It has been almost five years since the release of ‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’, a Filipino musical that tackles the themes of pre-marital pregnancy between a rich and a poor family. The film progresses the story through the music of Apo Hiking Society. From the emotional numbers, ‘Nakakapagtaka’ and ‘Batang-bata Ka Pa’ to the more upbeat songs, ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Syotang Pa-Class’, the movie never fails to deliver the required emotions and choreography for each scenes. Every character stands out thanks to the given depth by the writer and the actors themselves.
With every emotional scene, there’s an equal amount of comedic scenes that perfectly balances the emotions in the movie making it the best ‘feel-good’ Filipino film. The film’s not new but it’s not old either. It’s only five years-old yet the movie feels timeless. The story will be relatable for a very long time to Filipinos. Pre-marital pregnancy will forever be in our society even if they implement new laws to help eradicate this issue.
With the five years that this film’s been on release, no musical film has been released by a major Filipino film outfit. Why? This film’s success may be put to blame. I can continue to praise this film forever but unfortunately, it wasn’t successful on its theatrical release. Despite the mild success of its soundtrack, this success wouldn’t be enough to compensate for its 30-million-peso budget given that it only grossed barely 13 million pesos.
I saw this film on theaters as it was released on my birthday and it’s been my tradition to watch a film on my birthday. I didn’t knew about the film before watching it even though it was promoted on both the 2 major channels in the Philippines. However, that promotion was only done once and trailers and commercials for this film was sparse.
I urged my friends to see the film however, the film was cut on release in theaters for its poor first week performances. It lacked the trust of theaters to stay afloat even for two weeks.
It wasn’t only the lack of promotion that to be put to blame for this film’s underwhelming performance. The film was released on the July-October period when people are less interested in watching movies, at least in the Philippines. It may be because the film’s producers were afraid to go head-to-head with big movies like international films and other films released by major film outfits.
Another sad thing is that the film is nowhere to be found on online platforms. I thought that it would be on iTunes or iflix with the other Filipino films but it’s not there. I tried finding a physical copy but Alas! I was five years late.
The genre of Filipino musicals relied on the hands of the success of ‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’ and when it failed, Filipino movie studios distanced themselves away from the toxic genre. But after five years, it may be time to have another Filipino musical film.
Why? La La Land proved to be a success in the Philippines during its release. It wasn’t given any promotions in the television yet it managed to be a pop culture success in the metropolitan regions of the country. If the film was given enough promotions on TV, the rural areas may have been affected as well.
The musical genre is under revitalization and audience interest is being reinvigorated with upcoming international musical films like ‘Mary Poppins Returns’. Filipinos now trust ‘word-of-mouth’ more as La La Land’s success in the Philippines could also be attributed to this.
With a good Filipino musical film on the same level of ‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’, the Filipino musical genre could be revitalized and major film outfits should trust on the genre more and learn to gamble a bit especially now that Filipinos are getting tired of the ‘rom-com genre’ that has been ruling the Philippine cinema for the past decades.
A Filipino musical could also be a ‘feel-good movie’ which is what Filipinos are looking for and this film is a proof to that. ‘The Breakup Playlist’, another Filipino musical released in 2015 which grossed almost 200 million pesos should be enough for studios to trust the genre again.
‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’ deserved more success than what it achieved. Everyone behind the camera and the actors did their best to make the film great but the film suffered from the lack of promotions, poor choice of a release date and trust from theaters due to poor interest from the people.
If ‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’ was released in the present, it would be a guaranteed hit. It’s a feel-good movie and far from the ‘rom-com clicheness’ the Filipino audiences have been complaining for a long time.
Editor’s Note: Though ‘The Breakup Playlist’ was a Filipino musical, I didn’t include it in the article as it is plagued by the ‘rom-com clicheness’ but it is definitely a step in the right direction in reinvigorating the interest of the Filipino audience in the genre.