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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

entry arrow9:08 PM | Nico is Nothing But a Third-Rate, Trying Hard Douchebag

Watching Emmanuel Borlaza's Bituing Walang Ningning (1985) again, after so many years of this film being just memory, and I think the real villain is Christopher de Leon's Nico Escobar. A privileged music exec who doesn't seem to do any real work, he dates the most successful singer in the country, but wants Lavinia to give up [almost] everything to be his wife. Spurned by Lavinia who only wants to live to her best potential, Nico proceeds to groom some Eliza Dolittle character named Dorina to challenge Lavinia, like some petulant six-year-old Svengali with influence and money. And when Dorina in fact succeeds to become the fast-rising singing sensation in the country, Nico gives her the same ultimatum: give up everything and be my wife. The douchebag! Of course this being the 1980s, Dorina gives up everything for love. In the showdown concert that ends the movie, Dorina shares the same stage, and song, with Lavinia in some mid-80s version of female camaraderie. On stage, we behold the ex and the current -- both victims of Pinoy patriarchy which strongly determines the shape of female success. That this was once framed by Pinoy pop culture of old as a "romance" that celebrates "love triumphant over everything else" makes me cringe.

But that's me being a feminist. As a lover of 80s melodrama, I loved it.

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