Topics: Carnival, Family, Grandparent Pages: 6 (2364 words) Published: October 13, 2013
The film opens with the birth of Magnifico (also called Ikoy in the film). It is clearly discernible at the outset that the boy was born in to a rural poor family. His father, Gerry, is a carpenter but does not have regular employment. It was Gerry who christened him Magnifico because he enjoyed watching a magician by that same name. Magnifico’s mother, Edna, augments the family income by stitching embroideries. Their house is a dilapidated hollow-blocks-and-wood structure typical in rural Philippines. They were so impoverished that they could only prepare soup and noodles for the town fiesta. At one point Edna had to pawn her wedding ring so they could have food on their table. The story actually begins when Magnifico turned nine. His brother, Miong, has just lost his much-needed scholarship from a university in the capital city Manila. This was a heavy blow because Gerry pinned his hopes on Miong to save the family from poverty. His grandmother, Magda, who lives with Magnifico’s family, figured in a serious accident and had to be hospitalized. In the hospital it was discovered that Magda had pancreatic cancer. This was another backbreaking blow because part of Gerry’s meager income would now go to medical expenses. As if these problems were not exasperating enough, Magnifico’ sister Helen had cerebral palsy, which rendered her incapable of self-mobility and comprehensible speech. Burdened by such seemingly insurmountable difficulties, Edna lustily sighed, “life is a never-ending misery”. But whole throughout the film life proved to be a series of small marvels. When Magnifico heard whispers that his grandmother Magda would soon die and that his family was incapable of shouldering the sky-high burial expenses, he innocently devised a secret plan. Employing the help of his school buddy Carlo, he covertly began constructing a wooden coffin. For materials he asked scrap wood from a local woodcarving shop and borrowed carpentry tools from his neighbors. And together with Carlo, he sold iced water and juice at the town carnival, hoping to collect money enough for his grandmother’s funeral dress, flowers, and tomb. When their two plastic jars emptied, they ended up with 306 pesos (about 4 euros) in their hands. However this was way too low, considering that he needed at least 30,000 pesos (roughly 400 euros). Yet Magnifico never lost hope. Nor felt bad. He was determined to fulfill his mission even if he had to sell iced water and juice until kingdom come. For aside from toiling for her grandma’s wake, he was also saving for her sister Helen. He promised to bring her to the town carnival so she could have a colored balloon and enjoy the merry-go-round and other fun rides. Since Helen could not walk, Magnifico resolved to use his money to rent a wheelchair from Domeng. On the day Magnifico and Helen would go to the carnival, Magda’s illness worsened. And since his parents had virtually nothing, Magnifico had to part with his 230 pesos to buy the requisite medicines. Armed with less than a hundred pesos in his pockets but with a lot of determination, Magnifico brought Helen to the carnival by carrying her on his back. The neighbors who saw Magnifico and Helen at the carnival showed them compassion. A guy who used to bully Helen for laughs drove them there. Two feuding neighbors each gave them 100 pesos for tickets to the rides. One ticket controller admitted them without charge, another gave them a huge discount and a vendor gave Helen a free balloon. Magnifico brought Helen around. He showed her the cotton candies, the ice cream, the works. Helen had the time of her life. When Domeng saw Magnifico hauling Helen on his back, he understood why Magnifico wanted to rent his wheelchair. Moved by what he witnessed, Domeng decided to give his wheelchair to Magnifico for free. So he arranged for Magnifico to get the wheelchair from his house. On his way to Domeng’s house, Magnifico was hit by a car and died instantly. The colorful...
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