Homecoming is ‘gender sensitive’
() - January 8, 2004 - 12:00am
Homecoming won the Quezon City special award for the "Most Gender-Sensitive Film" during the 2003 Metro Manila Film Festival awards night last Dec. 27 held at the PICC Plenary Hall. It was the first time such an award was given to Philippine cinema.

The special award for the most gender-sensitive film is being given starting 2003 by Quezon City through Mayor Sonny Belmonte Jr. According to Ruby Palma, head of the QC Gender and Development Office, the award is given to the film that best portrays relevant and realistic issues related to gender concerns, such as status and contributions of women in relation to men, community, society, and nation-building; depiction of traditional biases which challenge the roles of men and women within social institutions as the family, religion, education, and media and how these biases were managed or redeemed in the film towards equality and empowerment of the lead male and female characters.

Homecoming is the story of all-female OFWs who have carried the burden of poverty for the family. Alessandra de Rossi, in her role as Abigail, represents Filipinas who compose about 70 percent of a total of OFWs who leave the country to work abroad, majority of them employed in high-risk, low-pay jobs and "dirty" jobs as domestics and caregivers. Emmi de Jesus, Gabriella secretary general and one of the jurors for this award, lauded Homecoming’s statement on the feminization of migration. Feminist lawyer Clare Padilla pointed out the poignant relationship of Abigail and her mother (splendidly performed by Elizabeth Oropesa) as both characters reflects the multiple burden of women in various gender roles – daughter, sister, wife, lover, family earner, even various community roles.

Joy Belmonte, chairperson of the QC Performing Arts Foundation and one of the jurors, said the redemptive value of Homecoming was Abigail’s victorious character, which emerged despite SARS, her brother’s death, her parents’ separation, and her boyfriend’s betrayal. In the end, her self-empowered image as woman, worker and national hero is retained.

Homecoming is directed by Gil Portes and written by Senedy Que, Adolf Alix, and Portes. Produced by Teamwork Productions and released by Columbia Pictures, the film also won the best theme song composed by Arnel del Rosario and Nilo Alcala.

ADOLF ALIX CLARE PADILLA COLUMBIA PICTURES ELIZABETH OROPESA GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICE GIL PORTES JOY BELMONTE MAYOR SONNY BELMONTE JR. ACCORDING METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL MOST GENDER-SENSITIVE FILM QUEZON CITY
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