I am currently halfway through in the making of a biopic about “the man behind Metro-Manila College,” Dr. Mamerto S. Miranda, Ka Mentong as he was fondly called. He was the founder and first president of Novaliches Academy [NA] which later became the present Metro-Manila College [MMC]. Historically speaking, NA was the first high school, and MMC, the first college in Novaliches. They were thus, the first community high school/college of Novaliches in Quezon City. [To see 2011 photos of Metro-Manila College, click avp-shooting-can-be-fun; To go to MMC website, click index.html]
The film was suppose to focus on Ka Mentong alone—as a pioneer in the field of education in Novaliches, as a man and soldier, and as a loving but disciplinary father. But with the death of his wife, Dr. Ligaya Medina Miranda, second vice-president of MMC, [my eldest sister actually], the film eventually has had the twist of becoming about “the man and women behind MMC. The women included not only my sister but their daughters as well. It has shaped and formed to become a film about the Mirandas of Novaliches, the thread being my sister as we have been fortunate enough to get her to relate about their story including their courtship days, how our strict father reacted when they eloped, their dream [a Metro Manila University] and wishes. Being in a way a part of the family, and knowing them all, it has inevitably a tinge of being kind of personal as well to me.
It was in 2005 when I started shooting for the film. I was commissioned to make two films for MMC but I only finished the short avp in time for the 60th celebration of the school two years ago. Since there was no pressure from the Miranda family for me to finish the film, and while waiting for four of their children to come and interview them while on vacation, I got busy with other film works. I finally managed to interview them all, except Junior whom I met after so many years during the wake of my sister in 2008. Unfortunately, he did not want to be interviewed.
My sister passed away without seeing their story in film. Anyhow, their children and grandchildren would I am sure cherish the days when they were around, and would definitely be immortalized for as long as the film I am doing for them would exist.
The structure is done, the sound bed more or less in place. I am left with a few more search and research for existing pictures, video, or documents if needs be. Timeline is from prewar days [1940s] to 2008 [my sister's death] covering nearly 70 years of their lives.
By the way, “The Man Behind Metro Manila College” is the title of the book my sister wrote about Ka Mentong and their school.
Incidentally, last week August 12 or four months after I posted the above, my nieces (Erlin, Nory, Even and Oying) finally decided that the film’s title would also be “The Man Behind Metro Manila College.” Good enough! My sister in the midst of the film brags about it, and how appreciative and grateful she was to her husband, Ka Mentong for encouraging her to pursue her studies towards doctoral level. I am to present the film on her birthday come August 27 with the final title in, as well as the complete acknowledgment end credits.
I finally managed to show the final copy last September 30 coinciding with the birthday of Ka Mentong, not August 27, birthday of my sister. [ I am writing this note today Oct. 20, incidentally, birthday of Even who is now in Canada].
For copies of MMC logos, click avp-shooting-can-be-fun