Thursday, October 02, 2008


The only apparent aspects of this theater are its narrow entrance and the wall with the posters of the current features. Other than that, one can walk along Recto and hardly notice its existence. That is, except for one other thing: the stench that emanates from its interior.

It smells like a cocktail of stale sweat, rancid dish rag, bedraggled ditch digger's overalls, dried infant's puke, and God only knows how else to describe it.

Hence, there's no way this theater would go unnoticed when you pass by it. However, this distinctly foul smell is rather universal, for I've smelled it before in New York's seedy Times Square area before it got Disneyfied -- whenever I passed by any movie house that featured soft porn or adult film. Therefore, this odor is not exclusively indigenous to this movie theater in Manila.

Even If you've never been anywhere near this part of Recto Avenue, you may still have seen this theater in the evening news or read about it in the tabloids -- being raided by the police for the scandalous activities that some of its patrons engaged in while inside the theater. I heard it gets raided at least once a month.

Nonetheless, what I find intriguing about this particular theater are the suggestive titles of its featured films. Truth be told, whenever passing by, it has become a habit to check them out. If I were one of those romance novelists who write in the local vernacular, I might start a list of these titles as reference for some future steamy, salacious scenes.

Besides the suggestive titles you see in these photographs, the following are some I remember seeing, or had heard from friends who are into local films:

- Mainit At Masikip
- Balahibong Pusa
- Diligan Mo Ng Suka Ang Uhaw Na Lumpia
- Dalawang Pisngi Ng Langit
- Malaswang Bulaklak
- Galawgaw Na Birhen
- Halakhak Sa Dilim Ng Gabi
- Palihim Na Kaligayahan
- Byahera
- Mahiwagang Kulambo
- Nagliliyab Na Pagnanasa
- Nahulog At Nadapa At Nasugatan Pa
- Huwag Gisingin Si Pacing
- Gasgas Sa Karanasan
Sumasagitsit Na Pagmamahal
- Aliw, Kuya?

I won't dare translate these into English. For those who don't speak Tagalog, perhaps, it's time to bond with a Pinoy neighbor or co-worker and discuss these titles among yourselves. For the meantime, I should ask Simon of Video 48 to see if these bold films I was told about truly existed.

Related link:

Quiapo and the Golden Age of Filipino Movies

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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:42 AM


Blogger EM said...

This post is funny Senior! Gross but hilarious nonetheless. I am so used at seeing those places but never have I came near enough to be able to engage my remaining senses. Which I have no regrets about.

The titles itself has another story. It simply harrassed and abused the use of metaphors and idioms. Which, to my surprise can be understood by many!

October 02, 2008 9:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Diligan Mo Ng Suka Ang Uhaw Na Lumpia"

Hahaha! How creative!

Hubby and I are off to Manila today for medical reasons and for some sort of "homecoming" for him, Eric. We are spending a few days there. It's been a while since he last 'made pasyal' in the places he used to frequent in the city before. He spent more than 20 years, living, growing up, schooling and working in Manila. First in our itinerary: to visit the tomb of his father at La Loma Cemetery which he has not seen since the time he passed away in 1985. We might go to Quiapo also and hear mass. But I won't dare enter this Cinema Iskandalosa you featured here. LOL!

Have a happy day, Eric! :)

October 02, 2008 9:36 AM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

Looks like "bold films" are on the way again.


October 02, 2008 9:52 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

:) i always check out those movie titles as well and still wondering how come they never run out of these sleazy movies, double movies pa ha :)

and that smell... argh LOL

October 02, 2008 10:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was really debating with myself whether to post this or not, EM, but then I realized that such films and theaters have been part of our culture's under belly.

I'm sure these hilariously suggestive titles were much thought out for marketing purposes; mainly to titillate and thereby drum up ticket sales.

I must admit I saw a DVD edition of "Mainit at Masikip." Turns out the phrase refers to the stockroom of the shoe store wherein the young man spends most of his working hours. As for the film's steamy scenes, none really; only an extended kissing scene out in the beach ... hehehe.

October 02, 2008 11:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Have a wonderful time with your hubby, Rhoda. Really wish that you guys find time to join a Carlos Celdran or Ivan Man Dy walking tour.

And stay away from this movie theater on Recto! Hahaha!

October 02, 2008 11:16 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think they'll remain a regular staple of our local movie industry, Mario. I'm sure the producers do make some money somehow from these efforts.

October 02, 2008 11:17 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

my favorite from these titles is Mahiwagang Kulambo (hahaha)...sounds mysterious! LOL
these titles are funny and cheesy but downright titillating to patrons of this seedy theater. Imagine somebody with Nagliliyab Na Pagnanasa in mind reading these titles...Aliw, di ba kuya Eric? hahaha

October 02, 2008 11:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... it never fails to assault my olfactory nerves, Agnes! Horrible odor, really.

Better we brace ourselves, for these films will be around a long time. I think it was this kind of film (bomba) that eventually drove our old time movie studios out of business during the '70s.

October 02, 2008 11:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... but wait one sec, Luna. The titles may not be the central point if the plot at all. Like I said with "Mainit at Masikip," the phrase referred to the stockroom of the shoe store. Not at all with the physical attribute of the alluring leading lady :)

As for "Mahiwagang Kulambo," it reminds me of those collection of Arabian tales' the magic flying carpet.

At my advanced age, Luna, I think these titles are enough source of aliw for me ... hahaha!

October 02, 2008 11:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mainit at Masikip" referred to a stockroom pala LOL. Wala bang title na "Si Kadyong Biglang Hugot"?

October 02, 2008 12:55 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

hahaha! I had a classmate in MassCom once who was so good in giving impromptu satiric titles of movies (popular ones like Star wars for instnace---forgot his spiels though) as well as impersonations. He always had us in stitches. Of course, his puns were all sexual in connotation. Innocent ha--no vulgar language but so like "Mainit at masikip". He might have written those scripts for all I know :-D! A lot of advertisers pala write screenplays kaya andami kang makukuhang taglines sa mga movie lines. A classmate of mine in the Fine Arts is one such. I was surprised that a lot of box-office hit movies of Sharon Cuneta was her screenplay projects! I'll ask her if she wrote "Magic Kulambo" :-D...

October 02, 2008 2:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


sino ba ang mga bida sa "Nahulog At Nadapa At Nasugatan Pa".

just curious...

October 02, 2008 3:00 PM  

Blogger Video 48 said...

FYI, eric--- the actual title of Maiinit Masikip is Masikip Maiinit...Paraisong Parisukat, a 2001 movie starring Joyce Jimenez; Diligin is actually Dilingin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa starring Joseph Estrada; three other titles exist namely Balahibong Pusa (2001- Joyce J; Biyahera (2002)-Barbara Milano and Dalawang Pisngi ng Langit (2001)- Nini Jacinto. The rest of the titles I'm not aware of, maybe are products of naughty and malicious minds, hehehe!Thanks!

October 02, 2008 6:20 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Wow. You have nice shots but I commend you more for your courage to put out your cam at these places. I'm familiar with them because I had taken my review near PRC. Dangerous corners I should say.

October 02, 2008 7:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

For the second batch of folks who had posted their comments, please allow me to respond to Simon of Video 48 first, because he had just clarified that most of the titles given to me by friends were probably products of their active imaginations.

I do trust Simon mainly because out of our entire group, Simon would be the expert when t comes to the local film industry and its products.

Actually, I held off my emailing Simon beforehand because intuition told me that my friends might have been pulling my leg as well.

Nonetheless, many thanks, Simon!

October 02, 2008 8:28 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, bertN. It was nothing more than the stockroom :(

As for the title that you brought up, we might have to ask Simon about it :)

October 02, 2008 8:30 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm afraid, Bernadette, that these friends of mine whom I had gone to for opinion on this entry, like your MassCom classmate, just got into giving impromptu satiric titles. However, the titles do sound rather authentic and believable for this genre of films ... hehehe. Palusot pa ako, no?

Nonetheless, it was fun! I won't get mad at them next time I see them :)

October 02, 2008 8:33 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Mandaragat, that title might have just been a product of a friend's silly but creative mind since Simon never even mentioned it as authentic.

Actually, when my friend mentioned it, I did ask him that this sounds more like, perhaps, a take off on Jackie Chan's martial art film, "Drunken Master." I told him that I fail to find anything sexy about falling, stumbling, and getting wounded ... hehehe!

October 02, 2008 8:37 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

In such street photography, Jane, I use my tiny point & shoot digicam. And I take my shots swiftly> I also pretend to be a "tourist." This way, if accosted, I could always say that I was taking pics to bring back to the States to show my brothers or something.

Never would I give the folks in this part of town the impression that I'm a photo blogger or photojournalist. And this should explain why, like most prominent photojournalists and photo bloggers, I don't have any of my portraits posted on on my site or any other blog sites for that matter. Th reason: personal safety.

October 02, 2008 8:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minutes after reading your entry, I heard the phrase 'thoughtless exchange of bodily fluid' on TV. I can only imagine its countless Tagalog translation :)

Ano bang mangyayari pag nagising si Pacing? Bibili ng saging? lols

October 02, 2008 8:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... check you out, Juleste! You should be working as a writer for these production companies ... hehehe.

But your having raised that question about Pacing only reminded me of a joke I heard once from one of the friends who provided me with a couple of these titles:

Inday, the household help was fired by the Misses when their pet parrot began saying, "Naligo na ako, kuya!" ... over and over again. Hahaha!

October 02, 2008 9:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huwag Gisingin si Pacing - is this a sequel to Saging ni Pacing ? Do you remember this movie? hahaha... Gasgas Sa Karanasan is so hilarious , never mind what my brain envisions just reading the title :) Great post Eric !

October 04, 2008 1:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha..those titles are so cheesy. Twin billing pa yan di ba?

October 04, 2008 8:28 PM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

This will probably be the first time that I'll have to take a cold shower after reading your post. :D

Funny but that "smell" you described also exists in porn/sex shops. I wonder why.

October 05, 2008 3:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I suspect it is, BW ... lol!

Glad you enjoyed this post, bro :)

October 05, 2008 8:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The title from this list that was a concern more than anything, Cookie, is "Halakhak Sa Dilim Ng Gabi."

This has got to be frightful for many guys -- for a girl to be laughing out loud under the cover of darkness -- due to his 'shortcoming', perhaps, ... lol!

October 05, 2008 8:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

As I've told Luna, Panaderos, at my advanced age, reading these titles are enough source of 'aliw' for me .... lol!

Yes, that horrible smell. Disgusting, isn't it?

October 05, 2008 8:43 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

I've got to see some of those new Pinoy bold movies when I go home on vacation.... hahaha

Just to compare them with those old "BETAMAX" bomba movies that I've seen long time ago. :D

October 21, 2008 11:50 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Know what, Reyd? I've come to conclude that our local "bomba" films are nothing more than suggestive, that's all; unlike those from other countries ... hehehe.

October 22, 2008 8:49 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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