Bona (1980)

starring: Nora Aunor, Philip Salvador

directed by: Lino Brocka

Bona  (1980)

Bona (Nora Aunor)  is a girl who decided to abandon her family to become an alalay (help) of  an Narcissistic, drunkard, irresponsible, low rate actor Gardo (Philip Salvador) she admire and regard highly. She does everything for him, cook, clean his house, prepare his things, fetch water for his bath, work she never does in her own household her father so furious about, calling her inutile. She accompanies him to his shoots and even one time pay for an abortion of a girl he accidentally impregnated. She does those things without getting anything in return.  Why she does that we will never understand.  

The film brilliantly depicted the desperate, impoverished lives of Filipinos during pre-People Power Era.  Couple making love could be heard from a house nearby; a door from a decrepit house is damaged because of a silly fight by Gardo and a neighbor.  People queue for hours for a pale of water from a deep well You can ask for food from someone if you have no money to buy them. Reality, in the most painful depiction is the main pull of this masterpiece.

 It is also a study of the psychology of a common Filipino inutile pastime, celebrity worshipping. We love our celebrities. We watch them shamefully promote their unimportant films on tv. We fall from their romantic gimmickry. We have ways now to follow them. But for Bona it’s not a pastime. It’s a dream. A fan living with her idol. It’ s the most important thing for her, to be near her  idol.

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One Response to “Bona (1980)”

  1. Interesting to read that Filipinos worship their celebrities too.

    The premise with the narcisstic mother grabbed me right away when I read your review.

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