The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

23 December 2023

“In His Mother’s Eyes” (2023) - A Family Tale of Frustrations and Hope

The image shows Ms. Maricel Soriano with LA Santos playing guitar.
In His Mother's Eyes Poster

Even with hardships in life, there is still hope to leave doors open for understanding and empathy.

When it comes to raising a family, it comes with certain challenges and realizations. There are bound to be conflicting viewpoints on how to handle situations, leading to miscommunication from all parties involved. These become amplified with conditions such as a member of the family living with autism and the sudden arrival of said member’s mother from a long departure, which form the basis of In His Mother’s Eyes, the 2023 film directed by FM Reyes and starring Maricel Soriano, Roderick Paulate, and LA Santos.

Bibs (Paulate) is the sole caretaker of his autistic nephew, Tim (Santos), while his twin sister Lucy (Soriano) was away in Japan for 13 years as an OFW. Bibs juggles between handling his home business as an embroiderer and raising Tim, who became a teenager with a dream to become a musician despite facing discrimination among his peers. When Lucy unexpectedly returned to their house one day, this led to animosity between her and Bibs and confusion between her and Tim which all stem from her long departure. Will there be hope for all of them?

The film follows the standard family drama where fragmentations among family members gradually led to outpouring frustrations followed by making amends to everyone, even when some parts could have been executed better. The melodramatic events that comprise the film make people feel for the predicaments of the main characters, leading to a heartfelt watch. Its best parts deal with characters being reflective, where scenes like Tim recalling his mother’s departure truly felt the gravity of the ongoing family situation without much dramatics. There are also effective scenes pouring with emotion – Tim’s meltdown on Lucy’s rearrangement of his room is one example of that – but there are others that were too forced such as the climax with Lucy’s confrontation at a school event and the ending revelation of her impending death mere minutes before the end of the film.

Soriano and Paulate are serviceable with the way they portrayed their characters as much as there are times when their emotions on display felt less believable and more melodramatic. Soriano was believable as Lucy, as much as she seemed to be close to tears for the most part. Likewise, Paulate was likewise convincing with the way he poured out Bibs’ frustrations even with the gravity of his voice mismatching his facial expressions at times. As for Santos, his portrayal of Tim was not just faithful to how some people on the autism spectrum would behave towards various situations like handling changing family dynamics - but his overall presence made the film engaging. There’s so much warmth radiating from his personality and interactions with other characters, as well as depth within his character from moments of reflection and strong emotions. Overall, In His Mother’s Eyes is an engaging family drama relevant to this time, with a convincing portrayal of an autistic person and an overarching theme of consideration.

In His Mother's Eyes block screening at SM Megamall

In His Mother's Eyes block screening at SM Clark Pampanga

About the author:

Pia Cabañero is an autistic Filipino young adult who has been involved with Autism Society Philippines for the past five years. She is one of the officers of ASP Self-Advocates Circle (ASP-SACi) for the 2023-2025 cycle. Outside of ASP, she is currently working as a junior graphic designer and dabbles in other interests like collaging, reading, and essay writing in her free time.


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