How M-FLIX: Da Pinoy Pandemic Palabas Inspired, Strengthened, and Opened Perspectives through Art
With the theme “Sining ng Pag-asa”, this year’s National Arts Month shines a light on the value of the arts during this challenging time we are facing. As National Arts Month draws to a close, let’s revisit one of the most impactful programs of the BGC Arts Center during the past year— M-FLIX: Da Pinoy Pandemic Palabas remains one of a kind in its mission to give tribute to our frontliners and tell the story of every Filipino’s pandemic experience through song and the visual arts.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit all of us hard. Our lives were put on a halt as we were forced to stay inside. In the two years since the pandemic began, we have seen the loss of potential opportunities, livelihood, friendships, and loved ones. Fortunately, in this time of hardship, art has kept us looking forward to the days ahead with works and performances filled with hope. One such example is BGC Arts Center’s flagship program: M-FLIX: Da Pinoy Pandemic Palabas.
Dedicated to the frontliners and the Filipino people, M-FLIX tells our story through an innovative online musical. Made specifically to be enjoyed at home, it was created to aid and uplift struggling artists in the country.
I’ve asked a few Filipino frontline workers—Dixie Michelle C. Lasam-Ramos (doctor), Michelle O. De Leon (teacher), Sherrie Ann V. Reloj (nurse), and Basti Araneta (student)—to hear about their thoughts on M-FLIX.
How did you feel after watching M-FLIX?
Basti: After watching M-FLIX, I couldn’t help but feel very satisfied. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing it as I resonated with the music and songs throughout. The fact that it is a homegrown Filipino production, a classic sense of Pinoy pride stirred my heart. I believe that the pieces in M-FLIX were genuinely good and I could definitely see myself playing these songs in my own spare time just to listen to its pleasant melodies.
Dixie: I was actually entertained. I thought the musical was going to be heavily dramatic but I enjoyed it.
Sherrie: I felt sad and hurt after hearing the songs because everything that is happening in the musical is real, and we don’t know when this pandemic will end.
Michelle: I felt moved. It was both an eye-opener and an inspiration for me.
What aspect of the show was your favorite and why?
Sherrie: I liked the song Eto na (Ang Maliligayang Araw) because it shows hope in life and to be positive about what is happening, and above all, the closeness to God and love for family.
Basti: What I liked about Disco Plantito, Disco Plantita, and actually one of my favorite aspects of the entire show, was the fact that each song had its own different feel. Not just in the differences in genre, but also in the effort of making every video feel unique in its own right. Everyone puts in the extra effort to make their song not just sound pleasing, but also look pleasing. I particularly liked the different editing styles and camera work that was presented to us with each song.
What was your perspective on Filipino music before watching M-FLIX and how did it change afterward?
Dixie: The usual Filipino music being popularized is usually about romantic love and the style is usually western-influenced, hence, lacking some originality (although I appreciate some Filipino ethnic music like Joey Ayala's). Now I realize that Filipinos are creative and should always let their own Pinoy style come out.
Basti: I will admit, my perspective on Filipino music before I watched this musical was rather skewed. I had not really listened to much of any Filipino artists, but I will say that I have not particularly tried finding Filipino music outside of Eraserheads, I also just in general don’t really attempt to listen to the music of any genre or any country. After watching this musical and looking up the Filipino artists behind the songs, I can say that my perspective on Filipino music has definitely shifted and opened up. I have since then learned of new songs that I will for sure start playing on the regular and realized many of my countrymen are very talented in the musical arts.
How does music and watching the musical M-FLIX help during the pandemic?
Sherrie: Making a musical like M FLIX will greatly help those who watch it. It serves as a reminder to be strong and to stay positive no matter how big the problem we face.
Michelle: It inspires. It gives hope and it spreads positivity in this very tired and desperate world.
Dixie: It reminds us that we are not alone. We all are experiencing the same thing and we have others to count on.
Basti: I think that M-FLIX: Da Pinoy Pandemic Palabas was a worthwhile experience that would definitely help any Filipino during this pandemic. Through catchy songs and pleasant tunes, one can both dance with glee and brood with tears to this excellent portrayal of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. It is a reminder of the current spirit of the country that will resonate with the hearts and souls of every Filipino. It is a riveting reminder that you are not alone and that together, we will all try to get through this one way or another.
Catch the limited FREE screening of M-FLIX 2021: Da Pinoy Pandemic Palabas