‘The dilemmas they faced on what to do with Yaya Teresa are the same conflicts that our many in our generation, living in globalized world, grapple with.’
WATCHING Yaya Teresa (played movingly by actress Rustica Carpio) in Joey Reyes’ “Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?”, I saw my grade school classmate Antonia.
After elementary school, Antonia, a farmer’s daughter, didn’t go to high school. She worked as a helper in the Gomez family. She was more than just a helper to the wife of the master of the manor. She was a friend, a shoulder to cry on. In the quarrels of the mistress of the manor with in-laws, Antonia was a sidekick in combat.
She was a surrogate mother to the two children of the Gomezes.
The Gomezes’ baby daughter, Georgie, even slept with her. She was the one who woke up in the middle of the night to bottle- feed the baby and change her diapers.
Georgie “inherited” Antonia from her mother when she got married.
Antonia took care of Georgie’s three children, who are all young professionals now, one of them working overseas.
Recently, Antonia had a serious misunderstanding with Georgie. She was forced to move out of the Gomez household and had nipa hut built for herself. She is, in some ways, luckier than Teresa because she is in the province where housing is not a problem.
Besides she is still in her 70’s, very much up and about. Every time I go home to the province for a visit, we would talk about our fears of how we would depart from this world. We both share our prayers that we would not be a burden to anybody. Antonia can’t expect Georgie and her children to reciprocate the love and care she gave to them because “they are not her relatives.” Like Teresa in the movie, she has never been close to her own relatives .
Our conversation would always end with, “Bahala na ang Diyos.”
There are many Teresas among us - in our society where yayas are surrogate mothers and are considered members of the family. A labandera or a housemaid does not enjoy the same status as yayas.
In Joey Reyes’ sensitive handling of the subject, the characters reveal both compassion and practicality; concern and helplessness. Nothing, nobody is in black and white. The dilemmas they faced on what to do with Yaya Teresa are the same conflicts that our many in our generation, living in globalized world, grapple with.
The final scene is heart-rending. The bent figure of Ruistica Carpio walking slowly out of the Bautista ancestral house, which had been her home for more than five decades, into a dark uncertain future. At past 80!
“Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?” is one of the 12 movies in the Sineng Pambansa All Masters Edition, a joint project of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and SM cinemas which started last Sept. 11 and will be on up to Sept. 17.
Aside from “Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?”, the other movies are Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes’ “Sonata”, Chito Rono’s “Badil,” “Joel Lamangan’s “Lihis,” Gil Portes’ “Ang Tag-araw ni Twinkle,” Mel Chionglo’s “Lauriana,” Tikoy Aguiluz’s “Emman” and Romy Suzara’s “Tinik.”