Every weekend, Belyn and her son Popoy tread along the outstretched embankment from the rice fields to the town center. They head towards Manang Martha’s house where Belyn serves as a washerwoman. The long walk to the big house has been part of their routine. However, everything changes when Popoy is asked one day to come over Manang Martha’s house for an interrogation. Her daughter’s golden watch is missing and the town seer pointed out that Popoy stole it.
On the course of the search for the golden watch, Belyn gets involved; for the same prophecy also revealed that she too is a culprit. These suspicions and heated blames are brought up to the authorities only to put them to worse entanglements. Rumors of the two stealing the watch spread around the village. Even the priest inconspicuously mortifies the sinful family as part of the homily. The search for a missing watch entails painful quest for the truth. In a system of manipulated lies, truth proves to turn irrelevant.
Belyn’s family remains in deep waters—the townsfolk continue to believe in false accusations, and her attempts to protect her son from disgrace are a crime in everyone’s eyes. In the end, Belyn’s family will be discriminated against and be deliberately avoided as if they were real-life scarecrows of society.
Bambanti is an Iloko term which means alay-ay in Filipino, or ‘scarecrow’— a handcrafted human-like farming instrument that is devised to alarm birds, insects, or anything that poses threat to rice and corn crops.