By Danine Cruz
Classic or cliché stories are continually used for a reason, one of which is that it will still work one way or another.
Branded as the 2015 Cinema One Originals Audience Choice Award, “Baka Siguro Yata” is a classic story: boy meets girl, girl accidentally gets pregnant, and then the hullabaloo of taking it all in.
Director Joel Ferrer’s entry is a romantic comedy about the life of Carlo (Dino Pastrano), an unambitious web designer. With Carlo as a pivotal point in the film’s plot, three love stories from different generations were unraveled.
Centered around the story of an accidental couple, “Baka Siguro Yata” features Carlo and Melissa (Bangs Garcia) as they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a one night stand, pregnancy and a tentative marriage. An elderly ex-couple who is rekindling their love affair and a teenage tandem celebrating the firsts of young love and lust revolve around Carlo and Melissa, who are revealed to be related to them.
It is a story audiences already know. A lot of the elements seem to be already seen in the 2007 American film, “Knocked Up.” However, the film’s humor worked for the Filipino audience through its hideously funny OST–a set of rhyming words for the sake of rhyming, a set of crazy characters who enjoy eating spoiled food and a male lead with natural comedic timing.
Light and relaxed, this reflects on the film’s color palette and score. Moreover, its comedic conversations are expected given Ferrer’s affinity for the genre.
Paired with the “Teletubbies” get up and the overdone jejemon prom attire, “Baka Siguro Yata” is a technical spectacle which highlights its light and funny story.
Ferrer’s take on a very simple and straightforward story was definitely meant to make people laugh and gush over the film’s romantics. Anchored on the antics of the characters, the effort to make things comedic is too obvious that sometimes it fails to transcend the punchline. Although most of the time, it worked with the help of the witty dialogs.
Where the wit of its dialogs end, the problems arise. In its effort to include the LGBTQ+ community, “Baka Siguro Yata” reinforces stereotypes associated with members of the community. A conversation between Adrian and Remy imposes the butch lesbian label of Philippine society on gay girls, further strengthening the misconceptions on those affected by such comments.
Being a romantic comedy, its takes on social issues such as infidelity, virginity, and pregnancy are tinged with humor.
The storyline of Jinno (Boo Gabunada) and Myka (Katrina Legaspi), the youngest couple in the film, is a little bit too manufactured bordering annoying. While theirs is mostly a tale of losing one’s virginity, the hideously funny song which Gabunada’s character wrote for Legaspi’s overshadowed the discourse of this common teenage issue.
Indie romantic comedies are not that common in the country and this film is a great addition to a still small club of indie Pinoy rom-coms, following the ranks of “That Thing Called Tadhana” and “1st Ko Si 3rd.” It may fall short in offering a fresher storyline and a cast with a better comedic performance, it still gets the job done if you want a quick light hearted film.
Overall, “Baka Siguro Yata” is a breather from all the national and international issues at the present. For an hour and a half, this movie attempted to discuss common personal life issues aside from those faced collectively by the Filipino people.
Still, while comedy remains to be a genre of escapism for the Filipino people, it is not exempt from the mandate of presenting social issues with the proper treatment. In the effort to give its audience refuge from reality, “Baka Siguro Yata” compromised discourse for comfort.
Ferrer’s award-winning film might have brought humor and novelty to the classic romantic comedy but beyond storytelling itself, “Baka Siguro Yata” lies far from the point of breaking free from the conventions of romantic comedy and bringing the genre to a more relevant standpoint.