Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw (1988)

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Basic Info: Direction: Mitos Villareal; Cast: Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Ernie Garcia, Vivian Foz, Vilma Santos, Tita Muñoz, Augusto Victa, Celina Chase, Julio Diaz, Melissa De Leon, Roland Montes; Released date: 17 March 1988

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: 1988 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Ernie Garcia

Film Review: Seeing this soporific melodrama is like a long journey into the night. One wishes that it soon ends for a radiant sunrise to follow. But alas this movie only ignites small sparks of interest to keep us from yawning. The film’s bleak cinematography makes it a visual turn-off, the script needs tightening, the cerebral plot is too familiar and that bit of social relevance has not been smoothly integrated into the story. Serna (Estrella) plays a young, pretty and brainy lawyer but who has not been using her mind well in her romance with company manger Concepcion (Gerry). She feels like a whore each time Gerry brings her to his home but is too weak to resist his bedroom charm. Estrella has just passed the bar and since she’s brilliant, her law office forthwith sends her abroad to handle some cases. It must have taken her several years because when she returns home her child sired by Gerry is already a grown-up girl (Celina Chase). Serna with her sweet and fragile looks, does not project the image of a bright lawyer who is making a headway in her career. We never see her in the law firm she works for or even scanning over some paperwork. She is not smart to tackle her problem from the legalistic point of view. She gets pregnant but we don’t see her wih a bulging tummy and she delivers a bay which she gives to her cousing Aida (Vivian Post) and her husband Roel (Ernie Garcia) for adoption. Estrella does not inform Gerry of her pregnancy when she should have. So off he goes to Germany on official business with Carina (Melissa de Leon), daughter of company owner Dona Mercedes (Tita Munoz).

Melissa is a novice version of elder sister Pinky de Leon and for a new comer in a dramatic role, her acting is good enough. Munoz is noted for her strong personality on screen but here she delivers a restrained portrayal perhaps because her voice was dubbed by someone else. Dona Mercedes, as written in the script, is a confusing character. She is not an avaricious woman who is content with the profits Gerry brings into the company. Gerry employs fair labor practices but his assistant Atty. Cruz (Augusto Victa) is anti-labor. In a sudden change of heart, Dona Mercedes falls for the scheme of Cruz which triggers a labor strike. Gerry is already home but Cruz calls the shots. And yet, before this, Dona Mercedes has made it clear to her daughter that she needs Gerry. Gerry, by the way, has gotten married to Carina abroad but their relationship turns sours. Once home, Carina immediately seeks her old beau Randy (Julio Diaz) who is now married. Villareal’s treatment is not cinematic. She relies too much on dialogue to make the story move. Estrella’s pregnancy delivery of her baby and developments in her career are simply verbalized. Carina orders Randy to abandon his wife in exchange for a juicy position in her company but we don’t see him working. The illicit lovers vanish from the scene after their poolside dalliance and resurface much later.

The film’s main weakness is in the script. The trips of Estrella and Gerry and Carino go beyond realistic expectations. And to think that Estrella has only been sent by her office to handle a case or some cases and the couple to close a deal with a business associate. It takes years before they return. In one scene, Carina realizes her love for Gerry who is by then packing his bags to leave her for good. Carina pleads for him to stay but he has already made his decision. The next scene shows Carina in a hotel room with Randy and her she tells him that she is calling it quits. But why go to bed with him in the first place? Actually the central plot which has been complicated by too many subplots is about the romance between Estrella and Gerry. We know that they have to be back to each other’s arms to fullfill a happy ending. Villareal and her scenarist contrive a familiar device. Randy kills Carina with a gun in Gerry’s house where she has sought refuge. And for the coup de grace, Randy’s wife (Vilma Santos) suddenly appears on the scene to kill her philandering husbang. So as not to waste the much vaunted acting prowess of Santos, she is made to deliver a passionate monologue after shooting Diaz. Santos appears too late in the story and she should have an ealier scene to motivate her criminal act in the end.

Being an avowed womanizer, Randy’s murder of Carina seems out of character. Unless he has fallen hard for Carina, which is unlikely, Randy can simply hook another rich woman to replace her in case his wife rejects him. The most incredulous scene happens in a hospital where the doctor refuses to give medical aid to labor leader Roel who has been shot by a security guard during the strike. “I don’t think he’s gonna make it,” says the negligent doctor who should be shot too. And yet, Roel is able to tell Gerry that Lilet is his daughter by Estrella. Concepcion shows traces that he is intent on tackling mature roles but he doesn’t strike us as a believable young executive. The most powerful performer in the film is Vivian Fos. Garcia suits the role of a labor leader but the script does not give him much to do. The same applies to Diaz whose debonair look makes him a credible playboy but his character lacks depth. This meadering melodrama shows no promise of a brighter tomorrow for the local cinema. – Luciano E. Soriano, Manila Standard, Mar 28, 1988 (READ MORE)

“…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

“…Ernie won many acting awards. He was Aliw Awards’ Best Actor in 1988 for his portrayal in Rolando Tinio’s Filipino translation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” He also garnered two Best Supporting Actor trophies from FAMAS and PMPC Star Awards for Movies in 1989, in the late Mitos Villareal’s directorial opus “Bukas Sisikat Din ang Araw” which starred Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna and where he played the role of a labor union leader…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen (READ MORE)

“…Ang tatay ni KC Concepcion na si Gabby Concepcion ay isa rin sa mga kaibigan ni Vi. Ilan ding pelikula ang ginawa ni Vi at Gabby katulad ng Pahiram Ng Isan Umaga, Sinungaling Mong Puso, Hahamakin Lahat, Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas at Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin. Sa pelikulang Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw, kung saan si Gabby ang prodyuser ay naging special guest si Vi na sa totoo lang ay halos kasinlaki ang billing niya (Vi) sa mga major characters nito. Isa sa mga anak ni Gabby, anak niya kay Grace Ibuna ay inaanak ni Vi katuwang sina Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno, Snooky Serna at Maricel Soriano. Noong last episode ng Vilma show sa GMA 7 ay isa si Gabby sa mga special guests ni Vi at nag-compose pa ng tula si Gabby para kay Vi. Noon namang nagkaroon ng problema si Gabby dahil sa kontrobersiya sa Manila Film Festival noong 1994 ay isa si Vi sa mga naging sabihan niya ng kanyang mga problema. Si Gabby ay naging best supporting actor ng Star Awards for Movies noong 1992 para sa pelikulang Sinungaling Mong Puso, best actor ng Urian noong 1992 para sa Narito Ang Puso Ko at best supporting actor ng Urian para sa pelikulang Makiusap Ka Sa Diyos noong 1991…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

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