Nora Aunor's Biring is full of idiosyncrasies: a devout Catholic who donates money for the construction of a church in her province, but refuses to give alms to a mother who uses her child for begging, but later gives her some help anyway, wants to care for her family with hard earned money that came from dubious ways, stays loyal to the one who has helped her in time of need, but will turn around when she finds another master to serve.
Biring believes in the city as a living, breathing being--a kind of master/monster or demon to whom she must give offerings of wishes and money so that it might not devour her alive. It's a sight to behold, to see Biring on top of Manila City Hall's Watch Tower throwing her hopes and hard earned money to the winds of the city. At the end of the screening, a foreigner viewer--I think she was Japanese--asked us if it was possible to go up that tower to view the city. We said, probably not. Or else there would be throngs of people up there trying to do the same.
Then there is that ending: The movie opts for an open, hoping to be ambiguous and edgy ending that has Biring laughing. So what did that man whisper to Biring during her bongga birthday dinner? What became of the notebook?
Perhaps we will never know. So I opt for this one: