Duly commissioned and bankrolled — if the endless closing credit-crawl is any indication — by the real-life class of 1986, “Philippine Science” is a fictionalized alma-mater flashback that’s blandly nostalgic despite the Marcos regime’s stormy death throes as a backdrop. Latest pic by Auraeus Solito (“The Blossoming of Maxim Olives,” “Tuli”) is too episodic and lacking in interpersonal conflict. But as a hymn to the virtues of education a la “Dead Poets Society,” it’s a pleasant-enough bit of positive reinforcement. Offshore play will be limited to Asian fests and sidebars, plus DVD sales in Filipino-emigre territories.
Stellar test scores gain the nation’s best and brightest (at least in math & science) entree to Philippine Science High School. After a “quiz bee” prologue, the pic finds the freshman class of 1982 variably adjusting to its challenging academic and social environs. Romantic pull between rich girl Wena (Gammy Lopez) and scholarship student Rom (Elijah Castillo) looks like it will ballast the narrative. But the feature shifts to new central characters with each succeeding scholastic year, somewhat dissipating emotional involvement. Political context is kept mostly backgrounded and lightweight. Perfs are likable; packaging is pro.