Classic Filipino movies from the 80s and 90s. An internship program. A group of strangers who become life-long friends. An MC and an LI from two families with an age-old feud. All the elements of an interesting and engaging story, definitely. But in the hands of Danice Mae P. Sison, the story became very magical. […]
Classic Filipino movies from the 80s and 90s. An internship program. A group of strangers who become life-long friends. An MC and an LI from two families with an age-old feud. All the elements of an interesting and engaging story, definitely. But in the hands of Danice Mae P. Sison, the story became very magical. She made the characters come alive on the printed (or electronic) page, and you find yourself rooting for each of them. You hate Ate Armee with a vengeance, you like Mang Fred. You want to kill Uncle Junior. You adore Mimi and Tetet, Miri’s mom and best friend, respectively. And you join the interns’ adventures and misadeventures, alike. Of course, you remember the kilig of first love with Miri and Pabs. Even if I hated Pabs’ hairstyle in the first few chapters.
Miri dela Merced’s film director grandfather and Pabs Paglinauan’s studio head grandmother had a huge falling out that ended Lolo Ikong’s career. At seventeen, Miri finds herself in the same summer film internship program as the down-to-earth film studio heir Pabs, whom she’s decided to automatically write off, just because of his lineage. As Miri gets a crash course in her expectations vs the reality of what it’s like to work on a real movie, her true feelings for Pabs become harder and harder to ignore. In between attending outdoor screenings of classic Pinoy movies and battling monster production assistants together, can flipping the script on a decades-old grudge be only a few sequences away?
This book sent me on a trip down memory lane in a good way. I recalled the movies it referenced, and remembered similar personal situations as the characters found themselves in:
- Getting drunk (but no, thank God, never threw up on anyone—that I remember!);
- Joining a prestigious summer internship program before college (went through the highs and lows that Miri went through waiting for the results, and then in the middle, questioning whether I wanted to continue);
- Meeting new people who would eventually become my BFFs (yes, one of my closest friends up to now, I met during that summer internship in high school);
- Watching the classic movies – well, back then, in my childhood, the classics were the afternoon black and white movies which introduced me to the likes of Nida Blanca, Nestor De Villa, Gloria Romero, Jose Marie Rodriguez and others. I loved those movies! Then of course, I also watched the movies of the moment then, which are classics now, and most are referenced in the book. Batch 81, Oro Plata Mata, etc. My family loved watching movies, and I always tagged along my elder siblings to watch, even if some of the movies were too “mature” for me sometimes. And I had a sibling who was a certified Noranian and Lino Brocka fan. You can just imagine the kinds of conversations we had at the dinner table.
- U.P. Sunken garden moments. I went to U.P. and I took up B.S.B.A.A, so the sunken garden was right in front of my college building (CBA). I sometimes ate lunch and merienda there, alone, or with friends. We’d hang out there, study there, watch shows there, people watch there, do other stuff there, hehe.
- Joining an actual movie shooting. I did this while I was in college where our church choir was tasked to “sing” at a wedding climax in the movie. And what was the climax? The bride walking down the aisle in all her glory to show up her groom and his family that she WAS the one they did wrong to all those years ago, and this was her ultimate revenge! It was such a cheesy movie, I don’t even want to tell people the title, but reading through Flipping The Script, I realized, it was the sort of cheesy and cliché that marked an era of the Filipino movie-making landscape. It was a little bit pito-pito, a little bit ST (you remember that?) AND the main characters all became big politicians! Only in the Philippines!? And it was by a major studio in its day (and still existing until now).
- Falling in love for the first time—the second guessing, the doubts, the kilig, the first kiss! Oh yeah…
For me, when I live through the situations in the book, when I empathize with the characters, and when it sends me into an exploration of my own memories & experiences, that’s when a book or a story for me is good.
Flipping the Script is a great book, a very satisfying read, with a story that is truly Filipino. Oh, and you get to learn a lot about Filipino film and film-making in general in the process too! Thanks, Danice! I really like your style. Keep on writing!
And I love the closing lines. In my Live-Tweet for the book, I did mention that I think this is one of the best closing lines I’ve ever read in a book. Because it is so true. For this book, and for LIFE in general. So I’d like to end this review with that.
Sometimes the script doesn’t turn out the way we want it to be written, I guess. Sometimes it flips itself over and what we get is even better.
Flipping the Script
Danice Mae P. Sison
Genre: Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: February 15, 2019
For PH print edition: http://bit.ly/FTSPrintOrder
For International readers: http://bit.ly/FTSintl
For the Kindle edition: http://bit.ly/loloikong
Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/FTSgr
So now what? Are we a thing? Do I want us to be a thing? Would it be so wrong if I say that I do? What do I do with these feelings, exactly?
It was definitely more simple when we weren’t friends. It was easier hating Pabs, but I must admit that falling for him is a lot more interesting.
About the Author:
Danice Mae P. Sison realized she wanted to be Harriet the Spy when she was very young. Since then, she has been digging out from real life experiences, pop culture obsessions, and her growing TBR pile of young adult and romance books for inspiration. She works in pay television as a channel manager, and has previously contributed as an author on the anthology Start Here. Flipping the Script is her first book.
Contact the author: