Tawak” is a story about Biano, a “magtatawak”, the equivalent of a quack doctor in the Filiipino culture. Biano is popularly known for making concoctions of antidotes for snake bites. But what happens when a “snake” named Marko strikes Biano’s life with a venom he has no cure for? When Marko rapes Biano’s wife, the town questions Biano’s masculinity and capacity to protect her. How could Biano face such embarassment? Can he find a cure to the outbreak of gossip and mockery and prove his ability to heal?
The making of this indei film was inspired by and conceived from the customary practices of Marinduqueños during the Lenten Season. Also, the fact that there had been no single film produced for and by the province in order to promote if not discover or entirely preserve its authentic cultures. The title “Tawak” is taken from the name of a locally-made anti-venom (esp. snakebites) concoction.
Marinduque – an island province famous for its Moriones Festival is abounding with culture reflected in the practices and rituals which were handed from generation to generation. Some of these include “pagtatawak”, “pagpapanata”, “pagkakabalwa”, “pagpapasyon”, others.
The immense and enigmatic devotion of people who had been observing the practices and rituals during holy week remains to be the captivating element of the culture of Marinduque.
Aside from the spiritual culture, there are also indigenous cultures that are in the nature of music and dance and are being practiced at any given time of the year. The most popular is “putong”.
Highlighting the culture of the province are the preserved values of Marinduqueños in welcoming and receiving visitors, its dialect, its scenic views, and the increasing tourism-related industries like butterfly culture and production, arts crafts, others.
The film “Tawak” captures well-defined events set in the celebration of the Lenten season. The twist of the film brings to light the other side of the ardent and sacred rituals in order to serve and keep fidelity to faith and religion and in pursuit of holiness and sanctity. What lies beneath the mask – good or evil? What lies beneath the black cloth of kabalwa – purity or sin? What lies beneath the words of pasyon – consecration or pretense?
What were the devils doing while men were chasing holiness? How do they persuade men to doing unholy things? Would one find evil in the midst of a divine quest? Or would one find purity and holiness in the heart of sins?