Thursday


I just watched "Return to Paradise" and it was a movie that moved me. I haven't cried with the other movies that I have watched, perhaps I concentrated too much or I was just saddened with the turn of events in the story. It was a tragedy about these three guys Roger Sheriff, Tony and Lewis who went partying in Malaysia. After 2 years a lawyer named Beth came and informed them that Lewis was rotting in jail in Malaysia for drug traficking(hash) which the two have been involved. Tony and Sheriff faces the biggest decision whether to go back in Malaysia and serve three years in prison and might save Lewis life.And they have only 8 days left to decide. In the end, they both decided to go. But when they were in Malaysia, they learned that Beth is actually Lewis sister. Sheriff and Tony became suspicious of Beth's real intent. They changed their mind, but when they were about to board the plane to freedom, Sheriff backed off and returnd to take his punishement in jail. At the hearing, I thought they were about to spare Lewis life, but the judge read an article in the newspaper about Lewis being hanged to death. I don't know if that changed his mind and ordered the hanging of Lewis the next day. It was tragic. Sheriff's pressence and acceptance of his responsibility didn't help then. The next day Lewis was hanged to death. Sheriff had to spend 6 months in Benang prison. Beth and Sheriff fell inlove then and Beth promised not to leave until Sheriff is released from prison.

OBSERVATIONS: I have observed that during the shooting of the movie, a lot of people were walking around with veils consistent with Muslim attires. Malaysia could have muslim populations. The streets, the views were very similar of what you would find in the small provinces in the Philippines, like banana plants along the way. The market area also is an open air market.

THOUGHTS: From this movie, I have realized that a lot of people take for granted the freedom and rights they are enjoying. A lot of places or countries doesn't have laws that protect human rights. The Middle East for example have very strict laws, very rigid and women doesn't enjoy the same rights as men. There are countries that are patriarchal where women are not even allowed to drive.I have talked to several people who have worked in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia. they told me that women and men are not allowed to talk to each other unless they are husband and wife or brother and sister. They are not even allowed to walk around in the streets unless they are husband and wife and or brother and sister. There's no courtship. Marriages are pre-arranged. And the same thing is true in Pakistan. There are also ways of dressing that are considered inappropriate, especially showing a lot of skin. That's why a lot of Filipinos who go to work in those places are being sexually harrassed. Some countries like Egypt and Jordan may not be as strict as their neighboring countries. I had made friends with a girl from Jordan before and talked about their culture. They enjoy more rights than other countries, they are allowed to date and all that but still there's a proper way to do it in their culture. She was then dating some American guys she met, but she was always secretiveof her dates from her brothers. I don't really exactly know why but the guys seem to be allowed to do more things than the women.

Some countries really do have very harsh laws. According to what I have read so far, it's really true that it is punishable by death in Malaysia if one is found with a certain amount of Marijuana or hash. I think that the law is stricter in the Philippines when it comes to drugs than that of the US..



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