Dayo Sa Mundo ng Elementalia

Every year, I try to catch at least one movie during the Metro Manila Film Festival. It's my way of supporting the Filipino film industry. Last year, I don't think I was able to watch any film but this year, since months ago, I knew that my family and I would catch the Filipino animated film Dayo Sa Mundo ng Elementalia.

Aside from getting the chance to relax and bond with the hubby and kids, I also wanted to watch the film to help the kids with their Filipino. Just like most kids these days, my kids struggle with school subjects in Filipino while they breeze through their subjects in English. Watching the movie would then be a good way to entertain them and teach them about the Filipino language and culture as well.

All four of us enjoyed the movie. The story was simple but endearing. It was about Bubuy, a boy, and Anna, a manananggal (a creature in Filipino mythology) who happened to be a vegetarian. They go off in search for Bubuy's grandparents in Elementalia, another world where you find creatures like tikbalangs, kapres, among others.

I like the values that the movie teaches: love in the family, respect for elders, the importance of friendship, courage, and believing in one's self. The artwork and animation were not as sleek as that in foreign animated movies but it had a more human feel to it. I particularly liked that scene when Bubuy first found himself in Elementalia.

In terms of characters, I liked Anna who was perky, lively, and very loveable. Mang Nano, I also liked, particularly when he delivers a line to Bubuy which goes something like this: "Basta malinis ang iyong hangarin at mayroon kang tiwala sa iyong sarili..." (For as long as you have good intentions and you have confidence in yourself...)

There were several funny scenes which made me smile or laugh out loud, just as there are scenes that will touch your heart. It was also good to hear Pen Pen de Sarapen or Ay Ay Salidumay performed during scenes in the movie. Kudos to the producer, the director, the writer, the voice talents, the artists -- to everyone involved in bringing us this movie. I hope it makes money and that more people go out and watch it.

One thing I did not like about the movie though were the ads that were displayed all throughout: from PureFoods, to TimeZone, to Ceelin, to Mister Donuts, to Mall of Asia -- sometimes, it felt like I was watching one long commercial. Then again, it may have been necessary to ensure the financial viability of the project. Oh well, things can't be perfect.

By the way, what does Dayo mean exactly? The UP Diksiyonaryong Filipino defines the word as: "tao na tagaibang pook o kaya'y hindi kilala sa pook na kaniyang pinuntahan." or "pagtungo sa ibang pook nang may tanging layunin." Roughly translated, this means: "a person from another place or someone who is not known in the place that he went to." Or "going to a place with a specific objective."

Maybe that's why the movie is effective. Once in awhile, all throughout our lives, we are all "dayos." We find ourselves in new places and new situations and just like Bubuy, we must face challenges with nothing but good intentions and confidence in ourselves and of course, we know, we are never really alone.

You can visit to view the Dayo trailer

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, December 28, 2008]

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