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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

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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.

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Visita Iglesia 2018

March 31, 2018

It’s a tradition many Filipinos still observe — Visita Iglesia or visiting of seven churches every Maundy Thursday. Noticeably, all images were covered with purple-colored cloth. This year it fell on March 27, 2018. It is supposed to be done after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper where the washing of the feet by the officiating priest happens. This year, Pope Francis washed the feet of some prisoners in Italy.

Since it would be difficult for us to commute at night, we hopped from Church to Church starting at 1 pm. Good enough decision, since those who did their visitations at night had to cut short their walk because of the rain.

FIRST STOP – Sta.  Rita de Cascia Church in Baclaran

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2. Our Mother of Perpetual Help Shrine in Baclaran

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3. Our Lady of Sorrows – F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City

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4. Church of Nuestra Señora de Guia – Ermita, Manila

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5. Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz – Binondo, Manila

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Next to Binondo Church is this small chapel called the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary under the Binondo Chinese Mission Parish. It was our first time to enter the worship place.

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6. Sta. Cruz Church – Manila

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7. Shrine of the Black Nazarene – Quiapo Church

Our last destination… We waited for the 5 p.m. Mass that would last until 6.30 p.m. but we had to leave earlier than planned as I experienced dizziness inside the Church while the washing of the feet was going on. Everything became blurred around me, though  the sounds were still clear enough to be heard. I felt so weak I was on the verge of collapsing when a wheelchair was brought to take me out of the crowded church. It was my first time to be wheel-chaired…though not my first time to get dizzy in crowded places. I thank all those who had helped me especially my niece, Susan Abad who was more anxious than I was when my senses got back to normalcy. She wouldn’t want us to finish the Mass anymore. It could have been my first time to hear full Mass in Quiapo Church…

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For more information, click: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Churches_Visitation

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To Light a Fire

March 13, 2018

To learn to read is to light a fire. So true!!!

Steve McCurry's Blog

Ujjian, India

Myanmar/Burma

To learn to read is to light a fire;
every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
– Victor Hugo

Yugoslavia

China

Rome, Italy

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
– Jorge Luis Borges

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Mumbai, India

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!
How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!
When I have a house of my own,
I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
–  Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Venice, Italy

Uttar Pradesh, India

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,
and some few are to be chewed and digested.
– Francis Bacon

Istanbul, Turkey

Near Al Hudaydah, Yemen

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This…

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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.
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    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.

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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.

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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