Cinemalaya’s “Ang Guro Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa” depicts the value of education during a time of war


Warning: May contain spoilers

Throughout history, we’ve come to realize that with every war won, there will always be casualties — be it the son who’s lost his father in the battlefield or the two friends torn apart by conflicting ideals. These are realities we’ve come face-to-face with in every kind of revolution that’s happened. And though we hope that we’d someday evade the aftermath of it all, the effects of war remain to be constant plagues in our society.

The 2017 Cinemalaya film, Ang Guro Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa (My Teacher Who Can’t Read) explores the effects of war on a small community of farmers and children in the province. But more importantly, it features how war can have a severe effect on children and their education.

Via Facebook.com/Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa

The movie follows the story of Acquil (Alfred Vargas), a simple farmer who is encouraged by the children of his community to teach. Unbeknownst to many of them, Acquil doesn’t know how to read. Despite this setback, he makes it his mission to learn and educate the children of the community and those who have been recruited into the revolution.

But when Acquil later gets accused and killed by the military for supposedly being a rebel, the children are left to fend for themselves and given the choice of education or survival.

Via Facebook.com/Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa

It’s a truly complex film that’ll have you pondering the effects of war on your children and the succeeding generations to come. In fact, here are a few ways the film mirrored the realities of life and of war:

Children Soldiers

Via Facebook.com/Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa

In the film, Aasim (Marc Justine Alvarez) and the remaining children choose to join the rebel army after Acquil has died protecting the members of their community. And this depiction of children fighting in revolutions is highly grounded in reality. Because in many wars throughout history, children have been recruited to serve a particular cause when the army’s manpower isn’t enough. This thereby highlights how war can deprive the youth of their childhood.

The value of education

Via Facebook.com/Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa

In the movie, Acquil can be seen risking his life trying to purchase a blackboard for the children to use. Later, the kids return to the place where Acquil used to teach and realize the lost opportunity they had if only they had chosen to pursue their education. And this particular moment in the film solidified the importance of education as a medium that can shape and change the lives of children.

 

Ang Guro Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa was shown at Ayala Malls Cinema (Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 1, TriNoma, Fairview Terraces, U.P. Town Center, Solenad and Ayala Center Cebu) as part of the 13th Cinemalaya Film Festival held last August 5-13, 2017.