FILM REVIEW: IGINUHIT NG TADHANA


The Plot: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Carved by Destiny) is a movie based on the life of Ferdinand Marcos prior to his ascendancy as President of the Philippines. The movie was chronological in setting, featuring Marcos as a young boy in his hometown, as a brilliant student, and up to the time that he was unjustly imprisoned as a suspect in the murder of the political rival of his father. The movie then moves up to his acquittal, his career as a young congressman and senator, and up to the time that he married Imelda Marcos. The movie was shown in Manila as additional campaign material for Marcos’ candidacy for the Presidential race, which he eventually won. The movie portrayed Marcos as a person who is more than just a politician. – Wikipilipinas

The Film: “…Marcos knew the power of the medium of film. Earlier on, Marcos produced a film biography using the most popular stars for his first presidential campaign. He ran against Macapagal who also came up with a film biography to boost his reelection bid. Marcos would also use another film Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Written by Destiny, 1965) to campaign for a second term. The two Marcos film bios would be the only successful political films—commercial and election wise—as other film biographies in the post-Marcos period by senatorial and presidential aspirants would prove dismal, unhelpful for election bids. The post-Marcos period liberalized the political and economic scene. It conventionalized and intensified the election of movie and sports stars, and even television news hosts to national politics. Television stations were sequestered by the government, the largest of which, however, was returned to its pre-martial law owners. ABS-CBN would become the leading television station until after 2000, allowing two of its news anchors to become senators…” – Rolando Tino (READ MORE)

“…In 1965, the Board of Censors suspended the movie exhibition of Iginuhit ng Tadhana (a movie biography of Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos). Many believed and suspected that Malacanang had a hand in the board’s decision and such action was a wrong political maneuver and ploy that proved disastrous to the reelection bid of incumbent President Diosadado Macapagal. It practically ensured the Presidential electoral victory of Marcos…The suspension of the showing of a movie on the life of Senate President Ferdinand E. Marcos stirred yesterday a political storm and precipitated the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures. Officials of the board said that the board voted to suspend the exhibition of the movie, “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” (Destined by Fate) because its producer failed to submit it for preview by the board en banc or by the entire board. The film had been approved for showing by a subcommittee of four headed by Mrs. Rosalina I. Castro last August 24. The board said it interpreted the refusal of the movie company, the 777 Film Productions, to comply with its order as defiance of the Board. The order of the board also suspends the showing of the movie in eight provinces and cities— Camarines Norte, Batangas, Marawi City, Pampanga, Cotabato, Aklan, Masbate, and Sulu. The film has been showing in theaters in these places since Aug. 24, the date of the approval of the picture by the subcommittee of four. In the wake of the suspension of the showing of the film, columnist Jose L. Guevarra, chairman of the board of censors, tendered his resignation. Guevarra did not state his reason for resigning in his letter to President Macapagal, but sources close to him said that the resolution of suspension, which was adopted in his absence, had something to do with it…” – Isagani Yambot, Sept. 3, 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Isa sa paborito ko ay ang Iginuhit ng Tadhana,” ayon pa kay Conrado, “because that film helped President Marcos win the elections in 1965. If you remember, that film was banned by the Macapagal administration and the people naturally became curious. The movie was a big hit.” Iginuhit ng Tadhana was divided into three parts: Marcos as student, Marcos after school and Marcos in his early years in politics. Conrado directed the portion with the President as a young man, during the Nalundasan case, a crucial part in the President’s life. Before he began shooting, according to Conrado, he made his own research and first visited Batac where they shot an important scene…” – Conrado CondeJingle Extra Hot Movie Entertainment Magazine, April 27 1981 (READ MORE)

“This rarely seen, authorized biography of former President Ferdinand Marcos stars Luis Gonzalez, Gloria Romero, Vilma Santos, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as himself. (The film starts with a flash of lighting as he is born on 9/11 in 1917.) ” – Vincent Nebrida (READ MORE)

“…In the 1960’s, Gloria Romero portrayed Imelda Marcos in “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” and “Pinagbuklod ng Langit.” In the 1970’s she starred in two memorable movies: Behn Cervantes’s vanished movie, “Sakada” (1976), and earlier, 1973’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” the biggest movie of its time in which she played a “manananggal” to Vilma Santos’s super heroine. Up to now, she considers the last as one of her most unforgettable…” – Lito Zulueta (READ MORE)

“…And what many people probably didn’t know is that Bongbong played himself in Iginuhit ng Tadhana, produced by Sampaguita Pictures as a campaign pitch for Ferdinand when he first run for president in 1965, with Gloria Romero as Imelda, Luis Gonzales as Ferdinand, (now reelectionist Batangas Gov.) Vilma Santos as Imee and Gina Alajar as Irene (now Mrs. Greggy Araneta). A few years later, a sequel, titled Pinagbuklod ng Langit, was produced also by Sampaguita, directed by Eddie Garcia, with Gloria, Luis, Vilma and Gina reprising their roles and Jose “Jonjie” Aranda (first husband of Bongbong’s fellow Nacionalista, reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda; their marriage was annulled in 1986) playing Bongbong….” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

“…In hid book, Don Jose & The Early Philippine Cinema, Joe Quirino credits jose Nepomuceno pioneer in producing movies that not only entertained but also informed. Wrote Quirino: “His screen adaptation of Noli Me Tangere, Jose Rizal’s novel exposing the social cancer that festered during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, captured the sardonic and satirical contents of the imflammatory noel.” Satire was a popular device through which producer aired their views on social issues. In 1929, a satirical movie called Patria Amore caught the ire of the local Spanish community who went to court to stop its exhibition. A counterpart incident took place in 1965 when the Liberal Party tried to stop the showing of Iginuhit ng Tadhana, the propagandistic movie of the life of Ferdinand Marcos. The same motion picture propelled Marcos to the presidency. Movies of social significance often face this dillemma on their way to the big screen. Because of their strong public statement, they invite uproar from concerned sectors, an experience that became almost a daily ordeal for the late director, Lino Brocka. In recent years and until his death in 1991, Brocka had been the prime mover of Tagalog movies of social significance. Some of his works that easily fall under this category are, in no particular orderL Orapronobis (about vigilantes and rebels in the countryside), Bayan Ko (on labor unrest), Gumapang Ka sa Lusak and Hahamakin Lahat (on political corruption), Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (on moral degradation and exploitation)…” – Nestor Cuartero, Panorama, dated June 13, 1993 (READ MORE)

“…The First Manila Film Festival was held for the first time in 1966. Reserved solely for Hollywood and foreign movies, first-run downtown theaters like Ideal, Odeon, State, Ever, Galaxy, Capitol, Lyric, among others were opened for exhibition to locally-produced or Tagalog movies. The filmfest was the brainchild of then Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas. The 10-day festival which coincided on the city’s foundation day (June 24) was a huge success participated in by big names in the industry…A total of 18 movies (14 new, 4 reissues) were exhibited during the 10-day festival. Iginuhit ng Tadhana, Portrait of the Artist as Filipino and Daigdig ng mga Api, all released in 1965, and Zamboanga, shown a month earlier, were allowed to participate…” – VIdeo48 (READ MORE)

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