A Screenplay about Manila, Philippines
Roughly two years ago, i went on a backpacking trip to manila. i was found wandering around this enigmatic city. The experience i had for close to one hundred sixty eight hours was more than enough to fuel my mind in writing a screenplay which i now treasure forever. It took me about a week to research, come up with sequences and finally complete the script with dialogue.
I guess it's time to share it to everyone reading this.
In participation to this month's blog carnival entitled "Manila in Focus", i present to you the first 17 sequences of my full length screenplay.
NOTE: i cannot post the entire script because this work is intended for competition.
A Screenplay written by Jerik de Guzman
1. int. / old bedroom/ DAY
An old man wakes up from sleep in the early morning day. the face is not showing. he is wearing an undershirt and pajamas. he sits for a while. then, he puts on his pair of tsinelas. the floor is dirty.
he opens his curtains, an old set of window panes appear. the sun is glaring. he is looking at it.
insert sound of airplane landing
2. iNT. / MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT/ DAY
MONTAGE OF AIRPORT INTERIOR
INSERT NATURAL SOUND
-BUSY DAY AT THE AIRPORT
-IMMIGRATION officer ASKS for PURPOSE OF VISIT at a young man
-A YOUNG MAN ANSWERS...
young american man
-BALIKBAYAN BOXES from ofws
-beautiful filipina FLIGHT ATTENDANTS WITH THEIR TROLLEYS
-travellers with their backpacks
FADE TO BLACK
3. EXT. / MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT/ DAY
A YOUNG TOURIST ARRIVES, “TISOY” looking. he is WEARING SUNGLASSes, CARGO SHORTS, A PRINTED POLO AND FLIP-FLOPS. HE IS STANDING OUTSIDE THE AIRPORT. HE IS CARRYING HIS BACKPACK AND A guide BOOK. HE USES HIS HANKY TO WIPE HIS SWEAT DRIPPING FROM HIS FOREHEAD. HE’S TRYING HIS BEST TO READ THE MAP AND HEAD FOR MANILA.
I’m Joe. 25. i’m an american.
insert animation of joe’s american passport details
insert animation (slow to fast) of joe’s passport pages (THE PAGES FLIP CONTINUOUSLY AND THEN STAMP ACTION OF ARRIVAL WITH MATCHING POSTCARD PHOTO OF HIMSELF (inserted) IN A LANDMARK)
-BERLIN, GERMANY where joe is seen with angry looking german men
-AMSTERDAM, netherlands where joe is seen with prostitutes
-BANGKOK, THAILAND where joe is seen posing with the emerald buddhas
-JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA where joe is seen with zebras and giraffes
-PARIS, FRANCE where joe is seen posing infront of the eiffel tower
-TOKYO, JAPAN where joe is seen posing with japanese haRAJUKI WOMEN
-BEIJING, CHINA WHERE JOE IS SEEN POSING AT THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
-SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA WHERE JOE IS SEEN POSING WITH BACKGROUND OF SYNDEY HARBOR BRIDGE
V.O. YOUNG JOE
I’ve been travellin’ AROUND THE WORLD Y’a know...trying to find myself AND WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY... I just wanna get away... i wanna escape...
You ask me what brought me to M’NILA, i say... IT’S just en route, nothing special!
4. EXT. / INT. / TAXI / DAY
JOE ENTERS THE AIRPORT TAXI. IT’S AN OLD WHITE CAR WITH RED FITTED SEAT COVER AND A WEIRD SMELL; IT HAS LOTS OF trinkets, memorabilias INSIDE. THE TAXI DRIVER GREETS HIM WITH A SMILE.
Good day ser! How is your day?
HE SEES A STO. NINO FIGURINE AND ROSArY HANGING IN THE MIDDLE.
I’m good and you?
Ok na ok ser!
JOE SHOWS THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE HOTEL FROM HIS GUIDE BOOK.
So hey, can you take me to this address in M’NILA PLEASE...
JOE SEES THE TAXI DRIVER MAKING A SIGN OF THE CROSS AND THEN DRIVER BLASTS THE CAR RADIO.
INSERT SONG “MANILA” BY HOTDOGS continuously playing
THE DRIVER SPEEDS UP THE CAR. JOE SEES A MAD MOVING DOG figurine TO HIS RIGHT. AND THEN JOE SMILES. he looks at the window of the taxi.
5. int. / old bedroom/ DAY
THE OLD MAN IS NOW DRESSED IN SLACKS BIG FOR HIM. IT’S ALSO A LITTLE TOO SHORT FOR HIM. HE’S WEARING OLD LONGSLEEVES. IT IS TUCKED. HE IS USING SOME SUSPENDERS SO THE SLACKS WON’T FALL OFF. HE IS STARTING TO DANCE and groove. his face is still not showing. he puts on his pomade and fixes his hair and continues to dance.
upsound music manila by hotdogs
6. ext. / manila/ day
INSERT MONTAGE OF MANILA with v.o. of joe
INSERT low NATURAL SOUND
-FARANGS WITH FILIPINA GIRLFRIENDS
-YOSI TAKATAK BOYS
-CHILDREN SELLING SAMPAGUITA
-MEN SLEEPING IN THE AFTERNOON ON THE SIDEWALK
-RANDOM MEN AND WOMEN STARING
what you read from guidebooks about m’nila is probably true... i wasn’t surprised to see most of it... the traffic is bad. and there’s smoke everywhere. but in manila, everyone’s smilin’, just havin’ a good time... and the women... that’s another story...
SONG “MANILA” BY HOTDOGS fades out
7. EXT. / INT. / HOTEL/ DAY
JOE goes down the taxi. he ENTERS THE HOTEL. IT'S OLD, BRINGS A LOT OF NOSTALGIA to it. IT’S QUIET INSIDE. NOT A LOT OF TRAVELLERS STAYING. HE SEES A male concierge. his name is pablo.
Hello! You need room sir?
Yes please... how much?
8. INT. / JOE’S HOTEL bedROOM/ DAY
JOE WALKS INTO HIS ROOM. IT’S a small room with white painted walls. there’s a little art here and there. mostly IT’S bare with just white sheets. HE PUTS HIS BACKPACK ON THE FLOOR AND SITS ON THE BED. HE LOOKS SO TIRED. HE WIPES HIS FACE WITH A HANDKERCHIEF. THEN HE LIES ON THE BED. HE CLOSES HIS EYES.
9. INT. / joe’s HOTEL bedROOM/ DAY
JOE JUST GOT BACK FROM THE SHOWER. HIS HAIR IS STILL WET. HE IS HALF NAKED; HE IS using a WHITE TOWEL to cover up. HE OPENS HIS LAPTOP, CHECKS HIS EMAIL. HE RECEIVES DOZENS OF MESSAGES AND PICTURES FROM HIS FRIENDS WHO ARE OUT TRAVELLING SOMEWHERE. HE IS GREEN WITH ENVY. HE CLICKS ON THE REPLIES. THE CAMERA FOCUSES AS HE TYPES IN ON FACEBOOK...
joe stevens: “I JUST ARRIVED IN MANILA”
joe clicks and LOOKS AT THE PICTURE OF HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND AND THEM TOGETHER. SHE SEES HER FACEBOOK STATUS. THE CAMERA FOCUSES ON THE WORD...
10. EXT. / MALATE/ NIGHT
JOE STROLLS along THE NOISY CROWDED STREETS OF MALATE. THERE ARE A LOT OF OLD FOREIGNERS WALKING AROUND WITH THEIR FILIPINA GIRLFRIENDS. THERE’S AN ELECTRO LIGHTS DISPLAY OF THE STRIP. HE SEES AGO-GO BARS, PUB HAUSES, MASSAGE PARLORS, COFFEE SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS. HE PASSES BY GIRLS ASKING HIM TO GO INSIDE THEIR PUB HAUS.
Hey you, you come!
JOE CONTINUES TO WALK. HE THEN SEES A LOVELY FILIPINA GIRL infront of the pubhaus SMILING AND STARING AT HIM. HE SMILES BUT DECLINES. FOR A SHORT TIME AT THAT MOMENT, EVERYTHING FREEZES.
AS HE CONTINUES TO WALK, HE STUMBLES UPON THE SAME TAXI DRIVER THAT GAVE HIM A RIDE EARLIER.
Hey ser, I REMEMBER YOU KANINA. you want a tour of Manila night?
JOE DECLINES BUT HE CONTINUES TO SMILE. HE WALKS AWAY. HE CROSSES THE STREET AND ALMOST GOT HIT BY A JEEPNEY DRIVER.
HE GOES TO A KARINDERYA. IT’S A DARK PLACE with not a lot of people eating. HE IS THERE ALONE EATING WHILE HE LOOKS AT PEOPLE PASS BY HIM. then he leaves after a while.
11. INT. / joe’s HOTEL bedROOM/ NIGHT
JOE IS SITTING ON IN HIS BED. HE GRABS his cellPHONE. HE TRIES TO CALL ABROAD TO HIS PARENTS. ANSWERING MACHINE ANSWERS, a filipina sounding woman...
“Hi! Timothy and Elsa are out on a cruise for a month. Just leave a message after the beep.”
JOE PUTS DOWN THE PHONE. HE OPENS HIS LAPTOP AND READS THE LONG E-MAIL MESSAGE OF HIS GIRLFRIEND...THE CAMERA FOCUSES ON THE WORDS...
HE CLOSES HIS LAPTOP. HE GATHERS HIS SOILED CLOTHES ON THE FLOOR AND PUTS THEM BACK IN HIS BACKPACK. HE IS FIXING HIS STUFF NOW. then he closes his backpack
12. exT. / TRAVEL AGENCY/ DAY
ESTABLISHING OF ERMITA IN MANILA AND THE STRIP OF NUMEROUS TRAVEL AGENCIES. JOE IS SEEN INSIDE ONE OF THE AGENCIES. HE IS TALKING TO A TOURIST AGENT.
INSERT GFX DAY 3
three days after... i got lonely, i felt i wasn’t welcome here y’a know... so i booked a flight out of m’nila next day..
13. EXT. / MANILA BAY/ DAY
INSERT GFX TEXT: MANILA BAY
JOE SITS IN THE BAYWALK. he is looking around observing. IT’S DIRTY, TRASH IN THE CORNER, THE TILES ARE FILLED WITH GRIME. BAYWALK IS FULL OF COUPLES SITTING, EMBRACING EACH OTHER WHILE LOOKING AT THE BEAUTIFUL SUNSET. PINOY POP LOVE SONGS BLASTING FROM A CELLPHONE.
they say when you’re in m’nila, atleast go to m’nila bay...
i never knew my life would change here for’ver!
joe WATCHES AS THE SUN SETS. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. HIS EYES GOT TIRED. HE FALLS TO SLEEP FOR A WHILE.
FADE TO BLACK
joe HEARS SOUNDS CALLING HIM.
PSSST... HUY! HUY!
HE OPENS HIS EYES AND WAKES UP NEAR THE CLIFF. HE IS ALMOST FALLING TO THE BAY. A GIRL CATCHES HIM FROM THE ELBOW. THE SAME FILIPINA GIRL ASKING HIM THE OTHER NIGHT TO GO INSIDE THE PUB HAUS.
INSERT CHEESY PINOY POP LOVE SONG
SLOW MOTION OF THE EVENT
THE FILIPINA GIRL TALKS TO HIM. HER NAME IS MANILA. SHE IS WEARING A RED FLORAL DRESS, THE COLOR COMPLIMENTS HER RED LIPS. SHE’S FULLY MADE UP.
Want to hab a gud taym?
JOE says NO.
MANILA WALKs AWAY. JOE SEES HER WALKING AWAY. HE SUDDENLY stands up to FOLLOW HER.
You... go to club. Ask mama! Me dey op!
Where you goin’ then?
Can i go with ya?
Wach your neym?
Joe! and you?
MANILA CONTINUEs to WALK. JOE TRIES TO FOLLOW HER from behind.
14. EXT. / ROXAS BOULEVARD/ NIGHT
JOE AND MANILA ARE STROLLING ALONG ROXAS BOULEVARD. YOU COULD SEE THE LIGHT POSTS, THE LIGHTS OF THE HOTEL. manila is talking to joe. manila points out to the strip of restaurants. she makes a sign of eating. THEY STOP AT THE HARBOR VIEW STRIP OF RESTAURANTS. joe nods. then, they go inside.
15. INT. / RESTAURANT/ NIGHT
joe and manila are seated in at the corner of the restaurant. MANILA IS LOOKING AT THE MENU AND POINTING HER ORDERS TO THE WAITER. Joe sees customers in the other tables, some are local couples, BUT more of them are foreign male tourists with their Filipina girlfriends. manila is staring at joe AS HE IS LOOKING AROUND. he’s a really good looking guy.
Joe, you pers taym?
JOE LOOKED AT HER WEIRD LIKE SHE’S INTO SOMETHING.
WHAT DO YA MEAN?
MANILA PAUSED FOR A WHILE AND REALIZES JOE IS THINKING ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
OH I SEE, I’M SORRY!
IT’S MY FIRST TIME HERE IN THE CITY!
ANO BA PEELING MO SINASABI KO???
MANILA IS LOOKING INTENTLY AT JOE’S EYES.
WHY ARE Ya’ MAD?
TEKA TEKA TEKA...
KANINA NUNG TINATANONG KITA PARA KANG PIPe...
MANILA COPIES JOE’S FACIAL EXPRESSION WHEN HE SAID NO.
NGAYON NAMAN ANG DAMI MONG TANUNG...
JOE LOOKS AT MANILA CLUELESS.
ADIK KA BA?
16. EXT. / MALATE/ NIGHT
JOE AND MANILA CONTINUE TO WALK. THEY ARE CRUISING THE STREETS OF MALATE. they pass by joe’s hotel. joe pointS out where he’s staying. THEY CONTINUE TO WALK. MANILA POINTS OUT WHERE SHE’S WORKING. AND THEN WALK FOR SOME MORE. THE LOOK LIKE THEY’VE BEEn TALKING FOR A WHILE NOW.
insert gfx text malate
SO MY DAD WENT TO M’NILA. BUT OLD MAN GOT A JOB IN texas.
WHERS YOR MAM?
dad met her here. she’s filpina actually!
MANILA STOPS WALKING AND LOOKS AT JOE.
anuuuuu? eh gago ka pala eh! kanina mo pa ako pinahihirapan, pilipino ka naman pala!
filipino? technically... no. i’m an american citizen.
and why are ya always mad?
k, K, sorry!
17. ext. / videoke bar/ night
Joe and manila ARE walking IN MALATE till they finally arrive infront of A videoke bar. this bar is filled with many people happily singing. JOE HEARS OUT OF TUNES SINGERS. WAITRESSES PASSING BY CARRYING BEER BOTTLES, LOCALS GO INSIDE.
So hey m’nila! think its gettin’ late. think i need to call it a night?
Whaaaat? are you sherious? may curfew? halika nga sa loob, papakilala kita sa mga friendly friends ko..
manila shrugged joe on her shoulder and went inside the videoke bar. JOE IS SURPRISED. joe is wandering around. there’s a lot of singing. its loud inside, everyone’s drinking. they approach a table WITH three people SITTING. a gay MAN, a boy and a girl. they are manila’s friends.
manila greets her friends, the gay friend’s name is rachel ann, the girl’s name is sarah and the boy’s name is christian. joe and manila go to seat in the table.
friend kowh.. meet joe! joe meet the champions...
joe extends his hand to everyone to meet everyone personally. THE FRIENDS INTRODUCES THEMSELVES AND THEIR NAMES.
HI! I’M SARAH!
HELLO I’M GORGEOUS...
SIRA! SHE... HE... is RACHEL ANN!
A FEW MINUTES AFTER, joe is still a little shy. he sees manila having a good time. HE IS LOOKING AT THEM WHILE MANILA IS cracking jokes with her friends. he looks at her in the eye. manila NOTICES... SHE is now MOVING closeR to joe. suddenly, manila gives joe a drink.
THE VIDEOKE MASTER ANNOUNCES THE NEXT SET OF PERFORMERS. HE INTRODUCES THE CHAMPIONS, MANILA’S FRIENDS. THEY STAND UP AND GO TO THE STAGE AND STARTED SINGING. JOE AND MANILA ARE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER. THE CHAMPIONS ALL SING OUT OF TUNE. MANILA AND JOE STARTS TO LAUGH.
HOURS PASSED. THERE ARE A LOT OF BEER BOTTLES IN THE TABLE. JOE APPEARS TO BE A LITTLE TIPSY NOW. HE IS INTOXICATED. MANILA IS LAUGHING. JOE IS STARTING TO FEEL NAUSEOUS. THE FRIENDS ARE DRUNK AS WELL. MANILA LOOKS INTO JOE’S EYES AND STARTS TALKING WHILE DRUNK.
ALAM MO JOE, IBA KA?
JOE CONTINUES TO TRY TO LOOK STRAIGHT INTO MANILA. HE’S RESTLESS NOW.
KAYA SUMAMA AKO SAYO! ALAM KO IBA KA...
MANILA LOOKS AT JOE FOR A SECOND.
YOU KNOW PORINERS, TOUCH TOUCH AAALLLL THE TIME! GRAB Hir. GRAB dur... GRAB EbRYWHERE...
MANILA POINTS HER FINGER INTO JOE’S CHEST.
BUT YOU... YOU TALK! I LAYK DUT!
SUDDENLY JOE CALLS MANILA’S NAME...
JOE STARTS TO VOMIT INFRONT OF MANILA. THE PEOPLE INSIDE THE VIDEOKE BAR STOPS THEIR BUSINESS AND LOOKS AT JOE AND MANILA.
FADE TO BLACK
the story of manila is about...
A traveller, a local girl...
Two different people from different sides of the world,
With two different stories to tell.
A love story so unforgettable,
In one picturesque destination...
Who will leave? Who will fall in love? Who will remember forever?
Manila is a tale of two lost souls, one destiny. Two people searching for happiness, two people searching for answers... When the truth is revealed, who will weep? And who will love forever?
Manila... You can travel miles and miles away to forget about her, to leave her... but she will never leave you. She will stay in your heart forever... a city like no other in the world... Manila.
This entry is part of
Theme: Manila in Focus
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. ANY SIMILARITIES WITH PERSONS, WHETHER LIVING OR DEAD, IS SIMPLY COINCIDENTAL. THIS IS AN ORIGINAL WORK OF THE AUTHOR AND SHOULD COINCIDE WITH THE COPYRIGHT LAWS. IF YOU FOUND THIS OFFENSIVE AND/OR UNFIT FOR THE SAID INTENTION, KINDLY LET THE AUTHOR KNOW, AND WILL BE RE-PUBLISHED WITH CAUTION.