Monday, February 23, 2009

How close is the series Tayong Dalawa to the real thing in PMA?

When the teasers for this telenovela started to come out, I have been bugged by all sorts of question about PMA. I tried to answer some but then again when almost everybody asks the same question one becomes tired of it and eventually I just smile or maybe shut up. And so, when the date of its first episode was finally revealed, I was one of those who wanted to see it. Not because I idolize Kim Chiu or what but because I wanted to know how close their portrayal is to the real thing. When it was already being shown, I had to answer more questions, this time there is already a basis upon which questions can be asked, so I'll try to make this as enlightening as possible.

For those people who have consistently visited my blog in the past years, you would realize that i have practically blogged about the whole four years of my stay at PMA except for the first nine months when I was plebe (I think you know why I was not blogging during those times). I am not so certain of this but I think I was the first one that did this and I think nowhere in the Internet or perhaps in any form of media can you find an almost daily account of a cadet's life at the Philippine Military Academy. I did not intend it to happen but blogging was my way of relieving the stress while I was a cadet. My accounts may differ from one cadet to another but generally this is how life in PMA is.

And so, I go back to ABS-CBN's Tayong Dalawa. For one, I do not like how they portrayed the way one goes to PMA. First and foremost, the Academy does not discriminate social status among her potential cadets. I hated how the richer David Garcia seemed to get in that easily while the poorer one was having a hard time getting in because of "financial problems." If truth be told most of the cadets and even those who have graduated already from the Academy are those from humble beginnings. They are sons and daughters of farmers, ordinary laborers and even jobless parents. Another startling truth is that most of those who do not survive training are those who came from well-to-do families. I do not have the figures to support this claim but, if you ask any PMA graduate they will give you the same observation. I think that this is because those who came from good lives are not used to the difficulties of training as a cadet that is why they back out while those who have been used to being poor and all see PMA as their passport to a better life. In fact, one of the things that made me stay inside the Academy was the stories of these classmates who were forced into PMA by their circumstances. I felt that I had to respect my place in the Academy because for many of my peers inside its halls, it was their way out of their miseries. Of course, I have to respect the writers of this series, it was necessary for the drama of the show. I am making this assertions to encourage those young people from humble beginnings not to be discouraged by their social status but instead use it to motivate them to dream big. The Academy is a place for everybody who dares to achieve beyond their expectations and be the best that they can ever be regardless of economic status.

All of the marching and routine activities that was shown was real. Most people even are startled that we actually do the funny thing in the hallway moving from one place to another where we seem to just slide our foot in little steps briskly instead of walking the normal way. That by the way is what we call "trotting." In the Academy you are earning your privileges as you grow in rank including your privilege to walk. When you are a plebe (a new cadet) you are to always trot inside barracks and always double time when outside. Those are just few of the things that you have to do which if I will try to enumerate all can be written into a whole manual on how to become a plebe at the Academy.

Some of the buildings that was used in many of the scenes was off limits to civilians even if you are Kim Chiu. I find it funny how in the confrontation scene with Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu when they graduated, they were confronting each other near the stairways of Lim Hall which is Administration Building. In my four years at the Academy, I can not remember a time that I brought along a civilian there much more go into a dramatic confrontation with anyone. Its actually the building where the offices of the Academy are. With that I mean most of the top honchos of the Academy are there going about their usual business. When we go there we try to be very careful of everything that we do because there are more eyes that will observe our demeanor. Of course, the viewers do not know what building is what.

When Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu were "roaming around" and they got lost somewhere in the woods until Anderson was bitten by a snake, I find that hilarious. I do not think they could have strayed so far into the woods that he can't possibly know where they are. Even if he was to join the Air Force, I think anyone who has gone through PMA has a very good sense of direction and to be lost that way was unimaginable. Also, with the training that he received, it was the stupid first aid for his snakebite. If indeed he was bitten by a poisonous snake, he would have died before he was able to go home the following morning. I felt that the writers should have considered him already graduating from the Academy with very good survival instincts when they wrote that scene.

Another part that got me confused was how Gerald Anderson was able to roam around Baguio City in civilian clothes while he was still a cadet. In the dialogue, I think he applied for a "Weekend Pass." I do not remember such a thing as a weekend pass, what we have then was "Weekend LEAVE." Assuming that he blurted out the wrong words, it would still be impossible since a cadet is only allowed to go on weekend leaves when he is already on his last year, believe me it was my task to make the necessary communications for this type of leave when I was a cadet. Considering the uniform that he wore when he met Kim Chiu (meeting at Melchor Hall is still not allowed but that's another story), he was a yearling or a second year cadet, he is still not allowed to enjoy such privilege. Meaning, he went out of camp without authority, an offense that could have him discharged from the Academy. If I was to do something like that as a cadet, I would not even think of riding a boat at Burnham Park for fear that I might be seen and be caught. Again, with due respect to the writers, that was an incorrect portrayal.

Well, I still do have many comments, in fact one thing that kept me from watching that series was just to see if they had the correct portrayal. But then again, I still put my praises up to those who came up with the show since I think it is still the closest portrayal of life in the Academy that I have seen so far. I would like to personally thank them for putting my Alma Mater into the limelight. I think that most of those I commented upon can be justified with their cinematic reasons. I loved it when every now and then some people I know inside the Academy are included in the scenes, it brings a smile in the face. For that, thank you very much

12 comments:

Prinsesang Palaka said...

I am not sure I really like this soap opera...
for one, I hate the over-usage of the word "bok" which they seem to use at almost every end (and almost every sentence) of their sentence. yung labas tuloy minsan puro "bok" yung naririning mo na nagiging katawa-tawa na...

I've met cadets before and I've been to PMA before but I never heard them use the word that way.

Anyway, I noticed that they used all the good-looking cadets of the academy. As one KG puts it, "baka isipin ng mga tao ganun ka-gwapo mga kadete ng PMA"

but anyway, I think this is a good advertising for academy...

and by the way, the other David Garcia is Gerald Anderson not Gerald Madrid.

=)

alex said...

mistake noted and corrected.... thanks for visiting my blog and do come again....

And about the bok thing, actually ang tawag ko na sa mistah ko ngayon hindi na bok, sabi ko berks na lang tawagan namin kasi baka isipin nila si gerald anderson at jake cuenca kami nag-uusap... but kidding aside oo nga overused na ang bok ba word, I do not find it irritating when I use it or I am called by that name pero watching it parang awkward... kaya siguro term of endearment yun among classmates kasi its supposed to be that way and not some ordinary term you call each other...

Prinsesang Palaka said...

exactly, medyo pangit pakinggan...hindi kasi natural..

underside said...

OMG what a coincidence! i did the same post for my blog and had the same picture too!

grabe, tawa kami ng tawa sa show. as in. my grandfather and my two uncles and three cousins were PMAers so we do come to PMA for reunions every now and then when i was younger. so yes, we are aware of the rules and conduct of the cadets. super laugh trip talaga ng show.

wanderer said...

they should have considered hiring someone "from the inside" like yourself, to make it more realistic. but im sure they have someone telling them which is which in writing the story.

its interesting to see the "inside" of the academy for us civilians.

but then again, as a media practitioner myself, the teleserye is fiction based. flaws, miscalculations, irrelevant info or hilarious scenes might have been included there on purpose. To add to the "kilig" moments, sensationalizing the "chemistry" of kim and gerald, veering away from reality in the process.

but its still sad that sometimes wrong, or misleading info were being shown on TV, where millions of people can ealisy be influenced. remember that in a third world country, more and more members of the masses believe in what they see on tv... to prove the point, you can find television sets in squatters area.

but i must admit, i watch the series too! i wanted to see the insides of something mysterious such as the PMA.

Prinsesang Palaka said...

mister soldier...
saw your profile and I remembered something...

kaw ba yung si "tedaks" sa TnD/TnC?

alex said...

Yes yes ako yun

Prinsesang Palaka said...

Hay, ang liit talaga ng Cyberworld...
I'm Yanskie...
sana post po ulit kayo dun!

ymlacs said...

chanced upon your blog :)

yeah it's pretty funny about the scenes there. i mean, those are the episodes i've been looking forward to but to my dismay, they didn't deliver it well. i'm not a pma graduate at all but i know what is the 'life-cycle' of a cadet there. even my fiance who is a navy officer ay natatawa na lang sa ibang mga eksena. but as what youo've said, they are the 'closest' civies can get as to what kind of life cadets endure.

another thing i noticed in that teleserye are their birthdays. i think in that story, their birthdays there are something like 1992? eh kung bina base nila ung present story sa year ngayon...eh di super prodigy naman ata ang mga peemeyers ng Tayong Dalawa. Getz mo? hahaha. and besides, they look totoy mola pa to be in the military. tapos ung trailer nya... ang uniform nila dun is ung white na uniform ng navy officer tas si Gerald ang nakikita sa series eh ung pang Air Force. anu ba yan. correct me if i'm wrong ha? pero maraming discrepancies.

on the good side naman, well at least PMA is getting 'known' na rin. dati ang may alam lang nyan eh ung mga anak mismo ng mga sundalo na pilit pinapapasok sa PMA kasi ang dahilan ng mga tatay "para ako ang sasaludo sa yo". hindi ko ma-gets un pag sinasabi un ng dad ko dati. balik tayo sa 'commercializing' ng PMA. un nga, nagiging household name na sya and i know kino consider na rin sya ng mga graduating sa highschool ngayon at ng mga eligibles. like sa US, you can find advertisements of joining their Armed Forces sa mga teen magazines so that the youth there will be encouraged to join.

i didn't get to watch this series kasi nababantutan na ako sa mga eksena. it's misleading and it will take a hard time to explain the real thing.

SuNAkYohei said...

kuya nakakaadik naman po blog niyo!!!

kilala niyo po ba si Charito Casaclang?

bag_0_ong said...

hahahaha!!madami na pala akong nababaduyan sa show na ito..during its first weeks, inabangan ko talaga ang show na ito.kasi i was at the academy nung nag shoot sila doon...pero nitong huli,hindi na..nakakatawa na nakakainis na kasi..un role ni jake cuenca parang hindi ayer....hindi ko pa napansin sa kanya yung MOB nila..ehehehe..

magemasher said...

hays,, tama tama.., madaming mali,, pero at least naadvertise ung PMA., at sana wag silang magbolahan sa harap ng Melchor hall sabay sabing "bok, walang talo-talo"