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Lips to Lips: The Evolution of Kissing Scenes in Philippine Movies

June 22, 2019

“Every imaginable taboo, once unspoken and forbidden, has been depicted in graphic ways in Philippine movies,” says Alex Castro.

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From Alex Castro’s “Lips to Lips: The Evolution of Kissing Scenes in Philippine Movies”

In his lengthy, impressively researched and well- documented article — flavored with trivia notes at times — about the evolution of kissing scenes in Philippine movies, readers, particularly film history buffs journey with Mr. Castro from way way back, when yes! it was taboo for lovers to kiss, even hold hands in public; the reason why it was so shocking for the viewers to watch kissing scenes, especially when first shown in the movies. Now, it is so common a segment without it and lovemaking would render a film incomplete. It has become part of the formula.

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Vicente Salumbides and Sofia Lota in “Fate or Consequence” (1926) from Salumbides’ book “Motion Pictures in the Philippines” (1952)

Reading about Mr. Vicente Salumbides in the article, I couldn’t help but recall my interview with him. He did say how jealous her then-future wife was, Rosario Panganiban when his film, “Fate or Consequence” showing him kissing actress Sofia Lota was shown. Mr. Salumbides was hard of hearing at that time. To communicate with him, I had to write each question on a piece of paper and gave it to him one at a time. He would read it, then would reply to whatever question I handed to him. I was then working as a researcher for the UP Film Center, and about to start a documentary on him when unfortunately our house burned. The flames ate up all the materials that I gathered from my interviews with him, Alejandro Celis, one of his silent movie actors, and Atang de la Rama. At that time, Mr. Salumbides was living somewhere in Fairview, Quezon City, BF Homes, if I am not mistaken.

To read Alex Castro’s full article, please click the link below:
https://www.esquiremag.ph/culture/movies-and-tv/evolution-of-kissing-scenes-philippine-movies-a2289-20190612-lfrm5

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Deaf Visual Artist Rommel Agravante’s “MOTHER & CHILD”

May 31, 2019

Rommel Agravante, a Deaf visual artist was my Filipino Sign Language teacher at DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies. He stopped teaching at SDEAS to study painting at the University of the Philippines. He got a Certificate in Painting from UP. Below is his interpretation of a Mother and Child whose idea I let him do freely.

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Rommel Agravante with his painting, “Mother and Child”, an oil painting on wooden panel; Size: 20″ x 24″

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My pet, Pitz looks at the painting of Rommel, my former Filipino Sign Language teacher.

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Kodi Lee: Blind singer with autism wows ‘America’s Got Talent’ judges, gets away with Golden Buzzer

May 29, 2019

Watch amazing Kodi Lee, a 22-year old blind singer with autism!

According to his mother Tina: “…Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world, because when you’re autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually saved his life playing music.”

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Romy Gutierrez’s Paintings that Caught Our Eyes

May 20, 2019
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Titled “A MOTHER’s EMBRACE,” (2013) this is very much off Romy Gutierrez’s cup. Seems an experiment of sort since he is known for using pastel color shades. This is one of the few works he had that stood out for being different, at least in the color choices used because the subject is still one of his favorite: Mother and Child. But much the same as the others, this particular work, had textures made out of overlapping paper until some form of relief shaped up.

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“SOFT, RADIANT GLOW” quite gripped my senses, having been an admirer of Juvenal Sanso’s paintings. This immediately reminded me of the man’s work.  Gutierrez did not deny that Sanso had an influence on him. Of course,  they were no more evident in the rest of his works after this phase I would assume. Made in 2009, or five years after the one above was made, he continuously experimented on techniques and style to at least probably deviate from his usual creations. Here he created another textural form which need not use the familiar textured lines or layered paper as base. I see here more of brush textures and spattered colors that on its own richly formed new dimensions..

“SEATED MODEL” (1992) – Probably, one of those phases in Romy Gutierrez’s life when he first let flowing white paint texture his canvas. There is something classic in the expression of the subject; at the same time the lines reminds me of Picasso’s

“GRATEFUL HEART” (2009) — Here the flowing and fluid lines, circular forms, luminous patches of colors that give layers of dimensions to an other wise plain, flat form continues. This has become the more known style of Gutierrez. As he loves textures, he creates each time something new. I just suppose that the underlying textures he creates at times leads him to something he himself may not have seen or thought of before, and proceed from there. This is creativity at work.

“CONVERSATION” (2014) – A beautifully composed and rendered lines and forms over the usual textured base, he departed for a while from the light hues, by adding purple shades and orange colors.

The works above were not included in the 39th Solo Exhibition of Romy Gutierrez held last month at the Impressions Gallery, SM Megamall.

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Figurative Abstraction Landscape Paintings of ROMEO E. GUTIERREZ

March 20, 2019

After many decades, I’ll finally meet an old friend, award-winning and former art professor Romeo Gutierrez. We very fondly called him “Romy.” Exhibition will be held at the 4th level, Artwalk, SM Megamall Bldg. A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong in Metro-Manila.

39TH 0NE MAN SHOW .. INVITATIONprofile

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Angels Walk for Autism 2019

February 28, 2019

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For your tickets, click the following link:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/asp-angels-walk-for-autism-2019-tickets-52352092518

This is an annual event initiated by Autism Society Philippines. Below is a docu that traces the history of Angels Walk.

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Cine Malolos

February 6, 2019

Last Saturday, we (buddy sign language interpreter Febe Sevilla and I) met Mr. Lloyd Crisostomo, owner’s descendant and currently in charge of Plaridel Printing Press, the oldest printing press in Malolos, Bulacan. I took a shot of an interesting old photo of Cine Malolos from his collection. Their printing press started operating during the early years of the American Period. Still in operation, it is located in Calle Estrella. For my collection, I got a movie ticket measuring 2 3/4″ x 1 3/8″ that they printed in 1955 featuring an American film starring Errol Flynn and Michellene Praille doubled with “ESKANDALOSA”, a Filipino movie starred in by then very popular stars Leopoldo Salcedo and Alicia Vergel.

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I did not expect to see those memorabilia. We went there to research on his father, a Deaf entrepreneur, and for a time, a student of Delight Rice, Founder of the Philippine School for the Deaf. Old newspapers featured his father, Mr. Guillermo Crisostomo as a printer and collector. He collected not only clippings about him, the materials he printed; he also had stamp collections, bottles, even cigarette wrappers!

Anyway,I got aside from the Cine Malolos ticket, Cine Estrella and Cine Irmen’s movie tickets. They are all dated 1955, birthyear of Donatella Versace! (Coincidence that just this morning, I read about her, said to be the muse of her brother, Gianni. I got interested to read about all the real people involved dramatized in the story, and filmed as a series in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”. Thanks to Netflix. Got to know more about Andrew Cunanan, the Fil-Am serial killer in the series. Great performance by another Fil-Am, Darren Criss.