Posts Tagged ‘Ultimo Adiós’


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.


Why Jeorge Estregan Lost in the 2011 MMFF Race_Some Musings on MANILA KINGPIN

December 31, 2011

Having handled the editing of Manila Kingpin since July which consisted of 36 shooting days of materials, up to the time Tikoy approved the Director’s Cut in October, I can enumerate some of the plausible reasons why Gov lost the Best Actor race. The following will also give you an idea of the Director’s Cut version.

1)      The senseless re-editing and the fast-edit of some of the most poignant scenes in the Director’s Cut, i.e.

a)      The opening scene [Viray-Asiong] which was cut like a trailer fully “destroyed”   the poignancy of the action. Not understanding the principles of parallel editing, images of an action happening in some other time were intercut between the main scene which spoiled and highly reduced the impact of the scene where Asiong played by Gov was being “punished” by Viray for contesting his reign as Tondo king. Left alone as a continous scene,  it is one of the most beautifully shot, most powerful, and dramatic scenes in the entire Director’s Cut version,  The contrapuntal use of sound – from noise to complete silence was gone of course.

b)      What I called the “Puntod” scene also suffered from the fast-edit. “Moments in cinema” were not recognized. When I say moments, that could be a matter of frames by the way, or nuances as Tikoy calls them. The slow bit of Asiong’s walk to the grave, where the building up of internal emotions before he finally touched the tomb, and the few moments of just looking at before touching the gravemarker, were reduced. I don’t remember showing Asiong’s tears fall. It was more of a “crying heart” or deep sorrow felt within that was showed…para mas masakit sa pakiramdam ng manonood. The feeling of sympathy is strongly generated. It was actually one of the scenes in the DC where I liked Gov’s acting.

2)      Melodramatic action. The acting of Gov reading the letter informing him of his mother’s death was something we found so unconvincing you won’t find it in the Director’s Cut. It was one of the scenes deleted in the DC.

3)      What we labeled as the “Bartolina” scene is the shot after the duel with Boy Zapanta. In the Director’s Cut, Asiong is shown in time progression, as he suffers phycially in condition, then slowly gaining back his well-being in the shadow boxing scene which was interspersed with flashback scenes that included Gov’s son. I wonder why they found it fit for the trailer and acknowledgment credits only when the boy has presence on screen. In the Producer’s Cut, it was cut just for the heck of cutting the scenes with no purpose other than just cut them—to make them fast-paced? Or the editing different?? Well, that type of edit is good and quite acceptable for trailer purposes only. The shadow boxing per se didn’t seem to work. It could have been deleted in the Producer’s Cut because the original purpose was bypassed anyway.

4)      The scene after the release of Asiong where he and the group met again was deleted in the Producer’s Cut and put instead at the Acknowledgment credits. It is one scene that showed JOY amongst all the members of the group, when they re-united, acted in so naturally you’d feel like a participant in the scene. Above all, it is an important scene that should have been kept but obviously gave way to the additional gunfight scene just because there was no “action” in it? The idea of action film seems to these people, to be just gunfights and noise…From the prison, they cut directly to what I call the “La Paloma” scene, where Ely sang the song. Fast edit at the expense of story????

5)      The additional gunfight scene [Jeorge Estregan vs. Archie Adamos] in a warehouse. Estregan’s acting is also not convincing. It is not quite original and different from the usual Pinoy action movies. In fact, it reminded of Fernando Poe Jr. instead. The scene just showed how much more budget they spent for the film. It’s one big scene that they shot without Tikoy’s knowledge.

6)      The “first kissing scene,” the particular scene commented on by a reader of my previous blog where she said Carla Abellana should get an award for “enduring the kisses” of Jeorge Estregan. In the Producer’s Cut, he smacked Carla 10-11 times. “Exag” was how this reader described it. In the Director’s Cut, those were cut down to only 3. (Which edit is faster in this case?) I will just post another blog to relate how it was edited. And how cutting it made me laugh because of Tikoy’s reaction to it. By the way, in the name of truth and fairness, there is no laplapan kiss and ngasaban in the Producer’s Cut. They were written I suppose to sensationalize so that their article would catch attention, and to have more readers and/or buyers to their tabloids [Abante and Remate]. The kissing at the wedding they used in the Producer’s Cut came from the first cut of the film. I used the other take.

In summary, the 15-20% contribution to the re-editing of Manila Kingpin I believe, successfully helped in making Gov ER lose. The edit greatly cut down his great chances to win the Best Actor award we dreamed, wished and envisioned him to receive. So, congratulations to the cutters for winning the award for making a trailer film! You quite succeeded in making Gov lose. Lastly, I do not believe that Gov is happy even if he didn’t get the Best Actor Award – from the bottom of his heart — because I saw how he really worked hard at it showcased in the very first scene they butchered. Sayang!!! For not believing in Tikoy, hindi nangyari ang hula ng Indian friend nyo. Yes! Good luck na lang ho!!! Better luck next time! Congrats Mr. John Regala!!!

By the way, thanks for the fee that I got for editing the Director’s Cut which I shared with my assistant. I’m the editor referred to by Gov:Binayaran namin yung unang editor…” [Source: Governor-ER-Ejercito-rejects-Tikoy-Aguiluzs-demand-to-remove-his-name-as-director-of-Manila-Kingpin] I used the fee to add up to my expenses to finish ULTIMO ADIOS, my “intrinsically slow-paced” advocacy film to promote the use of Filipino Sign Language and spread the legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal. The FSL version is the first ever translation of the poem in a visual form since 1897 when Andres Bonifacio wrote his own version in Filipino language. It was successfully and officially launched at the Rizal Shrine day before yesterday [Dec 29] in the presence of Rizal’s descendants-Saturnina Rizal branch. Shown whole day at Fort Santiago yesterday, Dec 30 Rizal Day, it is scheduled to screen at the Hongkong Arts Centre on February 24, 2012. UP Prof Vim Nadera is now connecting us with Lakbay Dangal group of Filipinos in Hongkong for its possible showing to Pinoys there.

Please sign the online petition to release the Director’s Cut – pinoy-cinephiles-release-the-directors-cut-of-manila-kingpin-the-asiong-salonga-story


3 in 1 Ultimo Adios? The Multilingual Version

December 4, 2011

Just musing about the possibility of presenting on December 29 at the Rizal Shrine, not only one but three versions of Ultimo Adios  — for the Deaf, the Blind and all hearing individuals, especially students of Spanish and Rizal Course, including scholars studying Rizal’s works, and the ordinary laymen. One of my primary aims in making this project is to expose the hearing persons to the beauty of Filipino Sign Language [FSL]; and to the Dept. of Education, the existence of the natural sign language of Deaf Filipinos for them to consider the use of FSL in primary schools to benefit Deaf children. The versions are as follows: FSL Version interpreted by Aldrin Gabriel with English subtitles, FSL Version interpreted by the Silent Steps and Ultimo Adios read in Spanish language by Chair Wystan de la Peña of U.P. Department of European Languages with Filipino subtitles, and FSL version interpreted by Aldrin Gabriel, read by Vim Nadera in Filipino with English subtitles. Of the three, only the Spanish version remains to be edited…while the Filipino version is yet to be subtitled. [I must confide that I am starting to get confused with the multilingual combinations that I myself conceived. Ha!Ha!] By the way, the Silent Steps is a playgroup consisting of Deaf students from DLS-CSB Sch. of Deaf Education and Applied Studies where I studied Filipino Sign Language under the FSL Learning Program [FSLLP].


Moving of Rizal Film Show Dates_FSL Version and A mi… Like Playing Chess

November 25, 2011

These days, it is quite common to expect the movement of show dates from one target date to another – due to reasons or factors that affect the original target dates. For ex., we wanted A mi Patria_FSL version to show during the November CSB Deaf Fest sometime in November 18, but due to unavailability of a bigger space, it was postposed supposedly to show in time for the celebration of the International Disability Day on December 3. But SDEAS wanted it to be held between Dec 10 to 14. The problem is the activity ban and the bad timing to show the film since Christmas season is coming and exams are nearing. So, now I’d safely say that SDEAS will screen it between January to June. Ha! Ha!

I also wanted all versions of A mi shown during the  U.P. KAL week (mid December I think) but gauging on the production time of them all – I knew as early as November that I won’t be able to finish the work. Following that trend, Ultimo Adios was proposed to NHCP to be shown on December 30, Rizal Day but having greatly considered that attendees would be quite busy on December 30, it was proposed to be held instead on December 29. Oh well, not bad! Rizal could not have written Ultimo Adios anyway on December 30. It could have been on the 29th, although some said it must have been after Rizal’s death verdict rather than on the 29th.


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.


Music for Ultimo Adiós Fini!

June 8, 2011

Natapos ngayong gabi ang musika na ginawa nina Roselle at Diego JM para sa Ultimo Adios, isang proyekto na kasalukuyan kong ginagawa para sa mga Deaf. Hangad kong maipalabas ito bago o pagkatapos ng 150th na kaarawan ni Dr. Jose Rizal.  Napakagaan nilang katrabaho. Si Roselle ang nagchant sa Silent Odyssey. Si Diego ay first time napasama sa ginagawa ko. Bukas ay aayusin naman ang sound effects ng Ultimo…sana ultimo na yung bukas para matapos ko na ito. Para maharap ko na ang pagsasaayos ng mga resibo para sa NCCA, at maharap ko na rin ang editing ng Asiong Salonga.


Introducing: Aldrin Gabriel

May 10, 2011

This is to introduce Aldrin Gabriel who did the interpretation of Ultimo Adiós for my project “Mga Natatanging Tula ni Rizal sa Wikang Senyas.” Yes! Aldrin is Deaf. But even without words, his expression as he interprets the immortal poem of Dr. Rizal were at times truly hair-raising, literally…