Posts Tagged ‘Isagani R. Medina’


Old Corregidor Revisited in “Tiga-Isla”

November 17, 2014

iSLANDERSThe abridged edition of “Tiga-Isla” [The Islanders of Corregidor] / 62mins was shown for the first time last Saturday, November 15 at NHCP-Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. It turned out to be sort of a reunion with “long time no see” friends: Shrine Curator Angelo Aguinaldo, NHCP Aguinaldo Shrine – Historic Sites Development Officer Gina Ayran, Cavite Historical Society members Belen Nocon and Willie Pangilinan.

Also present were: Chit A. Sambile – Kawit Tourism Officer/ FAMAS President; Annie R. Sarile – President, Cavite Association of Historic Sites and Museums/ Director, Marketing Communication Office – DLSU Dasmarinas; Aquino Garcia – President, Cavite Provincial Tourism Board/ Faculty, DLSU-Dasmarinas; Myra Oestrich – Asst Principal, IMUS Institute; Ige Ramos – Editor, Rustan’s SansRival; Columnist – BANDEHADO, Bandera; Cavite Culinary Historian, and Jigs Medina – Historian – Faculty, DLSU-Dasmarinas.

Tiga Isla Screening8

From R-L: Willie Pangilinan, Aquino Garcia, Angelo Aguinaldo, MM, Mrs. Chit Sambile, Annie Sarile, Belen Nocon, Jigs Medina, Myra Oestrich, Imus Institute history teacher and Jan Peña

Students of Imus Institute Adult School came with their history teacher while some students of St. Dominic School who previously viewed my docu on autism arrived with Jan Peña, former president of Autism Society. Her family members also came [photo below]. Incidentally, her son Emille she told us is named after Emilio Aguinaldo. They are currently residing in Dasmariñas.

Jan's fam

Jan Peña’s Family: Husband Al, daughter Thea and youngest son, Jan Emille. Behind them is the house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo

Despite the delay due to technical problems, they all patiently waited. It was worth their time I guess as they enjoyed listening to the stories of my interviewees. Majority of them are gone now but their memories and stories shall remain for as long as the digital video disc survives the test of climate change, humidity and man’s negligence. Some segments elicited laughter from the audience when they heard some of the experiences of my brother Isagani Medina who also served as my film’s consultant; especially so, when he started singing a song that they used to sing at a time nationalism of the Filipinos started to brew against the Spaniards and the Americans:

“One, two, three. Amerikanong nahuli.
Saan ililibing? Sa puno ng saging.
Anong kandila? Titi ng Kastila.
Ano ang korona? Bulbol ng señora”.

Some were touched, and a few must have cried as they empathized with the feeling of loss by the Corregidorians, strongly exemplified in the words of Mr. Jose Estrella: “…I have lost a birthplace.”

Mrs. Chit Sambile said the documentary quite relived her childhood days during the Japanese period. She looked quite nostalgic. Angelo Aguinaldo was quite surprised to see Dr. Selma Calmes-Harrison and to hear her story about two generations of her family who lived in Corregidor. The viewers wowed upon seeing her parent’s wedding picture. Her mother was wearing a typical Filipino dress we call “saya.”

Dr Selma n parents

[Leff photo] Wedding picture in Corregidor of Dr. Selma Harrison-Calmes’ parents; [R]: Grabbed foto of Dr. Selma from the film “Tiga-Isla”

The history teacher from Imus Institute was quite appreciative of the film as they have learned something new from it. Most books written on Corregidor are about war and destruction; not about the lives of the Filipinos and Americans who lived and enjoyed their days there. Unfortunately, my brother’s wish to be buried there, later, that he be cremated instead and his ashes be spread in Corregidor were not realized due to opposition from all the members of our family.

Observing how the people reacted on a film made 11 years ago just only showed the film content’s timelessness, and of course, the power of the film medium as a tool in teaching history.

Looking back, the process of making this particular documentary would not have been possible —believe it or not — without the power of prayer and God’s intervention. Of the many unexplainable experiences that I encountered in the making of this film quite unforgettable was the magnet-like desire that I felt to go to Corregidor so suddenly. I rushed that morning to the CCP Complex, and arrived at the ferry boat terminal just a few minutes before the boat disembarked. I had no plans at all to go there. But the push within me to visit the island was so powerful, I had to leave my chores to catch the boat scheduled on that day. I felt like a real tourist on that day. I was first brought there when I was small and I couldn’t remember any of the places that I had been to. I only remember the white pebbles that we collected. The turning point was when I heard a Balikbayan tourist from Hawaii exclaiming while viewing the photo exhibit at the Museum: “May mga tao pala dito at villages?”

On the boat back to Manila that afternoon, I have decided to document the stories of my siblings –on how they lived there, their experiences, and how Corregidor looked like during their time. I also felt a strong sense of loss — of never having experienced going home to a province — “our own” that is, when I get tired of the city jungle; and felt angered somewhat by what the War has brought to what could have been my home too….Anyhow, the decision to make the docu helped me in finally finding something to keep my brother Gani’s spirit “alive” and busy for many months. I finished the film and premiered it in 2003; my brother Gani died the following year on September 26, 2004. Had I not documented their stories, current generation of Filipinos will never come to know how happy life in Corregidor Island was for residents who lived there.

Last note: On the usual question as to why TIGA, not TAGA-ISLA was used… According to my brother, TIGA is a Cavite-Tagalog word. Residents of Corregidor before the War were called “Tiga-Isla.”

Also take note that some revisions on the feature-length version of the docu will be done..Extra characters will be erased for good..One would easily know copies marketed without my knowledge.

Paksiw_Lunch at Agui

Ulam namin nung lunch time… first time ko makakita ng nakapilang paksiw na isda…waiting to be eaten….Sarap!!!

Thanks Angelo and Gina for the opportunity to show the film again!!! Pero umorder na kayo ng LCD projector ha?

See Tiga-Isla on page 17 of the 17th Gawad CCP souvenir program below:


Do You Believe in Spirits?

April 19, 2012

It was dawn. In the borderline between sleep, dream and waking-up stages, I got up as scenes during the Tejeros Convention in 1897 — between Andres Bonifacio and Daniel Tirona played in my head. I sat still on my bed thinking of Emilio Aguinaldo at the trenches while the convention was on. Everything was quiet. Slowly, I heard the sound of a ticking clock inside the room fading in. It became loud that I wondered where the sound was coming from. My sight landed on the clock of my deceased brother – a historian – [colleague of Dr. Zeus Febski, at sympre pa, ni Prof. Teodoro Agoncillo]. It’s his birthday tomorrow. But that clock’s battery has long been drained. It’s been dead for months, for a year or more, in fact. Why it suddenly ticked again after a long time, and loudly quite surprised me. I had goosebumps. I knew my brother was around. I took his message, and his reminder that his birthday is coming, and more importantly, it seemed he wanted me to finish what I have started writing – a script outline on the life of Aguinaldo. I have done the script outline of Act 1 already – which I then believed also came from him. That was last year – when I also suddenly got up from sleep when images clearly played in my head re one of the most crucial segments in the life of Aguinaldo and Bonifacio — I wrote them down continously as if I was guided. I felt as an instrument merely to concretize the story by jotting them down. Dahil nagparamdam na naman, I do feel obliged to continue the rest of the story in film script outline form. But I need to read again their history. Anyway, lots of history books are still in the house. [Half or maybe about 2500 books were already moved to Novaliches to form part of the future Dr. Isagani R. Medina Library and Museum].

Tomorrow, I will consult with my brother. Will “meet” him at the Manila Memorial Park to get more notes. Ha!Ha! This is no joke. Last year, before I started shooting Mi Ultimo Adios I brought my “proposals,” my “storyboard studies”, my whole file – for his blessings, as well as my parents of course! Blessed by them, and by God-who else? everything turned out well as you must have seen on the outcome.

Do you believe in spirits? Well, it must be pretty obvious, that I do.


Intro to Canto de Maria Clara_FSL Version

October 24, 2011

I am sked to work on the intro to Awit ni Maria Clara_Filipino Sign Language version. We got hold of Elena, a member of the Silent Steps to do some extra acting for us which I did last October 20 at SDEAS. Lack of time in Calamba, Laguna the day we shot it with Jorelle Faytaren [as Maria Clara] produced lack of materials to use.

It’s good that we have facsimile copies of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo [1975 editions]. That’s the advantage of having the book legacy of my brother Gani [Isagani Medina]. Let’s see!!! What I shot should work.

Tomorrow, I will push through with the rough cutting of “To the Flowers of Heidelberg” interpreted by Romalito Mallari. This is taking me a lot of time because I have no Mac. I have to go to an editing studio. It was shot in HD format and my PC is not capable of doing it “fatafat!” It will take ages before I can convert them to avi. So, I have decided to just look for an editing studio, sort and cut them dere-derecho. All studios have Mac. Luckily, I had two months “training” in the use of FCP because of Kingpin Asiong. And also some friends from Roadrunner who are now running their own editing studio are around. So, I’ll meet Fiona to work in their place. I have always believe that I am guided from the time I made Alyana. To think about it, sometime early this year, I went to the building where Fiona’s office is located without knowing that they are holding their office there. I actually went to the camera rental studio next to their room to borrow a camera to make my AVP for Metro Manila College. It was really a surprise to meet Liza and Fiona there. Liza assisted me in making Biyaheng Langit. The two used to run after CineManila film showings…


Here Comes El Presidente!!

August 7, 2011

This morning I had a talk with Angelo Aguinaldo, great grandson of Emilio Aguinaldo, and curator of Aguinaldo Shrine. He called me up and we talked about the coming shoot of El Presidente [starring Jeorge Estregan, Jr, as Emilio Aguinaldo and Nora Aunor as Maria Agoncillo] to be directed by Tikoy Aguiluz. I met him last year but I know better Ate Linda [Aguinaldo], his auntie who used to be the shrine curator. With my brother Isagani R. Medina, noted Cavite historian, we used to have lunch prepared by Ate Linda and Gina Ayran. Aguinaldo Shrine is like home to us. We were always welcome there – and even after my brother passed away, they welcome me as much as when my brother was still alive. Sometimes, I share with them the delicious bibingka available from a nearby store located near the bridge. I remember that we spent my brother’s birthday once at the shrine when he was already wheelchair-bound. The Aguinaldos respect my brother a lot, probably because of his contributions to the historiography of Cavite Province and his researches on Lolo Miong. I have worked and helped my brother on all the books that he published about Cavite. In fact, I was the one who prodded him to publish Cavite Before the Revolution, his doctoral dissertation. I volunteered to encode his voluminous notes, researched and did field works on his behalf when stroke disabled him from his activities. We are full-blooded Cavitenos since both our parents hailed from the province [my father was born in Corregidor; my mother in Naic]. I still remember attending fiestas to our families living in Cavite City, Kawit and Ternate, and my father talking in Chabacano with them.

Ilang Talata nang Paghihimagsik…was the last book annotated, edited and published by my brother with the help of Cavite Historical Society led by EPM Cesar Virata. The book is centered on the exploits of Aguinaldo and the Magdalos. It was written by Carlos Ronquillo, then Secretary-General of President Emilio Aguinaldo. It was when I worked on that book that I better understood what we only used to memorize like parrots — the Magdiwang – Magdalo faction; what happened to Bonifacio from the time he lost the battle in Pinaglabanan, and some other details about that critical period in our history.

Anyhow, Gov. Jeorge Estregan Jr’s obsession to do the role as El Presidente will be instrumental in making the epic film possible. In God’s time, it will be realized. I met him and observed that it is his passion and obsession that will turn his dream to reality. I do not doubt his sincerity though I only met him then for the first time in his ancestral house in Pagsanjan because of Asiong Salonga film. I told Angelo about it and I came to know that Ate Linda is Gov’s kumare. Small world!

I also assured him that Tikoy will be doing his very best to make the film really good. That though creative treatment will be employed, historical accuracy will be uppermost. My brother’s book will be one of the main research sources along with the Memoirs of Ka Miong, and other books on him.  It is high time for the Filipinos to know Emilio Aguinaldo, the man, the nationalist, the Father of Philippine Flag and the National Anthem! The film is something overdue. Ka Miong deserves the right and proper recognition of his contribution to Nationhood. It was him who propelled our destiny to become the first independent country in Asia with its own Constitution.

As I’ve always said, truth and the right information will lead people to understand better any subject in focus — be it in a documentary or narrative film format.


Mga Ani ni Gani_Take 4

February 12, 2010

Kahapon, ika-11 ng Pebrero, Huwebes, naganap ang isang maliit, intimate at masayang book-launching ng Collection Building: FILIPINIANA, ang ikaapat na volume ng Mga Ani ni Gani Series, isang koleksyon ng mga sinulat ng aking kapatid na si Dr. Isagani R. Medina. Para sa akin, iyon ay isang reunion, dahil nandun ang mga nakasama at nakakakilala sa kanya sa UP Main Library, mga kasamang historyan sa UP Dept of History, ilang kaanak namin at mga kaibigan ko.

Parang naging necro rites ang nangyari dahil sa mga papuring tinanggap ng aking kapatid mula sa mga tagapagsalita mula sa introduksyon ni Prof. Sally Arlante, University Librarian, sinundan nina Dean Vyva Aguirre ng UP School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), Chancellor Sergio Cao, Direktor ng Cavite Studies Center na si Aquino Garcia na bumasa ng message in EPM Cesar EA Virata, Pangulo ng Cavite Historical Society, at ang mga nagsalita di lamang tungkol sa aklat kundi pati na rin sa husay at pagiging walking encyclopedia ng aking kapatid, tulad nina UP Press Director at historyan na si Dr. Malou Camagay, Dr. Rico Jose at Prof. Laura Samson ng Departamento ng Sociology at dating UP Press Director na siyang tumulong sa amin para maipablis ang Cavite Before the Revolution.

Showing ng "Isang Sulyap", isang home video ko tungkol sa aking kapatid na si Gani. Nasa inset L to R: University Librarian Sally Arlante, UP SLIS Dean Vyva Aguirre, Cavite Studies Director Aquino Garcia na nagbasa ng message ni EPM Cesar Virata bilang Guest Speaker at si Iyra at ako, caregivers ng libro

Syempre pa nagpataba sa puso ko ang mga sinabi nila dahil na affirm ang sariling paniniwala ko sa importansya ng pagpapablis ng kanyang mga akda. Sa pagbuhay ng kanyang alaala para din namin syang kahalubilo doon. Dagdag na dito ang pagpapalabas ng isang personal na short video docu na ginawa ko tungkol sa kanya, ang “Isang Sulyap” (2004).

Nasa inset (L to R): Fernando Escora [Book Designer], Abby Lazaro [NCCA Rep], Atty. Bert Sison [hilaw na kapatid], ako at mga pamangking sina Oye Bautista at Tingting Medina.

Salamat sa UP Main Library sa pamumuno ni Sally Arlante, Dean Aguirre at Iyra Buenrostro ng UP SLIS sa pag sponsor ng event, at sa National Commission for Culture and the Arts sa pagpablis ng aklat!


Collection Building: Filipiniana Lumabas Na!!!

December 22, 2009

Sa wakas, naipanganak na rin ang aklat ng aking kapatid— Collection Building: Filipiniana! Ito ay idineliver kahapon sa bahay. “One down!” Isa na lang volume ang natitira pa para matupad ang pangako ko sa kanya noong siya’y nabubuhay pa.

Ang aklat na ito—ikaapat na volume sa Mga Ani ni Gani Series— ay para sa mga Filipino librarians, kanino pa nga ba? Lahat ng mga artikulo (napablis man o hindi) na kanyang sinulat ay puro Filipiniana sympre pa!!! Adik sa Filipiniana ang aking kapatid dahil lahat ng tungkol sa Pilipinas ay inaalam nya o kaya’y kinokolekta. Nitong mga ilang buwan lang ang nakakaraan, may mga nakita pa akong koleksyon nya ng mga samut saring trivia tungkol sa Pilipinas na pinamagatan nyang “BELIEVE ME OR NOT.” Hindi ko isinasama sa pagpapublish ang mga trivia notes nyang napulot kung saan-saan dahil palabasa siya at mausisa, kaya malamang ibigay ko na lang sa UP Main Library o kaya’y sa Cavite Studies Center ang anupamang mahanap ko kapag hindi natuloy ang pangarap ko na magkaroon ng Isagani R. Medina Library & Museum. Isang van na ng mga kung ano-anong bagay at mga libro na naligtas sa sunog dahil nasa kabilang bahay ang mga ito ang naipadala ko na sa UP Library pagkatapos matupok ang bahay namin noong 1998.

Ngayon ay mas masaya ang Pasko ko dahil natapos ko na ang isa kong “misyon.” Mai book launch ito ang susunod kong target na sana ay maganap sa first quarter ng 2010.


Collection Building_Filipiniana

November 2, 2009

I have stopped working on my film on the CPs again to concentrate on finishing, this time, the 300-page book publication on development and building of Filipiniana collection—being targeted to be in the printing house this week. This will be the fourth volume of my brother’s writings, the latest to come out. His book series is called “Mga Ani ni Gani,” five-in-all when published. A promise I must accomplish…

This book is all about Filipiniana, most useful not only to  Filipino librarians but also to historians as it contains lists of historical and manuscript sources available not only in the Philippines but abroad. Thanks to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts for supporting its publication! Below is the cover study by artist-painter Fernando Escora. On the front cover is the picture of my brother, Isagani “Gani” R. Medina at work in the Filipiniana Section of the UP Main Library in Gonzalez Hall, circa late 60s. The design atop is part of the cover of Leon-Pinelo’s “Epitome.” On the back cover are blurbs about the book written by Prof. Salvacion M. Arlante, University Librarian, UP; Prof. Rosa A. Vallejo, former dean of the UP Institute of Library Science, and historian Dr. Malou T. Camagay, currently the UP Press Director.

Cover Design by Fernando Escora