Perfumed Nightmare (1977) Script

(water gurgling) (speaking in foreign language)

[Kidlat] This is the bridge to our village.

It is the only way into Balian. And it is the only way out.

Our bridge is three meters wide and 10 meters long.

It is our bridge of life.

The Spanish soldiers built the bridge after destroying the original bamboo bridge built by my grandfather.

Then the U.S. Army Engineers wanted to widen it for the military convoys, but they failed because of the strong winds of Amok mountain nearby. The bridge is used by everybody.

It is used by those who make big profits.

And it is also used by those who make small profits.

(bells chiming)

(car engines humming) (speaking in foreign language)

I first tried to cross the bridge alone when I was three years old. I am Kidlat Tahimik.

I choose my vehicle and I can cross this bridge.

(traditional folkloric music) (band music) The bridge is also used by promoters of Miss Universe Contest.

(band music) Again, I tried to cross the bridge by myself when I was four years old.

I am Kidlat Tahimik.

I choose my vehicle and I can cross any bridge. (band music) (whistle chirping) The bridge is used by the leaders who promote discipline and uniformity. It is used also by the followers.

It is our bridge of life. Today I am still trying to make that final crossing... to freedom. I am Kidlat Tahimik.

I choose my vehicle and I can cross all bridges.

(traditional folkloric music) (gentle guitar music) (bell chiming) Ah yes, there is another way out of the village.

It is the bridge used by my grandfather when he left Balian after 95 years of making bamboo huts.

(traditional folkloric music)

I am a Jeepney driver.

To earn my living I need both bridges. Sunday is good business.

Plenty passengers.

(car horn honks) Even God needs transportation.

(guitar music and singing in foreign language) (traditional folkloric music) (soft Kulintang music) (frogs croaking) (speaking in foreign language playing on radio)

(snoring) ("Yankee Doodle Dandy") [Radio Announcer] This is the Voice of America.

For specific information concerning the times of these Voice of America English language programs, Write to:

Voice of America, Washington DC, USA. [Radio Announcer] Get involved in the Bicentennial!

Get into America, by getting...

Good morning!

Darling of my life!

(smooches lips)

[Radio Announcer] Get into America by getting into the bicentennial.

(dramatic instrumental music)

(chattering in foreign language) [Woman Announcer] I've been talking with John Hammersmith of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, about the American space program.

The book is called Man's Conquest of Space.

So if you have space questions, send them in to us.

It's the Breakfast Show, Voice of America, Washington...

[Kidlat Voiceover] Dear Mr. Voice of America:

Since I have my transistor radio I listen to you every day.

However, in 1969, during the Apollo moon landing, I had no radio then.

What were the first words your great American astronaut said when they landed on the moon?

Can you please play it for me?

Yours truly, Kidlat Tahimik.

President of the Wernher von Braun Fan Club of Balian.

(speaking in foreign language) I do not dream of Disneyland anymore, Mama.

I dream of Cape Canaveral.

(speaking in foreign language)

Dear Voice of America:

Where can I get an autographed picture of Wernher von Braun?

(engine humming) (Kulintang music) [Radio Announcer] That was $600 million, which was about the same type of expenditure for the Mars Viking lander.

However, the Apollo program, was much more expensive.

Perhaps 20 times that at $20 billion.

[Kidlat Voiceover] My most important passenger is San Marcos, patron saint of Balian.

It is said that when the Americans were bombing the Japanese in the war, San Marcos protected us from the mad American bombs.

(radio announcer speaking indistinctly in background) I bring San Marcos to church every day, with his lion.

I know, that when there will be an atomic war, San Marcos will protect me from the H bomb. (singing in foreign language) (loud chattering) Attention! Attention!

Attention! Order, please.

Members of the Wernher von Braun Club, silence please.


I congratulate you for the bold decision in the last meeting to accept women members.

Let us welcome the new female members into the club!


Come, you can give a better welcome than that!


We have just received a letter from the Voice of America.

I'll read you the letter.


We have selected your question to be read on Sunday, which is the anniversary of the Apollo XI landing on the moon.

(kids chattering)

The answer to your question:

The first words said by American astronaut on the moon:

That's one small step for man... one gee-ant leap... for man... ki... man... ki... man... ki...



One geeant leap for mankeend!

(flute music) [Radio Transmission] 10, 9, ignition sequence start.

Six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.

All engines running.

Liftoff! (engines rumbling)

We have a liftoff.

(radio chatter)

Landing on the moon.

[Astronaut] I'm going to step off the LEM now.

That's one small step for man... one giant leap for mankind. (radio chatter) [Kidlat Voiceover] I must tell Kaya about my dream.

Kaya is my best friend.

Kaya learned from my grandfather how to build bamboo huts that can resist typhoon winds.

Even the angriest winds of Amok Mountain.

Today, nobody will learn the bamboo art from him.

They all want to go to engineering schools in Manila.

[Kaya Voiceover] Kidlat, one day you will come to know to the quiet strength of bamboo.

[Kidlat Voiceover] When I was a child we were all afraid of Kaya because of his tattoos.

One day, the first American fighter jets came.

I ran, terrified.

I found myself in the embrace of the butterfly on his chest.

I lost my fear of flying machines, and we became friends.

(speaking in foreign language)

Oi, Kaya!

Today is the birthday of Wernher von Braun.

Don't you know Wernher von Braun?

He's that American immigrant who invented the rockets to the moon!

I didn't learn that in school.

I learned that from Voice of America.

(instrumental music) Ah, yes, Kaya.

I dreamt once again of the white carabao.

Kaya, why is the eye of the white carabao so cold?

(speaking in foreign language) [Kaya Voiceover] The white carabao is rare.

It is born against nature.

The white carabao is beautiful, but inside it's cold and aggressive.

One day, Kidlat, you will understand that the beauty of the white carabao is like the sweetness of the chewing gum the American soldiers gave you.

(instrumental music) (speaking foreign language on radio) [Radio Announcer] Still the fastest, most economical way to the USA.

(radio blips)

Still the fastest, most economical way to the USA.

Contact Philippine Airlines.

(radio stations changing)

[Radio Announcer] now one of the most the popular attractions of the new National Air and Space Museum here in Washington.

In the central hall, the Spirit of St. Louis hangs just yards from the original Wright Bros. plane from Kittyhawk, throwing shadows on Mercury and Gemini capsules and on the Apollo XI command module.

Visitors can walk through a Skylab, and peer at the Apollo-Soyuz link-up of American and Soviet spaceships.

(fast instrumental music) (whistle chirping) (whistle chirps)

[Kidlat Voiceover] My favorite passenger is Adlem.

The richest woman in Balian and the owner of the factory.

Do you know?

Adlem is the first person in the village to ride in an airplane.

Wow, I love to hear her speak of her flight.

Sometimes, instead of taking money, I ask her to repeat the story of how it feels to fly in the sky.

(kids yelling and laughing)

(scolds kids in foreign language) (whistle chirping)

(cheery instrumental music) (speaking in foreign language)

(bells ringing) My sister Alma, she is smart.

She goes her own way.

(gentle guitar music) Not like the boys... always competing.

(speaking in foreign language on radio) [News Announcer] Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Now the latest news.

Today world leaders arrived to attend the Te Deum ceremonies for a dying dictator.

The Generalissimo finally died after severe loss of energy.

He was 80 years old.

(melancholy organ music) (dramatic band music)

In another summit meeting, here just south of Manila, international Scout leaders arrived on Jamboree Island, to discuss international inflation.

The American delegate...

The American delegate was the last to arrive.

There was general agreement on most of the American proposals.

Except the last demand.

I think the American delegation should be in charge of the project.

(overlapping chatter in foreign language)

If America cannot lead this project, American funds are withdrawn.

♫ Oh say can you see

♫ By the dawn's early light

♫ What so proudly we hailed

♫ At the twilight's last...

Will the organization survive without American participation?


(laughs) Hi Joe, got some chewing gum?

(rhythmic drum beats)


(rhythmic instrumental beat) (chattering in foreign language)

(goats bleating) (pig oinking) (pig squealing) (engine rumbling)

(engine sputtering) Stop. Stop!

(pig grunting and squealing)

I can't stand pigs.

[Radio Announcer] Day number four for Secretary Kissinger, inside Africa.

After having enunciated a new US policy toward Africa, the Secretary had these airport remarks on his arrival:

[Kissinger] There is the search for racial justice.

There is the attempt by outside power to divide Africa into hostile blocks.

And there is the need of African nations to achieve progress.

(radio blips) And there is the need of African nations to achieve progress.


And there is the need of African nations to achieve progress.

And there is the need of African nations to achieve progress.

(car horn beeping)

[Big Boss] How far to Manila?

[Kidlat] We are 20 km from Manila.

(car engines rumbling) [Big Boss] Kidlat, who would you want to meet most in America?

[Kidlat] In America, I would like to meet Wernher von Braun.

The man who built the bridge to the moon.

(speaking in foreign language) [Big Boss] Kidlat, why do you admire America so much?

[Kidlat] Because in America I could become an astronaut.

Here, I am only a jeepney driver.

[Big Boss] All these bright-colored taxis, where do they come from?

[Kidlat] These are vehicles of war which we made into vehicles of life.

(metallic clanging and pounding) This is Sarao Motors.

The biggest Filipino car manufacturer.

(gentle guitar music) (metallic clanging) (metal clanging) (instrumental music) Despite the oil crisis, Sarao increased car production by 20% from last year.

Today, Sarao rolls out five jeepneys per week. (metal thudding) An old jeepney never dies.

It finds its way into a hundred new jeepneys. (flute music) [Big Boss] Kidlat.

Kidlat, I want to bring a Philippine- made jeepney with me when I leave.

I think I might just bring a Philippines chauffeur along.

(metal clanging)

(drum music)

(speaking in foreign language) [Kidlat] Alma, look what I brought you!

An Americano gave me dollars. Alma, you are the master of your vehicle.

Only you can tell it where to go. [Mama] So, Kidlat, you go with the Americano?

You're like your father.

Fascinated by the white man's smile.

Do not worry, Mama.

I will become rich in America and I will take you away from here.

[Mama] Kidlat, your father was a happy taxi driver.

He always sang as he worked. One day, a smiling stranger gave him a rifle.

"The bridge to your freedom, "Your vehicle to freedom.

"We will help you with your

"revolution against the Spanish tyrants."

Said the smiling Americano.

Your father stopped singing. He fought in the revolution and the days of the Spaniards were numbered. When the Spaniards surrendered, your father sang again.

As he sang the sweet song of victory, the Americans were buying us in Paris. Your singing father tried to enter liberated Manila at the San Juan bridge.

He was stopped by an American sentry.

It was his last song.

From the butt of your father's rifle I carved this horse. "Killed for trespassing on US property".

Was the military report attached to his corpse.

For $12 million we became US military property. [Kaya] Yes, Kidlat.

For $12 million, they bought your soul and mine. That was the official military version of your father's death.

The facts are suppressed to hide our true strength.

Kidlat, it's time you know the truth.

I was there.

I saw it all happen.

(traditional folkloric chanting) He did not need his rifle.

(speaking in foreign language) Your father took a deep breath.

(wind blowing)

He blew with a fury that knocked the guard down.

He's stronger than the winds of Amok Mountain, Kidlat. 15 more Americans fell before they finally stopped your father. Kidlat, when the typhoon blows off its cocoon, the butterfly embraces the sun. The sleeping typhoon must learn to blow again. [Kidlat] Kaya, I now recall.

I first saw the white carabao somewhere here.

Many years ago, on the day that I became a man.

(kids speaking in foreign language) (kids chattering and yelling loudly) Leandro was the first to volunteer. I was no hero.

My balls jingled like ice cream bells. Hermes had a hard time. (flute music) My best friend Eric went through it quietly. When your best friend goes through hell, it is difficult to remain behind.

My turn came next. At the end of the day, five of us had become men. While they were hammering at me, I could not take my eyes off a strange leafless tree.

(unsettling music) The white carabao stared so coldly, I felt no pain. We're leaving on Sunday, the Americano and I.

He takes me to Paris, where his business is.

He said we stay there for a year and then we go to New York.

(flute music) (speaking in foreign language)

I need a passport photo, passport photo.

I need six passport photos.

Passport? I don't know what's a passport.

He just said six passport photos.

(kids chattering in foreign language) (people speaking loudly in foreign language) (music playing on the radio) (singing in foreign language) (rhythmic music) I must thank the Virgin Mary.

I will push my jeepney all day.

(kids speaking in foreign language)

(praying in foreign language) (singing in foreign language) O' holy Mary!

Thank you for granting my prayers!

Forgive me for not beating myself as in previous years.

We leave on Sunday, my wounds would not heal on time.

(speaking in foreign language)

(gentle guitar music)

[Mary] Kidlat, stop apologizing!

You know my job here is a bore.

But there are a few among you who make my day.

Like Anselmo, the ice cream man.

Every year he likes to play my son with his cast of thousands.

A real superstar! Then there is Giorgio, the biggest sinner in town. Even with his mask, who wouldn't recognize him? And then there is Clara, vowing annually to give up coconut sweets.

But the moment she hears your chain gang coming... wow!

The chains flip her appetite. And you, dear Kidlat.

Remember the first year you wanted to fly?

Can I forget that at five years you started using the chains, praying for a toy jet plane?

And last year the thread mask, how sexy! That year you fell from the mango tree and broke your back?

You locked yourself in the ice factory. When they pulled you out, you were as hard as Judas' prick.

Kidlat, you're okay in my book.

See you in Lourdes, huh?

(children shouting) (children chattering in foreign language)

[Teacher] One, two, three, four.

One, two, three, four.

(children laughing)

One, two, three, four.

Oh children, concentrate!

Last day now to practice.

(speaking in foreign language)

One, two, three, four.

(children talking and laughing) [Mama] Kidlat.

Take this horse on your travels.

One day you might need him to help you find the path to freedom.

(children laughing and yelling) (cheerful instrumental music) (loud squeal) (speaking in foreign language) (applauding)

(crowd cheering) Thank you beloved friends of Balian.

I can only promise you, when I become rich in America, I will donate a traffic light for our bridge!


(guitar music) (children speaking in foreign language loudly) (upbeat band music) (singing in foreign language) (flute music) [Flight Attendant] Sir, your jeep awaits you at the customs zone.

Sir, upon disembarking, proceed to the customs official.

(speaking in foreign language)

(dramatic music)

(flight announcer speaking in foreign language)

Come Kidlat, come. (dramatic instrumental music) [Kidlat] One, two, three, four, five, six, bridges.

Bridges! (paper crumpling) (bell dings) Bridges, bridges, everywhere bridges! Dearest Mama, I arrived safely in Paris.

You cannot imagine what world lies out here.

Floors, they walk for you!

Doors open for you!

And so many bridges.

Do you know Paris has 26 bridges?

Why can't we have progress like this?

Your loving son, Kidlat. [Big Boss] Chateau de la France was once surrounded by beautiful woods.

Today, it's a bit different.

(sirens wailing)

Kidlat, you will live in the North tower. This is your room, Kidlat.

[Kidlat] Unbelievable!

In that small room were enough things to fill up five bamboo huts! Let me show you the splendid sights of my Paris. On this side is the Sacre Coeur.

I have 340 machines in that area.

Uh... 341.

Over here, the Eiffel Tower.

You can't see the Eiffel Tower because of the giant supermarket.

I have 675 machines.

That's Montparnasse, the tallest building of Paris.

425 machines.

Quartier Latin: 543.

Bastille: That's the communist quarter!

I have no machines there.

And for your stay here, I present you a welcome gift.

A pocket camera and transistor radio combined.

(fast flute music)

In case you ever get homesick.

This button gives you American language broadcasts.

(radio chattering)

You begin working tomorrow.

(instrumental music) [Kidlat] Ah, how wonderful to be in paradise.

If only my friends could see me here! If only I had a friend. (quiet chattering) (flute music) (sizzling)

Huh, Two yolks?




Six eggs, 12 yolks!

(background chatter)

I went back to the vendor to ask why all the eggs had double yolks. "All my eggs have the same grandfather", she said.

"Today, everybody gets cheap synthetic eggs from that supermarket."

"We are the last merchants of the Four Seasons".

I looked at the supermarket and I was frightened. I told Lola, my mother carved a horse to remember my father.

"Ah, Kidlat!

"Your mother is wise to know

"a simple tribute is more powerful

"than the giant monuments of our civilization".

(flute music) Dear members of the Wernher von Braun Club:

Thank you for sending me the annual report of the club.

I think of you often, and I miss our noisy meetings.

(band music)

I am happy to hear the club sold

5,000 ice cream cones last month to make the last money needed for your Space Day fiesta.

I am sure it will be a big success.

(kids yelling)

Thank you also for designating me honorary chairman of the beauty contest.

I regret that I cannot be there to escort your selected Queen of Progress.

But I will be there in spirit.

(band music) The project should be ready in time for the landing of the Viking on Mars.

(drum roll) (regal band music) Do not worry if the statue does not look like our hero.

As long as it faces Cape Canaveral. [Big Boss] America is not far away, Kidlat, if you work faster.

I've worked a lifetime to build my chewing gum empire.

The time has come to move on.

I'm buying a blue jeans factory when I can sell the chewing gum business profitably.

That's progress, my boy!

First the chewing gum, then the jeans!

And one day, the army jeeps and jets.

Progress, my boy.


(instrumental music) (speaking in foreign language)

[Kidlat] I practice my French every day, in the streets. (speaking in foreign language) (whistling) Today I got my first French kiss.

Bretons give four kisses.

Alsatians give three.

Lola gives me seven French kisses.

Lola was worried.

She spoke of a bad dream.

(speaking in foreign language) "Kidlat, I fear it is my last season."

(dramatic instrumental music) We told Coco, the cherry vendor, of Lola's bad dream. When I joked about Lola's phantom, Coco scolded me.

"Kidlat, Lola's nightmare is no joke.

"What would you do if you were

"the last merchant of the Four Seasons

"and someone took your goods from you?" (pounding)

Do not worry, Lola.

We'll fight all the egg phantoms together, huh?

(guitar music)

Ah, my first vacation!

The boss gave me one week.

I will make a pilgrimage to the land of Wernher von Braun. (kids chattering in background)

(festive instrumental music)

(speaking in foreign language) There was this pregnant Bavarian girl.

She taught me a German word.


(speaking in foreign language) "Onion".


"Onion tower".

"That Zwiebelturm goes up on Sunday", she said.

[Woman] Zwiebel, zwiebel, yah, yah.

Zwee, zwe, Zwiebel. (kids chattering in background)

(speaking in foreign language)

[Kidlat] When I told them my jeep was made by hand they all became sad.

"This is the last handcrafted

"Zwiebelturm", said one old man.

"The next Zwiebelturms will be factory-made".

Five ready-made plastic Zwiebelturms per hour.

(speaking in foreign language) (upbeat instrumental music)

How strange!

I could not understand how these old men could be so sentimental about the old technologies. (people chattering in background) (band music)

(crowd cheering and clapping) (speaking in foreign language) (crowd clamoring and whistling) (metal scraping)

(grunting and moaning) As that seven-ton onion lifted so easily to the sky, I felt proud to be President of the Wernher von Braun club.

(band music) (engine rumbling) (woman yelling) (drumroll)

(baby squealing)

(baby laughing)

(crowd cheering)

(fast instrumental music)

(baby laughing)

When I left Germany, the first Kidlat on this side of the planet had been born.


[Woman] Kid-lut.

[Kidlat] Kidlat.

Kidlat. Kidlat.

[Woman] Kidlat.

[Kidlat] Kid-lat.

[Woman] Kidlat.

[Kidlat] Funny, I thought the baby looked a little bit like me.

(guitar music) Driving home on the German autobahn with little Kidlat in my mind.

The jeep went faster, and faster!

And I felt I was getting lighter and lighter, and lighter!

What a nice feeling!

(singing in foreign language) When I got to Paris, the supermarket had grown two blocks longer.

(unsettling music) (loud background chatter) (traditional folkloric chanting)

[Big Boss] Stop crying, Kidlat!

Stop crying like a baby!

One market vendor less means one parking space more.

Progress, my boy.

[Kaya] The ghost of progress visited us.

Dear Kidlat, how are you?

Do you remember the forest where you became a man? The government razed down the trees to make way for a new highway for tourists.

(helicopter blades whirring)

Who will stop this madness?

(radio blipping)

[Radio Announcer] Viking I has landed on the surface of Mars, confirmation... Yesterday I helped your mother move her house.

We walked all day.

But no matter how far we walked it was never far enough. Everywhere we went we could not avoid the planter of new forest.

Kidlat, one day you will come to know the quiet strength of bamboo.

[Kidlat] "Quiet strength of bamboo".

That is why we have no progress!

Kaya, you still refuse to see why bamboo art is doomed to extinction.

I am living in a tower that is 500 years old!

And it will survive another 500 typhoons and earthquakes.

Kaya, you cannot build rocket ships from bamboo!

[Shuttle Launch Director] 10, 9, ignition sequence start, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.

(rumbling) [Big Boss] Look there, Kidlat, by the supermarket.

Those are super chimneys for burning the garbage of Paris.

An extra service of the supermarket.

Ten super chimneys, Kidlat.

Made of plastic, quickly assembled.

And too close to my chateau for comfort!

We must leave Paris before those chimneys start spitting smoke.

[Kidlat] Incredible!

Inside a chimney was enough room for three families!

Imagine, thirty people living in each chimney!

300 people, that's half of my village!

[Announcer] Today, world leaders started arriving in Paris for the inauguration of the supermarket.

The big question is:

Who will be Miss Supermarket of 1976?

(oldies music) [Big Boss] I've sold the chewing gum business!

That's the last machine you load.

You can keep your favorite chewing gum machine for a souvenir.

(airplane engine whirring) [Kidlat] I went to my favorite chewing gum machine. I found her empty. (choir music)

[Big Boss] There are many VIP's in town.

You will meet them at my farewell party tomorrow.

Men more godly than your Wernher von Braun.

Right after the party we fly to America!

On the Concorde.

You will be the first Filipino to fly supersonic. Tomorrow, Kidlat, tomorrow!

You shall be with me in paradise!

(monotonous tone)

[Kidlat] Paradise. Will it be the paradise I prayed for?

Will it be the paradise I dreamed of?

(opera music) (background chatter and machines humming)

(speaking in foreign language) (dramatic music) [Big Boss] Don't get too impressed, Kidlat.

Wait until America.

Where everything is even more super!

[Kidlat] If the small chimneys work, why the super chimneys?

If the small markets work, why supermarkets?

If small airplanes work, why super flying machines? (engine rumbling)

(people chattering)

(fanfare music) [Big Boss] Aha, my friend's arriving. Come, Kidlat, meet my friends.

Big personalities you hear on your little radio in the Philippines.

[Kidlat] Why is everybody staring at me?

I feel I'm becoming smaller. (fanfare music) (traditional folkloric chanting)

Kidlat Tahimik.

The first Filipino to fly supersonic. I am Kidlat Tahimik.

I am not as small as you think.

Nothing can stop me from crossing my bridge!

(intense instrumental music)

(air wooshing) (wind howling) (creaking and cracking) [Kaya] When the typhoon blows off its cocoon, the butterfly embraces the sun. (car engine humming) [Kidlat] This is the last will and testament of Kidlat Tahimik.

And a declaration of independence.

(traditional folkloric music) I, Kidlat Tahimik, of my own free will hereby resign as President of the Wernher von Braun Club.

And relinquish all rights and duties as president and founder of the club.

Furthermore, I totally resign my membership from the club.

This resignation is absolute irrevocable.

And is effective now.

I declare myself independent from those who would build bridges to the stars. (metal clanging) (motor whirring) (speaking in foreign language)

[Kaya] Where is your truest friend, Kidlat?

Where is your real strength?

The sleeping typhoon must learn to blow again.

(fast instrumental music)

[Kidlat] I am Kidlat Tahimik.

I choose my vehicle.

I choose my bridge.

(overlapping radio transmissions) (air wooshing) (dramatic violin tone) (loud droning tone) [Kaya] When the typhoon blows off its cocoon the butterfly embraces the sun.

(wind blowing) (traditional folkloric music) (crickets chirping) (traditional folkloric music) (traditional folkloric music)