I am sure that every movie-loving Pinoy has already seen Marlon Rivera’s “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank.” And I am sure that by now, I don’t have to tell you what happen or what the story is all about. Instead, I will ask you—yes, you who had seen it—why the movie is titled as such?
Why is it named Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank instead of “Walang Wala” as the planned title in the movie states? My quirky theories are:
- When someone heards “septic tank” you will react negatively. Like, its one of those yucky, grim, dark indie movie with nothing to show but poverty. But when you put Eugene Domingo in the lead role, the film becomes sanitized, and comic. Septic Tank becomes a catch phrase!
- “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank” sounds way, way, better than “Walang Wala.”
- Who wouldn’t laugh at the mere mention of “tae”?
- It could be that septic tank and “tae” are symbols or representation of how rotten or pungent poverty is in the Philippines or any Third World country at that.
- Or how smelly some indie film makers who already won awards abroad (silang mga directors na umiinom ng “ekspreso” sa Starbucks).
- Or the title could refer to big film producers in the local cinema who insultingly feeds the Pinoy viewers with “tae” films with absurd storylines and gasgas formula.
- It could even a subtle insult to the very same indie film makers who always present a film about poverty (poverty porn according to Jessica Zafra) in film festivals abroad, thinking that this can win them Oscars or Cannes trophies.
- It might be that the “babae” in the title is not Eugene Domingo, but rather the female production assistant (Jocelyn) who did not deliver any single line in the film, but whose imagination became the central focus of the entire film.
- Or is the director and writer telling us that since Pinoys are hard to please (in terms of comedy), they have to use septic tank and tae for “toilet humor” since we are visual audience?
- Is the indie director being mock Brillante Mendoza?