Sunday, 31 May 2009

I gave a lecture not in Pampanga but in PALAWAN!

Last week, I was in Palawan to expand my cultural work to Cuyonons, who, like the Kapampangans and the other non-Tagalogs, and experiencing cultural decline. Aside from directing a Cuyonon rock music video in Puerto Princesa, I also delivered a lecture to Mass Communication students of PSU (Palawan State University). See news item below (taken from http://bulyawmariguen.multiply.com)




LOCAL EYES: CREATING WORKS OF ART WITH LOCAL CULTURAL CONTENT


As a means to entice young media practitioners in creating works of art or production works with local cultural content, Matinlo Productions in cooperation with Bulyaw Mariguen, Kamaru Productions and JCI Kiao conducted a lecture/workshop entitled Local Eyes: creating Works of Art with Local Cultural Content to 31 3rd & 4th year Mass Communication Students of the Palawan State University last May 27, 2009.

The lecture started with an exercise conducted by Jason Laxamana of Kamaru productions assessing how the students use their local environment in creating their own superhero. Jason Laxamana then proceeded to explaining the exercise and then to showing the students some of the works of Kamaru.

In his lecture, Jason laxamana emphasized the benefits of creating production works with local cultural content. His Kapampangan short film entitled Balangingi in Kapampangan or Nosebleed in English which won in the ETC First Philippine Digital Awards for best short film is living proof that using local cultural content in film can give filmmakers a competitive advantage in such competitions. The sense of pride such works bring to the local community was also mentioned.

Due to a scheduled radio guesting at DYPR Palawan Radyom, Jason Laxamana gave way for Bulyaw Mariguen to perform their carrier single, Ploning Adin Ka Ren. Matinlo productions chose to ask Bulyaw Mariguen to perform in this lecture to show the students the possibility of using the local language in Palawan, Cuyonon, in making songs that are appealling to the young generation of Palawenos and viable for mainstream broadcasting. Joey Fabello of Matinlo productions, also known as DJ Jojo of IFM 99.9 by some of the students, briefly explained the Bulyaw Mariguen project after the performance of the band to reiterate the value of using local content in works of art and production works.

Certificates were awarded and snacks were provided by Jci Kiao after the lecture.

Some feedback from the students can be seen below.

Nainspire po kami sa inyong shinare samin and we are hoping also na magkaron ng sariling version ang mga Palaweno to produce music, movies, telenovelas, etc of our own.

Thank you for inspiring me. Makakatulung po talaga ito sa lahat. Keep up the good work...May God Bless You...

Nakakainspire. Namulat ako sa dapat kong kamulatan. -Psydz

Marami po salamat sa mga binahagi niyong kaalaman sa amin, tama nga dapat din nating ipakita sa iba na pwede rin natin ibahagi sa kanila ang culture na mayroon tayo. tnx po. Sana makalat pa ito sa iba.- Rearitz

Very inspiring. It really gives indication that we have to uplift ones local culture through music and film. -Anna Lissa Magtibay

Marami po akong (kaming) natutunan. Now I realized na mahalaga maging maka local tayo para narin stain to. galing po ng speakers at nakakatuwa. - Jeric

Mahalaga po sa amin bilang Palaweno na ipagmalaki sa buong mundo ang katutubong kultura. Sa pamamagitan ng Seminar workshop na ito namulat ang aking isipan na maaari tayong kilalanin. maraming salamat- Anagyn Barrios

Matinlo productions would like to thank Ms. Faith Malacao of the Palawan State University for making this event possible.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Calling all Pampanga-based models and wannabes

Kalalangan Kamaru—known for making Kapampangan films, producing Kapampangan songs, spearheading Kapampangan projects like RocKapampangan, Kalam, Frequency K, and Cinekabalen—is branching out to Model Photography, with its subunit called "Kamaru Photography."

We are building our portfolio, and we are trying to fill it with different sets of our "dramatic character photography".










If you're a model (or model-wannabe, or model-material) based in Pampanga (male/female), and you want to add more creative photos in your set cards, then let's help each other out!

Just email sisig_man@yahoo.com.ph your FULL NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, HEIGHT, and please attach full body and close up pictures (preferrably no makeup). Indicate in your email, too, if you are willing to go sexy (creative sexy, not pornographic sexy).

For inquiries, 0918 699 2459

We don't just take pictures of you... We make you a part of an artwork...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

If Rizal were alive, will he vote for Panlilio for President?

I have a question: are we poor because we are corrupt, or are we corrupt because we are poor?

The news is out. Governors Padaca (Isabela) and Panlilio (Pampanga) are being pushed to run for the top national positions this 2010 Elections, and they seem to like it. A lot of people believe, especially that group called Kaya Natin, that these non-corrupt people are bound to make the Philippines much more progressive.

I won't speak about Padaca, because I do not know Isabela that well. Being in the province of Pampanga, well, hello Amung Gob.

Spotlight went to Kapampangans when Panlilio, a priest, won over Mark Lapid and Baby Pineda (why is it when Baby Pineda is mentioned in Inquirer or Philippine Star, they always add the appositive "wife of alleged jueteng lord Bong Pineda"? Why don't they mention Panlilio with an appositive "alleged lover of Pampanga Provincial Administrator Vivian Dabu"? Alleged lang naman e).

For Panlilio, there was no separation of Church and State. Rooted on the religious side, he was bound to run the province like a church priest—which can mainly mean three things:

a. Corruption and other evil deeds in the province are bound to bid farewell, because they are considered sinful in Catholicism. As a priest, it is his duty to not do those and prevent members of his government from doing them. This they called "Good Governance." (I called it Clean Governance, but it didn't gain as much popularity.)

b. There is no democracy in the Catholic church; the priest delivers sermons and all you can say are amen, pray for us, alleluia, and peace be with you and also with you. You can barely approach the priest to suggest things for the betterment of the religion or of the mass. If you want to help, just donate coins or bills. Have faith in thee! Ikami na ing bahala; mas close na ke man king Apung Ginu. Mas balu mi ing dapat. (Leave everything to us; we're closer to God anyway. We know better what must be done.)

c. Like that spray-paint vandalism in the movie 'Watchmen,' saying: Who watches the Watchmen? I ask: To whom do priests confess their sins? Certainly not to the lay people.

Panlilio won through the support of a lot of Kapampangans. Backed up by NGOs, businessmen, some members of the Church perhaps, and other volunteers (me included, doing Internet propaganda), Panlilio's victory is very well a victory of these Kapampangan people.

For a time it was nice. Non-corruption, oh yeah! True income from quarrying made the province millions of pesos wealthier compared to Lapid's time. Panlilio gained bigger national attention when he returned a mysterious bag of dough distributed by Malacanang. It presented empirical evidence of the corruption happening in the national government, and Panlilio's name became muh more fragrant to the Filipino imagination.

But it was a different case in Pampanga. One by one, his supporters, such as the passionate NGO called ADCL (Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon), major projects/engagements of which were the quality construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway or SCTex, the Pampanga Bay Development Plan, the formation of a Pampanga Bamboo Development Council, and Palengkenomics, and business groups like the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and other well-meaning individuals, were getting pissed with Panlilio's style of governance.

He felt everyone else was corrupt, even his former supporters, and refused to listen to well-meaning groups wanting nothing but the development of Pampanga. Blind Panlilio fans such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer (who once named the priest-turned-gov 'Man of the Year') stupidly assumed at once that these former supporters didn't get any special favors from Panlilio after his victory, causing them to become bitter and obnoxious towards Panlilio.

The members of Ateneo-spawned Kaya Natin Movement, led by Harvey Keh, including amateur Manila-based student-activists (whose opinions on Panlilio are shallowly based on how Manila portrays Panlilio; in short, second hand info) appointed themselves as crusaders of good governance (ehem, clean governance, I say; there's a difference), and Panlilio was among those chosen to personify the proper way of leading a political unit. Genuine concerned citizens of Pampanga got more demonized.

Blind Panlilio fans assumed that everyone who signed the recall petition against their god were merely paid to sign by demoniacs. Hence, insulting the intelligence of many Kapampangans who signed because, REALLY, there's a difference between CLEAN governance (where intellect is not needed) and GOOD governance (where intellect is needed), and Panlilio is undeniably a great practitioner of the former, but not the latter.

Governance is not an "it's-the-thought-that-counts" thing from which we feel all warm and fuzzy inside during birthday parties, romantic monthsaries, and high school reunions. Thought is not just enough. It's like putting isopropyl alcohol on a friend's open wound because you're concerned with his condition—but, come on, are you sure you're doing the right thing? Or should you be thanked because it's the thought that counts?

But that's not even a complete analogy in the Panlilio style of governance. How about putting isopropyl alcohol on a friend's open wound out of concern and—despite well-meaning people around you suggesting better/more proper ways of cleaning the wound—you still insist that isopropyl alcohol would do the trick, and think to hell with all of them (except one girl, teehee).

There's another analogy created by an NGO co-member. Who here wants a driver who can clean your car spotless? The catch is, he doesn't know how to drive. People wish to offer him driving lessons FOR FREE, and some suggest downloadable manuals on driving, but the driver suspends his own sense of hearing and thinks, "You're not the driver, so shush!"

No doubt. Panlilio is a clean man. He means well.

My point—our point—is that Good Governance is not just about being saintly. Some would argue: we had intellectuals like Marcos and Arroyo run the country, and they failed, because they were evil, and they used their intellect to serve private desires at the expense of the Filipino people.

Well, as choosy as I am with friends or romantic partners, I have the right to be choosy with my President. Damn these evil intellectuals. Screw these smart-ass non-corrupts. I want none of them. Curse also the voters who settle for puwede na/lesser evil candidates.

I want an astoundingly intelligent President whose desire for Philippine progress is not only genuine and pure but also aggrrrrrrressive. Panlilio, a kabalen of mine, won't just do. But then again, he wouldn't listen.

He could win. He might just win. If it's the way to expose Panlilio's quarter-baked concept of good governance to the rest of the Philippines, then I'll find me a wishing well, throw in a couple of coins, and pray for his victory. If such event happens, I'll be the first to roll my sleeves up and volunteer to sweep the soiled fragments of the shattered myth we all knew as Eddie Panlilio.

But allow me to prophesy: if Panlilio proves to be unproductive in the national seat, I hear blind loyal fans screaming from the future: "How can he be productive? People around him are always bringing him down."

If Eddie Panlilio would indeed bring a brighter Filipino future as President without changing the way he is as governor of Pampanga, I would gladly have myself crucified at Cutud on my 26th birthday, and promise myself to focus intensively on purifying my deeds, burn all my books and sociological readings, and curse the forsaken Marxists.

Sorry I didn't mention anything about Rizal, despite the title. What do you think though? Who would our national hero root for in case he rose from the dead?

If only we can vote for 'whats' (ideas/plans/platforms) instead of fragile 'whos'...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Your Boobs are Huge but I don't lust over them

A colleague from college furiously accused me for being 'lewd' after I commented on a friend's photo that includes her. I commented on the photo, making fun of her "big breasts, so heavy they cause her head to tilt on the side," something which we have often done back in college. You know how it is between friend groups. You make fun of one another.

But not this time. She got angry and called my comment lewd, even threatening to punch me in the face because I f*cking deserve it.

Wondering why the sudden change of attitude, I checked out her profile only to learn she began taking post-graduate women's studies after graduating from college, and other elements in her profile send me the signal that she has extremely embraced feminism—an ideology I happen to embrace as well ever since my Gender in Lit and Rizal class under a personal idol, Albina Peczon Fernandez. Yes, I'm a feminist even if I'm a guy, and my cultural ideology draws much inspiration from feminism.

But you know how it is when you have a new ideology. You're in heat. And I don't mean sexually. You're too obsessed with your newfound principles, you begin thinking the world is fucking you up and that every politically incorrect person should be stoned to death.

When I was a newbie in the Kapampangan cultural struggle, I flamed Kapampangans who kept on speaking Tagalog despite both of us being Kapampangans, and reprimanded harshly those who insist on calling Kapampangan a dialect instead of language. I also refused to borrow Tagalog, Spanish, and English words in my Kapampangan writing...

These I did proudly in the name of Indung Kapampangan, only to realize later on it's not really the best way to accomplish the advocacy. Anatagonizing the very people you want to change won't contribute anything to the advocacy. (I prefer to penetrate ISAs nowadays, or Ideological State Apparatuses, to propagate my ideology; you have to study some Marxism and Neo-Marxism to know what ISAs and RSAs are).

Yes, I'm a feminist. My close friends would know. I don't play gentleman around women, like offering to carry their books, because I don't want to perpetuate the perception that women are weak.

When I was telling through YM the sister of a friend that I am becoming depressed and lonely, she told me that she thinks I just need a girlfriend. I told her I am not that kind of guy. I don't form intimate relationships with women, or anyone for that matter, just to cure my boredom. I am not a fan of objectification even though I am surrounded by close male friends here in Pampanga who love to objectify women.

Never mind that society might think I'm gay for treating women equally with the other gender.

My feminist views are also represented in a lot of my artworks, and from here on in, I'll share a couple of them to you.

First, Kalam, the Kapampangan TV drama. As writer, I made sure the lead female protagonist in Kalam is a feminist. As I described her in press release: "Dette, the smart, wealthy, and feminist photographer/filmmaker who can see supernatural entities (lagayan) through the camera lens."


Notice this scene in the second episode, where Dette is revealed for the first time in the story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkHq1qtTlNI


For people who can't understand Kapampangan, basically, the Nursing dude is expressing his nervous feelings, when Dette casually responds, "Ngayon pa umatras ang bayag mo kung kailan nandito na tayo." The guy then remarks that Dette shouldn't be mentioning such things because it's very improper for girls. Pissed, Dette reprimands Yubs for the double standard.

The opening of the third episode reveals more feminism. See an excerpt of the script:

DETTE foresees a lengthy discussion so she sets aside the papers she is reading. She takes one gulp from her drink (not using the straw) to lubricate her throat for the lengthy conversation she prophesies to transpire.

DETTE
Nanu para keka ing kabaldugan ning Peminismu? [What for you is the meaning of Feminism?]

YUBS
Itang paniwalang mas masikan la reng ba’bai karing la’lake? [The belief that women are stronger than men?]

DETTE
Nung radikal kang peminista, makanita pin. Oneng dakal ya kasi sanga ing Peminismu. Ating mu ring ma’niwalang andyang e ya pareu talaga ing babai ampo ing lalaki, dapat pante ing opportunity da kareng miyayaliwang obra. Nung nanung karapatan atin ya ing lalaki, atin ke mu rin dapat. [If you're a radical feminist, you are correct. But there are some who believe that even though men are women are not equal, opportunities should be equal in employment. The rights of men should also be enjoyed by women.]

YUBS
Na’ng kaugnayan na nita keng buri kung malyari kareng ating Kalam? [So how is that connected with my advocacy on the gifted ones?]

DETTE
Ing pilosopiya ning Peminismu, Yubs, e ya mu para kareng ba’bai. Para ya kareng eganaganang marginalized a bisang mitas estadu keng sosyedad. [The philosophy of Feminism, Yubs, is not just for the sake of women. It can be used by anyone marginalized, wanting to empower their status in society.]
I also have this Kapampangan poem in my collection:


Atlung Babai

(Three Women)

Keti king balen atin kung kilalang bábai
Atlu la dapot ali la para-para klasi
Ding piulian da rening atlu mikakawani
Miyayaliwa ing ugne ra karing lálaki

Here in this town I know women / three women, but they belong to different types / They come home separately / they relate to men differently

Ing mumunang babai ing kayang lagyu Norma
Kanita linuban ning lalaki ing bale na
Kayi kaibat ning siam a bulan kabirabira
Anak ing akit mung mamialung king kayang mula

The first woman is called Norma / whose house was penetrated by a man in the past / after nine months suddenly / one would see kids playing in her garden

Kadua naman Magda ing kekatamung iyaus
Dakal lang lalaki ring king bale na tataglus
At bista man e la maluat mágdatun ding diablus
Máging yang mabandi ing makisusung matilus

The second one is to be called Magda / who lives in a house where many men proceed / and even though the devils don't stay long / the pointy-breasted lady becomes wealthy by the minute

Tauli karening bábai Felicia ya lagyu
Ding kasabi na mung lálaki ring ortelanu
Nung ali no man tuburan dinan no mung sueldu
Ding ának a mámialung kilual inampun no mu

Last in the list is a woman named Felicia / The only men in her life are the farmers / Whom she orders around and pays / The children playing outside were just adopted

Deti ring ámanuan kung atlung klasing bábai
Makiyantak ngan oneng miyayaliwa bili
E la miyayalas pangaratang king lálaki
O Kababainan, kenu biye ing kapad mung dili

These are the women I said belonged to three types / they had vaginas but they vary in condition / they are not homogeneous when it comes to men / O, womankind, whose life do you want to take on

For those who don't get the poem:
This is a poem about three women with varying relationships with men. Norma leads the typical housewife life. Magda's survival and economic progress are rooted on offering her sexual service to men. Felicia, the wealthy and powerful one, uses the wealth she has acquired to preserve her superiority over her male servants and escape being chained to a man by adopting a child, i.e., "procreation" using wealth alone.

Then, in my English poem "The Art of Collapse," I have this feminist stanza:

I see not a boy
I see not a girl
But a human being

A lot of my stories, when involving family setups, are often matriarchal, too. Three stories currently on the works also tackle women's place in society.

I also sympathize with the social stigma attached to the loss of virginity by women, and this theme I explored in my second music video, Alang Anggang Sugat (The Eternal Wound).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiV7jvig8sg

Another poem in my poetry collection about an innocent girl taken advantage of:

Ket Na Ning Asu
Bite Of A Dog. This poem illustrates how young girls are sexually taken advantage of due to their sexual ignorance as reinforced by the social institutions, especially the family.

Dona, alang balu
King yatu, king yatu
Meniglo king asu
King banyu, king banyu

Dona, so innocent / about the world, about the world / Amazed by the dog / in the bathroom, in the bathroom

Dona, sasakildap
Sulilap sulilap
Kilub na ning ulap
Bala na paninap

Dona, so quick / to peek, to peek / through the fog / she thought it was a dream

Dona, pakasáya
Kitnan ing indu na
Nung nanu’ng ikit na
King banyu ra keta

Dona, wearing a skirt / asked her mother / what she saw / in the bathroom

Dona, miglarawan
King asulilapan
Lalawit palalam
Tatalakad misan

Dona described / what she saw / It dangled / but stood up sometimes

Dona, abalu na
Ing abatiawan na
Ngana ning indu na
Siguru asu ya

Dona found out / that what she saw / is according to her mother / probably a dog

Dona, mitutundu
Migkera king kuartu
Linub ya ing asu
Kinet ne king salu

Dona, so drowsy / went in her room / The dog entered / and bit her chest

Dona, pakakera
E makasiwala
Mituluanan wawa
Ala neng agawa

Dona, lying down / unable to make a sound / saliva fell down on her / she was helpless

Dona, pangayabak
E man minyukle buak
Lupang mengawakwak
Salbag salbag utak

Dona, the next morning / didn't comb her hair / looking messed up / and groggy

Dona, míkabalu
King yatu, king yatu
Keplasan ya kanu
King ket na ning asu

Dona knew something / about the world, about the world / She found it painful / the bite of a dog

So to my feminist friend who accused me for being lewd, please. In the first place, I didn't objectify you. Yes, I said you have big breasts (not to humiliate you, basically, but just for the sake of college tuksuan nostalgia), but it doesn't mean I lust over them. If that is your way of expressing your feminism, it doesn't look very impressive.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

I'm proud I didn't graduate from college

Although it ain't really a requirement, I have made it a point to express my ideologies and/or stands in my artworks—films, literary pieces, stage plays, and songs. Not all of them, of course, but a great deal of them.

One issue I have tackled more than once in my works is my attitude towards formal education. While I see its function as an organized way of determining status in society (viability to occupy certain jobs), the system of formal education has one big flaw—its failure to recognize the few students who excel in non-curricular activities.

If it wasn't done in the classroom, then it can't be recognized in school. So if one makes an award-winning short film for an international contest, but fails to submit certain requirements in his filmmaking class in the university, then, he will flunk the subject. But technically, the filmmaker has proven he can make films. He has learned the skills and techniques well and practiced them fruitfully—but since he did it outside the walls of a classroom, it's not academically admitted.

A lot of successful businessmen in this country—do they have degrees in Business Management or Business Administration? Are some of them even college graduates? Can't this country have state-issued diplomas, or something that would academically acknowledge a person's intellect/capabilities even though he isn't a graduate?

My very first formal job interview in the Marketing Department of ABS-CBN (Manila) reeked of this case. After accomplishing a couple of time-pressured creativity tests, submitting sample script works, and being interviewed by the HR manager, I was told in the end: "You have the exact skills for the job, but I'm afraid to tell you we don't admit non-college graduates."

In my first full-length play (a musical), staged last 2006 at the Aldaba Hall, UP Diliman, one of my main characters, Dennis, echoed my sentiments regarding formal schooling:

DENNIS

Mamahaling sapatos Long sleeves, itim na medyas Isang college diploma pang Matagal pa bago makuha Minsan iniisip ko Pag-aaral ay inimbento Para kumita'ng mga Nagbebenta lang ng diploma Mataas na tuition fee Mamamahalin din ang ID. Ano itong miscellaneous fees Ipaliwanag niyo ito, please! Ayoko na! Huwag na ngang mag-aral Hanggang High School na lang Hindi ibig sabihing walang diploma Ang tao ay di siya mahusay Tiyak ko kaya kong kumita Sa pamamagitan ng sining at kulay Magsasayang lang ako ng oras Sa loob ng unibersidad, hay!
Then, in one of my "modern Kapampangan riddles," I included this one:
Papil a saguling mapirat (A fragile sheet of paper) Alulan ing kekang utak (That can contain your brain)
—Diploma

Which makes my fanaticism towards Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou much bigger. For all you guys out there who don't know Jay Chou (ehem, for all you guys out there whose exposure to pop music is poorly limited to Manila-produced music and USA-produced music), here's a short description of him care of our favorite Internet encyclopedia:
Jay Chou, born 18 January 1979, is a World Music Award-winning Taiwanese musician, singer, and producer. In 1998, he was discovered in a talent contest where he showcased his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for popular Chinese singers. Trained in classical music, he combines Chinese and Western music styles to produce songs that fuse R&B, rock, and pop genres, covering issues such as domestic violence, war, and urbanization.

Jay Chou grew up in the small town of Linkou, Taiwan. Both his parents were secondary school teachers: his mother Ye Hui Mei (葉惠美) taught fine arts while his father Zhou Yao Zhong (周耀中) was a biology instructor. His mother noticed his sensitivity to music and took him to piano lessons at the age of 4. During his childhood, he was fascinated with capturing sounds and songs with his tape recorder, something he carried everywhere with him.

In the third grade, he became interested in music theory and also started cello lessons. As an only child, he enjoyed being the family's center of attention; he loved to play piano, impersonate TV actors, and perform magic tricks. His parents divorced when he was 14; as a result, he became reclusive and introverted. Although he had friends, he often preferred to be alone listening to music, contemplating and daydreaming. At Dan Jiang Senior High School, he majored in piano and minored in cello. He showed talent for improvisation, became fond of pop music and began to write songs.

(Now here's the best part)

Chou graduated from high school with inadequate grades for university, so he prepared for military service, which was compulsory for all Taiwanese men at the age of 18. However, a sports injury triggered by an unexplainable and severe back pain eventually led to the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, a hereditary spine inflammation disease; as a result, he was exempted from conscription... (end of profile excerpt)

Now Jay Chou expressed the same sentiments toward academic failure despite showing promise in his chosen field in one of his songs called 分裂 (Fen Lie | Split Apart). Hearing the song (and knowing its meaning, because I don't understand Mandarin) touches a familiar part in my heart. It inspires me to destroy the unfair system of formal education. Someday, I will be big—without my college diploma.

Read the lyrics below, while listening to the song. Then listen to it again while watching the video, because the video is very sentimental (for me).



坐着我的摩托车 载你缓缓的离开
zuo zhao wo de mo tuo che zai ni huan huan de li kai
Gradually leaving with you on my motorcycle

考不上好的学校 可以不微笑就走
kao bu shang hao de xue xiao ke yi bu wei xiao jiu zou
Without a smile I departed my dream school

把手慢慢交给我 放下心中的困惑
ba shou man man jiao gei wo fang xia xin zhong de kun huo
Calm your heart and rest your hands in mine

雨点从两旁划过 割开两种精神的我
yu dian cong liang pang hua guo ge kai liang zhong jing shen de wo
Raindrops slid down and split apart my mind

经过老伯的家 篮框变得好高
jing guo lao bo de jia lan kuang bian de hao gao
The hoop seemed so high as we passed the old man's house

爬过的那棵树 又何时变得渺小
pa guo de na ke shu you he shi bian de miao xiao
And when did the tree I once climbed on become so small

这样也好 开始没人注意到(你)我
zhe yang ye hao kai shi mei ren zhu yi dao( ni) wo
Maybe it’s still well because no one saw you and me

等雨变强之前 我们将会分化软弱
deng yu bian qiang zhi qian wo men jiang hui fen hua ruan ruo
Before this rain strengthens we will show our vulnerabilities

趁时间没发觉 让我带着你离开
chen shi jian mei fa jue rang wo dai zhao ni li kai
Let me take you away before time notices us

没有了证明 没有了空虚
mei you le zheng ming mei you le kong xu
Without a proof and without acting pretentious

基于两种立场我会罩着你
ji yu liang zhong li chang wo hui zhao zhao ni
I will back you up regardless of the circumstances

趁时间没发觉 让我带着你离开
chen shi jian mei fa jue rang wo dai zhao ni li kai
Let me take you away before time notices us

这不是顽固 这不是逃避
zhe bu shi wan gu zhe bu shi tao bi
This is not stubbornness and its not running away

没人帮着你走才快乐
mei ren bang zhao ni zou cai kuai le
When no one helps you walk you will feel true joy

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Watch me dance! (even though I can never perfect dancing)

For the past years, new acquaintances and friends only know me as a writer, director, journalist, radio announcer, etc. But hey—I also love dancing!

Although I would love to master street dancing, I can never be that good in it because of physical reasons, the major reason being my inherited genu valgum; knock-knees for laymen. Piki in Filipino/Kapampangan. Mine is hereditary and I must have gotten it from my mother.

Such bone structure problem results in getting easily tired, especially in the knee and ankle area, because more effort is exerted by people with knock knees in activities, like dancing or running, to maintain balance.

Knock-knees for me has also been a source of insecurity since childhood. As a kid, I have always been told by older people, "Samasan mu ing lakad mu, tong" (Walk correctly, kid), because my feet had this formation when you look at them from above: / \ instead of \ /, which is the normal type.

Such bone structure problem has made me choosy in getting pants and shorts. I pick the ones that would hide my knock-knees. Skinny jeans are a no-no to me and shorts that expose my knees are likewise banned in my wardrobe.

The bad thing about having knock-knees is that it's incurable. Researched about it on the net, and there's only one Russian expert whom people claim can correct knock-knees through bone surgery in the knees. Will I go that far!? No. In a parallel universe, probably, but not here.

So whenever I am in a public place, such as a mall, and I see guys of my age with "desirable feet" (meaning they have straight feet), or even guys who are a bit sakang (reverse of genu valgum) like Korean guys, I look at them with envy until they disappear from my sight. I look at their feet so endearingly you would think I'm gay if you base your judgment on my malagkit a lawe/malagkit na tingin. But that thirsty glare proves how much I desire to have such feet, and I'm willing to sell my soul to Satan just to have those feet... Kidding.

Anyway, I still love dancing. Even though I can never perfect dancing because of knock-knees, here's an attempt to dance the chorus part of BoA's "Eat You Up," the steps to which are not very basic:



Also, watch the original music video/dance here:

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Kamaru Photography's first "serious" attempt

Okay, so after goofing with photography last time, we decided yesterday to for the first time do a serious shoot—but not a professional one. Serious, as in producing quality photos that are add-worthy to our very (9x) young portfolio.

The catch is, we only had one camera, a friend (whom we turned into a model overnight), home lights and desk lamps, and various junk to serve as possible props.

Diegs and I were discussing what type of photography we want to engage in. We don't know all the labels for the different branches of photography (fashion photography, landscape photography, photo journalism, etc.), and we're too lazy to research, so we decided to come up with what to call our desired specialization, regardless whether the term exists already or not.

We call it character/dramatic photography. Character, because we make our model portray characters we create (which we usually do on the spot when things start making sense around the set). Dramatic, because there's supposed to be drama—a [fictional] story behind the concept.

So, our photography is not really about the model, nor is it about the fashion, or the set... It's about the character and story. The set is not of less importance compared to the model, nor is it the other way around. The model, like the props and all the other non-living materials present in the photo, is simply an element that contributes to the realization of the concept we have in mind.

This is because the model wouldn't be an interesting character if the set was given less attention, and the set alone wouldn't highlight much drama if the human element is not semantically related to the environment.

Sorry, we in Kamaru love to philosophize and understand our craft to make the most out of it consistently. Know thyself, says some European philosopher I can't recall right now. It's not that we're limiting ourselves. As I said, we aim to specialize in something.

So, here's a picture from our first set. Others are still to be color-graded. The set it belongs to doesn't have an official title yet, but I remember us telling our model to internalize the character of a Movie Bitch (Optical Media Bitch!). Or a Pirated Lady, who is bought for less than it's real value.

"Optical Media Bitch"
Photographer: Diego Marx Dobles
Set Designer: Jason Paul Laxamana
Model: Thea Lelay
Dobles Residence, Redwood Village, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga

I confess that for the first time in my life I tried to be a makeup artist, putting eyeshadow and other colored powdery substance (sorry, I don't know what they're called) around the eyes of our model. All that was in my head was that putting makeup on someone else's face is just like coloring a poster with pastel or color pencils, which I have always done in the past. Was I successful? I don't know. But nevertheless, I did the job. But I won't credit myself as makeup artist, hahaha.

Here's a picture from our second set, shot in the morning that followed. Others are also still to be color-graded. This one is "Coming Home to Nature."


"Coming Home To Nature"
Photographer: Diego Marx Dobles
Set Designer: Jason Paul Laxamana
Model: Thea Lelay
Redwood Village, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga

Okay, now's everyone's favorite part. What do you think of Kamaru Photography's first serious attempt? Let the bashing and trashing begin!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Kamaru branches out to photography...

Well, not really...

Not yet! Since I am to soon acquire my own camera, and fellow Kamaru member Diegz has his own camera, we might be producing a number of "Kapampangan photos" in the future, i.e., pictures that in one way or another present a Kapampangan touch.

No, we are not referring to photos of farmers, boatmen, and Candaba migratory birds—although we'll take photos of 'em as well. We intend to specialize on shooting models, both male and female, embellished with costume, set, and concept that emanate a certain degree of Kapampangan identity.

Below are some wala lang / ala mu photos we took this afternoon while killing time at the GV radio station backyard. All of the people you'll see in the photos below are not models. They are however the young DJs of GVFM 99.1, including yours truly.

Note though that these photos don't represent what we intend to do in the future, as we still have a lot to learn about photography. I'd just like to post these fool-around photos.






















Can't wait to get into photography!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Call for Entries: Cinekabalen Short Film Competition

Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan Studies,
Kalalangan Kamaru, and
Circle of Young Angelenos

present

The 1st Cinekabalen Philippine Film Festival

The short film competition seeks to explore, criticize, promote, empower, and/or describe the Kapampangan experience through independent cinema.

We are looking for short narratives that tell the story and perspective of the Kapampangan people, who, since their pre-Hispanic participation in the affairs of Asia, have been leading diverse lives up to the contemporary times—from the humble rural folks of the riverbanks to the dehumanized drones of highly urban areas, from resilient survivors of the Pinatubo eruption to the aggressive players in national industries, from sun-worshipping dwellers of the mountainside to the strong devotees of Roman Catholicism, from the protesters of social inequality since ancient times to the culturally overloaded youth of the nation, from the migrants forced to live elsewhere for greener pastures to the politically maturing residents making waves in mass media, from the craftsmen who balance business and art to the brown tillers of the plains, etc....

Rules and mechanics of the short film competition:

- The contest is open to everyone, student or professional, Kapampangan or non-Kapampangan, living in the country or abroad, etc. except members of the core organizing committee

- any topic is allowed, as long as it expresses "The Kapampangan Experience"

- entry must be a narrative; no music videos or documentaries

- no limit of number of entries

- because promoting the Kapampangan language is one of the aims of the festival, the dialogues, if any, should predominantly be in Kapampangan. The occasional use of non-Kapampangan languages is allowed as long as used in proper linguistic context.

- setting of the story does not necessarily have to be in Pampanga or other Kapampangan-speaking regions like Tarlac and Bataan

- film must have readable English subtitles

- strictly 10-20 minutes in length; for animated entries, minimum of 5 minutes is allowed

- in digital format (submit final work in playable DVD)

- extreme violence and obscenity and unnecessary abuse of foul language are discouraged, but not prohibited

- use of copyrighted music is not allowed, unless permitted to by the owner of the material

- deadline of entries (final DVD, registration form) will be on July 31; they must be shipped or submitted in person to the Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, Angeles City; the registration form will be downloadable beginning mid-March

- 8 to 12 finalists will be chosen (depending on the quantity of submissions) to compete in the festival; cash prizes and trophies are at stake for the top three best short films, which will be selected by a Board of Judges consisting of experts from the industry; special awards (best male performer, best editing, best screenplay, etc.) will also be given; the competing films will be screened during the actual Cinekabalen Philippine Film Festival in August at the Holy Angel University Theater in Angeles City; an Awards Night will follow

Inquiries: text JASON @ 0918 699 2459 or email sisig_man@yahoo.com.ph

Amateur filmmakers are welcome to consult the organizers regarding their entries

Friday, 20 February 2009

Watas (Poet)

I look out on the river
and see a drowning gal
flailing like a catfish
wailing like a swine
Worry not, you girl
this is your lucky day
for this poet is here
your savior for today
I’m here to write a poem
for men to come in haste
they’ll strip and dive and swim
and rescue you from fate
Depict shall I your struggle
in metaphors and more
embellished, yes, with rhymes
and imageries galore
while quoting learned men
who made reflections so
evaluating lives
they barely even know

Monday, 9 February 2009

More "Asian" style coloring!

More "Asian" style coloring! Photos care of Diego Marx Dobles. Can't wait to use this color on my next music video.



i
v

Di ba di ba di ba di ba?

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Eureka! I've found the "Asian" color!

Having been exposed to a lot of Asian music videos on YouTube lately, I noticed that they have a different way of color-grading their videos, which to me, looks nice. So, I wanted to imitate that kind of color. Browsing through Ash Castro's photographs, I found this picture of his nephew (?) and the color is the same as those music videos I'm talking about:


Self-studying how to achieve this kind of color using Adobe Photoshop, I was able to create the right blend, and I'm so happy, because I'm longing to use this kind of coloring to my films.

Here's an unedited pic:


Then, voila:


Then I tried it in rush in one of my videos, although it was not meticulously done:

Friday, 16 January 2009

Asexuality

Ano nga ba ang asexuality?

Ayon sa Wikipedia, Asexuality is a sexual orientation that describes individuals who do not experience sexual attraction. The use of asexuality as a human sexual orientation has been described in academic studies since the late 1970s, and a community of self-identified asexuals coalesced in the early 21st century, aided by the popularity of online communities. One commonly cited study placed the incidence rate of asexuality at 1%. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy, which is the abstention from sexual activity. Some asexuals do have sex, and most celibates are not asexual, or considered as such.

May kilala ba kayong asexual?

Ako meron. Hihihi.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Jason Laxamana, the Punit Filmmaker

Kamakailan lamang ay natapos na namin ang pinakahuling obra naming Kapampangan. Isa siyang short film na pinamagatang Balangingi, o Nosebleed sa Inggles, o Balinguyngoy sa Tagalog.


Kahit na isusumite namin siya sa mga upcoming na film festivals sa Maynila, ngayon pa lang ay personal na akong nawawalan ng loob dahil hindi artsy ang pelikula namin, at ang paksa niya, kahit na sinasabi ng karamihan ay fresh at bago, ay hindi yung social-realist na klase, na kadalasang pinaparangalan at kinukuha sa taunang Cinemalaya.

Kung tutuusin, socio-realist ang Balangingi na ginawang feel-good, para balanse. Ang mga Pilipinong intelektwal ay realidad sa Pilipinas, at ang kaliitan ng kanilang bilang at ang paminsan-minsang pagkalungkot nila sa pag-iisa ay nangyayari sa iilang porsyento. Inilarawan ko lang ang isang possible episode ng buhay nila.

XOO: "Masaya ka bang ganyan ka?"
APRIL: "Hindi lang masaya. Proud pa. Kung ang isang tipikal na Pilipino ay nakikita ang daigdig sa tatlong kulay, kita ko sa sandaan."

Pero gaya ng sabi ng iba, bago ang topic na ito. Wala naman tayong pakialam masyado sa mga makabagong pilosopo -- lalo na ang mga makabagong pilosopong kabataan. Ang pagkabulag natin sa realidad na naririto sila sa bansa natin ang nagbibigay ng feeling na parang mainstream na inimbento ang kuwento ng aming pelikula.

Pirat. Punit. Torn.

Ito ang sitwasyon ko sa paggawa ng pelikula. Bakit nga ba hindi parang socio-realist ang mga ginagawa kong pelikula, kagaya ng mga Brillante Mendoza na pelikula?

Sa mga nakakakilala sa akin, alam nila na nakabase ako sa Pampanga, at kinuhang adbokasya ang pagpapalago ng Kapampangan culture at identity sa pamamagitan ng pagpapalawig ng Kapampangan mass media.


Ang mga kabalen ko ay mababa pa ang art appreciation. Si Brillante Mendoza, kahit pa kaliwa't kanan ang mga naaani niyang parangal sa loob at labas ng bansa sa kanyang mga kadalasang Kapampangan-related na pelikula, hindi siya tinatangkilik sa mismong sangka-Kapampangan. Oo, tinitingalaan si Direk Dante dito ng mga iilang mataas ang baitang ng art appreciation (kagaya ko), pero ipanood mo sa mga average na tao, kundi sumasakit ang ulo nila, naiinip sa mga long take at sa mga masagisag na shot, at kapag nakakita ng puwet, iyon ang pagtutuunan nila ng pansin kaysa sa katayuan nina Gina Pareno sa Serbis.

Noong huli kong nakasaup si Direk Dante, ang sabi niya ay hindi muna siya gagawa ng pelikula. Iroronda muna niya ang mga pelikula niya sa kanyang tinubuang lupa, partikular na sa mga pamantasan, habang nagbibigay ng seminar o lecture tungkol sa paksa ng kaniyang mga pelikula at tungkol sa independent filmmaking mismo. Ganoon ang teknik niya para tumaas ang art appreciation ng mga kabalen niya.

Sa kabilang dako naman, ako. Imbes na gawin ang ginagawa ni Direk, ang ginagawa ko naman ay finu-fuse ko ang mga alternatibong istilo at kuwento at ang mga mainstream. Posible kaya?

Ang "best of both worlds" approach na ito ang nagbibigay sa akin ng dilemma. Hindi ka masyadong papansinin sa mga establisadong film scenes kagaya ng sa Maynila kasi may touch of mainstream ka. Sa probinsya naman, kahit na malamang matutuwa sila sa gawa mo, hindi ka rin masyadong mapapansin kasi wala namang mga festival-festival na ganyan sa kasalukuyan sa Central Luzon.

Kaya heto ako. Pirat. Punit. Torn.

Ngunit ang pagkapunit kong ito ang marahil magbibigay ng identidad sa aking mga likha. Malay natin. Liban pa sa kakulangan ng gamit.

Maaaring sabihin ng ibang tao: e bakit ko ba kasi iniisip ang audience ko? E kasi naman may advocacy tayo sa mga kabalen natin. Kung gagawa ako ng pelikula na di naman ine-enjoy ng mga target audience ko (na rumeresulta sa hindi nila pagtangkilik nito), ano pa ang saysay?

May ginawa na akong medyo artsy ang approach. Maganda daw siya, sabi ng mga nakakapanood. Pero noong ini-screen ko 'to sa UP Diliman, may pagka-snore fest din siya, kasi walang masyadong aksyon, mabagal ang pace, at iba pang mga kadahilanan.


Post ko dito one time yung pelikulang iyon at kayo ang humusga.