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(SPOT.ph) There's no denying Chinese culture has affected our own culture in one way or another,with indelible traces on Pinoy food, habits, language, and even our attitudes. In fact, it's influenced us so much that several films have been made to commemorate, or at least, acknowlege the presence of Chinese traditions in our own local lifestyles.
For the year of the Dragon, we're taking a second look at several films that either have some Chinese elements in them. Some are nicely crafted, others are just (admittedly) plain bad. Still, these movies got made and they do have their fans.
Happy Chinese New Year everyone!
Magic Temple (1996)
Director: Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes
Starring: Jason Salcedo, Mark Solis, Gina Pareño, and a not-yet-so-buff Jackie Lou Blanco
Premise: Three children with magical powers are tasked to restore the balance in their magical world, Samadhi, from the threatening Ravenal.
The Chinese influences in this 1996 award-winning film are fleeting but blunt. It is most evident in Sifu (Jun Urbano), an elderly man who mentors the three in discipline and martial arts. The word “sifu” is derived from the Chinese term shi fu (師父) which means “master.” He has six dots on his head similar to those worn by Mahayana Buddhist monks although his marks bravery and merit while monks carry them as a sign of commitment.
Moreover, Sifu can transform into a Shaolin warrior-child (played by Sydney Salicdan) complete with a shaved head and costume.
Otso-Otso Pamela-Mela Wan (2004)
Director: Jerry Lopez Sineneng
Starring: Vhong Navarro and Bayani Agbayani
Premise: It's all about two "mixed-up" sets of "twins" (each pair is made up of Navarro and Agbayani) and their shenanigans.
With each of them playing dual roles (as Pinoy twins and Chinese twins), comedians Vhong Navarro and Bayani Agbayani are (obviously) not quite believable when they're made to look Chinese. They also speak in exagerrated Chinese accents and use just about every stereotype about the Chinese as punchlines.
For all its craziness, the movie's abundance of twins reminds us of the 1988 film, Big Business, which stared Bette "Wind Beneath My Wings" Midler and Lily Tomlin.