Posts Tagged ‘Rem Vocalan’


Manny Pacquiao_One Black Saturday On the Way to Zambales

April 27, 2014

A few days back during the Holy Week, on our way to Zambales, we saw Manny Pacquiao
Not in person though. Kundi isang HIGANTE!!!

Pacquiao Gigante

Said to have started during the Spanish regime, “higantes was influenced by the Mexican art form of paper-mache brought by the Spanish priests to the Philippines. The body of the traditional higante are made of bamboo and colorful cloth and its faces of paper mache.” [Source: Wikipedia] The Higantes Festival was the idea of Angono, Rizal artist Perdigon Vocalan. He was the father of Rembrandt, my former student at the UP Film Center and videographer for several of my advocacy projects.

Pacquiao Gigante2

That’s MANNY PACQUIAO, ang Pambansang Kamao. However, as “higante” you won’t be able to see his deadly fists. Higantes are made of paper mache, bamboo and colorful cloth. Recently, iron wires are being used.


Launching of Bayanihan-Angono Catalogue

August 23, 2012

Yesterday at 3.30 pm, I arrived at the NCCA Building to attend the launching of Bayanihan-Angono catalogue curated by Italian curator, Sara Luisa Siri. I thought I was late because I was forwarded the info that it would start at 3pm. Rem Vocalan texted me that it would most probably start at 4pm. because the catalogues were still with them as they braved the traffic difficulties in Intramuros on the way to the venue before 4 pm. There were two guests when I entered the lobby where the event was to be held. So I just went to the Cashier’s Office to finish off my transaction with them in connection with my project Mga Natatanging Tula ni Rizal sa Wikang Senyas, retitled A MI PATRIA.

It was about to start when I joined the group. Richard Gappi and Sandra Aguinaldo served as emcees and facilitators. It was only then that I came to know that Sandra is from Angono too. Met Nememiranda, whom we used to call “Neme [with stress on the 2nd letter ‘e’ during college days], and photographer Alex Villaluz. Pres. Benigno Aquino’s sister, Pinky was the guest of honor. She related her wanting to take up Fine Arts but was dissuaded, finally taking up Economics. I was introduced to her by Sara; interestingly, she noticed the evil-eyes pendant that I was wearing. “From Greece?,” she asked. I just nodded. Honestly, I don’t remember whether it really came from Greece or from Turkey. But it definitely came from either one. It was given to me by Tikoy Aguiluz when he visited the place.

Nemiranda Jr. with Pinky Aquino

Projected on the screen was the Q&A I had with Angono students after the screening of A mi last Aug 14; Nemiranda in the foreground listening to the speakers

Neme Miranda Jr., spoke on behalf of the Angono artists and the NCCA. He reminisced on the EDSA Revolution days – which ended up into making the mural on Edsa Revolution, and his meeting several times with President Cory Aquino. Neme heads the Visual Artist’s Committee. NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr., welcomed the group. He was one of my professors in Humanities. Sara spoke quite briefly. Nino Quartana, Tina Villaluz, Salvador Juban and Regine, some of the other people I met last August 14 in Angono during the showing of A mi were absent. All the activities of the Bayanihan-Angono project were being projected while the event was on-going. I was surprised to see shots from the Q&A I had after the showing of A mi…

Sara Siri Distributes the Catalogue She Edited

I got a copy of the Bayanihan catalogue which I’ll treasure for sure. Who knows? It might create some magic in me — that is sparking my interest back to painting…for sooner or later, I’ll meet a relative who has been prodding me to finish my painting which has been lying for ages in her house in Novaliches. I kept my oil paints with her — to give her hope that I’ll keep my promise.. Ewan!!

The Organizers of Bayanihan and the NCCA officials led by my former Prof. Felipe “Jun” de Leon [3rd from R]


Eating Crickets and Fried Frog at Balaw Balaw in Angono

August 19, 2012

Famed Minaluto – vegetables, fish, shrimps, meat with rice

From the top: fried crickets, fried frog and “itik” [duckling]

If there is one thing I won’t forget from my experience in my visit [with a purpose] last August 14 to Angono, Rizal, it was eating crickets, fried frog and itik at Balaw Balaw Restaurant. I’ve known Rem Vocalan for more than a decade now—he has worked with me in my first feature-length docu, Tiga-Isla/The Islanders of Corregidor—but it was my first time to enter his place. As Sara Siri, Italian curator of the ongoing Bayanihan Project-Angono [BayanihanAngono] said, if I am not a vegetarian, it would not make a difference from eating non-veg food. Just the same,  it took me looooong minutes before I finally got enough courage to finally taste the exotic food. To be more courageous however, I didn’t put my eyeglasses on! Haha! Anyway, Sara was right! All of them tasted delicious!! The cricket [ate only one!!] was crispy and yes! with shrimp-like crunchiness; the fried frog like McDo fried chicken; the itik [duckling] nears the chicken taste but having eaten ducks in the past, I know its distinctive taste which is different from any chicken dish. We also had the famed Minaluto, a concoction of rice, seafood, vegetables and meat served on banana leaves and placed in a round, large, bamboo, siopao-like steamer that served as its “bowl.” I quite enjoyed dinner, what with that challenging task of eating exotic cuisines for the first time. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy the night, if you were with a good company consisting of some of the energetic Bayanihan project initiators – Alex Villaluz, Sara Luisa Siri, Nino Quartana, Tina, Regine and  of course, Rem who invited me to show A mi Patria na syempre hindi mahindian kasi cameraman sya ng film.

Dinnertime at Balaw-Balaw! [L-R Top Photo]: Nino Quartana, Regine, Tina Villaluz, Sara Siri, Alex Villaluz, Rem Vocalan.

Another memorable time was meeting old time friends Angono artists / muralists Nemesio Miranda, Jr. and Salvador Juban whom I haven’t seen for years.

With Nemiranda Jr.; [inset] with Salvador Juban

At Neme’s Restaurant

Neme wasn’t feeling well and just texted me to have dinner at his place. The problem was I read his message AFTER enjoying the dinner at Balaw Balaw. Next time na lang!! Juban was most loquacious like I have never known him to be. I remember him to be a quiet fellow. He found the time to join us and stayed on to watch A mi… at the University of Rizal System – Angono. That’s the reason why I went to Angono in the first place – to show A MI PATRIA. The screening [its first outside Manila] was held on the second floor of the school building. Alex, Sara and Nino joined after the latter’s inspirational talk with some students. A short Q and A followed after the screening. Ironically, the majority of the students who watched the film were from Binangonan!!  There was lack of coordination somewhere that we funnily toyed on the idea of screening instead at the evacuation center!!! The problem was finally solved; it was happy ending afterall! According to some of the students in the audience, they have closed their eyes while watching the spoken language version of A mi… by putting themselves in the shoes of the Blind they have learned and realized their difficulty. They are thankful that they are neither Blind nor Deaf. All the spoken language version of A mi are subtitled and with Filipino Sign Language interpretations. Readers are all faculty staff from the UP College of Arts and Letters.

It was drizzling when we got out of the school. On the way to the parking lot in front of the City Hall, we chanced upon a group of musicians preparing for a practice. I was impressed because of the youth’s strong presence, participation and interest in a hometown band called the Angono Wind Band.

Art is so much alive in Angono! It can be seen and felt all over! I think if I come to visit Angono more often, my interest in painting will return! Hahay!! Seems impossible to go there often but going back to painting activity remains feasible! Perhaps, when my passion for making advocacy films die, my interest in painting will be reborn.

Next week on August 24 is the scheduled showing of A mi Patria. It will be held in UP Los Baños, Laguna. Part of WISIK event, it will be screened at 7 pm. at D, L. Umali Auditorium. [Click to read on Wika, Sining at Kalusugan program, WISIK.


A mi Patria Screens at University of Rizal System – Angono

August 13, 2012

Meron palang University of Rizal? Well, that’s where A mi Patria is going to be screened tomorrow at 5 pm in Angono, Rizal. Rem Vocalan emailed me A mi’s poster today. I would like to invite you all to join us at the university’s viewing room. You may contact Rem or Pat Tiamson for more information. See contact details on the poster.

The screening and art exhibits [A Convergence of Angono’s Art Expressions] to be held until August 18 is part of the weeklong celebration of Angono’ Foundation Day.


Rizal’s A MI PATRIA to Laguna and Rizal?

July 13, 2012

As talks are on-going re the showing of A MI PATRIA in UP Los Baños, Laguna next month, Rem Vocalan, one of A mi’s cameramen and my former student at the UP Center texted me about the film programming that he is preparing in celebration of Angono Week in Angono, Rizal. He said he wanted to include A mi… a good decision since he has contributed a lot to its form, and his town mates should be aware of that. In fact, I would be very happy to show it anywhere in the Philippines so we would definitely make it possible that screening skeds do not conflict. Besides, I should be meeting again Nemesio Miranda, Jr. a long-time friend and classmate. We haven’t met for ages!

A few days back, I also got a call for its possible showing in Bohol Province. The call came from Gina, Bert de Santos’ wife. Bert is the film’s sound engineer. Our work on the film did not end after the production. Now, we are working on their showings wherever possible. Afterall, Rizal is not only a national figure, he is an international icon, a Renaissance Man even. People should get exposed to his beautiful, and patriotic poems.

Both provinces are connected to Rizal in direct and indirect ways; Rizal’s birthplace being Laguna Province, and Angono being a part of Rizal Province. I recall that Pasay where I was born used to be under Rizal Province. I used to see PASAY, RIZAL on letters addressed to my parents and brother. Inspired by my brother Gani, I used to collect stamps…I had thousands…until our house burned down. Now, I only buy and keep essential things. Losing our house in less than an hour made me think deeply re material things. As temporal as their being, and our being, I now value those that can’t be seen or things spiritual. Afterall, we aren’t going to be judged and be remembered for what we have but for what we have done or for the mark that we have left as legacy on this earth. You can see that on the way people or the masses remember Dolphy, the comedian— whether his relatives or not. Called “The Comedy King,” he was for decades part of every household through the television and the movies, and previously, because of his being a stage actor. Encompassing all media forms Dolphy lived and died for, he became a part of our consciousness whether one liked it or not. I remember him in John n Marsha with Nida Blanca, and the end punchline of Dely Atay-Atayan: “Kaya ikaw John magsumikap ka…” He will for sure be remembered a la Chaplin, the legendary comedian.


I Worked with a Deaf Person on “How to Speak Right” Project

March 23, 2012

First Day of Shoot - MM gives instruction to Dennis; Joie Revilleza assigned to Modules 1, 3, 5 and 9 observes, probably amused while watching me sign

Sounds ironic??? Impossible? Well! Indeed I worked again! – with DENNIS BALAN [Deaf] as one of the videographers [the other one is Rem Vocalan, my former student at the UP Film Center] for the UP project that we shot for three days [March 3-5] at UP CAL AVR in Diliman. I previously worked with him in the making of my previous docu films [SILENT O, ULTIMO ADIOS, A MI PATRIA [coming soon!] because I do recognize his ability – capability – professionalism as a talented person. Besides, with him around I always have the chance of practising Filipino Sign Language [FSL]. He was my “first” FSL teacher afterall.


Checking the composition of the frame

Having a Deaf person in a project on how to speak correctly should not be treated as uncommon; it should be something any one in the society should expect and must recognize – having a PWD [person with THISability or someone with a particular ability] should be seen as ordinary as working with any so-called non-PWDs. Because they can work and be at par, sometimes even better  than us. That is what we call INCLUSION! Mainstreaming and welcoming them in our own activities will make this world better for us all. Look beyond their being! Do not be disabled by wrong thinking or stigmas and myths associated with PWDs; do not magnify on what they lack or cannot do because each one of us, in one way or the other, is wanting or lacking in something — which may not necessarily be physical in nature. People without a heart – those with no feelings – no care for other people —  are probably the most “disabled” persons in the world.  That’s my opinion. I do not know your take on this.





A FILIPINAS_FSL Version in the Evolutionary Process of Being

October 3, 2011

It is 4 a.m. I am currently converting the video files of Dr. Jose Rizal’s A FILIPINAS_Filipino Sign Language version from .mov to avi. For those without a Mac that’s how we do it. It is a longer process but it can’t be helped. Yesterday, I worked on Rem Vocalan’s footage. Right now, I am working on what Dennis Balan, our Deaf videographer, shot. I am halfway through already with my rough cut and will just insert the footage of Dennis. Have some problem with his shots at the Rizal Plaza Park in Calamba. I perceived quite a lot of video noise although we used available light and it was quite strong at the time. Fortunately, that problem wasn’t there when we shot at the Rizal Shrine. We did not have a monitor — that’s one of the indie with no budget encounters. Even that is a luxury we can’t enjoy. There are other problems but I have found ways of solving the editorial problem. You just have to study and scrutinize the shots to serve one’s needs.

Aldrin Gabriel acted for us the second time. The original person Myra and Raphy wanted wasn’t available. I take that as a blessing in disguise though. Aldrin works professionally and I saw that he quite enjoyed his role as Rizal. He was more comfortable with us. Instead of working as our production assistant, he interpreted A FILIPINAS / TO THE PHILIPPINES addressed to Philippine artists. It is not as popular as the other poems but with this interpretation, I know it shall help in putting it in the reader’s or viewer’s minds.

I should be over with my assembly and first cut tonight.



January 11, 2009


“Yuta: Earthworks by Julie Lluch”
was Julie’s retrospective exhibition of terra cotta works spanning 30 years. It was held at the Cultural Center from October to December 2008. “Better late than never” they say. So no matter how late I am, I have  uploaded my photo files just the same to share with you and hopefully enjoy. You won’t regret if you do. That’s guaranteed! (Click on “Yuta Fotos” under the page “Film Show Respite” on the right column)

Attending exhibits is one of those rare activities that I do in between film documentation work. Anyhow, it turned out to be a documentation just the same as I took snap shots of her works that were exhibited there.

I first met Julie about a couple of years ago one April evening in the house of UP Film Center Founder-Director Virginia R. Moreno located at Malvar St., Malate, Manila. It was Aling Barang’s birthday. Her grand celebration wasn’t held on that day. But still April 24 was her day and a handful of us—maybe not more than five—paid her a visit. It was a very simple and cozy gathering. I have footages shot on that day.

Julie’s exhibit was very successful. Her interpretations were superb and awesome. Her dexterity on the use of clay displayed great control of the medium. She managefriedad to get the essence of all her subjects, especially that of Van Gogh, Picasso and Frieda Kahlo!!! Also the literary artists Jose Villa Panganiban, Nick Joaquin, Adrian Cristobal, etc. I do not know her subjects personally but many were popular and literary celebrities so they all seemed familiar.  I had a great time shooting at the exhibitmodel-and-modeled especially when I chanced upon the actual models standing or posing by their sculpted images.

Julie is well-known to be a prolific artist but it was just my first time to attend her exhibit. Well, probably because I got a personal invitation from her. That made a whole lot of difference I guess. There was no feeling that I was gate crashing.

With Alma and Aureus

With Alma Quinto (L) and Aureus Solito (Ctr)

During the exhibit, I met a few artist-friends, among them Alma Quinto,  Aureus Solito, director of “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros,” and Rembrant Vocalan, one of the cameramen of my first historical docu (Tiga-Isla) whom I later came to know was the exhibit’s photographer. However, both Julie and I wondered why Aling Barang failed to come anyway. Or, was VRM late??? (I left CCP early…)

All the photos that I took were shot using available lights. I only used my video camera’s digital photo shot to record. No enhancement was made to any of the photos.

For more re her exhibit click
Julie Lluch’s ‘Yuta’: A retrospective