Wednesday, 16 December 2015

"More than a picture"

"More than a picture"

(or how Karen Testibia prefers to be called 'witty' than 'pretty')

"For your beauty remains Enchanted...
there's a new music in the wind..."

At first, this person would say that it's been long overdue to made this writeup although he made some few poems for that person whom he befriend with. That based on her pictures, she is appreciated by people for being a model if not an artist, but to her closest friends (including yours truly), she is a thinker and a willing chemist. 

For a friend, it would say that despite her numerous pictures and videos featuring her as a talent, Karen is plain and simply doing her job. She just love her craft so much as she tries to humanise the image of her given character, if not wanting to make every film she had participated "too good to be true."

And based from observations would say that her's is more than just "beauty" and "charm". True indeed given her numerous appearances be it from the ramp, as a host at a certain event, as a talent in mainstream "drama", and an actress in independent cinema. That her appearance is of Malay-Pacific, skin kissed by the sun, "exotic" to the eyes of a stereotypical guy seeking for a girlfriend; 
but again, she is more than that, she prefers to describe herself as "witty" and "courageous", and based from her experiences, this writer would say that she loves to look at the microorganisms through the microscope if not willing to fight like a man when it comes to brawls, listening to Metal, assembling the gun, understanding the reality and the willingness to seek change in the society. Isn't it that far from what men think of her as just plain simple "beautiful?"

"She loves Mixing Chemicals and how to weave cloth" 
Sorry for the words, but her life and work is more than just the pictures being shown. She may be as pretty as any other model like Cindy Crawford with all her elegance, but she prefers to speak and think like Ninotchka Rosca; she may be sexier like Ina Raymundo but wanting to become like Marie Curie, she may be charming like Bangs Garcia but she chose the courage of Gabriela Cariño Silang, men may have appreciated her for what she is shown, but will these same men also understood what really comes from her such as yearning for social change or even her love for mixing chemicals for a formula? Hope so. 

Well, like her, women tries to break from the conventions, what more of showing far from the usual descriptions, it takes two to tango or good hands to play the piano, and to use Florentino Cruz's essay, he said:

"Rizal spoke of womanhood, and the most telling document he bequeathed to the Filipino race is his 'A letter to the young women of Malolos', which in effect demands courage." 

To become a fighter like Gabriela Cariño Silang? 
Or to become a Chemist like Marie Curie?
And perhaps the courage of these young women is embedded in that person's persona, like a Spartan  girl of the past willing to face the odds as possible, that during her High School days she got good grades like those in section 5 regardless of actually being in the 14th section; that she passed the admission test of the premier state university regardless of her school's pessimism thinking that none will able to pass that test. That she joined the militant struggle with a feeling that with a system such as today's, with its tailored mass-mediocrity in the name of curbing possible dissent, specifically, replacing a persona such as politically aware woman with those of a nagging yet socio-politically apathetic bitch. And of course! It is disagreeable! 
Such circumstances demands courage, and this person sees the wit and courage than the typical beauty and charm.  Her roles shows the flexibility, but she temper it with a real, human character like any other thespian who tends to show more than emotion when it comes to drama. Again, she is just doing her job but she tempers it "with some value" to appear more than "just taking a role and nothing else."

Maybe time comes that with her friends, she would have fulfilled her wish to be a girl who loves the frontline, whose role preferring the scent of gunpowder than rose-scent perfume, if not the iron sword over the silk fan. 
And to paraphrase Jose Maria Sison's poem "the forest remains enchanted", this person would say that: 

"Her beauty remains enchanted, 
And there's a new music in the wind, 
With a new magic in her loving face 
Admired by her folks and friends,
And with a fighting spirit has imbued over
To lure and astonish the intruders..."

To this person, her's is more than a series of pictures or roles he had sought in the screen, enough to be loved.

Thus, no wonder why he made few poems for her.

Thank you. 

(pictures coming from Karen Testibia, Patricia Pelita, and Francis Camballa)