My Place Under The Sun

Friday, January 28, 2005

Now What?

Now that all the glitter and glamour (?) of the Cebuano Film Festival is gone, the Cebuano independent filmmakers will now have to face the question: Now what?

I hear that another film festival is brewing for June, Cebuano International Film Festival as they call it. However, I question the timing of an "international film festival" when the audience isn't even ready for independent cinema. And better yet, a film school notoriously known for trying to bring Hollywood (kuno) filmmaking to Cebu is the force behind this festival.

We should re-educate and redefine the consciousness of the audience. Remold the Hollywood thinking into a mind that will love its own culture, its own dialect, its own film. We must also put our minds together and form a network wherein our films will be given exposure outside of our provinces. We must go above and beyond egos and personal ambitions and act on what is needed for the betterment of the community.

Will I be able to fulfill the expectations handed down to me by the great directors I met during the film congress? I do not know but I will sure try.

Film Congress

Independent regional filmmakers such as Kidlat Tahimik, Peque Gallaga, Kiri Dalen, Teng Manansaka, Ted Co and others have all agreed that it is about time that things change in the local cinema. We signed a declaration which is aptly named "The Mactan Declaration" recognizing the need for regional filmmakers work as one and create communities, create the consciousness and redefine the market of movies.

I can't believe that I actually spent the whole day talking to these people. People whom I admired from afar were right beside me. On the way home, I was talking to Peque Gallaga asking him how Cebu could replicate what he has done for Bacolod. Kidlat Tahimik, Kidlat (Son of Kidlat Tahimik) and I were having a discussion on why local small budget films have more energy into them than big budget films. Yes, it was indeed an interesting day.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Goodbye Tatang

Tonight, my grandfather passed away. Ignacio Idang was a good grandfather who, with his wisdom and patience, guided me through my troubled years.

I can't continue. sorry.

Mactan or Mactang?

According to a columnist friend of mine, historians are still debating whether Ferdinand Magellan landed in Mactan Island or Sito Mactang in Poro, Camotes Island. He says if Lapu-Lapu was a "Porohanon" it might have well been Mactang Island.

Mactang Island is nearer from Limasawa than Mactan, my friend adds. And according to records, Mactan Island was formerly known as Opon Island, further indicating the Mactang Island could've been the site for the famous battle. Further reading on the subject also tells me that there were no recorded excavations done in Mactan, while diggings done in the 70s yielded daggers, shields, swords, skull pierced with an arrowhead, and other artifacts, in fact they say that the evidence is displayed in the municipal hall.

If it was Mactang, then when did the transformation of Mactang to Mactan happen? or did it really happen in Mactan? or is it Mactang?

Cebuano Film Festival Update

I just got confirmation that Cesar Montano, Gloria Sevilla and Caridad Sanchez will grace the Recognition Night. National artists Kidlat Tahimik, Eddie Romero might also arrive. This is according to Nick De Ocampo, president of Mowelfund Film Institute during our meeting last night.

My friend Al Evangelio will direct the event and which will be held on the 26th at 5:30pm SM City Cebu cinema 1.

Monday, January 17, 2005

After Effects

Can't believe I stayed out 'till 4:00am this morning. You see, after a whole day photo shoot at the Sinulog, I met with a couple of friends in Ayala. We had to park a couple of blocks away from Ayala because of the traffic and the Sinulog merry makers.

As we walked towards Ayala, the fireworks has just begun. I quickly brought out my camera and snapped a couple of shots. Then we continued on to our destination, the Ayala mall parking lot. Bumping more than just elbows with complete strangers, we finally got into the concert area and saw our friends on stage singing their version of "Shake Yo Booty" and booty shaking the cebuanos did. And I tried to capture the moment with my camera.

JMart, Ogie, MJ and Goldie, better known as Retrospect have been shaking booties for quite sometime now. Their repetoire of 70's and 80's disco have never ceased to make people get on their feet and dance.

When they saw us arrived, I exchanged hi-fives with the quartet and began pressing my shutter.

After the party and all the pleasantries usually involved with people seeing a famous band, we all agreed to meet at their hotel and plan a party of our own.

Bigby's in Ayala was the first stop to fill ourselves first before sweating it out dancing. We then proceeded to Ratsky's much to Ogie and Mj's dismay. Since they do sing in Ratsky's Malate every Monday, Ogie suggested that go to VUDU instead.

Arriving in Vudu, we were greeted by the usual looks and exchanged pleasantries again with familiar faces and faces unknown to I and Magene. We all got our cocktails and beers then squeezed ourselves into the club where we saw other celebrities who was in Cebu for the Sinulog, namely Marc Nelson, Roy Ovilson and Karel Marquez.

During a lull moment at the club, a girl by the name of Joy sat at our table was intently listening to our conversation, I then introduced ourselves to her and she asked if JMart was a member of retrospect and went on telling us how much she loved the band, how sorry she was not to catch the Ayala show. Being in a friendly mood, I told her that she missed the show I'll introduce her to the Band instead. I then proceeded to grab each one of them and introduced her. She was overwhelmed, her jaw literally dropped. I felt good, that it made her feel good.

At 4am and a few drinks later, it was time to head home and get some much needed rest after, literally, a whole day of partying.'s not just a whole day affair, it a 24 hour party!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Sinulog Festival

I just got home from the Sinulog Mardi Gras. A yearly celebration of the arrival of the child jesus better known as Sto. Niño in the Philippines. As usual there were a number of floats and street dancing by contingents who came from the different cities and municipalities of Cebu.

For the second time in almost 20 years, I was able to take pictures of the celebration. I had fun shooting with the Images Photo Club who a few days ago gladly accepted me as a member.

I will post some of the pictures soon in my photoblog.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Will Cebu be able to pull it off?

For the past few days now, I've been wondering if Cebu will be able to pull off a Visayan Film Festival after a very long hiatus. One might think that with Mowelfund at our back, we shouldn't have any problems. Think again.

According to Cebu coordinator for the film fest, the original budget was cut by almost a quarter. I still have to get used to the NEW Cebu coordinator who got his post because of a technicality over the old one. The old coordinator never showed up in any of the meeting after the ascendancy. Which also meant that the other members of the coordinating board, SineBuano included, were left hanging.

Just tonight, I had to create the new advertising packages for the film fest plainly because the new coordinator couldn't get a copy of the old packages. An old movie that is included in the screening schedule hasn't been found yet because the person who claims to have found a copy could not be gotten in touch with.

Oh, did I mention that there's a recognition and film congress as well? ARGH!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Visayan Film Industry: A Retrospective (Part III)

This is the final installation.

Gloria Sevilla remarried in 1971, and together with her husband Amado Cortez (of the Padilla clan) went on to prodce another Visayan film entitled Gimingaw Ako (I Long For You), 1974 (which was shot entirely in Cebu City and directed by Amado Cortez starring Gloria Sevilla, Suzette Ranillo, Bert Nombrado and Inday Nita Cortez). This film won the FAMAS "Best Actress Award" for Gloria Sevilla and "Best Supporting Actress Award" for Suzette Ranillo. Naghila Ako Sa Kahilum (Crying Silently) also came about within the year. Other independent productions were: Diego Salvador, 1973; Ang Pagbabalik ni Diego Salvador (The Return of Diego Salvador), 1974 with Von Serna; and Sabrin, 1975 with Chanda Romero and Rebecca Torres.

Visayan film producers continued trying to revive the Visayan movies in the mid-seventies by filming in the 16mm format and transfering the material to 35mm for theatrical release. Films such as Ang Manok ni San Pedro (St. Peter's Rooster), 1975 and Itlog Manoy Orange (The Orange Egg Vendor), 1976 were originally shot in 16mm. This less costly process, however, did not prevent the Visayan film industry from finally going into a dormant stage. The Tagalog film industry was just at an upswing at this time, prompting Visayan producers to venture into television production instead.

It was not until 1991 that another Visayan film project was brought to the big screen. Eh Kasi Babae (Because She Is A Woman) starring Pilita Corales, Yoyoy Villame and Manilyn Reynes was produced, then followed by Matud Nila (They Say), 1991 (Bisaya Films, Inc. produced by James R. Cuenco, Jr.). This starred Gloria Sevilla, Mat Ranillo III, Suzette Ranillo, Dandin Ranillo, Juni Ranillo, Pilar Pilapil, Jennifer Sevilla, Mark Gil and Pinky Marquez. Matud Nila also marked the last film directed by the late Leroy Salvador.

It is noteworthy to mention that there is a very large population of Visayan-speaking movie goers in Metro Manila, and that a great percentage of Tagalog movie stars and TV/movie personalities (singers like Pilita Corales, Vina Morales, Manilyn Reynes, Dulce, Verni Varga, and other directors and producers are originally Visayan). It is also interesting to note that most Visayan films revolve around the "love story-drama-comedy" genre which inevitably reflects the lifestyle and culture of the southern Filipinos. This genre, apparently has the most popular appeal to a great majority of the Filipino viewing public today, making "drama-love story-comedy" films sell the most at the box office. It is in this light that the viewing public should not lose hope in seeing more Visayan movies in the future-that is, if all these Visayan talents and producers put their sense together and realize that Visayan Cinema might even be the answer to the long awaited Filipino film revolution- with the way Tagalog films are being made nowadays, who knows - Visayan films might just be the saving grace of the regressing Filipino film industry.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Visayan Film Industry: A Retrospective Part II

Mutya and VM Productions (formed by Natalio Bacalso - former Cebu assemblyman) entered Salingsing sa Kasakit (Partner in Pain) - directed by Bacalso in the 1955 FAMAS derby and won the "Best Child Actor Award" for Undo Juezan. These movie outfits also produced some memorable features such as Ungo Sa Parian (Witch In The Parian); Remember Erlinda;Rosita;Politika (Politics); and Mutya sa Saging Tindok (Muse of Saging Tindok). Garbosa (Proud), 1957 and Matam-is Ang Pagpaubos (Too Sweet To Suffer), 1957 were also released during this time.

Mat ang Gloria finally got married off-screen (in real life) and formed S-R Productions in 1954. The company's initial projects were Paradista, 1955 and May Luhang Nahabilin sa Baybayon (A Tear Fell on the Shore), 1955 and even as they moved on to make Tagalog movies in Manila, they still continued producing Visayan movies like (It is the Palm That Commands) with Flash Elorde and Edita Clomera; Palad Ta Ang NagbuotLungsod Sa Buenavista (Town of Buenavista), 1969 and Hain Ang Langit (Where is Heavean?), 1969 with Gloria Sevilla and Mat Ranillo and Von Serna - this was Mat's last movie. Badlis sa Kinabuhi (The Line of Life), 1969, was entered in the Famas Derby and got 12 nominations out of 14 categories. Gloria Sevilla won best actress, Frankie Navaja, Jr., best child actor, and the late Mat Ranillo got a posthumous award (Mat Ranillo had earlier died in a plane crash in 1969). The film (Badlis) was the Philippine entry to the ASEAN Film Festival in Indonesia, and was showcased under the informative division of the Berlin Film Festival (the film was dubbed in English in Hongkong and retitled "Destined"). In 1970, Badlis Sa Kinabuhi and Palad Ta Ang Nagbuot were released in their original Visayan versions in Metro Manila and made good at the box office. Ang Bayan (The Country), 1970 was also produced at this time.

The 1970s saw the emeregence of more Visayan talents in the Tagalog film industry. Actresses such as Chanda Romero, Caridad Sanches, Alma Moreno, Tessie Sevilla, Rebecca Torres, Aurora Villa, Eva de Villa, Rosita Fernandez, Virgie Postigo, Virgie Solis, Olivia Solis, Cora Real, Diana Arong, Luz Celeste, Annabelle Rama, Suzette Ranillo, Lady Ramos, Pilar Pilapil, and others stepped into the limelight. Male leads (to name a few) were Bert Nombrado, Ber Lopez, Tony Delgado, Riel Ylaya, Lino Ramas, Arturo Blanco, Arturo de Castille, Frankie Navaja Jr, Tony Cruz, Undo Juezan, Felix de Catalina, Arsie Roa, Warfi Engracia, Kadyo Roma and Romy Kintanar (who is now a sports commentator). Directors Leroy Salvador, Fernando Alfon, Talyo Bacalso, Sat Villarino, Gene Labella, Leox Juesan, Cesar B. Cesar and Emmanuel H. Borlaza also originated from the south. Borlaza directed Alma Bonita (with Chanda Romero and Ernie Garcia) and Paypay Placid (Fan of Placid), Diadem Films, (with Pepito Rodriguez, Lilian Lain, Alice Mendez, and Justo C. Justo). Other films that were produced at this time were Medalyon Nga Bulawan (Medalyon Na Ginto), produced by Annabelle Rama, starring Bert Leroy, Gina Pareno, Jerry Pons, Charlie Davao, Johnny Delgado, Raul Aragon, Alice Mendez, and Yoyoy Villame; (with Nobo Bono, Jr. and Tessie Sevilla); Mayor AndalBatul of Mactan (Battle of Mactan), JRJ Productions, starring Chanda Romero, Eddie Peregrina and Alice Mendez; Anino sa Villa Lagrimas (Shadow of Villa Lagrimas), starring Chanda Romero and Ernie Garcia; Bulawan Sa Lapok (Gold in the Mud), starring Alicia Alonzon, Bert Leroy Jr., Tommy Abuel and Dindo Fernando; Antonio Solitaryo and Mga Milagaro sa Santo Niño (Miracles of Sto. Niño), Magnolia Films both directed by Sol Gaudite. Other noted films were Aliyana - 1974; Ikaduhang Bathala (Second God), 1974

Thursday, January 06, 2005

New Links

I've added two new links to this blog. One is the blog of Nikki Alfar, an accomplished writer, Kestrel's editor-in-chief, a web mistress and Dean's lovely wife.

And Vin Simbulan's My Life As A Bed. Vin is the owner of Comic Quest and Quest Ventures, an accomplished writer and a long time friend.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Visayan Film Industry: A Retrospective (Part I)

While waiting for this morning's interview for Kapihan sa PIA which was aired over channel 15 on Skycable cebu, I found an article about the history of the Visayan Film Industry that I'd like to share with you guys:

The Visayan Film Industry: A Retrospective
by J. Vincent Noriega and Valeriano Avila with Kris Relatado and Junius F. Ranillo

During the 1920's when the Germans and Russians dominated the artistic development of the film and its techiniques (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-1919;Nosferatu-1922;Potemkin-1925,) Filipino-Visayan filmmakers such as Max Borromeo, Florentino Borromeo and Celestino Rodriguez collaborated in making El Hijo Disobediente (The Disobedient Son) in 1922. This black and white silent picture could have been one of the earliest noted films from the Southern Philippines. The year 1929 marked the advent of talking pictures, but only in 1938 did the Visayan Film Industry have its first "talkie" entitle Bertoldo Ug Balodoy (Bertoldo and Balodoy) written by Piux Kabahar, which was followed by Mini (Fake), 1940, and Gugmang Talagsaon (Rare Love), 1940 by Virgilio Gonzales. In Cebu, the first movie houses were built by the Avila Clan: Ideal Theater (1911), Cine Auditorium (1922) and Cine Oriente (The old Teatro Junquera).

After the second world war, a resurgence of Visayan films cam about through Lapu-Lapu Pictures, which produced Timbu Mata, 1948, starring Eva de Villa and Lino Ramas and Damgo Ni Adan (Adan's Dream), produced by Rudy Robles. Then came Mactan Films which produced Tahas (Mission), 1950, starring Luz Celeste and Dakay; Mat Ranillo was in this film. Then Balud(Wave), 1950 which starred Luz Celeste and Mat Ranillo. Another independent picture, Sa Kabukiran (In The Fields), 1948, was also produced during this time.

By 1951, Azucena Productions was established by the Arong Familiy (owners of Rene and Liberty Theaters). They produced Princesa Tirana (Princess Tirana), 1951 with Mat Ranillo and Gloria Sevilla (her first feature title role after she was discovered through a declamation contest at the University of the Visayas) as lead players. Their first feature together made such a box office success in the Visayas and Mindanao that other features immediately followed: Leonora, 1951;Pailub Lang (Be Forebearing), 1951; Utlanan (Border), 1952; Handumanan (Memoir), 1953; Inahan (Mother), 1952, starring Mat Ranillo and Caridad Sanchez; Antigan, 1952 with Virgie Postigo and Arise Roa; Carmen 1 and 2 (from the famous radio drama in Cebu), 1953; Paabuta Lang Ako (Wait for Me), 1953; Gloria Kong Anak (Gloria My Child), 1953; and Gihigugma Kong Ikaw (I Love You), 1954; Mat and Gloria then became synonymous to Visayan picutures, and since then were called as the King and Queen of Visayan Movies.

In 1953 a film entitled Sangang Nangabali (Broken Branches), produced by Cebu Stars Production broke box-office records in the mid-1950s. Cebu Stars Productions (owned by the Tojong Family) had earlier produced Dimakaling, 1952 and Mga Anak Intawon (Oh, Poor Children), 1953. Other independent Visayan films produced at this time were: Mapait Ang Balaod, 1953 (Arturo Blanco); Bugas Mais (Corn Rice), 1953 (Arturo Blanco); Kapintas Sa Kinabuhi (Hard Life), 1953, (Cebu Stars Productions with Esterlina and Rebecca Torres); Pit Senor (Hail Senor); and San Tilmo, 1953, (Barba Productions); Ang Siloy, 1953 (with Nora Hermosa and Rebecca Torres); Huni sa Gugma (Where is Love), 1953; Dadansoy, 1953 and Inahan (Mother), 1954.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Cebuano Film Festival

Here's an article from The Freeman on the Cebuano Film Festival:

The Freeman
December 27, 2004
Cebu, Philippines

December 27, 2004

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through the Mowelfund Film Institute in cooperation with the Cebu Filmmakers Society, along with Sinebuano, Tagulilong (film enthusiasts from the print media), and cineastes from the University of the Philippines-Cebu, Saint Theresa's College, Southwestern University and the University of San Jose-Recoletos will mount a Film Festival on January 26 to 30, 2005 at SM City-Cebu.

Mowelfund Film Institute Artistic Director Nick Deocampo revealed that the event is in line with NCCA's Pelikula at Lipunan Program. The program aims to promote, among others, cultural awareness through the film medium.

Slated to be shown in the festival are some of the oldest Cebuano films topbilled by Gloria Sevilla (considered "Queen of Cebuano Movies"), Pilita Corrales, and other Cebuano artists.

Aside from the film screenings, the activity will also recognize Cebuanos and other individuals who have helped promote Cebuano movies. Deocampo hopes to have a film congress that will provide filmmakers, then and now, the time to interact and learn from each other. Other activities set to happen in the film festival, he said, are film seminars and a film exhibit.

Ron Tan of Cebuano Filmmakers Society revealed that preparations for the film fest have started already. He added that the film fest is supported by the Cebu City Council, Cebu Provincial Government, the Sinulog Foundation and the academe.

Among the movies that were dug up were Badlis sa Kinabuhi, Matud Nila, Manok Ni San Pedro, and Mayor Andal. These films along with the new digital short films will be shown during the festival, hoping that with the current success of Panaghoy sa Suba (a film by Cesar Montano shot in full Cebuano dialogue) that it will trigger the revival of the Visayan film industry.

And we, at SineBuano, are proud to be part of this project.

Rediscovering Magic: The Gathering

A few years ago I played a collectible card game called Magic: The Gathering. At the time I started it released an expansion called the Third Edition. I remember spending endless nights playing and tweaking a tournament playable deck, until Dean helped me create a deck which we aptly named "Hymn to Two Racks". That same year, Dean became the Number 1 Magic Player in the Philippines. I was proudly among the top 10.

Yesterday while talking to my nephew, he told me that he and his friends were playing Magic and that he showed them my signed Mindstab Thrull card and their jaws dropped. I asked what was new with the game, he told me things about cards that are flipped, artifacts that are equipments, cards that had funky flavor texts. my jaw dropped.

I took a look at some of his new cards and found out that the art has improved since I last layed my hands on a Magic card. A thought crossed my mind, is it time to go back into Magic? Do I still have time to play Magic? Finally, I said No. As much as I love the game, I just don't have the time to play anymore, spending countless hours just to create the playing deck and my sideboards, plus the fact that I have to read the new rules.

Yes, my time with playing M:TG has passed but its never too late to start collecting.


Sunday, January 02, 2005

My First Nude

Today I had my first nude photoshoot, care of some people from It was actually a lot more challenging than I thought, having to tweak my camera for the right exposure and the right shutter speed with very limited time, really led me to know my camera's function even more.

The model, who uses the name Candy ( which is also my first wife's name), was patient enough to accomodate five photographers' whims. Composing a nude shot was more difficult than it seems, there's the nervousness and being really careful in touching the model, plus being able to get the shadows fall at the right places. And of course, there's four other photographers haggling for the best position.

I will post some of the shots on the my photoblog soon.

This Years Resolutions

As with the filipino tradition of making new year's resolutions, here are mine:

1. I shall be more patient in dealing with people.

- I have high expectations from people around me, may it be from my personal or business life, I always expect them to be at par with what I think should be done. This may seem egotistic, but thats who I am.

However, I realize that not everyone knows what is needed and sometimes have to be spoonfed, and this is where most of the conflict begins. I am one who does not like spoonfeeding people, I believe that one should take the initiative to act when needed. But as I said, this is where most of the conflicts begin.

2. I shall strive to make my business grow

- While this isn't really what can be considered a resolution, I will continue to strive to make my business grow. In this times of economic strife, we cannot let our guard down when it comes to our businesses.


- Yes world, I will get off my computer chair once in a while to get my sweat glands working. Of course, diet (die-t) comes with this (bleech). I need to shed off some extra pounds, for my own good and for my family as well.

One may ask, why bother make yearly resolutions which will be probably forgotten in a few months time? Well my dears, it's all about setting goals. Its about trying to become a better person, and as Dean said "Better, always better to try".

Saturday, January 01, 2005

My Photoblog

I just finished uploading some pictures I took last year to my photoblog, it's not much but it's something that helps me take deal with stress.