Mayohan by Dan Louie Villegas & Paul Sta. Ana
Niño, from Cubao, spent his vacation at his deceased mother’s province, Quezon. He met Lilibeth, president of the town’s Mayohan –a sagala festival celebrated every month of May which is followed by a ‘famous’ dance party restricting minors like Niño to come. Upon his series of encounter, he fell for Lilibeth, who, apart from his knowledge, is an illegitimate daughter of the town’s mayor, apparently the reason behind her being the president of the Mayohan festival. More mysteries about Lilibeth and the May dance were revealed as days progressed and apparently the dance was not the real event the young people were looking forward to but their own affairs after the party. Towards the end of the film, Niño got his chance to dance with Lilibeth, and after a commotion at the party, spent an intimate moment with the girl he is in love with.
Mayohan has the manifestations of the Third World Cinema. Aside from its being a low-cost production, it adopts the Neo-realism style of narration, allowing the natural lighting, natural setting and backgrounds, and normal people to make the story. Such is the scene of the dance party after “sagala.” Ordinary people from the town were shot simultaneously so as to capture the real happening during social events in town provinces.
Mayohan is not a melodrama nor detective story as one would expect upon looking at the poster. Its theme did not focus on just the two main characters but on a greater scope and level. It resisted the notion that the boy’s love should be reciprocated by the girl and thus, a happy love story ending. Instead, it invites the viewer into the story-making process by blocking some events, like the night after the town May dance when Niño and Lilibeth were by the sea, from the audience’s eyes. The revelations shown were not just about Lilibeth, that she is a daughter of the town mayor and that she is not as innocent and weak as she looked but had strong...