By By Pablo A. Tariman
posted 8-Nov-2018  ·  
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LIFE IN DETENTION. Kenken Nuyad’s natural acting and Glaiza de Castro’s quiet but moving performance mesh well in this bare and sparse storytelling

Everything about Kip Oebanda’s Liway is bare as it leads you to a drab detention jail in time of martial law.

Liway (portrayed by Glaiza de Castro) is a political detainee along with husband (Dominic Roco) and with them is a boy named Dakip (Kenken Nuyad) born in the detention cell. 

Dakip has known no other world except the environs around the prison area. The rituals are by now familiar to him including the night they go to bed with the warden (Soliman Cruz) reciting the standard reminder, “Lights off.”

He couldn’t venture beyond the prison premises and one time, he sees warden and other and co-employes watching something with the constant moaning emanating from the TV set. He is driven away for his own sake. One fine day, he climbs a tree high enough to see the world beyond. He wonders what the world is like beyond his parents’ abode. When he is finally allowed to go out, he finds himself addressing the sympathizers of her parents. He is often lost in his own thoughts and wonders why people are fighting for something still beyond his comprehension.

Liway is a story of life in the detention cell as seen in an eye of a boy born and reared under prison atmosphere. In that limited and well-guarded space, he learns about Liway’s life through well-crafted storytelling. Not knowing that the subject is no other than his own mother.

Nuyad is a natural actor and his is a profile of innocence that connects very well with the quiet but moving performances of De Castro and Roco playing his parents.

De Castro’s acting hues closely to the character she met in real life before the shoot. Knowing the true to life Liway must have been an education to her: that a brave woman can fight for her principles beyond the calls of motherhood in the detention cell.

Another actor turning in a marked performance is Cruz as the warden. He is a picture of a stone-hearted jail guard but he carves another layer in his role that all but humanized the character.

As one earlier perceived, everything about Liway is indeed bare and sparse.

Direk Oebanda kept his storytelling as simple (and yet riveting) as he could make it. He has a story to tell and told it without use for dramatic hysteria. The silence in the storytelling is almost to the point of boredom with very little background music. But he stuck to his directorial vision and came up with a moving story simply told.

The film is not a major masterpiece but in its quiet, simple storytelling, it found a way to recreate another life as led by unsung heroes leading difficult lives in the mountains and ending up as political prisoners not giving up on their country.

Liway is still showing at Cinema Centenario. located at #95 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Diliman, Quezon City.

The recent directive of President Duterte to the DILG to monitor all island resorts and beach tourism destinations in the country is a welcome move.

For a province that seeks to be known as an eco-tourism destination, Catanduanes has to make sure its resorts and beaches as compliant with national laws and local ordinances as far as environmental conservation, building standards and easements are concerned.

Also slated for inspection and evaluation are the status of sewage treatment facilities, power and water supply, and implementation of zoning and land use regulations by the local government units.

Knowing that closing a tourism site impacts on people’s livelihood and the local economy, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año has urged all LGUs not to wait for sanctions or interventions by the national government. "We should all learn from the Boracay experience. Let's not wait until your beaches turn into another cesspool," he says. “Complacency is tantamount to dereliction of duty. Local chief executives are accountable of regulating tourism businesses and enforcing critical environmental laws, rules and regulations, and local ordinances. .

Beach goers know which resorts have built on the easement zones, which of them are actually implementing solid waste management plans, and are complying with standards set for tourist accommodations, including the provision of lifeguards.

These requirements would most likely have the attention of the DILG, along with the LGU’s enforcement of its zoning and land use ordinances.

There is no sewage treatment facility in any of the 11 towns. As far as the power and water supply services are concerned, LGUs can escape blame for the brownout-plagued Catanduanes grid as beyond their control. Their responsibility with regards to water service, particularly in Virac, would undergo greater scrutiny.

Once the DILG submits its report and presumably calls on the LGU officials as well as resort owners and operators to discuss the findings, it is best that the latter listen and follow the recommendations to the latter lest Malacanang issue a closure order a la Boracay.

But along with the focus on beaches and resorts, the LGUs should at the same time be assessed as to their implementation of Republic Act 9003.

There is no bigger disappointment for a tourist, whether foreign or domestic, to find plastics and other waste floating on the sea or strewn at its bottom. More importantly, as demonstrated by a scientific study of human feces, the island and its people must be made to realize that each piece of plastic we throw with abandon by the roadside ends up in the ocean, gets pulverized into microplastics which then comes back to everyone’s stomach through the fish they eat.

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