“Biyenan,” a short film directed by Chris Cahilig and presented by Ascof Lagundi, touches on this commonplace subject involving the tricky relationship between two women (the young mother and her biyenan) who, notwithstanding the immense love they both have for the children, have vastly divergent views about raising them.
IT IS QUITE common to find parents-in-law playing active roles in a typical Filipino family, especially in helping raise children.
Despite the comfort and convenience this cultural norm may engender, it occasionally gives rise to conflict. Where do both parties draw the line between nurturing and spoiling them—and how can sensitive issues like this be peacefully resolved?
The short film follows the story of Jenny (played by Dalin Sarmiento), a mother of two, who struggles to make her children, Dana (Yuriko Javier) and Kyle (Nathan Martinez), follow her own house rules—such as the proper time to watch TV and do school work. The children, having been accustomed to their grandmother Marita’s (played by veteran actress Lui Manansala) more laidback rules when they were still living in the same house, find it a challenge to comply with their mom’s restrictions.
Jenny is likewise worried about her kids being frequently pampered by her biyenan with bags of goodies and occasional shopping sprees, and not even her husband Vince (Mon Paulo Martinez) can do anything about it.
At one point in the story, the more willful and outspoken Dana throws a tantrum when Jenny tells them to turn off the TV and go to bed since it was nearing midnight. The girl, claiming it was a weekend, after all, is defiant. “Buti pa kay lola, walang rules-rules! She loves us so much! I want to live with lola again!”
There are a few other scenes in the film that depict how a young mother and her headstrong but well-meaning biyenan could come to a head, but towards the end of the story, Jenny and Marita realize that what they have in common—they are both mothers who love their youngsters unconditionally and want nothing but the best for them—will allow them to overcome their differences and find harmony in the process.
Director Cahilig, producer of renowned indie film Echorsis and a public relations and marketing expert, asserts that “Biyenan” is something that Filipino families can easily relate to because it presents scenarios that actually happen in real life—like resolving disagreements, as Jenny and her biyenan did in the short film, by trusting in a common good.
“Our viewers will find themselves smiling and frowning and smiling again while watching ‘Biyenan’ because, whether they admit it or not, they will see a slice of their lives or a reflection of themselves in the characters of a story that is very simple yet will surely tug at the heartstrings of parents and their in-laws,” shares Cahilig
“Jenny and her biyenan Marita do not see eye to eye on assorted issues, and this is depicted throughout the film, but they are one in saying that it takes a trusted and natural cough remedy like Ascof Lagundi to ensure that the kids get effective and soothing relief from cough-related sore and itchy throat,” Cahilig adds.
Ascof Lagundi, the innovative and pioneering cough remedy in the Philippines, is made from 100 percent organically grown Lagundi leaves, making it a natural, safe, and effective relief for cough and bronchial asthma.
“Biyenan,” which can be watched online at the Ascof Lagundi Facebook page, was shot by cinematographer and producer Cesca Lee, known for T.P.O., Purgatoryo and Otso. The production staff also include Archie Del Mundo (line producer/screenplay), Jane Gonzales (production manager), Mark Cyril Bautista (editor), and Kathrine Salinas (sound design).
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