Posts Tagged ‘A Filipinas’


Daily Prompt: Get Set, Ready, Go

January 26, 2013

Yesterday, it was like attending a rally. With Macky Calbay, a Deaf youth leader, we hopped from one building to another, in the campus of the University of the Philippines to hang tarpaulins, print posters, distribute flyers, talk to partners who have joined us to support the screening of my film, A MI PATRIA / INANG-BAYAN / TO MY MOTHERLAND scheduled next week on February 3. It is a collection of Dr. Jose Rizal’s patriotic poems written between the time when he was a teener to the day or a couple of days before he was shot to death by a firing squad on December 30, 1896 during the Spanish regime in the Philippines. My film is the first-ever interpretation in Filipino Sign Language of Rizal’s poems which he wrote more than 100 years ago. They are as follows: A Filipinas, A la Juventud Filipina, Canto de Maria Clara, A las Flores de Heidelberg and Ultimo Adios. Though primarily made with, and for the Deaf sector, the film eventually turned out to serve ordinary students of Rizal Studies. I decided to make the spoken language versions of the film in Spanish, Filipino and English to give access to Blind students.

Running around to market my own film is one of the experiences, we makers of non-commercially viable films encounter. With no known actors, and made for a marginalized sector, I nevertheless expect unexpected reactions as I always tend to choose subjects never before tackled.


A Mi PATRIA – 5 Rizal’s Poetry in Film Interpreted in FSL Previews Tomorrow

May 17, 2012

The collection of Dr. Jose Rizal’s poetry [in film] done in four languages: Filipino Sign Language, Filipino, English and Spanish will finally be previewed tomorrow, May 18 at 1pm. The viewing scheduled at PEN Learning Room at DLS-CSB SDEAS is limited to performers, production staff and a few guests only. It is just my SOP to show it to the staff before any premiere screening is held to welcome suggestions to further improve the film, if and when necessary. Its public / premiere showing is targeted next month, June 19, the start of the 151st celebration of Rizal’s bday. Notably, A mi Patria was made exactly 100 years after the first film on Rizal in the Philippines was produced by the Americans, Yearsley and Gross. The film features Aldrin Gabriel, Mark Gaspar and Romalito Mallari as Rizal; Jorelle Faytaren as Maria Clara, and the Silent Steps.

The title “A MI PATRIA” / INANG-BAYAN / TO MY MOTHERLAND [FSL version] – which has taken a year to finish came from Noli Me Tangere, Dr. Rizal’s novel. It is the dedication title of Rizal in the said book. A MI is thematic; it centers on Rizal’s love of country and/or patriotism. All are inspiring poems; some sad, others hopeful. The poems interpreted in FSL are: A Filipinas, A la Juventud Filipina, Canto de Maria Clara, A las Flores de Heidelberg and Ultimo Adios. Rizal started writing poetry from his teenage years.

SDEAS will facilitate the special screening tomorrow.


Invitation to 2nd Asia-Pacific CBR Conference 2011

October 4, 2011

This morning I received an email from the representative of the Programme Committee of the 2nd Asia-Pacific CBR Congress Barney McGlade informing me of the acceptance of my submitted abstract entitled “Documentary Films as Effective Advocacy Tool in Promoting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Receiving the confirmation was unexpected. I actually already forgot that I submitted one. Nevertheless, I am happy that they did consider it.

It came at the height of my current activities as: preparing for the shooting with the SILENT STEPS, the all-Deaf dance performers of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies on Thursday, October 6, readying the Ultimo Adios DVD orders of the descendants of Dr. Jose Rizal [had to sell to add up to production maintenance and operating expenses], editing the other FSL films, starting with A FILIPINAS, and reporting back to edit Kingpin Asiong-the international version today.

In between all the above activities, I have to prepare what they need including the power-point that will be used.


ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language_Soon Available

September 28, 2011

I’ll officially be releasing DVD copies of the Sesquicentennial Edition of Ultimo Adiós [in Filipino Sign Language] on Saturday, October 1 during the closing day of the Deaf Education Seminar being sponsored by the UP College of Education. The film was first launched in June in time for the 150 birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.  This is to help raise additional funds for our production’s maintenance and operations expenses, i.e., additional manpower, food, materials, atbp. I have yet to finish four poems in FSL and 15 poems in spoken languages [English, Filipino and Spanish].

By the way, Aldrin Gabriel also interpreted the 5th poem that I have added in the collection. I could have settled on having only four, with blessings from the NCCA because the poem SA AKING KABATA which was originally included in my proposal was finally excluded because of the current issue that it was not Rizal who wrote the poem. The last poem in my collection is A FILIPINAS / TO THE PHILIPPINES. With the latter in the collection, the whole series has become thematic: it is about Rizal’s nationalism, his deep love for his country which started as early as when he was a teener, as exemplified in his poem A La Juventud Filipina.


Visit to the Rizal Shrine in Calamba_Setting of Awit ni Maria Clara

September 6, 2011

This afternoon, I went with Manang Fely to visit the Rizal Shrine in Calamba and his Bantayog located opposite the Calamba City Hall in Laguna. The shrine has few furnitures left. I had been to the place when I was small, and I could only recall before going there the fan that fansied my imagination at that time, and the well. The nipa house looks different now. I met the curator and informed her of my plan to shoot the Deaf interpretation of Awit ni Maria Clara. I gave her a copy of the Natinal Historical Commission of the Philippines’ letter of permission that was granted to us as early as April.

Calamba has become a very busy city — crowded, noisy, with lots of tricycles, sidewalk vendors, etc. SM Calamba is prominent as well as Liana’s. From Buendia in Pasay, we took a bus [Green Star] ride up to what they call Crossing. There we took a tricycle to the house of Rizal at P40. We reached the house after 4p.m. and since the sign board says that visiting hours is only up to 4 p.m., I was a little upset. I thought I could not go inside it. The security guard motioned us to go in because the shrine is actually open up to 4.30 p.m. We proceeded from there to what they call Bantayog or Plaza Park, where the newest and supposedly tallest statue of Rizal can be found. I want to shoot the 5th poem there. Now, my mind is working on how to shoot A FILIPINAS… And I think CJ Patriarca will be best to act as symbol of Mother Filipinas..

[Update on this entry]. It’s October 7, 2012! Time is incredible! It flew so fast, I forgot that I wrote the above post until I saw it on my stat today. Anyway, I shot A Filipinas and I liked its outcome. I remember just doing the storyboard in my head as I didn’t have the time to do because of Asiong Salonga film we were then working on – overnights – to meet supposedly the Venice International Film Festival deadline. This poem interpreted in Filipino Sign Language turned out to be quite symbolic and more that what I expected. Even if the camera work were not that satisfactory to me, still I was then quite happy with the treatment. It wasn’t CJ Patriarca who ended up as Mother Philippines but Lynn Cappal! It was also Aldrin Gabriel who ended up performing for the second time. The person meant to do it was nowhere to found. For some photos taken during the shooting, click the link below: