TAMBAY is a day in the life of Ecka and Gelo, two 7-year-old kids that are out of school and mostly spend their days playing in the streets or staying at home with their emotionally absent mothers, watching TV. Ecka’s mother, Jovi is an unemployed single mom who resorted to re-selling drugs to make some profit. Gelo’s Mom, Angel, owns a small convenience store. She’s has a bad temper and is known to have a blatant opinion towards being gay and their so-called “lifestyle”. Despite her attitude she still lets everyone in the neighborhood get an open credit.
Ecka, being interested in finally meeting her father decides to save money in order for her to buy a cellular phone. She firmly believes that uploading a video of her on the internet might be the best way that her father can see her. She then won a “kara cruz” match that earned her a couple of pennies. Ecstatic about her victory, she rushed home and braggingly tells her mother that she now has enough money to buy a cellular phone. She then meets Jenny, a friend of Jovi who immediately became fond of her witty attitude. Little did she know that Jenny is interested in something more than just being a friend and companion.
Meanwhile, while trying to read and understand what’s written in an odd book, Gelo is then called by his playmate RomRom. Excited by the sight of his friend holding a phone, he hurriedly went outside the house and trips. Together, they enter an abandoned house and start to imitate what they see on the cellphone screen. A peeping eye is seen watching the two boys while they are playing and continue with what they are doing.
Later in the day, Gelo silently walks inside the store, careful that Angel might notice him. He stumbled on some empty bottles as he made his way through. A neighbor is then seen rushing to the store and excitedly tells Angel about a rumor she heard spreading around. Displeased with what she just heard, Angel tells her neighbor to get out of her sight and bangs the store’s screen door. Angel sees Gelo come out from the kitchen holding a plate of food. Full of anger and disbelief, she immediately confronted him and eventually scratched his face leaving a bloody mark.
Gelo, cries continuously while rushing to her friend Eck’s house to seek help and companionship. Ecka lets Gelo in and asks permission from Jovie to let Gelo stay with them but it seems like she can’t be bothered or even moved from being asleep. The two kids then fall asleep while they talk about how they plan on getting away and escaping their current situation. As they close their eyes, they look forward to seeing a world completely different from where they are. A place where they can be kids. Running free, laughing loudly, having fun. Away from all the dangers of reality.
Directed by Zyril Nica Bundoc (Philippines)