My Place Under The Sun

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Tisoy's Carinderia

Along A.S. Fortuna in Mandaue City, Cebu the legendary cager Ramon "El Presidente" Fernandez has put a restaurant called "Tisoy's Carinderia" that serves local cebuano food. Being the adventurous eaters that we are, wifey and I thought we tried it out.

As we entered, one could not help notice the walls filled with pictures and news clippings from the cager's heydays and in one wall a resume of his achievements and awards throughout his basketball career. And to top it all, El Presidente was actually there.

But we were there for the food, so Magene and I went straight to the food counter. I couldn't help notice the sign that said "Pinakurat na Baboy Ihas" or "Wild Boar soup". Magene on the otherhand could not make up her mind as to what she wanted. I asked the waiter for an order of the Baboy Ihas, he immediately answered that it was out of stock. Magene looked under the covered vats that displayed the signs "Linarang", "Balbacua", "Dinuguan" and the "fresh seafood" that was covered entirely in ice. I usually get pissed with establishments that display items that are "out of stock", however, we were too hungry to get peeved.

We ordered our usual sizzling sisig, my favorite dinuguan (blood stew) and 4 sticks of barbeque and cokes. Food was given to us within 15mins, steaming hot. Magene tasted the dinuguan and said that it was good and the spicyness was just right, I smiled in delight and started gobbling my rice and dinuguan. I soon took part of the sisig and as soon as it reached my tastebuds, I immediately grabbed the ice-cold coke.

The barbeque soon along with the sizzling sisig. The sisig was too spicy even for my spice numbed taste buds. The barbeque wasn't anything spectacular.

Overall, if you are a fan of the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) legend or just a PBA fan, you'd be happy just looking at the walls filled with clipping and information about El Presidente's career. If you're looking for great food that's close to everything else, you're better off eating somewhere else.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More on Duda / Doubt

Here's the synopsis for Chris Pablo's Duda / Doubt taken from the movie's website:

Duda (Doubt)

(based on a true story)

How far will you go for love? A television news reporter, a documentary director, a tv producer and their set of liberated friends redefine the concept of love, relationships and fidelity in the post-modern love story.

April, the reporter is in her early thirties and has yet to find the right man. She has yet to find love in her heart and this is her big problem. She feels she can not love.

Cris, the director is in his mid-thirties and is fighting for the love he thinks is present in the turbulent relationship that he is in now. He has to keep it intact despite some acts of infidelity by his partner. This is his big problem, his partner is falling out of love and Cris’s world is falling apart.

Addi (Rey Pumaloy), the designer, who’s love has long been gone is stuck to his idealistic view on love and romance. This is his problem, his not being able to move on when he knows he barely has time left to find the right partner.

Azel, the bestfriend, is giving all the love and attention her beloved bestfriend can not reciprocate. This is her problem, being so in love with her best friend Erik that she unconsciously manipulates everything to destroy his relationships.

Erik, the breadwinner, is confused whether to stay with the turbulent relationship that he has or to move on with the promising new love affair that he is into. This is his dilemma, his family’s giving him no choice but to stay with the person who does not love.

When you begin to suspect that the person you love is unfaithful, what will you do? When you find out that there is someone else, a third party, will you fight for love? How far will you go for love?

“DUDA” is a story on trust and deception, sex and lust, life and love.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Duda / Doubt to Screen In Cebu

Finally, after a month of preparation Grupong Sinehan's Duda / Doubt will finally be shown in Cebu through SineBuano's event called "SALIDA: A Touch of Pink" on August 13, 2005 at 7pm.

The film earned director Chris Pablo two Best Director nomintations for both the 2004 New York Asian American Film Festival and at the Barcelona International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Chris Pablo and Grupong Sinehan has made "Bathhouse" and is currently shooting "Bilog".

For those who don't know who Chris Pablo is here's something from Grupong Sinehan's website:

"Chris Pablo is an in-house director for GMA 7 for ceaseless nine years. His forte in documentary directing has conferred honors to high-rating and multi-awarded “Emergency” and “I-Witness” programs. The episode “SELDA INOSENTE” won for GMA 7 the Best Documentary for Television Award during the 2003 UNICEF Asian Television Awards.

A graduate of BA Film from the University of the Philippines, Pablo has exemplified his passion for movie making. To his credits, he has written and directed several short films that are socially relevant drama and documentary advocacy. Among his short films are “LATE BLOOM” and “SLOW MOTION” produced by JICA in 1998, “NGAYONG GABI” in 1999 and “TATLONG ULIT” in 2000. These short films composed the Adolescent Educational Video Series toured around the country to caution teenagers and young adults about the transitional period as vulnerable to destructive, risk-taking behavioral patterns. The project was spearheaded by the Department of Health (DOH) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Among his other critically acclaimed works are:

  • SA IYONG PAGGISING – a family’s struggle to deal with a schizophrenic member. It was a finalist in the 2001 Star awards for Television Philippines.

  • LIGAYA’S CHOICE - a documentary on AIDS and the sex worker. The documentary was commissioned by the Sky Cable Information Channel.

  • SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE – a TV magazine program on AIDS. It was commissioned by the Department of Health, STD-AIDS Unit, and JICA AIDS. It was aired over Cable Channel 63.

Currently, Pablo is rolling the camera for his independent digital movie projects that would surely encourage local filmmakers to shift medium. “BATH HOUSE” is expected to wraps camera rolling by mid-November; “KUNG DI MAN IKAW”, to be produced be Center for Restorative Justice in Asia, aims for an out of competition special screening during the Metro Manila Film Festival 2004 in December; and “SERIAL KILLER” to be shot early 2005.

The success of Pablo’s attempt to commercialize independent digital video movie-making is a clear indication that movies need not be expensive… requiring a big crew to move, set up and operate equipment as well as casting multi-million peso star.

Salida: A Touch Of Pink will be held at Handuraw Events Cafe on August 13, 2005 at 7pm. Tickets are available at the gate at 100 pesos with free slice of pizza or beer.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


For the past few weeks, I have been doing some catching up with my eldest son, Gino. He arrived late June and will be with us until the first week of August.

It's been five years since I last saw him in San Francisco, and boy has he grown! He is now five feet seven inches tall at 12 years old. Sometimes, I keep forgetting that he is still a child.

Is five years really that long? he seems to have forgotten people and things that happened when he was still living in Manila.

Despite what he has gone through, the 12 year old lad proved himself by being among the top ten percent student in Pennsylvania state, and was tested of having a college level reading comprehension. Even being asked by John Hopkins and other colleges to take their tests. Not bad eh?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

SALIDA: DOS After Action Report

It was another interesting night for SineBuano and SALIDA:DOS. With barely one week to promote the event, send out flyers and a barrage of text messages, Zarah Smith of Handuraw and I were surprised that we still surpassed our 25 person quota.

After the obligatory introduction and my Cebuano film advocacy speech, the lights dimmed to let the projector glimmer with the first film. Nervousness set in. I started asking myself "Will they like the films?", "Did I do the programming right?", and other questions that come to me every SALIDA. Every SALIDA was different, while there were familiar faces, this batch of viewers were mostly composed of people whom I've never seen before.

In the darkness, you could not hear a thing though you could barely see smiles and people leaning to towards their friends whispering. The film faded to black, the credits started to roll. A single pair of hands clapping soon accompanied by a few more, until an explosion of applause filled the room, some even started shouting in delight. I smiled.

Film after film, I felt the audience appreciate the effort put into each and every film that was shown to them that night. It was a good night to be a filmmaker.

To keep their attention, we went into breaks filled by music from the guest bands. Shadowbox Serenade with its gothic / metal sound led by Christian Linaban filled their eardrums with his unsual mix of goth and metal, chanting and growling, something that Cebuanos haven't heard before. Sheila and the Insects came on the second break with their new wave music from their latest album "Manipulator", I started bobbing my head and remembering the good old 80's. Immediately followed by Missing Filemon making a come back after almost 3 years, still sounding grea, singing about being a Cebuano. They also sang "Sine-Sine" which, according to band's lead, was inspired by the first Salida event. SineBuano will make an MTV for Sine-Sine.

In one of my trips outside the cafe to light a cigarette, I was approached by a young man who said he has always wanted to be a filmmaker and was further inspired by SALIDA. It just doesn't get any better than this.

"Gutom ako", I told the rest. The SineBuano posse headed down to Talamban and looked for an open tapsilog place at 2:30am. In turns out that they too had unique experiences while on their assigned posts, the revelry continued until Jurly felt the need to go home. We all went home knowing that we've taken another step to reintroduce Cebuano films and inspired both the old and new filmmakers to make more Cebuano films.

Thank you to everyone that took time, the bands who played, Handuraw Cafe and all the filmmakers who entrusted SineBuano with their films for making it possible.

Ato 'ni mga bai!