BY GUTIERREZ “TENG” MANGANSAKAN II
The New Breed Category: Finalist, Full Length Feature
2010 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition
Limbunan glimpses into the life of a bride-to-be as she is kept from public view prior to the wedding in her private quarters – limbunan.
The film captures the ritual motions of the women in a family preparing for the wedding of seventeen-year-old Ayesah who is betrothed to a man she barely knows.
As preparations for her union is underway, Ayesah is reunited with her childhood tutor Maguid who returns to the village as a militiaman after five years, reawakening Ayesah’s past memory of childhood infatuation.
Throughout Ayesah’s confinement her precocious and rebellious eight-year-old sister Saripa becomes her eyes to the world beyond her room. Her mother Amina keeps her composure despite the fact her husband sleeps with his second wife half of the time, finding solace in the belief that it is both her religious and familial duty to be an obedient wife. Ayesah’s aunt Farida is tasked to ensure that she is prepared for the wedding.
However, Farida’s dark past challenges Ayesah’s resolve finding herself choosing between love and loyalty to tradition and family.
Born at the height of the war between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front in 1976, Gutierrez (Teng) Mangansakan II is a writer, filmmaker, and heritage conservationist from Pagalungan, Maguindanao. A pioneering Moro filmmaker, he has produced, written and directed numerous documentary and experimental works. His debut documentary short, House Under the Crescent Moon, won the Gawad CCP para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video in 2001. He has been a recipient of several fellowships in the Philippines, U.S. and Japan, including the prestigious University of Iowa International Writing Program in 2008. He edited Children of the Ever-Changing Moon (Anvil 2007), an anthology of essays by young Moro writers. His next book, Dreams of Bantugan’s Last Voyage, is forthcoming in 2010.