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MOVIE REVIEW: BACAO – A Story About Fertility?

Bacao poster
Bacao poster
Bacao poster


Directed by: Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao
Produced by: Oro de Siete Productions, Inc.
Starring: Michelle Madrigal, Leo Martinez, Arnold Reyes, Marife Necesito, Alvin Anson
Genre: ,
3.5/ 10

User Rating
2 total ratings



Good actors, Michelle Madrigal shows she is ready for major roles.


Poor execution of story, Poor cuts and edits, Overstretched scenes.

Posted October 29, 2014 by


‘Bacao’ is the latest film by Edgardo ‘Boy’ Vinarao, selected to be part of the Sineng Pambansa Horror plus Film Festival. It won last year’s Sineng Pambansa Genre Scriptwriting competion, and is now a feature film which also serves as a ‘launching movie’ for actress Michelle Madrigal.

Part of the marketing build-up for the movie is that, this would be Madrigal’s most daring role in her carreer. In the local film industry, we know what ‘daring’ means, and it has become almost synonymous to words such as ‘bold’ and ‘topless’. But, let’s get more into the movie first, and talk about the story and quality of the film! Because we’re more interested in that right?


Bacao is a compelling story that revolves around a captivating barrio lass, Mayet (Michelle Madrigal), who blossomed into a sensuos and provocative woman desired by many men but whose heart belongs only to one – her husband Abel (Arnold Reyes). Their sensual partnership is set against the backdrop of planting, growing and harvesting corn, or Bacao in the tribal Yogad term in the remote province of Isabela, which is their primary source of livelihood. In her eager pursuit and desire to fulfill the very essence of her womanhood, which is bearing a child, Mayet falls trap to men with carnal desires, who capitalize on her vulnerability.

But just as bountiful corn harvest is brought about by a meticulous process aided by nature and human nurture, Mayet eventually reaps the steadfast efforts she sows to bear the fruit of her love for Abel against all odds. But not until sacrifice occurred.

The introduction showed a beautiful scene which highlighted the beauty of Michelle Madrigal, already telling the audience that she will  undoubtedly be the centerpiece of the film. At this early stage,  people might find the subsequent scenes comedic and even gorish, and the film starts to suffer overextended and redundant scenes. After 30-45 minutes into the film,  I realized that the film will simply be about fertility. Oh what joy, well, I guess for the other viewers I was with who were whistling and having lots of fun watching.

It’s actually a good thing that I didn’t read the synopsis before watching the movie, or else I would have had expected more fromthe movie. It’s a cool concept if Maet’s mysterious infertility was really connected to the harvest or the land they plant on, or if it is just a paradox in which the land creates but Maet cannot. Nevertheless, it wasn’t really fully realized since the film decided to focus more on love scenes, flirtation, and making Madrigal look more sexy. It certainly felt that movie was more of a ‘soft porn’ rather than a mystery thriller. I recall looking at my watch from time to time, just to see how long these scenes went. Things really were overextended, and although most of it showcased Madrigal’s pinay beauty, it made things boring and dragging.

Some visual effects were used, but it kinda seemed forced. They could’ve certainly done scenes without it, and if the cuts or camera shifts were better, it would’ve certainly looked more artistic and have a better flow. They film has a beautiful setting, which also highlighted the beauty of our country’s barrio-side. Though it’s wierd that some scenes looked like it was shot inside a studio. There’s nothing much to say with the actors, I think they all played their parts very well. Alvin Anson’s acting and portrayal really popped up, as well as Michelle Madrigal handling of some drama, especially with those love and rape scenes. After the end of the movie, I can’t help but feel that these actors deserved a much better film. Vinarao’s skill in drama can really be identified here, unfortunately, the film seems to be a mishmash of different genres.

The film indeed showed some real artistic value into it, but unfortunately, we just saw glimpses of it.

Only in the last few minutes of the movie, is where we finally feel that this is a thriller movie. Only at that point of time, we witness what Vinarao really has to offer. Things became suddenly heavy, heart pounding, and intense! It is only in the last part where you really see the actors stepping up, and scenese that were wonderfully shot. But still, things came out short and we are left with questions unanswered. Is there really a mystery to Maet’s infertility? What happened to this and that? Is the moral of the story not to trust an Albularyo? Does the land need a sacrifice? Things would have been clearer if the film lessened or moved away from unnecessary comedic and sexy scenes. It really derived the movie away from what it could really have been – an deeper mystery thriller. I hoped it had some exploration with regards to nature, folklore and the mysticisym of an albularyo. I really wanted more.

Honestly, we think that ‘Bacao’ shows a lot of things about what’s wrong with Philippine Cinema today. It stars good actors in a bad movie (though it really has a great concenpt), and it certainly could’ve been better if they didn’t just bank on Michelle Madrigal’s beauty or sex appeal. I guess the movie was just really aiming to lift Madrigal’s status as an actress rathern thatn the story itself. I think it’s really fit to be a short rather than being a full feature film. If you want to watch it mainly because you’re a fan of Michelle Madrigal, then go see it. But if you’re looking for a well crafted and captivating story, I guess you can pass this one out. Overall, we’re giving ‘Bacao’ a gracious rating of 3.5/10. If you’ve watched it, please let us know your thoughts!

Presented by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in partnership with SM cinemas, ‘Bacao’ will be shown in all branches of SM Cinemas nationwide starting on Oct. 29.

Tony Tuason

Tony is just your average guy who loves comics, toys, games, movies, and all those geek goodness.


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