Posts Tagged ‘Belen Calingacion’


KIDS THREE 21 at the UP Film Center in Celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Consciousness Month

February 9, 2014
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Rowena Ulayan, Universal Kids Film Festival Founder

A small social and special gathering of old time friends with very special guests was held on February 6, 2014 at Bernal Gallery, UP Film Center through the initiative of Rowena “Weng” Ulayan-Martinez, founder of the Universal Kids Film Festival in Turkey. KIDS THREE 21-international version was premiered here with PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA.

KIDS.. was first shown last November 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Opposite in nature and content — the former is a film on Trisomy 21; the latter, a film on Andres Bonifacio that shows the Philippine High School for the Arts student’s insights on the hero and the activities they readied in celebration of his 150th Birth Anniversary. Both films are timely  since in the Philippines, the National Arts Month and the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month are both being celebrated in February. 2014 is also the Sesquicentennial Year of Bonifacio.

Showing UP_Weng

Weng Ulayan welcomes the guests

Weng gave the opening remarks with tone of nostalgia followed by my introduction of the above docus. Present were the featured resource persons in KIDS: Dr. Carmencita Padilla, geneticist and Eleanor Dominguez, nutritionist-dietician. Both saw the film for the first time.

KIDS showing2

KIDS THREE  21 shown in celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Month features
Dr. Carmencita Padilla, top geneticist in the Philippines


PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA, a film I made in collaboration with Vim Nadera, director, Philippine High School for the Arts; shown in Celebration of National Arts Month and the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio

KIDS THREE 21 gives an overview on Trisomy 21 or what Down Syndrome is, the maternal risks involved, the plight of parents, and the realities of having a Child with Down Syndrome. A segment focuses on the importance of nutrition awareness and intervention – an element oftentimes neglected because of the conventional stress and attention given to physical and occupational therapies and special education. The film was made possible because of Eleanor Dominguez, then M.A. student of the UP Sped Area. There are two versions of the film: the thesis version which is about 13 minutes longer than the copy shown last February 6.

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Reunion photo with Direk Tikoy Aguiluz; our last film was Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story/ photo courtesy of Janus

Other special guests were my colleague, producer-director Tikoy Aguiluz, co-founder of the UP Film Center [with Ms. Virgie Moreno]; balikbayan Ed Tamondong, one of the center’s original staff cameraman; CHED Legal Counsel Head Atty. Carmencita Yadao-Sison and her husband, Atty. Roberto Sison who described KIDS.. as “a film that introduces and comprehensively treats the subject of Down Syndrome…Opened my eyes on this ‘accident of nature’ that happens to one out of 800 births worldwide. With the current population of 100 million Filipinos, that’s a lot!”

Weng’s friends who joined us were Romanlito Austria, UP Fine Arts Professor and former head of the Graduate Studies at the UPFA, Princess Nemenzo, UP professor and wife of former UP President, Fides Bagasao, UN International Consultant for Urban Poor and Human Settlements, Cora Despabiladeras, book writer for children, Ephraim Despabiladeras of USAID, Kuya Bogie, lead character of the TV program for children, “Batibot”, Avic Ilagan, filmmaker, Marili  and Boni Fernandez, Eliza  Quiambao and Ben Agunod.

Weng and Belen

Weng and Belen

Of course, the affair wouldn’t be complete without longtime friends, UP KAL Professor and former Chair of the UP Department of Theater Arts and Speech Communication Dr. Belen Calingacion, writers Roshan Jose, Rochit Tañedo and Corito Llamas, artist Alma Quinto, environmentalist Minnie Crouse and writer-filmmaker Janus Victoria, now with Channel 7. Joseph Lena, the KID’s cameraman, formerly with ANC Channel recorded the event.

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[R-L]: Castillejos Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez and Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College; Fides Bagasao, UN Consultant for Urban Poor and Princess Nemenzo, UP Professor; [Extreme right behind: Ed Tamondong

And in support of Eleanor’s effort, her husband, Castillejos [Zambales] Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez with Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College, and her friend, Clarisse de Leon, a daughter of Angat, Bulacan Mayor and the town’s municipal administrator also attended the event.

Sadly, no representative from Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines — the film’s target audience — joined Dr. Padilla because of other priorities. Nevertheless, the latter’s presence, as one of its founding members made the occasion complete. She entertained the questions re the matter. [See the photos below]:

The event ended with the sumptuous Turkish cuisine prepared by no less than Weng Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu who is leaving the country today, February 9.

Turkish dinner delight4 Turkish dinner delight3TURKISH CUISINE MENU

Entree White cheese rolls, Green and black olives with red pepper, Sarma (spiced rice wrapped in grape leaves), Dolma (stuffed tomatoes and eggplants), Pita bread with hummus, Kisir Salad (bulgur and red lentils)

Main Dish: Green beans with ground beef, Buttered Chicken, Pilav (buttered rice with peas), Borek (Turkish Pie stuffed with potato & minced meat), Pasta (with Olive oil, white cheese mint and hazel nuts)

Dessert: Turkish Delight, Irmik Tatlisi (Semolina), Dried Fruits, Çorek (twisted cookies with sesame seeds). Pishmaniye

Drinks: Ihlamur Tea (Linden Tea), Kushburnu Tea (Rosehip Tea)


To the Flowers of Heidelberg_English-Filipino Sign Language Version Edited

November 27, 2011

A las Flores de Heidelberg, a poem written by our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, and translated from Spanish into English by National Artist in Literature Nick Joaquin was read for A mi Patria [omnibus film on Rizal’s poems] by my good friend, Belen Calingacion. I started editing it with the Filipino Sign Language version interpreted by Romalito Mallari last night. This morning before 7 a.m., I have finally finished the edit.

Today, I need to focus on the materials that I’ll use for the powerpoint presentation that I’ll do on November 30 during the 2nd Asia-Pacific CBR Congress. I’ll be speaking about “Documentary Films as Effective Tools in Promoting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” It will be a gathering of many different agencies in the region. It will be my first time to present using powerpoint so I need to familiarize myself with it. It is suppose to be easier than filmmaking but I got so used to making films and avp’s that I find it rather uncomfortable to adjust to something simpler…which is bad of course! I’ll probably be adopting filmmaking techniques to it so I won’t feel much the change. Well! Let’s see what I’ll come up with. I have yet to look for some images for the 15-minute presentation.


Work with Fun it Was! The Shooting of Rizal’s Poems with UP KAL Professors

September 4, 2011

Last Friday, September 2, from 9 a.m. to 8 pm, we worked with fun. UP KAL Professors: Marot [Maria Crisanta Nelmida] Flores , Jannette Pinzon, Roselle Pineda, Vim [Victor Emmanuel], Belen Calingacion, and of course, the same team members of Project Rizal: Dennis Balan [Deaf], Rem Vocalan, Cathy Genovia, Nelson Demetillo, Aldrin Gabriel [Deaf], Rex Flores, and Jojo Sia, my side kick quite enjoyed the day. Even the weather cooperated because there were only drizzling rain unlike the heavy rain downfall last Thursday. Syempre, ang gagaling nila! I came to know them all through my friend Belen Calingancion two or three years ago except Marot whom I met only this year. I actually met Belen more than a decade ago at the UP Film Center where I used to work before going ‘indie’. We made a home video together about the Sillimanians for their Founder’s Day about three years ago when we went to Dumaguete City on the way to Siquijor Island. We did ambush interviews then. Silliman President was interviewed as well as Jerry [wast it?] Dadap [one of the Dadap musicians for sure] who was there for a concert at the Luce Auditorium, the same place where my film on  autism, Alyana was shown to more or less 700 nursing students.  [Belen, a Sillimanian is shown with us at the photo below. She is by the way, the Chair of the UP Speech Communication and Theater Arts Dept.]

Rizal’s A FILIPINAS is the only remaining poem that I am going to shoot for the Filipino-English version. Dok Apolonio Chua has already agreed to read the poem. It is my replacement to the poem SA AKING KABATA. All four others are done: HULING PAHIMAKAS [Salin ni Andres Bonifacio], MY LAST FAREWELL [Encarnacion Alzona and Abeto] read in two versions by Vim Nadera, FLOWERS OF HEIDELBERG [Nick Joaquin] read by  Belen Calingacion, SA BULAKLAK NG HEIDELBERG [Virgilio Almario] read by Marot Flores; A LA JUVENTUD FILIPINA [Nick Joaquin], SA KABATAANG FILIPINO [Virgilio Almario] read in both versions by Roselle Pineda, and SONG OF MARIA CLARA [Nick Joaquin] and AWIT NI MARIA CLARA [Guillermo Tolentino] read in two versions by Jannette Pinzon. They will be placed side by side with the Filipino Sign Language version when finalized. A third language will be captioned for the benefit of other readers or viewers.

Will try to find time to post more photos during the session


The Importance of Pre-Production

August 16, 2011

Pre-production is one of the major phases in making a film, and which I consider as equally important as the others. Problems during the shooting stage arises when the team has not properly prepared for it. And when that happens, additional expenses or loss, in terms of time and money are the automatic outcome. That problem creates a chain reaction, such as unreadiness reflected on the type of coverages done during the shoot — which comes in form of continuity problem, lack of coverages, hurried production design, poor script, and the like.

Knowing that, I am trying to do my best to be as ready as possible for my coming shoot in August and September — continuation of the Filipino Sign Language interpretation of Rizal’s poems, and the English version which will be participated in by our consultant, Vim Nadera from the UP Institute of Creative Writing; our music scorer, Roselle Pineda from the UP Arts Studies Dept; and friends Belen Calingacion, Chair of UP Speech Comm and Theater Arts Dept. with Janet Pinzon from the same department.