In 2005, the World Heart Organization (WHO) identified a need to conduct a world-wide program for a research that would allow a better understanding of any health risk associated with electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure, which is believed to cause electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).
If you are familiar with the fictional television show Better Call Saul, one of the characters, a lawyer and former bright star of his profession, is depicted as experiencing the symptoms of EHS. In one of the episodes, he wraps himself in space blankets, lights his home with lanterns, and tells his guests to leave their mobile phones in the mailbox outside his house.
The scene may look so funny and even outrageous but throughout the world, albeit inconsistent findings, many have shown interest in EHS studies because if this case was really true, would you be able to imagine your life without WiFi, much worse a mobile phone?
Even Gen X-ers who lived through the pre-Internet era have already adapted to the so-called wonders of digital technology and have become reliant on WiFi in the way they “connect” with friends, work colleagues, and even their family. But what happens when one day, you have to give up all these because of unexplained allergies that occur when you are exposed to radiation and EMF?
In Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi, actress Sue Ramirez plays a typical millennial who is dependent on WiFi in her daily interactions with friends and her boyfriend Leo (Markus Paterson). But one day, Norma (the name of her character) experiences symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which forced her to live in isolation.
According to Jun Robles Lana, the writer and director of the film, the story is based on a report about a British guy who generally lives his life online then discovers that he’s allergic to anything that emits radiation.
“It’s inspired by a new report I read a few years ago where the person claimed that he’s allergic to radiation. This is what happens to Sue in the movie as the lead character, Norma,” Lana said.
With no digital gadgets and no WiFi, Norma struggles to save her relationship with Leo. Now enter his brother Aries (Jameson Blake) who tries to bridge the gap between their worlds.
“I find out that I’m allergic to electromagnetic waves emitted by gadgets. My nose bleeds and rashes appear throughout my body. This affects my relationship with my boyfriend, Markus Paterson as Leo. My mom, Yayo Aguila, takes me to my grandmother, Boots Anson Roa, who lives in a distant province where there’s no WiFi or any radiowaves that can worsen my condition,” Sue described her character.
It is particularly unimaginable story of young people struggling to “connect” and interact with their peers and loved ones outside the ever-bustling world of social media given that today’s millennials are unfamiliar with the old-school type of romance, and most of them cannot relate with the physical effort of writing love letters to someone distant and the thrill of waiting weeks or months for a reply.
“This is the kind of nostalgia that breathes life to Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi. The charcter discovers the beauty of living a simple life without gadgets. And it is the same message that we would like to reinforce,” Lana shared adding that the movie, apart from the strange WiFi allergies as base of the story, is all about love and family.
Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi is produced by The Idea First Company, Cignal Entertainment, and October Train and also stars Lee O’Brian, Kiko Matos, Angelie Sanoy, and Adriana So.
The movie is one of the eight full length feature films of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) 2018 and is touted as the most anticipated PPP 2018 entry with its trailer hitting over 9 million views on social media. The movie opens in cinemas tomorrow, Aug. 15.