed by the market to buy food for his family. But there is a bit of a problem as he bought raw meat and you know what that means for Catholics during the Lenten season. I guess he just wanted them to eat well on that day.

After all, everyone deserves to eat and live well. I do see where they are coming from.

Pabasa Kan Pasyon (Chanting the Passion) by Hubert Tibi 10/10.

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