Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category


Apolinario Mabini Hindi Kilala ng mga Kabataan

September 28, 2015

Tonight, Thristan Mendoza, music scorer of my docu “Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic” sent me the link to a news report re interview with Epi Quizon who acted as Mabini in “Heneral Luna.” It is really sad how the youth of today either do not know who Mabini was or know so little about him. Problem in educational curriculum?

My wish is to have our film shown to as many people for them to know who Mabini really was and what the cause of his paralysis was. Our film on Mabini was actually shown before Heneral Luna was released. The main difference of course is the fact that ours is a small, documentary film made largely for Deaf access and PWDs. However, it is also meant for all Filipinos, including the hearing audience. Historian Paul Dumol found the interpretation of El Verdadero Decalogo touching. I already incorporated some of his comments to the final copy.


Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover_PWDs Can! – Paralympic Games 2016

September 21, 2015

Yes!!! The amazing feat of Powerlifter Luicano Santas, amputee sprinter Vincius Rodriguez, and blind jodoka Lucia Teixeira who strolled into the gym, and were filmed by hidden cameras did astound the regular gym goers with their sporting prowess in a Brazilian training centre.

A room full of male judoka fighters looked particularly apprehensive as Teixeira began subduing each opponent.

“She beat everybody,” one man said. “At first they didn’t want to fight her.
“Then in the end, they really didn’t want to fight her.”

So! Don’t judge a book by its cover. Persons with disability [PWDs] each have their own uniqueness which non-abled people may not or can not do. Respect them!

This is in promotion of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, which began on September 7 2016.


“When the Angels Walk for Autism” Nearly Over

September 18, 2015

“When the Angels Walk for Autism” is the working title of the abridged edition of ASP’s Autism Walk 2015 coverage. Its original length is two-and-a-half hours, and presented in linear form. As of this aw_d-walk-15time, I have cut it down to 15 minutes, my target length. But with the additional materials that I still need to add, I hope it will not reach 16 minutes. This should be over in a few days…

I have reshuffled the shots and sequences, and warped the time so to say. I got only what I find important and essential, for my purpose of course. For example, in the long, edited version, Dang Koe’s interview on the historical background of Autism Walk could only be heard one-and-a-half hours after watching the coverage. I positioned it aw_d-walk5immediately after the introductory shots for people to know the Walk’s evolution minutes after they sit down to watch it. And the end part in the actual program jumped up in the mid portion of my version to give importance and showcase the talents in singing performance of the Persons with Autism in montage form. Ahh! I am wondering until now why they had to be programmed at the end when half of the people in the filled arena were gone, including the energy of the remaining audience. Oh, well!!! Probably because Hans Sy was there, and the SM Care girls should wow their patron.

Recalling that day, I feel sad for not being able to take a single shot as my practice because I had to lend my camera to a member of the Coverage team. I felt so frustrated seeing a lot of scenes to take, but felt so helpless without a camera. [Photos here were shot in 2014].


Last Attempt at Portraiture

September 2, 2015

Looking over at my photo files, I found this. It’s a photo shot by my grandniece, Angel. She took it while I was signing a portrait I made of her. Angel is Alyana’s cousin. It was my last attempt to sketch a portrait on-the-spot.


Autographing on the last attempt sketch…hahaha!

Na asssign kaming magtaong-bahay. At dahil walang magawa nagdrowingan na lang! This was in Delaware, U.S.A. in 2013 when I went to attend the wedding of my niece’s youngest daughter’s wedding. In short, another of my so many grandnieces on earth.

Angel BnW

Angel Villafuerte with the junk collection…

Dare to pose anyone — at your own risk? You just need to freeze for about 15 minutes…


“The Sublime Paralytic” in Tanauan

July 21, 2015
POSTER FINAL_Final-Jul 17_2

One of our film posters; The docu is about the First Prime Minister and First Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the First Philippine Republic

It is July. In Tanauan City, Batangas Province, the celebrations of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week which culminates on July 23, birthday of Apolinario Mabini, subject of my current documentary is very well observed. Despite the declaration of July 17 as a national holiday, the people of Tanauan proceeded with their scheduled event. We went there to preview the docu. Ms. Pelagia Mabini and another kaanak watched the film. Despite the busy schedule, the accommodating curator of the shrine Ms. Olga Palacay, who was also interviewed for the docu managed to see the segment where she is in. Responses were quite positive.

photo 1

Scene on the way to Mabini Shrine in Talaga, Tanauan Batangas – July 17 – a PWD Race

photo 2

They were actually coming from the grounds of Mabini Shrine, in Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas, our destination…


…Where my docu “Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic” was previewed for them


Guests Line up to Register


Tanauan Film Viewers in the Audio-Visual Room of the Mabini Shrine-Tanauan


These three ladies were victims of polio. They came all the way from Cainta to celebrate with the PWDs of Tanauan.


A PWD is being Readied for the Duyan Race


The People Manning the Event; Shrine Curator, Ms. Olga Palacay [Standing 2nd from Right]


Mga ka-field trip and members of the production team: [Front]: Janus Victoria, co-writer; Febe Sevilla – Filipino Sign Language interpreter, and Bert de Santos – Sound Designer

The first two shots were taken by Janus Victoria; the photo below by Bert de Santos; I shot the photos in between them.


While testing the sound and picture projection…Ms. Pelagia Mabini, 3rd generation descendant of Apolinario Mabini in blue blouse looks on


Music Score Review and Preview with Tumtum, ‘Twice Exceptional’ Person with Autism

July 3, 2015

This is his first time to work on scoring a film just as this is my first time to work with a special music scorer. I am referring to Thristan “Tumtum” Mendoza, a ‘twice exceptional’ person with autism whose music potentials and capabilities was challenged anew when I offered him the task of scoring my documentary, “Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic.” [Its Filipino version PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon will follow]. Tumtum is a solo concert music artist, and this is his first film music scoring assignment.


Tumtum explains the limitations of his software  during our last meeting

Advocating for PWD inclusion and their mainstreaming in our society, and believing in their talents and capabilities, there was no hesitation, but more of excitement when I thought of including Tumtum as member of my production staff. His mother Belina was most anxious when I broached the idea, and thought the idea was quite risky for me since Tumtum has no experience whatsoever in music scoring. But confident as ever that God leads me to the right people, I was ready to take the risk, if you may call it that. Besides, I wouldn’t know until I try. And not until I hear what he had produced, I cannot say that he is not cut for it. Above all, since it is my film, and I am an indie, I can do what I want because no producer would dictate on me what he wants.

And I was right! Tumtum came up with beautiful music scores that gave the right mood for my film. I could feel Tumtum’s heart in it, if you know what I mean. Only a couple of his works were not utilized.

Last week, I sat down with Tumtum and Belina to preview my film with his music on it. I gave him a copy of the film with my notes on his scores, comments, instructions, etc. It has become like a PostTUMTUM Notes 2 It vehicle for me. And I believed it helped anyway as we previewed the segments one by one; stopped where notes are written; explained when I had to. Based on that, he will be lengthening or shortening the music, change it, and /or adjust the final position of the music scores.

TUMTUM Notes 4

Discussion with Tumtum was supplemented by visual instructions written on the material itself.

The process was a little different from how I usually work with other music scorers. Others normally compose then position the music against the video themselves. Then, I sit with them when they finalize the music score. We go segment by segment, with me asking for some changes or adjustments here and there until I approve of everything. In the case of Tum, he composed the music per segment, tagged them accordingly, then gave them to me. I myself then positioned his music that I liked and approved of against the picture, with his tag as guide. Since he had no specific mark as to where to actually position them I used my instinct. But I did not limit the placement of his music based on his tag. Wherever I find it appropriate elsewhere, I use the music again.TUMTUM Notes 3

There are pieces that I used several times which were not meant for the designated segment since they sounded good and goes well on others. I do acknowledge that Tum must have the exact position in mind when he created the segmental pieces. So, ultimately, he has a say on it, and he can readjust what I did. But as I have a say on it as well compromise would be the solution.

I hope that music scoring as a new avenue for his talent continues and flourishes. New blood should be infused in the film music world. It would for sure, be quite challenging for him since he has to feel the scene to create the music to enhance its mood. His flexibility will be challenged. But his potentials as an excellent music scorer is great. He can do it!

Mom Belina is so happy with the busy-ness the music scoring assignment gave Tumtum. He matured more she said. He has learned a lot. Most importantly, his focus on the new work, pulled him away from facebook!

The film is slated to be launched at DLS-CSB, at 4 pm, in Manila on August 27, in Celebration of the National Heroes Day. A special film preview will be held on July 17 in Mabini Shrine-Tanauan, Batangas.


TUM TUM – Savant Person with Autism Gave Final Nod to Score Music of Project Mabini

May 7, 2015

Day before yesterday, I met TumTum Mendoza and his Mom Belina in Quezon City. TumTum is a person with autism [PWA] gifted with musical genius. He is a savant PWA. TumTum, when asked by Mom Belina if he can, and really wants to take up the challenge of doing the film scoring work for the docu on Mabini replied “Yes!”

TumTum Watches Rizal

TumTum Intently Watches My Docu on Rizal Scored by His Art Studies Teacher Roselle Pineda and JM Diego

He has no background in film music scoring. That I know. And that alone makes me as excited as his mother. The risk is there…but I am very much willing to take the risk of giving him the opportunity to do the job. Afterall, that is part of my personal advocacy: to let the world know through my films what these people, or PWDs can do. We will never know what TumTum can do beyond just the masterful playing of the marimba if opportunities are not given to him, and others in the sector. In this project, he will have freedom to explore on the use of several instruments to create the music he deems appropriate for the scenes and graphic elements used.


I last saw TumTum in 2011 when he performed during the celebrations of World Autism Day

Diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 1/2, TumTum played the marimba at the age of 5. At the age of 8, he was presented as a gifted child prodigy by the University of the Philippines through its President’s Committee on Culture and the Arts. International artist at an early age of 11, he was a Rosemary Kennedy International Young Soloist Awardee in 2001, and was invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the UP Conservatory of Music major in percussion. Snippets of his performance when he was six years old are in my docu on autism ALYANA.

This is TumTum’s first time to film score; but there are many other first-timers in Project Mabini as I’ve earlier written in my blog posts: Abner Manlapaz, a person who like Mabini was paralyzed due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome based on the latest research findings on the cause of Mabini’s paralysis, some of the Deaf play performers who interpreted Mabini’s Decalogo, and the narrator Cris Lorenzana, an inspirational speaker with radio program at DZXL.

The docus [now in the making] about our hero Mabini, an icon to persons with disability show a person who performed excellently despite his disability. I believe it is but proper to include PWDs in the making of The Sublime Paralytic [English] / Pule: Utak ng Rebolusyon [Filipino] to also show their abilities — THISability not DISability should shine.


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