Here's why an X rating was given to Alfred Vargas-starrer Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa

Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa, top-billed by Alfred Vargas (right frame), was given an X rating by the MTRCB. Child actor Miggs Cuaderno is cast as a child warrior in this film that also stars James Blanco (left) and James Lomohan (wearing scarf), Lou Veloso, and Mon Confiado.




Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa, starring Quezon City Congressman Alfred Vargas, recently merited an “X Rating” (not for public exhibition) from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). This was apparently due to significant violent scenes in the film.

The film, also known as My Teacher Who Doesn’t Know How To Read, was submitted to the MTRCB for a planned commercial release on December 6, 2017, in order to target a wider audience, especially teachers and young students.

Written and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Perry Escaño, Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa, is an advocacy film about the importance of education among kids in far flung provinces in the Philippines who, due to government corruption and ignorance, are forced to become child warriors, a socially relevant issue in the country today.

During its first review by the MTRCB, in a letter addressed to MPJ Entertainment Productions, committee members (and fellow actors) Dennis Padilla and Gloria Sevilla, and former MTRCB chairperson Consoliza Laguardia classified the film with an “X Rating” because of the violent scenes.

MPJ Entertainment Productions is owned by Direk Perry, who is also one of the executive producers of the drama film.

STORY PLOT: As an extremist group trains children to fight the government, an illiterate farmer (Alfred Vargas) pretends that he can read while he attempts to play the role of a teacher to maintain the kids’ faith in education.

The controversial X-rated film also stars award-winning child actors Miggs Cuaderno, Micko Laurente, and Marc Justine Alvarez, as well as James Blanco, Lou Veloso, Mon Confiado, Kiko Matos, Loren Burgos, among others.

Below is the full text of the letter on the permit or classification of MTRCB for Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa (first review):

“We refer to your Application for Permit to Exhibit No. MP-1708-18477 (1 hr and 45 minutes) for the film, ‘ANG GURO KONG DI MARUNONG MAGBASA.’

“We regret to inform you that the aforementioned film was classified as 'not for public exhibition' by the Committee on First Review, as follows:

“The gravity of too many violent / bloody scenes in the film out-weighted the important social economic and political issues that the filmmaker wants to impart to the viewing public.

“Note: Significant violent scenes:
1.) Young children killing soldiers using knives and guns
2.) Amputations of body parts during torture scenes
3.) Headshot of a soldier
4.) Killing of a corrupt mayor with a grenade launcher.

“Be that as it may, you have the option to file for a second review within five (5) days from receipt hereof.

“Very truly yours,

“(Sgd.) MARIA RACHEL J. ARENAS
“Chairperson”

There’s a footnote on the letter that says: “Conveniently and briefly referred to as an “X.”

Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa, one of the finalists of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2017, was shown in limited screenings in August 2017, and did not require an MTRCB review and classification for a commercial release.

For an appeal of reconsideration, the executive producers of the film will take another chance to have it reviewed by a new set of MTRCB reviewers, this time, with a “re-edited version” of the material. They hope the film will be allowed to be shown in commercial theaters nationwide for the December 6 booked playdate.

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