Posts Tagged ‘Manila Kingpin-The Asiong Salonga Story’


My Name in the List of 2012 FAMAS Awardees? WEIRD!

September 30, 2012

I thought Yuka, my associate editor in editing Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story was joking. In the midst of our chat, he congratulated me. When I asked him what for, he said that he read my name for Best Editing in the 60th FAMAS Awards list of winners. I checked several reputable sites:, ABS-CBN’s slideshow-pops-color-60th-famas-awards and Yahoo Philippines’  ‘Asiong Salonga’ sweeps 60th FAMAS Awards. Indeed my name is sandwiched between the names of the producer’s version editors.

Was it FAMAS or the producer’s decision themselves to include us [with Tikoy] in their list of awardees? That I do not know. [As far as I know the problem has not yet been fully resolved re the two versions]. Was it a misreport or a misprint? Coming from PDI, ABS-CBN and Yahoo news desks, would that mistake or neglect be possible? Anyhow, since they are not the only sites that cited us in the FAMAS list, then I assume that the report must be correct.

So then, granted that the FAMAS list is accurate, I thank whosoever included my name – NOT because I want to be credited for the Producer’s Cut version [which largely used the Director’s First Cut] but FOR FINALLY REVEALING the TRUTH!

That’s what their move indicated — the CONFIRMATION of what I’ve been saying all this time — that the claim for total re-editing of the film, or the claim that the producer’s cutters re-edited Asiong from scratch is a LIE. I could only but shake my head when I read their blog / ad about their work on Asiong film, specifically the part which states that: “… the material was already an exported quicktime, we had no choice but to start from scratch, offline to online.  This means doing the WHOLE post production process all over again.” [ ] Exported quicktime??? WEHH!!! The producers have control over ALL footages; they have ALL our edited materials [assembled version, rough / first cut, even the director’s cut version. Name it!]. They were ALL protectively stored and kept by the line producer and were ready for editing or re-editing/re-doing anytime by anyone — in PRORES and editable format. Exported quicktime daw??? WEHH!!!

Anyway, the truth is out!!! Fool all you can!!! False advertising aptly describes the act!!! The best proof would be showing the First Cut of the Director’s Version, the Producer’s Cut, and the Director’s Cut. Check the similarities and differences; and where my edits were kept quite intact to disprove the “starting from scratch” claim. “Delicadeza” is a thing of the past it seems!

It’s September. The other day, Tikoy and I celebrated our birthday — with Yuka of course — and talked about our future projects.


Sina JP Rizal at Kingpin Asiong sa Buhay Ko

January 1, 2012

As the year starts, I want to reflect on Jose “Pepe” Rizal and Nicasio “Asiong” Salonga –  ang 2 Astig na kumuha sa oras at panahon ko noong 2011. From the time I started working on the films focused on them, they automatically became part of my subconscious…my being, having been part of the team that helped in resurrecting their acitvities. I am still in fact, still unfinished with my Jose Rizal film.

Salonga, the Manila Kingpin, and Dr. Jose Rizal, the Renaissance Man cannot be compared, SHOULD NOT be compared. But I have reason to compare the two because I got involved in glorifying both…as editor of the DIRECTOR’S CUT of the first, [Tikoy Aguiluz’s version]; and as director-editor of the 50-min medium length film, A mi Patria /Inang-Bayan featuring Rizal’s poems, including Mi Ultimo Adios. The poems were all interpreted for the first time in Filipino Sign Language [The FSL version of Ultimo Adios is the 132nd translation since 1897]. Both were shot in digital format: the first used Alexa, the latest pro-cam; the second used simple DSLR’s, Canon 7D and 5D. The first spent P75M to produce; the latter, less that P1M. Technically, they too should not be compared at all because of that. The first is outright commercial; the latter, purely educational. Should I stop comparing the two??? Of course not! I have just began.

It was in summer 2011 when I started alternately working on Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story; and A mi Patria. Why since summer? Because I was asked by Tikoy to join him in the pre-production of the film, that is, from studying the incomplete script, storyboarding the OK’d scenes, and brainstorming with him and the writer, Rey Ventura on the story ideas which Tikoy wanted added to the film. All the new ideas you find in the film— the calesa chase, the fight at the lahar-looking zone they call Magdalena, the prison scenes with Guardame, etc. all came from Tikoy’s fertile mind. Those were his ideas, not the writers nor the producers.

Asiong Salonga was a gangster, a badass; Dr. Jose Rizal was a scholar, a well-educated man. But both are heroes: Asiong Salonga to Tondeños during his lifetime; Rizal to all Filipinos, not only in Manila where Tondo is located but wherever there are Filipinos in the world, during his lifetime until now. Asiong’s life has been filmed four times; Rizal, many times over of course since he lived 150 years ago. The first film on him was made in 1912; the latest and the one that would inarguably be the film that will come out a hundred years hence is what we are doing now, in digital form though.

Both of them lived not too long in this world: Asiong died at the age of 28, some says at the age of 27; Rizal at the age of 35. Both were killed by a bullet: Asiong was assassinated by Erning Toothpick; Rizal by a firing squad consisting of 8 Filipino soldiers working for the Spanish government. Asiong was shot behind the back by Erning; Rizal was ordered to turn his back and face the sea towards Cavite. Rizal died facing the sky; in Kingpin, Asiong fell with his face towards the ceiling since it was shot indoors [Director’s Cut version]. In the film, he died in the morgue. In reality, Asiong was reported to have been killed in front of a store. Both were killed in Manila: Asiong in Tondo; Rizal in Bagumbayan,now Luneta. The GUN was Asiong’s weapon; the PEN was Rizal’s. Asiong used violence to become what he was: feared but said to have a good heart for the poor; Rizal used non-violence, and wasn’t sold to the idea of a revolution without preparations- but feared by the Spanish government because of his mighty pen that sparked the revolution. Both were jailed, and both continue to be models and inspirations to whosoever fancy themselves to be like any of the two. Gov Jeorge Estregan loved Asiong’s character so much that he wanted to remind the present generation of Filipinos about Asiong. He already made one in 1991 but again spent millions with SCI to produce it. I am making a small film that will preserve Rizal’s poems in sign language – the first-ever in Philippine history – to remind all Filipinos of his greatness and nationalism with a budget equivalent to the value of making a day’s sequence [a couple of days at the most] of Manila Kingpin.

In the editing room while watching tons of footages of Asiong Salonga in the making, I couldn’t help but muse on the above thoughts. When told that in editing out a scene, I should consider that P500K will be thrown away so just trim the scene here and there, I couldn’t help but think on how I struggle to  raise that amount to be able to make a decent film that will glorify the thoughts and wisdom of a great, inspiring and learned man. But I did despite odds! And responses, especially of the Rizal descendants are my gauge in shouting to the world that — yes! the Deaf succeeded in getting their message through – that FSL can possibly touch the hearts and minds even of the hearing viewers too, as exemplified by ULTIMO ADIOS; that FSL is indeed beautiful and Deaf Filipino poetry is possible; that FSL should be recognized as medium of instruction to Deaf students because it is their VOICE.

Sino talaga ASTIG: Si Asiong o si Pepe? Interestingly, both were on the front pages of the newspapers when they died…bongga sila nang mamatay! The only difference being the fact that there is not one monument in honor of Asiong in the Philippines. Well, I am not aware of any. Can anyone tell me if there is one so we can post it here? Rizal monuments and markers can be found in almost all places in the Philippines, even abroad. ULTIMO ADIOS and the 50-min FSL film INANG BAYAN / A MI PATRIA are the simple monuments that I built in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal, a great man for all seasons, for all peoples…in celebration of his 150th Birth Anniversary.


My “Slow-Paced” Film ULTIMO ADIOS in FSL Screens in HongKong February 24

December 25, 2011

Xavier Tam of HongKong International Deaf Film Festival informed us yesterday of the schedule of ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language [the 132nd and latest translation of Ultimo since 1897]. It is according to him scheduled to follow the Opening Ceremony of the HKIDFF2 on February 24, 2012 at HongKong Arts Centre, Wan Chai. With DLS-CSB SDEAS friends, we are planning to attend the fest. My film is intrinsically slow, so I want to invite all those who are making a lot of fuzz on the “slow-paced cutting” of Tikoy’s Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, the commercial film feature and his come-back film that I edited. (To watch Ultimo trailer, click watch?v=wqnhlunLwH0])