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So, Francesca Vada A.

November 16,2016


Himala Reaction Paper

The movie “Himala” by Ishmael Bernal mostly deals with the social issues of religion and
fanaticism. It is seen evidently in the living conditions, faith and beliefs of the Filipino people. It is
considered a very famous movie – a classic one to be more specific, with Elsa’s speech being widely
recognized up until today. Elsa, the main character in the movie somehow represented the false prophets.
Apparently, she can heal the sick and perform miracles and she claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary.
Chayong is Elsa’s confidant who fully believes in the capability of Elsa to heal the sick. Chayong can be
likened to the people whose thoughts are easily swayed. She puts her faith into something even without
clear evidence. We can observe a lot of people like this today, who puts their faith into something without
clear proof of its existence. Most people are being gullible and easily convinced into something which is
not true while in fact, it is only within ourselves that we make up things to make it look acceptable and
real. The people did not even witness Elsa being able to heal an actual person. They also did not witness
the alleged encounter of Elsa with the Virgin Mary yet despite all these reasons not to believe, they still
did. Another character named Mrs. Alba used Elsa’s supposed healing power to gain profit. This is a true
reflection of the Filipino practice, although not generalizing; people take advantage of the “miracles” and
use it to their own advantage. Based on the movie, we can say that Filipinos are often easily convinced by
the miracles claimed to be true such as the healing powers possessed by mere humans. They would even
go to an extent where they will spend money just to get a “miracle” for themselves. However, it is said
later on in the movie that there is no such thing as miracles. I agree with this statement because I believe
that it is only us who creates this kind of a perfect idea about miracle. Even when the truth is already right
in front of us, in this case, Elsa telling it directly that there are no such a thing as that; we still refuse to
put away the thought of miracle’s existence because we are very hopeful to the extent that we deceive
ourselves already. Additionally, when Mrs. Alba claimed that Elsa was having an Immaculate Concepcion
while the truth is that she was pregnant because of being raped. We tend to create other meanings on
things we would like to believe in. Miracles believed to be performed by mere humans or false prophets
are not real and is therefore truthfully non-existent. Sepa and the rest of Elsa’s avid supporters were
willing to sacrifice so much all for the salvation from a false prophet. This film shows how much dedicated
Filipinos are in their reliance on miracles that they would allot time, effort and money just to secure
It is a given that there will be believers and non-believers; however, this movie simply reminds us
to not base our faith and belief on everything we see. Not everything we see will be truthful. Elsa, in the
movie, was never really proven to have healing powers yet people believed she was capable. This tells us
that if we believe in miracles or in God, we should believe him just purely because of His works and Word
and not because of the influence of another being. If we do believe in God because of these circumstances
and people who claims to have magically incorporated God’s powers, then your faith could be crooked
and altered because of these false claims.