Like I said in our discussion yesterday, what most affected me was the persisten sound of a clock ticking. I've learned in literature, for example in Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, that this is a reassuring sign of temporality and the coming promise of mortality. While this mortality is a repeated gloomy occurence in the film, it is hard to deny its peacefulness when it over takes the protagonist. Marcos to me represents a kind of tragic hero, but does not wholly fulfill the requirements to be one as he is not mentally well. His saving grace though is seen in this instability which eventually leads to his quasi suicidal death.
The ticking of the clock is thus seen to symbolise the deterioration of his character. As the events propel, and even though they are presented in backflash and in an entangled nature, the persistent sound of time does not allow for the derailment of mortality.
What I find interesting and think it speaks to the film's thematic intentions, is that it is not clear to me if this promise of death is a salvation for Marcos or a punishment. To support the former option, I think that his dying in the church after the pilgrimage is meaningful and shows a peace attained in death for this troubled character. But I also think that it could be seen as a punishment of divine quality because his wife does not show any emotion in seeing him die, the bells atop the church do not make a sound, and the closing seen of the flag coming down without him shows that his death is not very important.