Rizal’s A MI PATRIA to Laguna and Rizal?

July 13, 2012

As talks are on-going re the showing of A MI PATRIA in UP Los Baños, Laguna next month, Rem Vocalan, one of A mi’s cameramen and my former student at the UP Center texted me about the film programming that he is preparing in celebration of Angono Week in Angono, Rizal. He said he wanted to include A mi… a good decision since he has contributed a lot to its form, and his town mates should be aware of that. In fact, I would be very happy to show it anywhere in the Philippines so we would definitely make it possible that screening skeds do not conflict. Besides, I should be meeting again Nemesio Miranda, Jr. a long-time friend and classmate. We haven’t met for ages!

A few days back, I also got a call for its possible showing in Bohol Province. The call came from Gina, Bert de Santos’ wife. Bert is the film’s sound engineer. Our work on the film did not end after the production. Now, we are working on their showings wherever possible. Afterall, Rizal is not only a national figure, he is an international icon, a Renaissance Man even. People should get exposed to his beautiful, and patriotic poems.

Both provinces are connected to Rizal in direct and indirect ways; Rizal’s birthplace being Laguna Province, and Angono being a part of Rizal Province. I recall that Pasay where I was born used to be under Rizal Province. I used to see PASAY, RIZAL on letters addressed to my parents and brother. Inspired by my brother Gani, I used to collect stamps…I had thousands…until our house burned down. Now, I only buy and keep essential things. Losing our house in less than an hour made me think deeply re material things. As temporal as their being, and our being, I now value those that can’t be seen or things spiritual. Afterall, we aren’t going to be judged and be remembered for what we have but for what we have done or for the mark that we have left as legacy on this earth. You can see that on the way people or the masses remember Dolphy, the comedian— whether his relatives or not. Called “The Comedy King,” he was for decades part of every household through the television and the movies, and previously, because of his being a stage actor. Encompassing all media forms Dolphy lived and died for, he became a part of our consciousness whether one liked it or not. I remember him in John n Marsha with Nida Blanca, and the end punchline of Dely Atay-Atayan: “Kaya ikaw John magsumikap ka…” He will for sure be remembered a la Chaplin, the legendary comedian.

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