Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

h1

Mabini the Mason with Contemporary Filipino Masons

October 4, 2018

DSC_0159

Last Monday October 1, I got to show to Filipino Masons belonging to NCR-G my educational documentary on the life of Apolinario Mabini, one of our great heroes. It was held at Fort Bonifacio, a military camp. It was my first time to enter the Fort. Mr. Ray Noble, past Master of Muntinlupa City Masonic Lodge #414, and the Incumbent Grand Lodge Inspector for MW RQ Pagotan Lodge # 282 brought me to the venue. He with a few other Masons and their wives first previewed the film in September. It was held at the Masonic Grand Lodge in Manila. Those who watched PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon decided to show it to more members of the group. (see below)

DSC_0161

Members of the 13 Masonic Lodges of NCR-

Mabini, first Secretary of Foreign Affairs and who could have been the First Secretary of Justice were not for his disability joined the Masonic group in 1892. He was called “Katabay” at the time. Many of our heroes during the Spanish regime were Masons, Jose Rizal included. Masons were anti-friars hence they were sought after by the Spanish authorities. It was because of their oppression of our people that masonry became popular in the country. Then and now, it continues to exist as a brotherhood. In fact, my father was a Mason too.The Masonic District NCR-G, under the Jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the Philippines is spearheading the event. Their Incumbent District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) is Very Worshipful Emmanuel Bravo.
MD NCR-G is composed of 13 Masonic Lodges:
1. Batong Buhay Lodge #27
2. Muog Lodge #89
3. King Solomon Lodge # 150
4. Wenceslao Trinidad Masonic Lodge #365
5. MW RQ Pagotan Masonic Lodge #282
6. Kagitingan Lodge #256
7. Gen. Artemio Ricarte Lodge #322
8. Jacobo Zobel Mem. Lodge #202
9. Palanyag Lodge #323
10. Dr. Felimon Aguilar-Las Piñas Lodge #332
11. Hadji Butu Razul Mem. Lodge #393
12. Muntinlupa City Masonic Lodge #414
13. Taguig Masonic Lodge #431

Advertisements
h1

The Most Un-Baldemor of Them All

October 1, 2018

Description of the painting as written on the tags used

I am familiar with Manuel Baldemor’s style and color preferences having been exposed to his works, being one of the most prolific and popular visual artists in the Philippines. He hails from Paete, Laguna. Well-traveled, he had documented and interpreted in visual form the places he had visited. He just had an exhibit of his paintings focused on Berne, Switzerland initiated by Art Circle Gallery in Shang-rila Hotel. That was where I first met him.

My connection with one of his paintings started a couple of months back when I got hooked on — for me — the most un-Baldemor painting of them all. Well, at least from all his works that I had seen before, his painting “Hungarian Democratic Symbol — The Parliament” looked quite different. It is most simple but contemplative. The colors are more of pastel shades, and the negative spaces he used are comparatively larger than his usual and more known compositions. I didn’t recognize his style. The canvas was also textured with defined and playful lines instead of just being plain. I just loved the simplicity of his composition and the play and overlapping of colors.

Baldemor_CU

“Details of Manuel Baldemor’s “Hungarian Democratic Symbol — The Parliament”

Baldemor_FS2

With Manuel Baldemor’s “Hungarian Democratic Symbol – The Parliament” dated 2001

Baldemor_CU3

Details of the painting

The mood was quite evocative of the time I set foot in Sacre Coeur Church in Paris, France where I stood nearly eye level to the clouds or mists at the time. With the solemn Gregorian chant being played right then, I felt so spiritually up; it was as if I were with angels and walking on the clouds in a manner so similar to what I read about from children’s story books; the same feeling that I had when I first went to Sagada when the place was still pristine, and not yet popular to tourists. I do not remember seeing any foreign tourist for one. There must have been less than 10 of us at the time when our group [consisting of four staff] from the UP Film Center went there to take photographs. We held an exhibit at the UP Palma Hall or A.S. Building after the trip.

Baldemor_CU2

Manuel Baldemor’s signature includes the painting’s title

Funnily, the twist was when Mr. Baldemor told us that what I thought to be clouds were  actually waters of the Danube River – a body of water that passes to nine other countries other than Hungary: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. The muted colored elements perceptively of buildings were divided — taken from the high perspective viewpoint of Baldemor’s eyemind.

I found it awesome that in cropping parts of the whole painting to show details, it yielded several that could stand on their own as separate paintings. I recently saw a small painting he did in Malaysia dated 2017; surprisingly, done 16 years apart, the style is reminiscent of portions of this painting.

h1

Post-World Autism Awareness Day in Rizal 2018

April 20, 2018

The presidents of Autism Society Philippines [ASP] – Rizal Chapters: Barbara De Guzman of ASP Taytay, Laarni Francisco of ASP Cainta, Esperanza Marzo of ASP San Mateo and Victoria Cabason of ASP Marikina in partnership with the Rizal Provincial Government and ASP National represented by former ASP National President Mary Janette Pena will be conducting the “1Rizal Auto-Sympo” on April 27, 2018, Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. The event will be held at the Provincial Multipurpose Center, Antipolo City, Rizal to raise the level of awareness, understanding and empowerment of parents, professionals, and government on urgent agenda relevant to the autism community of Rizal.

As part of the Understanding and Advocacy for Autism program slated from 8 – 10 a.m., my documentary ALYANA – A Study of Autism in the Philippines shall be screened. It will be followed by lectures on “Nutrition and Autism” and the “Philippine Health Circular on Benefits for Children with Autism” in the afternoon from 1-4 p.m.

ASP hopes that the documentary will be able to enlighten and educate our community on the nature of persons with autism and provide helpful guides in overcoming the challenges of autism

h1

The Amazing Life of Joan Baez

April 1, 2018

Joan Baez is a folk singer I have long time admired. Her rendition of the song “Amazing Grace” turned me into one of her fans. I loved it the first time I heard it. Since then, it has become my favorite. Up until now it mesmerizes me whenever I hear it.

Unbelievably perhaps, it is just tonight that I had a glimpse of her life both as a singer and a political activist. This beautiful documentary all the more made me appreciate this stunning and wonderful woman. Her life is quite inspiring and impressive. Her songs meaningful and relevant. Thanks to artfrob who posted it via Youtube. [To watch, click this — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQRAGIZybiA%5D

Inspiring acceptance speech of JOAN BAEZ’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction award during the 2017 Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center in New York City.

h1

With the Morenos of Tondo – Happy and Sad Moments

January 29, 2018
  • Malvar1I visited Ms. Virginia R. Moreno before New Year 2018. It was on December 28 when I went to see her at the house of Pitoy, her younger brother. Though tired, “Aling Barang” was in high spirits as she recounted past events during our Film Center days. She talked about her coming projects, including the celebration of Pitoy’s birthday in February. Miss Moreno was my professor in “Philippine Cinematic Arts” under the Humanities Course. Our classroom — AS 209 eventually became UP Film Center’s office cum film venue viewing. That was where I first saw the films of Russian great filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. When the number of cineastes grew, the screening moved to Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater. A few years later, the UP Film Center was finally built beside Abelardo Theatre. I was not around when they transferred to its present location. I was by then in Pune, India.
  • Malvar

    Miss Moreno used to boast that all her clothes were designed not by Pitoy but by herself. She was always dressed flamboyantly whenever she came to our class. Oh! How I loved seeing her like a butterfly — so free, happy and awesome-looking. And yes! She is the one responsible for sending me to India to study film making where at the same time I learned to love wearing Indian clothes which I continued to adopt until now as shown above.

Unfortunately, two weeks after visiting VRM on January 15, I heard the news about the passing away of Aling Barang’s brother Pitoy Moreno, the Fashion Czar of Asia. He was the one who popularized the use of indigenous materials in the ternos that he then beautifully designed. During his wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, many of his models and friends paid their last respect to him. A few of us from the UP Film Center were present.

[Above photo below] With former UP Film Center workshoppers at the last day of Pitoy’s wake: Clare Salaverria [extreme left] who joined UPFC at the time I was sent to India and Sheila Nicolas [extreme right]. They were batchmates.

h1

Ang Larawan — A Must Film to Watch!

December 26, 2017

I do not usually watch Metro Manila Film Fest entries, especially when the usual, consumerist, commercial movies primarily meant to entertain and to profit comprise the list. Producers are not to blame anyway, if ROI [return of investment] becomes their priority. For them, it is business first and foremost.

And so, when the MMFF last year presented largely indie films instead of the formulaic anticipated entries, I was one of those who hailed the decision. Unfortunately, money rules, and so, now that the same stuff are back, having something different sort of compensates, or should I say, serves as a compromise despite the setting aside of quality indie films.

Yesterday, I watched “Ang Larawan”, a depiction in film of National Artist in Literature’s Nick Joaquin’s three-act play, “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.” It was for me quite refreshing to watch having been presented not in the usual narrative and dramatic form but as a musical film adaptation. I enjoyed wholly the experience having appreciated the integration of theater and cinema; of literature made into films. With superb performances of all the cast members, especially the engaging roles of Paula and Candida played by Rachel Alejandro and Joanna Ampil; the moving music of Ryan Cayabyab, the film’s meticulous production design, the cinematography of Boy Yniguez, a colleague at the UP Film Center, and the able direction of Loy Arcenas, the work of Mang Nick becomes all the more unforgettable. He would have enjoyed its preview with beer in hand… the way he did when Tatarin was previewed for him.

Ang Larawan form somehow reminded me of the multi-awarded film “La-La Land” by Damien Chazelle; also, Paolo’s personality as Tony Javier, the piano player is also reminiscent of Ryan Gosling in the same film.

I also love the use of documentary footage of Nick Joaquin’s beloved Old Manila, and the War footage during World War II giving more texture, and ambience of the times as the setting required of the film.

It is a must-see film if only to appreciate Nick Joaquin’s literature better, and the wonderful performances of our artists.

Below is a home video recording when Nick Joaquin joined several other literary writers in the house of Ms. Virginia Moreno, poet and playwright. The documentation must be one of the last footage showing Mang Nick with his friends. He died four months later after the event. I happened to be there with a mini-dv cam, and though lights were low, I just shot their activity notwithstanding the video noise. I knew that whatever my cam caught would be rare… isang kabanata na hindi na mauulit.

h1

The Unveiling of Mother Delight Rice Memorial Statue

December 22, 2017

Last December 11, the statue of the Philippine School for the Deaf Founder, Mother Delight Rice, a Thomasite, was unveiled in the compound of PSD. The school was founded in 1907. The making of the sculpture was initiated by Mr. Ronald Hirano, her foster son. Led by the O.I.C. Principal of PSD, Dr. Rosalie Condes, she welcomed Mr. Hirano who is based in the U.S., Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, the alumni of PSD and other guests.

Below is the copy of Mr. Hirano’s prepared speech.

SPEECH