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April 20, 2016

A Film Analysis on the Movie: Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?

The transition period between the Spanish and the Americans proved to be a very difficult
time. As our history professor told us, "The transition period happened on the same year, as the
Spanish left, the Americans quickly replaced them." Because of this the inhabitants of the islands
had to cope with a lot of changes that happened all too suddenly. The scenes from the film
"Ganito kami noon, paano kayo ngayon?" Showed the struggle of the people amidst the chaos of
that time. The film depicted vivid scenes of coping with a new colonizer when we saw Kulas, the
protagonist, interact with the Americans. We saw how different they were from the Spanish, not
only with their attitude but with their language as well, Kulas could not understand them,
likewise, the American troops had trouble communicating with him as well. In this particular
scene we witness the struggle of the natives in adjusting these new people and overcoming a
language barrier. Another scene that would further prove this language barrier was when Tibor's
maid claimed ownership of the house to the American officer, we can notice her lack of
knowledge of the english language. In the same scene we can also say that the natives had to also
cope with a new government because of Kulas' inability to reclaim his house, since the Spanish
left, there was no way for him to prove the ownership of the property, the statement of the officer
to his troops about how it was their mission to establish American ideologies into the country.

A change in the education system is also evident in the film, seen in the conversation of Kulas
and Bindoy, the son of Padre Gil Corcuera, in the school hallway. As they conversed, an
American soldier in the background can be seen carrying a black board up a flight of stairs. The

film also showed the hardships of the natives as they tried to continue to live normally amidst all
the chaos. It can be said for there are scenes that prove this; there was one scene wherein Kulas
was awakened by the sound of gunshots and cannons. In another scene, Tibor would talk about
the chaos that had happened ever since the Americans came. And the young Bindoy would
protest to Kulas that he doesn't want to stay at school for a part of it had been bombarded. Yet
with all of these happening, Kulas and the other natives would still go on with their lives, doing
activities like going on walks, eating out, and watching zarzuelas, things that Kulas and his wife,
Diding, did in the film. The transition of the Philippines from Spain to America would also bring
about an identity crisis among it's people. During the Spanish colonial period, "Filipinos" were
those Spanish born in the archipelago and the natives were called "Indios". However, when the
Americans came all that changed, which leads to the question; "who/what is a Filipino?" A
question that Kulas has been longing to be answered. In the film we see the term evolve and
given many different definitions, from Spaniards born in the country, to those who prove their
love for the country through their actions, shown in the scene where Kulas addressed the orphans
as Filipinos before setting off to join the revolutionaries.

The film gives the viewers a glimpse of life during the transition period, something that
cannot be easily found in history books. It is an excellent film and should be watched by
everyone. It raises awareness for the struggles of transition and shows the price that our fellow
countrymen have paid freedom, whether it be imprisonment or death, they would bear it all for
the love of the country. It will sow in the minds of the viewers, the seed of nationality, something
that every Filipino should possess. The film also raises awareness to the question, "who/what is a
Filipino?" After watching this film, the viewers would discover that what makes a Filipino isn't

the origin of one's birth; take for instance the character Lim as an example, he is a Chinese but
considers himself as Filipino. It also isn't the greatness and stature of a man, as Tibor had stated,
for Kulas addressed the orphans in the end of the movie as Filipinos. It is the love for the country
and the leaps you would take for it, like the Katipuneros and rebels that fought, bared
unimaginable hardships, and even died for her freedom. The value of digging deeper from our
past can be seen in the film, the lessons learned through the story gives valuable information for
the future generation of Filipinos, information of a time of hardship and adaptation. It makes
them aware of their true identity, and gives them an idea of who/what a Filipino is. The film put
to life a time We cannot easily find in books, it made people more feel more nationalistic and
will drive others to dig deeper and discover more.