Can't do it.
Don't have it in me to put up a Best of 2012. Haven't the heart to make up an arbitrary list of what's good out there, much less judge what I think are the best of the year.
Partly it's the times--not just the recent violence but any number of deaths, some underreported, some that hit close to home, some that are just personal. Is this year worse than any other? I don't know--don't feel like doing a count, only know it's up there.
If I focus on one thing and not another, if I focus on specific tragedies and not others, it's not that I'm focusing on what I think are worse or more significant losses (not an authority on current events); it's that I'm writing about what I know best. That's all I can do at the moment--write on what I know, what hit me personally, a report on a direct blow to the breastbone if you like.
Mildly put, it hasn't been a good year for films. Oh, good work has been done--even wrote about some of them. But the losses to Philippine and world cinema (I only nod at a distinction people seem to insist on making; I try not to actually make one) I feel were greater: Ike Jarlego; Marilou Diaz-Abaya; Dolphy; Chris Marker; Celso Ad Castillo; and Mario O'Hara, among others. It's as if God or Death or whoever presides out there took a quick survey of the giants towering over the landscape and decided to lop off the tallest heads one by one--for a while there you wondered if the pruning would stop, or at least pause for breath.
If it's any consolation, new filmmakers have come forward (wrote about some of them, too), and O'Hara for one has left us a last surprise, a made-for-TV film previously forgotten or presumed lost. A (more or less) new O'Hara, and a gem of a film at that--surely that counts towards the ledger's positive column.
Here's hoping next year will be better.