Soy Muy Amigo (I Am a Dear Friend)

The Spaniards colonized us through religion, converting native Filipinos into Christians…

The Americans seduced us with the promise of Democracy and Freedom…

Which leads us to the question: What does it really mean to be a Filipino without the influences of our colonial masters?

This movie was made for our generation, maybe to give us a glimpse of what it means to be Filipino.

Amigo tells the lost story of what really happened during the Philippine – American War in the 1900’s.

I first got a glimpse of this part of our country’s history from the pictures exhibited in Leon Apacible’s ancestral house in Taal.

I couldn’t believe how brutal the Americans were based on the pictures showing scenes of torture and brutality.

I couldn’t reconcile it with our brainwashed images of the US as our liberator (from the almost-400-year colonization of Spain) and as our friend, who gave us democracy.

“The end of an insurgent. The Americans treated those who continue to defy their authority as plain criminals and many of them were executed by hanging.”

I took a picture of this old photo and wondered about the story behind it.

Amigo The Movie captures this period in time through the story and dilemma of Rafael Dacanay (brilliantly played by Joel Torre). As the head of his barrio, he is torn between obeying his American masters and supporting his brother’s quest for true freedom from the colonizers.

It is best to watch it without reading the synopsis or overall plot of the story.

Official Amigo Trailer (see Amigo Video)

Through the eyes of John Sayles (Amigo‘s director, writer and editor), it was also interesting to see:

our unique Filipino traits…

the Filipiniana clothing during those times…

the fiesta of San Isidro Labrador…

lechon as the center of the celebration..

our love for sabong

the rhyming beauty of our Tagalog words…

and our natural tendency to joke around and be “green”. 🙂

Amigo Perspective from John Sayles, Maggie Renzi, Joel Torre (see Amigo Perspective Video)

This is highly recommended for:

  • Filipinos who want to understand our roots;
  • Foreigners who want to understand the Filipino culture;
  • People who would like to understand the Philippine-American War as a prelude to the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam Wars; and
  • the Young Generation on a quest to reclaim what it truly means to be Filipino.

Amigo The Movie opens today, July 6, in all theaters in Manila and premieres in the US on August 19.

Please let me know what you think of the movie in the comments section.

To all the Filipinos out there: Don’t miss it!

Amigo The Movie
Official Website: Amigo The Movie
Blog: John Sayles’ Blog
Facebook: Amigo The Movie


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Full Disclosure: We watched the preview of Amigo.

P.S. This movie is PG-13. Kids can watch it with parental supervision.


9 thoughts on “Soy Muy Amigo (I Am a Dear Friend)

  1. love this post. it always. always disgusts me when people say that the philippines must have been in a better place if we permanently became US or Japanese territory. the number of all the Jews who perished during the Holocaust (6million) is nothing compared to Filipino casualties which is if i remember correctly from my history class, 100 million. and they were absolutely brutal. they only did a good job at making people forget. politics of memory: history is only for the victors. the spanish-filipino war was already won, and they were deceived at intramuros by the americans. you can only imagine the betrayal and lies they had to face when they thought the allies turned to be the new enemy. hay i should stop. lol. i can’t stand it when Filipinos forget about what happened back in the day and treat it like it’s nothing. just like the marcos issue. Filipinos are so forgiving! it sucks.

  2. Then we should go back and review some of our history too like the “Bates Treaty” and like I would say to myself, imagine you are in a debate and you have to defend either side. History is always two or more side. We’ve only been taught one side in our schools.
    Maybe then we would understand our brothers in Mindanao, or they would understand their own (especially the youth) or better yet we could understand each other.
    Pinoy ka kahit di ka kumakain ng lechon at chicharon!

  3. Just making a correction to your title. “Soy Muy Amigo” means “I am very friend” — which doesn’t make sense. It should probably say, “Soy un buen amigo,” meaning “I am a very good/dear friend” in Spanish.

  4. I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me…Kill everyone over the age of ten
    –General Jacob Smith, Samar Campaign

  5. I don’t know what kind of history you’ve been taught but 100 million casualties during that time (1898) is more than the total Philippine population. During 1898, there was an estimated 7 million Filipinos. To put your statistics in perspective, 100 million casualties will actually wipe out our current total population. Just saying. 🙂

  6. A true patriot would always remind us that we are Filipinos regardless of our colonial past. So how do you convince the current generation to be more Filipino in their ways, when they sound like Americans, act like Americans, and think like Americans. It’s very irritating to hear some pinoys use the word BUCK instead of PESOS.

  7. Remember they still have the Balangiga Bells displayed in some Air Force Base…
    I sail the seven seas and it really irritates me when Americans say Philippine Islands instead of The Philippines… Oh well what do they know???

  8. Never forget history BUT don’t dwell on the past.
    Spaniards, Americans and Japanese all did horrible as well as good deeds.

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