Sunday, January 3, 2010

AGE AND HERITAGE (October 26, 2009)

Our Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) vice chair, Abdon Balde Jr. blasted us to a Happy Beer Day shortly before the Rolex store robbery in Greenbelt 5 as if to celebrate the Ayala Center bombing's second anniversary last October 19!
Well, he just added three feathers in his cap:
receiving the 2009 South East Asian Writers’ Award from His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his Royal Consort HRH Princess Srirasm of Thailand;
bagging the 2009 Bikolinismo Regional Artist Award;
launching his Anvil-published book, 60ZENS: Tips on Senior Citizenship, at the National Book Store Glorietta 5 in Makati City last October 16.
In the same old vein, Brillante Mendoza, the 62nd Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Awardee last May for his Kinatay, reminded us about his latest big bang entitled Lola.
Opening the 11th Cinemanila International Film Festival last Thursday, it is all about two grandmothers – played by Anita Linda, 84, and Rustica Carpio, 79, both suffering from the consequences of a murder involving their respective grandsons -- one the victim, the other the suspected killer.
It was one of the 11 films considered to represent our country in the 2010 Oscar but another movie about the elderly, Soxy Topacio's dramedy Ded Na Si Lolo, was chosen by the Film Academy of the Philippines Oscar Committee.
Noted playwright Lito Casaje invited us to watch his new film, Dolores, and it was shown last Saturday, the day “poetician” Danton Remoto's dad, Francisco Sr., had an interment mass at the St. Ignatius Chapel in Camp Aguinaldo.
One of the Cinemalaya finalists, Casaje's story -- told from a soul's viewpoint --
was shown at the Market! Market! The Fort in Taguig City where another indie, Biyaheng Lupa, will have its world premiere tonight at 7:30.
It will be the directorial debut of award-winning screenwriter Armando Lao, our Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas recipient in 2008.
Now Direk Bing has revealed his experiment: “The voice-over device allows me to take a glimpse of the inner lives of the passenger characters as their minds wander off into streams of consciousness. It offers me an opportunity to use an impressionistic approach to film that acknowledges spoken language as the logical medium for telling a story and in a form that only voice-overs could effectively fulfill. In Biyaheng Lupa, I believe that only the use of language, together with occasional sound effects and music, can unify exposition and capture the immediacy of the characters’ random and intrusive thoughts.”
We were fortunate enough to be chosen as one of Biyaheng Lupa's voice talents.
While some are speaking of creating, others are talking about re-creating through preservation.
Starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. under the theme Fading Heritage: We Can Save It, for instance, the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (SOFIA) will commemorate the UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
SOFIA officers Makk Junio, Emma Rey, and Mary del Pliar will conduct workshop on on the basic handling and preservation of audiovisual materials covering storage, handling, restoration methods, equipment recommendations and disaster preparedness.
Aside from launching its website, SOFIA will also screen Richard Abelardo's 1950s classic Mutya ng Pasig in honor the memory of film preservation stalwart Alexis Tioseco
(who was murdered with his Slovenian girlfriend, film critic Nika Bohinc, last September 1 in their home in Quezon City. The said Fil-Canadian film journalist and university professor was credited as one of the Southeast Asian film advocates who had been championing the Philippine cinema via his webzine,, among others).
Dr. Clodualdo del Mundo Jr., SOFIA president, reiterates: “A minimal fee of 500.00 pesos will be charged per participant and is inclusive of a workshop kit, snacks, certificate of participation and membership to SOFIA. So, for inquiries, kindly contact Vicky Belarmino at 832-1125 loc. 1704 to 1705 or Monchito Nocon at 0920 2836393 or email”
Also, tomorrow, at 3 p.m., the University of the Philippines Press will launch, at last, Regarding Franz at the U.P. Diliman's Faculty Center's Pulungang Recto. The venue is right beside the library named after the said “short story as a lyrical prose-poetic form” pioneer who died on 1 August 2002, just 37 days before his 86th birthday.
When Dr. Zacarias Eugene Francisco Quino Arcellana was declared National Artist for Literature, the citation underlined his view, “the pride of fiction is ‘that it is able to render truth, that it is able to represent reality.’ And his reality is the universe of man, no matter how mundane or sublime. He believes that truth couched in fiction allays man’s fears and makes reality bearable."
Wow, was he able to foresee in 1990 the recent National Artist controversy?
Specific emotions that weaken certain organs in the body: anger weakens the liver; grief weakens the lungs; worry weakens the stomach; stress weakens the heart and brain; fear weakens the kidney.
Why is it good to make friends with teachers? Because they have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never rises, a touch that never hurts and a love that never fails.

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