Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

h1

Gen. Charles E. Kilbourne Initiated the Building of Malinta Tunnel in Corregidor?

June 28, 2019
kilbourne2

General Charles E. Kilbourne

Oh well, that’s what I just read today from an article about Malinta Tunnel building on Corregidor Island — birthplace of my forefathers, father and siblings. It was Gen. Charles Kilbourne, then re-assigned to assume the Harbour Defense Command in 1929 who revived the idea of building the tunnel under the Malinta Hill in December 1931. He worked on its realization, initiated and finally got the approval of the building project on January 14, 1932. To lead the construction work, Lt. Paschal N. Strong of the US Army Corps of Engineers was sent over. He arrived in the Philippines in 1932.

So, the idea which got hatched in 1921 started to get realized only in 1932 not 1922 as stated on a sign displayed outside Malinta Tunnel. The use of prison labor from Bilibid prison was said to be also his idea leading to building of prison stockades. The photo of Dr. Selma Harrison Calmes’ father with the prisoners that she graciously allowed me to use in my documentary TIGA-ISLA (The Islanders of Corregidor) is included in the same article simply captioned “Bilibid stockade.”

To read all the details, here’s the link to the article of Mr. John Moffit written on December 12, 2012: http://corregidor.org/fieldnotes/htm/fots2-121224-1.htm

Incidentally, I found just a few days ago, a letter already eaten up by silver fishes written by Gen. Charles E. Kilbourne in reply to I do not know exactly who. Was it my father, or my historian brother who wrote to him? Since Juan Medina whom he mentioned in the letter were grandfather to both, I wouldn’t know until I find a copy of the welcome letter sent to the General that he was referring to. Anyway, what is clear was that he was on a visit here at the time the undated letter was written. Knowing that he died in 1963, I would assume that he was in the country sometime in the 50s for a sentimental journey.

Gen. Kilbourne sounded how well he knew my great granduncle Juan Medina, former municipal president (mayor) of Bo. San Jose, Corregidor. Lolo Juan and my father’s father Mateo were brothers. The latter was appointed as Corregidor municipal councilor in 1906.

Kilbourne Letter_Front

Letter of Gen. Charles Kilbourne in reply either to my father, Ricardo M. Medina Sr. or my historian-brother Isagani R. Medina, both Corregidorians

Kilbourne Letter_Back

kilbourneGen. Kilbourne “was responsible for much of the military development of the island fortress of Corregidor. During his third assignment there [Philippines], from 1908 to 1913, he established the first artillery garrison on Corregidor.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_E._Kilbourne)

We have two other letters written by Gen. Kilbourne, one dated 1936; the other written from Maryland that is undated. Both original copy of the letters were deposited in 2004 at the Pacific War Museum on Corregidor Island. In addition, the Certificate of Appointment of my grandfather Mateo dated 1906, and written in Spanish is also at the museum. Currrently, they are under the care of Corregidor Foundation, Inc.

Advertisements
h1

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.

CASTRO_best-movie-kisses-main

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.

Salumbides_best-movie-kisses-04

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

h1

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.

ROMMEL ADVOC

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

ROMMEL ADVOC2

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

h1

Romy Gutierrez’s Paintings that Caught Our Eyes

May 20, 2019
MOm Embrace2-qdvoc

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.

Soft, Glowing Light-advoc

“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.

h1

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.

CINE MALOLOS

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.

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

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.