Sunday, March 27, 2016

A memory of Direk Francis

with Direk Francis during the GenSan Summer Film Camp, May 2013

   In his young and successful career as a Filmmaker, it was shocking to know that Francis Xavier Pasion passed away

   I first got acquainted with Direk Francis during the first GenSan Summer Film Camp organized by SalaMindanaw Asian Film Festival (formerly SalaMindanaw International Film Festival) in the summer of 2013. Like any other neophyte student of filmmaking, I immersed myself into it. The intense and hands on film workshop was overwhelming yet very enlightening. Along with other participants, we immersed ourselves in the world of cinema by learning, feeling and breathing films for five days. As what Gutierrez Mangansakan II, the Workshop Director, said: “In the end, we don’t want to be merely FILL MAKERS – we want you to become thinking FILMMAKERS. 

   As one of the mentors of the film workshop, Direk Francis shared his experiences in filmmaking. He told us how hard to make a film and also points out its rewarding part. He also shared some tips in story development, as he said, “In making films, the story should be base in the real world – that you have a connection with the story – a story that you are familiar with.” One thing I would never forget about his lesson was the word “bali”. This “bali” is important in developing or writing screenplay. This word aids me to be critical about my stories. 

   Even though we did not have a long one-on-one conversation, I cherish those moments where he taught us valuable lessons in filmmaking. His lessons as well as his filmography are consciously and subconsciously embedded in our minds. In his brief yet meaningful stay on Earth, I am thankful that I was his student and he was my teacher.

   Thank you Direk Francis. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Beginnings of Cebuano Rock Music | Lorenzo "Insoy" Niñal | TEDxUniversityofSanCarlos

Repost: "How do you start a new genre of music? When you have no directo benchmarks to follow, where do you begin? Insoy shares his journey as he tells us how he started what is known today as BisRock and BisPop along with a surprise that just shocked the audience."

"Insoymada isn’t the daily bread, but he can breathe life into words. A columnist and songwriter, his passion lies in the dialect, bending it in all its forms; sa balak, sa suwat, sa kanta. Insoy is also one of the brains and hands behind Vispop, and sings for Missing Filemon."

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Who Killed Philippine Cinema?: Pepe Diokno at TEDxADMU

photo by Excuse my French

Repost: "How open is the window by which we view the world? Pepe Diokno is a motion picture director, producer and screenwriter. He was awarded in the Venice Film Festival a Lion of the future award for his debut film, Engkwentro. Let's take a peek through his lens"

"He grows the nation by showing us what we need to see"

The Undying Dream of Pangarap music video

   I did not expect that I would shoot another music video last year. After Chillax, I promised myself not to shoot another one if my collaborators are imbecile. But I broke my promise for some unexplained reason. I also cannot refuse Marlon (Licko’One) since he is my friend and for my advocacy of helping independent artists. Pangarap (Dream) is somehow a reminder of my dreams in life. It is like a wakeup call to continue pursuing my dreams.

   It was timely knowing the fact that I felt down last December. I did not have the drive to do creative things last year. After the activities during the previous months, I dedicated the month of December for a good rest and contemplation. It was also a detoxification of toxic people that I have socialized.

   I undoubtedly said yes when Marlon asked me to direct his music video. It was fast. I did not pause and think of what was the implication of my decision. As I expected, I had difficulty working with them (except for Marlon since it was our second collaboration). Since they do not have background in shooting a music video, I adjusted myself to get along with them. It was pain in the ass especially Cynille Kaye (co-singer) and Michael Pagco (the videographer). They did not have the sense of professionalism that I imagined.

   Again, we did not have the hi-tech equipment to fully materialize my concept. I just did the same old trick of improvisation. I was expecting that Michael would provide the necessary equipment because he volunteered himself and made a promise during our meeting. But he broke his promise and I end up being the main Cinematographer. Thanks to Dado’s initiative that he became my instant Production Manager during the shoot.

   I did the magic trick to compensate the lapses. I would not let the music video to be a wreck. I stick to the original concept in which I incorporated ordinary people to give hope that dreams do come true. I want to give the audience the feeling of encouragement to continue pursuing their dreams no matter what status they are in life. I also put some element of Marlon’s dreams and my interpretation of it.

   Making the music video was a therapy. It was like finding myself in the midst of uncertainty. I am still thankful even though the shoot did not have the spectacular equipment or the ideal crew. The limited resources are not hindrance for creativity. Just like what I said in my previous blog posts, making a music video is my experimentation of concepts. It is a perfect moment to play ideas.

   The experience of making it served as hope to continue dreaming and take concrete actions out of it. It is epiphany as the poet claims. It is deus ex machina as a Greek tragedy proclaim. Whatever would it be I am fortunate I to have it. I am thankful to the Supreme Being for giving the experience of dreaming again.

Please watch the music video below:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December Blues

   December – the month where I feel lazy, depressed and tired of everything. I do not know why I feel that way. Maybe I absorb too much negative vibes this year that it has a late effect on my part. I feel so uninspired. I feel so cynical about life. I feel like all my positive energy has been vacuumed that I am too disoriented to notice. I write this piece because I want to release this feeling through writing. 

   I noticed that my positive outlook in my life is starting to fade away. It seems that I become indifferent. It changed the way I think, the way I speak and the way I get along with people. Up until now, I am still contemplating its cause. 

   It is weird because I am always thinking of death. It is like I am obsessed with the thought of dying. I feel like I am Emily Dickinson who always thought about death. If I die, do I have an impact to the world? Do I achieve something? Or am I depressed that is why I think about those things? Maybe I am just surrounded by toxic people in the past months that I tend to deny its subtle effects in my system. 

   At the bright side, I am somehow thankful because I have the time to think about my life. What I am doing now to have a wonderful future. Is there career advancement in the past five years? Am I successful? Or I am just delusional about it? 

   I missed my own activities. I missed my blogging activities, my own travels, the genuine socialization and the interview sessions; my pleasurable reading and film activities, community immersion and my own research. That is why I read career and inspirational books as well as videos to get inspired. I felt lost for a while and I need to go back in the right track. I need to detach myself from negative people as well as their intolerable gimmicks. 

   December – the last month of the year. It is a perfect moment to reflect. It is a perfect moment to contemplate on the things that happened in 2015. It is the right moment to review goals and mission in life. It is the right month to reenergize for the next year’s relevant activities. I need to reinvent myself for the better. I need to be myself again to be sane and germane. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pangarap teaser

Pangarap teaser 2

by Licko'One feat. Cynille Kaye

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mindanao Screen Lab participants announced

   The twelve participants to the inaugural Mindanao Screen Lab have been announced.

   The 2015 participants are Joe Bacus (Cagayan de Oro), Theo Lozada (Davao), Sharon De Los Santos (Davao), Ryan Joseph Murcia (Zamboanga), Almojaimen Talib (Kidapawan), Najib Zacaria (Lanao), Orpheus Nery (Cagayan de Oro), Mohalidin Suga (Cotabato), Bhas Abdulsamad (Tawitawi), Jasmine Limas (Cagayan de Oro), Jean Kirvy Waga (Davao) and Julienne Ilagan (Cagayan de Oro).

   The Screen Lab is designed as an intensive learning program that provides emerging Mindanao filmmakers hands on training as well as project development sessions that will transform ideas into films. This year’s mentors include Filipino director John Torres (Todo Todo Teros, Lukas Nino), Mindanao’s own Teng Mangansakan (Limbunan, Qiyamah), Singapore’s Kan Lumé (Liberta, Naked DJ), Sherad Anthony Sanchez (Huling Balyan ng Buhi, Imburnal, Jungle Love) and other Asian filmmakers.

   Mindanao Screen Lab is co-presented by forumZFD, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Mindanao State University General Santos City-Graduate School.

Originally posted in