The original theatrical poster of Lino Brocka's "Jaguar" (1979)
Bancom Audiovision Productions
Release Date August 31, 1979
Story and Screenplay Jose Lacaba and Ricardo Lee
Cinematography Conrado Baltazar
Editor Rene Tala
Music Vanishing Tribe
Direction Lino Brocka
Cast Phillip Salvador, Amy Austria/ Also Starring Johnny Delgado, Anita Linda, Tonio Gutierrez, Roi Vinzon and Mengie Cobarrubias
(Synopsis) Because he works as a security guard, Poldo Miranda (Phillip Salvador) is often called “jaguar” (“guwardya” or “guard” in reverse slang). Poldo, a well-built man in his mid-twenties, lives in the slums from which he desperately longs to escape. He has ambitions of rising up in the world, of becoming somebody. He ingratiates himself in the good graces of his boss, Sonny Gaston (Menggie Cobarrubias), a rich playboy who treats his subordinates with the irresponsibility and lack of concern of a feudal landlord.
One night, Poldo saves Sonny from the assaults of Direk (Johnny Delgado), Sonny’s on-and-off friend. Impressed by his Muhammad Ali blows, Sonny takes Poldo as his personal bodyguard and makes him a member of his gang. Poldo ends up as the errand boy but he is thrilled at the thought of being accepted by the upper crust.
Sonny and Direk are reconciled. In Direk’s office, Sonny meets Cristy Montes (Amy Austria), Direk’s new girl. The master and bodyguard both betray a fondness for this girl from the slums --- Sonny aggressively courting Cristy with promises of movie roles while Poldo maintaining a servile distance to her. Direk is infuriated when Cristy leaves him and sets a dragnet for Sonny. A drunken Sonny hears of the threats and foolishly confronts Direk in his nightclub. Sonny is trapped and the only way for him to escape is to leave Poldo behind holding a gun. Poldo unintentionally shoots Direk. He runs as fast as he could from the place.
Poldo’s first impulse is to seek protection from his boss but Sonny is ready to junk him. He gives money to him to leave Manila. Poldo has no place to hide. Cristy refers him to her former boarding place in the slums--- run by a family whose breadwinner is involved in a prolonged strike.
Meanwhile, because of the sensational publicity, Cristy Montes becomes a big star. She breaks off with Sonny. She begins to see Poldo more often and plans his escape to a southern island. However, on the night of his departure, the police stage a “sona” — a routine flushing out of criminal elements in the slums. Poldo thinks they are after him and runs to the top of the garbage dump. He is seen running and is cornered by the police.
Sonny Gaston visits his former bodyguard in jail. He asks him to sign documents which would clear him from any involvement in Direk’s death. Poldo is maddened by his request and lunges at him. It is only the timely intervention of the police that stops him from killing Sonny.
Source: Lino Brocka: The Artist and His Times —
by Justino M. Dormiendo
First published at Sagisag Magazine, October 1979
Re-published at The URIAN Anthology, 1970-79
---to read, click images to enlarge---
Phillip Salvador and Amy Austria
Director Lino Brocka directs his young stars, Amy Austria and Phillip Salvador in a love scene... on the set of Bancom Audiovision's "Jaguar" (1979)