Friday, July 20, 2007


Every night, in the dark nooks and alleyways of this urban jungle, sporadic random violence erupts, waylaying and maiming young lives and youthful dreams. What feeds this brutality? How are lives affected by this vicious cycle? Through the eyes of a 10 year old boy, EBET, we are immersed into the lives of adolescent gangsta leaders. PONGKE, MAKOY and OGOY are head gangstas of three warring street gangs or “Tribes” in Tondo – Thugs Angels, Sacred Brown Tribe, and Diablos, respectively.

During an initiation ritual for neophytes, Thugs Angel members chance upon the blood-bathed body of a murdered SBT member. Though the kids suspect that this is a Diablos hit, Policemen who arrived at the scene arrests a key leader of Thugs Angel and pins the crime on him. MAKOY and his SBT tribe vow revenge. They go about their usual activities while secretly planning to avenge their fallen homeboy. SBT and Thugs Angels form an alliance against Diablos.

The stroke of midnight signals the start of the offensive. SBT stealthily enters DIablos' lair and unleashes their fury. A running battle erupts. Many are wounded, and two are killed – Makoy, and a bystander, Dennis, who happens to be the young brother of PONGKE. It’s Pongke and Thugs Angels’ turn to avenge the death of Dennis. They hunt down Diablos leader, Ogoy, and stabs him to death.

This is a personal story of Tondo (mirrored in many similar communities in the Metropolis) symptomatic of the slow decay of an impoverished society.

TRIBU is currently showing at the 2007 Edition of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. See more details here.

See the TUGISTA group LIVE in SPi! See them perform their rapoetry on August 10, 2007 at 6PM at the Night Cafe, across Top Dog, during the Closing Ceremonies of the Poetry Festival 2007.

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