The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
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Renee Reacts: Gaya sa Pelikula

Renee Reacts: Gaya sa Pelikula
Credits to Rombutan

Hi guys, welcome to another Renee Reacts! If you're new here and don't know what this is about, Renee Reacts is a segment in my blog where I would be talking about my thoughts and reactions to the things I've seen and/or watched. It's sort of a review, but not the typical in-depth ones you read elsewhere. This series is more of like a handful of informal, personal opinions I want to get out of my head and share with you. And today's subject will be about another BL Drama. 

Gaya sa Pelikula is a Filipino BL drama written and created by Juan Miguel Severo, starring Ian Pangilinan and Paolo Pangilinan, and directed by JP Habac. It premiered last September 25, 2020, and had just concluded its last episode last Friday, November 20, 2020. (You can watch it on YouTube, btw.)

I didn't watch this series while it was still on-going. I started it last week, and with only 7 episodes out, I finished it in time before the last episode was aired. I've known Juan Miguel Severo since I watched Nakalimutan Ko Nang Kalimutan Ka and The Hows of Us, but I didn't become a fan of his until I became a listener to his podcast, the Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast. As someone who fell down the Thai BL rabbit hole this year and has become a huge consumer of this universe, I couldn't pass up watching something locally made and by a very talented artist pa, no doubt. And so, one night last week, I went to my Watch Later playlist on Youtube and finally clicked play to the first episode of this web series.

This is my first Filipino BL drama and it did not disappoint, it even exceeded my expectations. In fact, I would go as far as saying that this series is the most relevant BL drama I've watched. The story was simple but the raw emotions depicted in the show were really commendable. The dialogue was *chef's kiss*, the cinematography was impressive, the ending scenes were so pure, the little messages at the end of the series were touching and thought-provoking, and the OST, oh my gosh, it's superior to anything. I've never been this proud to share my love for OPM!

Gaya sa Pelikula (lit. Like in the Movies) is about one semestral break when Karl, an architecture major who was in the middle of an identity crisis, met Vlad, his cocky neighbor who was openly gay. They started off as bickering cats and dogs, with their opposing personalities always getting in the way of having a harmonious friendship. Later on, as they spent more time together in close proximity, sparks flew - which confused Karl even more. This is a story of coming out on your own time, claiming your truth and your story, and of learning to accept your true identity. 

Artwork by Rombutan

What I loved about the series:

  1. The OST - The musical scoring made this series all the more beautiful than it already was. It was the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, or whatever expression you would say. The timing of the music to every scene was perfectly executed and the feeling was really captured by each song played in the series. My favorites are Tahanan by Nica del Rosario, Kung Alam Mo Lang by Zsaris (this one makes my heart cry), Nasa'n Ka, Oh Luna? by MarsMango, and Unti-Unti by Up Dharma Down. These are SUCH beautiful songs, omg.
  2. The dialogues - Of course, the dialogues would be golden because Juan Miguel Severo wrote them. Like hello, he's a Spoken Word Poetry artist (one of the best, IMO). OF COURSE, the dialogues will be beautiful. Here are some notable lines:
    "It's not like you have the power to hurt me anyway." - Vlad
    "You know I hate it when people do that, like it's some sort of a euphemism. Gay, bakla, bayot, bading. Just say it, it needs no euphemism. It's not an insult." - Vlad
    "So why act like I just accused you of a crime?" - Vlad
    "I don't want to be silent about my love. I've done that enough. I wanna be out there. I deserve it." - Vlad
    "P'wede bang dito na lang tayo lagi?" - Karl
    "Gusto kitang dalhin kung saan-saan, e." - Vlad
    "Ang komportable dito sa sarili mong dimensyon no, Karl? Pero, sabi mo, dito ka lang titira. Hindi ka magkukulong...Pero kasi, lagi kasing makikisali yung realidad. Doon, wala tayong kawala. 'Di ko sinasabing mag out ka ha, sa'yo yan. Sinasabi ko lang, mabuhay ka sa labas. Hawak mo pa ang oras mo, kaya samantalahin mo, ha? Please? Dapat ka nilang makita." - Anna
  3. Anna - This character is a delight. Played by Yesh Burce, she neutralized and brought lightness and fun to the screen. Anna is a great friend to Karl, a real ally who got Karl's back no matter what.
  4. Ian Pangilinan as Vlad - If it wasn't that obvious yet, Ian is my favorite in the series. The way he delivered his lines, the way he showed his emotions - as if the character was really him, as if he wasn't acting at all. He brought Vlad's personality to life and I was left in awe after every episode. Oh, and he also sang at the end of the series (a Gaya Sa Pelikula Original Soundtrack). The song was Kilometer Zero and I was moved to tears.
  5. The Ending Scenes - Each episode has an ending scene when the casts and crews' names were flashed and these scenes completed the package. It's too pure. I can't even find the words to describe them. I think you just have to watch it to understand what I'm saying. 💖

I guess what I wanted to say after watching this series is, thank you. Thank you, Gege, for creating this masterpiece and sharing this story with us. The LGBTQ+ community has long been misunderstood, misjudged, and mistreated. This series opens up a light in tackling the issues of homophobia (especially here in the Philippines) and how gay people feel in a community who instead of accepts them, just merely tolerates them. I long to be an Anna, and I hope you do, too. xx



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