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Ga-go, a Filippino play, by a not Filippino man. (Other) by Jeremi B. Handrinos
EXT. SKY -- DAY
Puffy clouds hang in the sky like fresh cotton balls.
In the distance, silver specks start to fall slowly.
As they grow closer, we realize they arenât raindrops â
Theyâre handfulls of COINS.
EXT. COURTYARD -- DAY -- PHILLIPINES, 1986, SUMMER
SPLUNK! Silver coins drop into a large fountain.
We pull back, revealing a huge estate.
Streamers are strung across the courtyard.
Tables are full of fresh fruit, piping hot dishes,
and luscious desserts.
Children run and play, and fly kites in the sky.
Men and women sip wine and chat casually.
A huge BANNER above the fountain reads:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GENERAL FERDINAND CORTEZ
EDMUND CORTEZ, 19,
Handsome and thin, walks into the courtyard.
PETER, 19, walks at Edmundâs side.
Both he and Edmund are dressed in
matching MILITARY UNIFORMS.
Are you sure this is okay?
EDMUND shoots Peter a reassuring glance
But I wasnât invited, Edmund.
Youâre with me, and thatâs invited in my family, Peter.
Edmund, and Peter, grab appetizers & drinks on the fly.
They pass a CLOWN doing tricks for a group of children.
Iâm still nervous
He downs a glass of champagne, and grabs another.
Edmund gives Peter a squeeze on the shoulder.
Itâs going to be fine, Peter.
Getting drunk, I'm sure, will help.
Are you sure?
They both laugh at the joke and share a moment.
Do you really think Iâll get a chance to meet him though?
Yes, Peter. I do, so relax.
Iâm at the mansion of the great General
Ferdinand Cortez, Edmund.
One of the children pops a balloon, and Peter jumps.
Relaxing isnât an option.
AUNTIE, 50, rushes over to Edmund
with a noticeable limp and
Wobble, showering him with kisses.
Edmund gently pushes her away and straightens his uniform.
So itâs official, then?
Yes, we both enrolled today.
Auntie, Iâd like you to meet my good friend, Peter.
Peter and Auntie shake hands and kiss cheeks.
Itâs a pleasure to meet you.
(Beat) Edmund speaks quite highly of you (beat)
Would you just look at how handsome the two of you look?
Oh, (beat) he is resting in bed.
But itâs his birthday.
I know, Edmund, (she shoots him a sharp look)
You know how he can be... He has good days,
and then there are his bad days.
Can we see him?
You want to show off your new uniform, do you?
I want to make him proud.
Auntie smiles and touches Edmundâs face.
You will, Edmund. You will.
INT. MANSION â DAY
Auntie leads Edmund, and Peter, down a long hall
with fine, and highly glossed marble floors,
Beautiful antique furniture and portraits aline both sides.
Ornate vases spilling over with flowers are upon every table.
Iâm afraid youâll have to keep your visit short though
Edmund, because the General isnât well as of late.
Youâre worrying me, Auntie Ida.
I just saw him last week, and he was fine.
Well, he had a fall three days ago.
They reach two large doors to a Bed chamber.
Perhaps itâs best if just you go in, Edmund.
But I promised Peter he could meetâ¦
(Cutting Edmund off)
Itâs okay, Edmund.
The General has been asking to speak to you
Every day since the accident Edmund, I think it's
better if just you went in for now, because of the accident.
You are probably right?
Yes, I am.
What does he want to see me about?
I donât know silly, what do men talk about when they are alone? Auntie
opens the big door and nudges Edmund in.
Weâll be in the courtyard.
Come, Peter, Iâll introduce you to the rest
of Edmundâs family.
PETER gives EDMUND a supportive squeeze on the shoulder
(Imitating the one Peter gave him earlier, grinning)
He follows Auntie back down the hall.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM -- DAY
Edmund walks into the huge room and stands motionless
For a full minute or two frozen in contemplation.
Lying in a large bed is FERDINAND CORTEZ, 70.
Weathered and tempered by years of responsibility.
Despite his frailty, he exudes an aura of strength,
Were you planning on standing there all afternoon, Edmund?
(Startled out of a daydream)
FERDINAND chuckling. Opens his eyes and waves
Edmund over to the bed.
Such a dreamer just like your father.
I thought you were asleep. How did you know I was here?
Did you hear me come in?
A man must know his surroundings as well as himself if he
wishes to survive the perils of a military career, or politics for that
Apparently a decision that you have already made I see.
What do you think, Grandpapa? Perhaps one day I will have as many medals
Edmund, will you sit down with me, here
(He pats the bed)
for a moment?
What is it, Grandpapa? Is something troubling you?
Now, closer to his grandfather EDMUND can clearly
see the bruise and stitches that his grandfather obtained in his most
recent fall he imagines.
Do you know how old I am today, Edmund?
Seventy, ah, something.
Seventy-three, of which Iâve spent the
majority serving this great country.
Thatâs why you are a hero.
To some, I suppose.
Grandpapa, you are the greatest General in the
history of the Philippineâs Military.
Who could possibly not believe you to be a hero?
Ferdinand takes Edmundâs hand in his own and squeezes it.
I donât understand.
I remember the day I began my military career.
I was a little younger than you,
but I had the same zest then
that I see in your eager and bright eyes today...
EXT. PREP SCHOOL -- DAY -- SPAIN, 1919
A classic automobile chugs to a stop in front of
several gorgeous buildings.
YOUNG FERDINAND CORTEZ, 12 years old,
slips out of the car and stares in wide- eyed wonder
at the massive Spanish architecture before him.
Ferdinandâs MOTHER and FATHER, both 40, take young Ferdinand by the
hand and lead him up the walk toward the school. Huge peering gargoyles
loom from above.
While gigantic stone lions guard the entrance below.
I remember as if it were yesterday.
Iâll never forget the stirring anxiety that
I felt in my little belly.
Butterflies and hiccups, (he laughs) as my parents
escorted me to my new home and future.
INT. PREP SCHOOL â GYMNASIUM. MORNING
Ferdinand and other boys stand in a straight line.
Most of the other boys are Spanish and Caucasian.
Everyone is practically larger than Ferdinand.
I was shocked to discover that I was the only Filipino
boy at the entire school.
An INSTRUCTOR marches up and down the line,
eyeing the boys, and making check marks on his clipboard.
Methodically with the eyes of an eagle.
Many of the other boys had never even seen an Asian before.
Boys in line snicker and point at Ferdinand. A Blonde BOY
pulls the skin back on his face -- making his eyelids slanted.
I had no idea of how difficult this was about to make my life.
INT. BUNKS -- NIGHT
Ferdinand crouches by his bed, unpacking his suitcase.
He carefully transfers his neatly folded clothes into a bedside dresser
Ferdinand takes a framed picture of Jesus, rosemary,
And a Bible, and places them on his night stand.
BLONDIE, the blonde boy from the gymnasium,
notices the display and approaches Ferdinand.
What do you think youâre doing newbie?
What do you mean?
Why are you putting that up?
I think youâre lying.
Boys quickly gather around Ferdinand and Blondie.
So Jesus is your savior?
Thatâs funny, because, I donât ever remember
reading about Jesus visiting China
Do you guys?
The Boys all laugh and shake their heads no.
For your information you donât have to have
white skin just to be a good Catholic, and I'm having a hard time
believing someone that thinks in those terms could read.
Well for your information you canât have yellow
skin if you think youâre going
to fit in around here whether I can read or not.
Blondie snatches the picture and rosemary off of
the night stand and him and the other boys play
keep away from Ferdinand.
Give it back!
WHACK! Blondie smacks Ferdinand in the face.
Everyone stops surprised by the sudden challenge,
and blatant insult to see what Ferdinand does.
Ferdinand pounces on him and the two boys wrestle
on the ground. The blond boy clearly gets the better
of FERDINAND and we hear Ferdinand crying and begging
for him to stop...