Archive for the ‘Philippine history’ Category

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A Cultural Afternoon with Apolinario Mabini

March 16, 2017

Bulacan-w Even Ynal

The historic Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan where the First Philippine National Assembly of the First Philippine Republic was held on September 15, 1898. [MM with Even / 2017]

It was on February 23, 2017 when the partnership presentation by the Provincial Government of Bulacan and Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] was held at the Maximo Viola Hall, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in Malolos, Bulacan. The Honorable Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado [photo below] graced the occasion. He welcomed the select audience consisting of educators, cultural officers, art and heritage advocates, and members of Bulacan provincial art and tourism board.

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Honorable Governor of Bulacan Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado delivers his Welcome Message to the Audience below

Audience“PULE: UTAK ng Rebolusyon” an educational documentary which features the life of Apolinario Mabini, Chief Adviser of the First President of the Philippine Republic was introduced before its screening by Mirana Medina, board member of GMEFI and the film’s director. She gave background information as to why and for whom the film was actually made giving stress on the film’s inclusivity as it has narration in Pilipino, with captions in English and largely interpreted in Filipino Sign Language. Participants in the making of the film are Deaf students, a Person with Autism and a wheel-chaired man.  Gil Reoma, GMEFI Executive Director later joined to talk about what GMEFI does and asked how the partnership between Bulacan counterpart could be made possible so as to make the film’s content widely known to Bulakenos. The Malolos Congress was highly given importance in the documentary. There were good exchange of ideas during the open forum [photo below] as viewers saw the importance of the film, and history for our young students.

W some of the participantsThe select Audience / participants with the organizers.

Bulacan-w GMEFI and OrganizersGMEFI staff: [L-R]: Gil Reoma on the extreme left, GMEFI President Even Dominguez, 3rd from left, Mrs. Natividad Villano and Mirana Medina, GMEFI Board Members with the co-organizers from the Governor’s Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office  led by Mr. Ely dela Cruz, 4th from left.

A repost from gawadmetronian.org

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Historians, Researchers, Educators, Cultural Workers Previewed PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon

March 7, 2017

On the second week of February, my educational documentary on our hero, Apolinario Mabini, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon / Brains of the Revolution, primarily made for the Deaf sector was previewed in two different venues —  at the main office of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in Manila; the other at Maximo Viola Hall in the city of Malolos, Bulacan. Both cities are featured in the above docu, as they played very important roles in the history of the Philippines at the turn of the century. It covers the period from the time the American naval squadron entered the Philippines to engage in a War with the Spaniards in the Battle of Manila Bay [May 1, 1898], up to their finally taking over the sovereignty of our country [1899] in a manner detested and strongly objected by Mabini, subject of this documentary and Chief Adviser of the First Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo. The Filipino Revolutionaries were actually already winning the War with Spain when the U.S. entered the Philippine soil. The two powers connived to hold a Mock Battle on August, 1898, followed by the signing of a treaty in Paris stating the handing over of the Philippines to the U.S. Our diplomat was not allowed to join, although by that time, the Filipino revolutionaries already declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. With a Constitution readied by a national assembly and approved by President Aguinaldo, the First Philippine Republic was inaugurated on January 23, 1899. Mabini’s defiance over the American sovereignty of the Philippines led to his being sent to Guam by the Americans as an exile.

Through the years, it became clear that the Americans posed in as friends at first, and then later turned into a foe having realized the strategic importance of the Philippines in the Far East. American soldier, William Grayson fired the first shot that started the Filipino-American War on February 4, 1899.

NHCP Preview2

It was on a Monday, February 7, that the O.I.C. Director of NHCP, Dr. Rene Escalante and the NHCP researchers viewed the film. I requested them to watch it before showing it to the general hearing public in August in commemoration of the National Heroes Day. I wanted feedback from “experts,” or those in the actual field.  I wanted to align, if ever there was misalignment with the facts that they are providing the people so that there would be no confusion in the minds of the viewing students. Fortunately, we had no data clashes. The researchers only particularly reacted to some of the photos that I got from the Mabini Shrine in Tanauan, Batangas like the picture of Mabini Standing, and the reproduction of artist Angel Cacnio’s painting entitled “The Capture of Mabini.” I was informed that the previous photo does not belong to NHCP but to a certain Mr. Kevin Cruz. Nonetheless, I emailed him as soon as I got his address from an NHCP personnel to inform him about my use of the picture, and sent him clips where and how the photo was used – not more than 30 seconds in totality. I have yet to write Mr. Cacnio. Moreover, one other researcher suggested if I could change the photo of Mabini shot allegedly in Guam. The issue he said is that it was not Mabini who was in the picture. However, I am keeping it since there is an existing photo with accompanying caption which says: The Guam Museum written above it [see below]. The better copy of the photo, or the one I used in the docu was reproduced from the NHCP Museum in Tanauan. As the issue has not yet been resolved whether it was really Mabini or not, I would still keep the picture. In fact, it was because of that reaction that I researched again for the copy of the photo that I got from filipinoamericanwar.com

Apolinario Mabini Guam newspaper2

This is the photo I am referring to. Notice on the top right side of the photo which states: The Guam Museum, and the words on the caption “….Mabini, along with 35 other Filipino patriots, WERE HERE [all caps mine – and that refers to Guam where Mabini was exiled] from 1901 to 1903.

One thing that struck me was their reaction to the insets of Filipino Sign Language [FSL] interpreters. Although the NHCP viewers were briefed before showing that the film was designed for the Deaf, and therefore would have FSL interpretations, they still wanted the traditional inset — small, in a box and kept in one corner. [I manipulated the image sizes and movement of the interpreter within the frame].

Though I found their reaction to it as quite surprising, I just rationalized as I was going home that perhaps for historians and researchers who are more interested and concentrated on the documents, data and message, the presence of sign language interpreters provided much distraction to their senses. And considering the language elements, and there are three: Filipino narration, English captions and FSL interpretation, that comes alongside the aural music and sound effects, and the visual elements simultaneously being presented, the need for mind processing is a bit more than the usual film with no textual and visual gestural elements involved. Discerning what language to give importance to also comes to the fore.

For hearing people unfamiliar with sign language, it is understandable that for them it meant nothing, and therefore, would pose only as solid distractions. In the end, they suggested if I could make another version with the traditional inset for FSL interpretation.  Of course, that would be by now impossible as the chroma background and the FSL interpreters are in composite form. Besides, it would defeat my own purpose and advocacy: that is, to give the Deaf Filipino sector access to information, and the other important objective of promoting the use and recognition of FSL in the Philippines which up to now has not been given attention to by the government. Most importantly, that was the very reason why DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies partnered with me in the realization of the film — its primary target beneficiaries are Deaf people. In fact, before showing it for the first time to their students, a preview was also conducted, at that time, in the presence of Dean Nicky Templo, the FSL interpreters, some faculty staff — Deaf and hearing, and the Deaf participants themselves with the sole purpose of agreeing of disagreeing regarding the image sizes and presentation of FSL in the film.

The importance of FSL in giving Deaf access to information can be gleaned from the reaction to the film of Myra Medrana, Deaf choreographer of the Silent Steps. She said:

“I’m truly happy and grateful to Mirana for doing this film on Mabini in Filipino Sign Language. This is a wonderful project for the Filipino people, especially for us Deaf as we come to learn more about our history and our heroes. Looking back, I remember when I was little, my father would give me paper money to buy stuff and I see these faces of they say heroes whom I knew nothing about. Although they were taught in school, I only remember very little facts about them because they were not clearly explained in sign language. Much of the information back then were not that much accessible to the Deaf unlike today.

To be honest, history to me is blur. And it’s unclear not just to me… but to most Deaf especially the poor and the marginalized because of the very limited access to education and information. I only slowly began to understand it clearly when I got to work with Mirana, initially in the “A Mi Patria” project  [Rizal’s Poems in FSL], and now in Project Mabini. During the production, we went to Batangas and learned a lot about Mabini — that despite his disability he was able to contribute immensely in our country’s fight for freedom and independence. Somehow, this film has inspired us so much to be like Mabini.

Now, the Filipino Deaf community is fighting for FSL, our natural language to be recognized as official sign language in the country. This film is a great advocacy towards that goal and I appreciate Mirana’s effort in including Deaf artists and talents to show to people the beauty and richness of our OWN language..the Filipino Sign Language. I hope more films like this will be done for the benefit of the Deaf community so that they too will learn about our history.”

NHCP Preview

O.I.C. Director of NHCP and DLSU History Professor, Dr. Rene Escalante [seated] with the NHCP researchers and other staff; MM in blue

Anyway, that stress be given according to Dr. Escalante regarding the importance of the Separation of Church and State issue, I greatly considered and appreciated. But as to the non-linear timeline of events, I am still keeping the sequence that I currently have. Lest I forget, the woman seated beside me said she liked the treatment, the creative interpretation.

My thanks to Dr. Escalante and his staff for sharing their time to watch, react and give their comments re the docu. A particular sector’s reaction does differ. Shown two days later to another group consisting of educators, heritage advocates, a local historian, tourism and cultural workers, including a staff from NHCP-Malolos in Bulacan reacted also positively but with better appreciation of the FSL use. [This I shall take up in my next blogpost].

 

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Manuel Conde’s VENGANZA on October 8 at the CCP

October 5, 2016
venganza

Courtesy of Video48.blogspot.com

This is the revised schedule of the film screening of VENGANZA [1958]. The program in celebration of Manuel Conde’s Centennial Birth Anniversary will be held at Tanghalang Manuel Conde on Saturday, October 8 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The program will start at 2pm. instead of 3 p.m. Dr. Nicanor Tiongson will give a talk after the screening. Dr. Tiongson is the author of “The Cinema of Manuel Conde.”

Below is the program:

2:00 P.M. – 3:45 P.M. – Screening of VENGANZA [TRT: 101 mins.]

3:45 P.M. – 5:30 P.M. – Introduction of Venganza by Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson with short Q & A

5:30 P.M. – Welcome Remarks: CCP; Speech: NCCA Chairman; Speech: Postmaster General; Handover of Commemorative Stamp to Urbano Family; Response: Urbano Family representative; Photo Op

6:00 P.M. – Cocktails (to be hosted by NCCA)

[For more information about Manuel Conde, click the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Conde%5D

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Special Screening of MANUEL CONDE FILMS

September 11, 2016
manuel-conde

From Wikipedia

In celebration of the Centennial Birth Anniversary of the National Artist for Film Manuel Conde [b. October 9, 1915; d. August 11, 1985], the Cultural Center of the Philippines Arthouse Cinema, in cooperation with
Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (SOFIA), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the UP Los Baños Foundation Inc, will screen three of his films produced in the 50’s. The event — dubbed as *MANUEL CONDE@100* will be held at Tanghalang Manuel Conde, Cultural Center of the Philippines on Sept. 24, October 1 and 8.

I remember interviewing him as then researcher of the UP Film Center in the late 70’s in connection with my research about Vicente Salumbides, somewhere in Sampaloc area near Espana in Manila.The latter talked about Manuel Conde who worked with him in his film Ibong Adarna. Unfortunately, when our house burned in 1998, all my materials — photos, and tape interviews with Salumbides turned into ashes as well.

Luckily, I found my taped interview with Conde among the tape collection of my historian-brother who lived in J.P.Laurel St., Area II inside the UP Campus in Diliman. That was sometime in 2004; the year my brother passed away. I had to gather all his things in order to move out. But moving in and out of a house to transfer materials eventually made searching later for that tape quite difficult, since there were tons of important research materials in his house.

I remember asking him about his Juan Tamad series, Conde’s satirical but socially relevant movies.  I am still hoping that I would find the copy…

juantamadgoestomalacanang61-sf

Source: Video48.blogspot.com

To be presented by the CCP Arthouse Cinema are the following:

GENGHIS KHAN [1950], September 24 at 3 p.m.
genghis-khan-picThe first Filipino film to compete at the Venice Film Festival in 1952, Genghis Khan starred Manuel Conde and Elvira Reyes. Produced by MC Productions, it is the saga of how the young but wily Temujin rose to become the overlord of the Mongol Empire. The version will have the original Tagalog soundtrack, unhampered by James Agee’s poetic narration in the re-edited international edition which was restored in 2012. [Teddy Co, board member of the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film] will discuss for the first time some confounding and overlooked facets about the film].

KRUS NA KAWAYAN [1956], October 1, 2016 at 3 p.m.
krus-na-kEntirely filmed in Vietnam with Filipino actors in Vietnamese roles, the film tackeles the refugee crisis at the onset of the Vietnam War. The United States Information Service [USIS] funded the film as propaganda material to portray the evils of Communism during the Cold War. [Jun Urbano, who was a young boy in the film, will talk about his experiences working with his father]

VENGANZA [1958], October 8, 2016 at 3 p.m.
Produced by LVN Pictures, the action-thriller starred Mario Montenegro, Carmencita Abad, Perla Bautista, and Carlos Padilla, Jr. The screening will be preceded by the launch of the Manuel Conde. Centennial stamp by the Philippine Postal Authority and NCCA. [Film  scholar Nicanor Tiongson, author of The Cinema of Manuel Conde will give a talk after thevenganza screening, emphasizing Conde’s delicacy and care in depicting the indigenous Igorot people shown in the film. A rare bonus clip of an interview with Conde before he died will also be shown.]

[Source: CCP Calendar of Events, September-October 2016]

Photos courtesy of Video48.blogspot.com

http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/archive/

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Last Day of PULE’s Screening in Metro Manila College Today

August 2, 2016

The showing in Metro Manila College of my educational documentary which started last July 26 ends today August 2. The production team significantly consisted of more Persons with Disability than non-PWDs. Majority of the participants came from  DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS] to show that “Deaf Can.” SDEAS co-produced the docu with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts [NCCA].

POSTER_Terps2

[L-R in the photos]: Gess Abrenica, Jr. [Deaf student], John Baliza and Febe Sevilla [Hearing], and Ma. Elena Lozada [Deaf] – All the rest are teaching at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies

Interestingly, one of the viewers last July 29, a Sped Coordinator of Rosa Susano Elementary School named Ms. Mercy Cubero was quite happy to unexpectedly see her former student in the film, Maria Elena Lozada [Deaf]. She also worked with me in an earlier film that featured 5 of Rizal’s most popular poems in Filipino Sign Language.

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Week-long Showing of PULE in Metro Manila College on Going until August 2

July 31, 2016

On the same day PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon was shown on July 26 at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City, Metro-Manila College located in Quezon City started showing it too. BPoster for Websiteut there, it will be shown until August 2. [Because of class suspension and exams, its original showing should have been up to July 31 only].

About one of our great heroes, and the First Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the film hopes to make our people aware of his role in our country’s nationhood.

With diversified audience in mind, the film is subtitled in English, narrated in Filipino, our national language, and interpreted in Filipino Sign Language. In the week-long schedule, I attended the July 29 screening where not only hearing students, but its target beneficiaries attended.

jul29_MM

That’s me in vignette introducing the film with Ms. Cubero interpreting on the stage

Special teachers led by Ms. Mercy Cubero and about 30 Deaf students from Rosa Susano Elementary School came to see the documentary. Held at the Metro Manila College Covered court, the viewers are comparatively large in number. There were about 500 students with special visitors like my friend based in Turkey, Rowena Ulayan and her daughter Emer. Fr. Ryan, a historian was our guest speaker.

July29_susano2

Rosa Susano Elementary School Sped Students and their Teachers with GMEFI Officers, and PFD Leaders; [Extreme Left]: Gil Reoma, GMEFI Executive Director, [6th-9th from L]: RSES Sped Coordinator Ms. Mercy Cubero, Mirana, Emer, daughter of my friend Rowena Ulayan Tuzcuoglu from Turkey; [Extreme Right]: Yvette Apurado with Bibo [seated], and Rey Lee sitting with the students wearing black T-shirt. He was my first Deaf teacher.

Ms. Cubero found the language difficult for her Deaf students. And she is right! Because the film is actually intended for upper high school to tertiary students. I invited them just the same with the hope that the young Deaf students could find role models seeing what the Deaf performers in the film could do. Maybe my desire was realized because it turned out that one of the performers in my documentary, Ma. Elena Lozada was her student during her elementary school years. Maria, just like her mentor is now a teacher herself. She teaches at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies. I worked with her before in my previous works.

july 29_7

[L-R]: Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. and MMC staff [L-R]: Dante Locsin, Nina Padua, our guest speaker, Fr. Ryan, Mirana Medina, Michael Aguilar and Mr. Tumang

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“PULE” Visited the Department of Foreign Affairs Today

July 26, 2016
DFA2

DFA Officers and Personnel who attended the special screening held at the CMOAS Conference Room, DFA Bldg.

The First Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Apolinario “Pule” Mabini visited this afternoon the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City through a digital documentary film about his life, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon / Brains of the Revolution.

DFA POSTER6

The activity is part of the post-celebration of DFA’s 2016 National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. DFA’s HRMO-BWD, Wellness and Family Affairs Unit sponsored the screening. Some DFA personnel including Assistant Secretary Grace Relucio Princesa, Department Legislative Liaison Unit; Human Resource Management Office [HRMO] Executive Director Mardomel Celo Melicor, HRMO-BWD Administrative Director Lenna Eilleen De Dios-Sison attended the screening together with DFA Deaf employees from the Office of Consular Affairs. Director Melicor gave the welcome remarks in place of HRMO Assistant Secretary Maria Aileen H. Bugarin who wasn’t  able to come. Mr. Jose Mari “Knoy” Fedelicio of HRMO warmly welcomed us, and sent us off as well after the screening. He was served as coordinator re the film showing schedule. According to him, PULE is “a must-see for every Filipino who takes pride of our history and heritage.”

I was quite happy to observe the excitement Asec Princesa showed for having watched the docu as she pointed at the need for more personnel of DFA to watch PULE. She said: “This movie really makes me appreciate our First [Secretary]…” She ended up by giving encouraging words to the PWDs in the audience who found inspiration from knowing better their icon, Mabini, himself a person with disability: “…there is nothing to stop us from using our brain, our heart, as long as we have integrity, character. The sky is the limit for you, guys. So, I really hope that you will do more in the department, outside the department …and show the world that being Deaf is not a reason not to be successful…”

Asec Princesa

DFA Assistant Secretary Grace Princesa, Department Legislative Liaison Unit addresses the audience after the screening of PULE at CMOAS Conference Rm., DFA Bldg.

To all those who have found the time to watch the film, I would like to say thank you!!

Incidentally, PULE was also shown in the morning and in the afternoon today at Metro-Manila College in Novaliches, Quezon City with the aim of raising awareness about Mabini’s life, and the hope of sparking patriotism in the hearts of their Grade school students. The screening there will last until August 2.

PULE was intentionally made for the general audience but it is more intended for the youth whose sense of history is becoming near to nil. I also had the personnel of DFA in mind when I was in the process of making it knowing that very few must be knowing Mabini’s real contribution to our nationhood. Who he was was my guide when I researched about him. I must admit that I know very little about him before I embarked on the project except the fact the he is known as “The Sublime Paralytic” and “The Brains of the Revolution.”

[Photos above and at the bottom by Knoy Fedelicio-HRMO-DFA; Mid-photo by MM]