Alben meng manyaman, boy!

June 30, 2008

Kalam character pictorial

Yesterday, the cast members dawned their costumes for the character pictorial held at Koolpix Photography, the photographer being Henry Sanchez. The photos are multipurpose, since they will be used in every publicity material possible, such as billboards, tarpaulins, press releases, websites, etc.

Watch out for the pictures in this blog! Meanwhile, enjoy the following behind-the-scenes and fooling-around photos:

Raco Del Rosario (escaped from thesis partners) as Rhodskie

Albina, Dette, Kool while waiting for the other props to arrive

Nicolette looking forward for a pic with snake

Jon, the Production Designer, and Nicolette... and the ubingan

Happy birthday, Peter Danganan (John Joy)! Pa-burger na ka man!

Cheng and Niket

Kularyut ampo i Bernadette

As emo as Kool; belt freshly purchased

Atsing Puring out of costume, waiting for the "daster"

Aries practicing kulam, waiting for the HAU Nursing uniform

Audience area

Bangag king thesis, ne?

Atsing Edith in costume, Cheng, and Jayvie (Kenneth) in HAU Engineering uniform

John Joy Manalang checking out a flask of herbs

June 28, 2008

Kalam: A Gift Of Our Times

By Jade Pangilinan

I have always been a big fan of fantasy books and games. From JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth to CS Lewis’s Narnia; from Magic the Gathering cards to Dungeons and Dragons role-playing; from Harry Potter movies to Arnold Arre’s Mythology Class.

And coming soon in Pampanga is an urban fantasy made for tv series that is the first of its kind: Kalam. Kalam, which means “gift” in the vernacular, is something that should be close to a Kapampangan’s heart as this telenovela will tackle the supernatural and mythological in the context of contemporary times.
I have seen the sample clips of this Kapampanganovela on Youtube where they have been generating a lot of views, interesting feedbacks and comments, especially among the Kapampangan youth. Kalam is set to revolutionize Kapampangan tv.

It helps that the cast in itself is stellar as it brings together the freshest faces and most promising talents in Pampanga, such as the pretty and witty beauty queen and model Niket Henson and versatile theater actor Alex Tiotuico to name a few. I take pride in the Fernandinos who are part of the cast of characters, such as Reachel Mucho, Edith Chu (grew up in Guagua), KC Aldana (already replaced by Magalang's Peter Danganan; see Kalam blog for news) and Jayvie Dizon (grew up in Angeles City). More than the face value, more consideration was given to talent and Kapampangan language skills.

Add to this the continuing advocacy of Infomax 8 in producing Kapampangan shows that give us the heightened sense of belongingness and community spirit.

Knowing director Jason Laxamana and his passion for preserving Kapampangan heritage, especially in the linguistic and literary fields, expect Kalam to be well-researched and authentic. The fantastic characters we will meet will be straight out of the wealth of folkloric tradition that our noble Kapampangan ancestors have passed on through generations. For those who grew up in rural Pampanga, I am pretty sure that the characters will be very familiar although the story takes place in the urban setting.

Jason, at a very young age, exhibits an uncommonly keen understanding of Kapampangan culture and uses popular media such as rock music (for the breakthrough Rockapampangan project) and the telenovela to promote our often peripheralized intangible heritage in the mainstream and inculcate among the people, young and old alike, vestiges of our culture which we do not want to fade away or die.

Kalam shows promise to bring back into Kapampangan consciousness the nearly forgotten lore of old: mythical creatures of our ancestor’s imagination (e,g, elementals such as laman labuad) and folk beliefs that have been set aside as hear say and unscientific in these post-modern times, but are vital ingredients of what makes our culture truly Kapampangan.

Kalam gives us something to look forward to. It is a good way for non – Kapampangans to see for themselves and understand Kapampangan culture. More importantly, in this day and age when the use of the Kapampangan language is decreasing, Kalam just might be a gift that will give us a better sense of appreciation of what we have as a people before we totally lose it.

Check the Kalam sample sequences on youtube or visit their blog at Watch out for Kalam at Infomax 8 this coming August.

June 25, 2008

Kalalangan Kamaru on Sip Magazine

There's this glossy magazine distributed in Metro Manila. It's Sip Magazine, the first ever magazine targeting coffee shop addicts.

Inspired by the ever-growing high-end Café market here in the Philippines, No Bounds Group - the freshest, hottest and most talented Events and Publishing team in the country today, in partnership with the largest coffee retailer in the United States and the leading per store café-coffee retailer in the Philippines – The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL)...

Our magazine targets young, dynamic yet very discerning café aficionados ages 18-35 years old in Classes A, B and Upper C (CBTL’s very solid target market – covering college students, yuppies and even lifestyle mavens). SIP hopes to represent, entertain and inspire this “restless and determined” market by featuring articles on the hottest trends in personal care, gadgets, fitness, travel, fashion, music and most importantly, youth volunteerism (in helping others and saving the environment).

This June in their Independence Day issue, they have a feature on our Kapampangan cultural development group, Kalalangan Kamaru, and our advocacy for Kapampangan. View the feature here:

In the July issue of Sip, Kalam will be featured, the first ever Kapampanganovela. It's as historical as Sip Magazine, because it's also a first in Philippine history!

June 20, 2008

Watch Jessica Soho episode on 'Kalam'

A few weeks ago, Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho featured the mass media, particularly broadcast, industry of the Philippine provinces which employ the use of the local language. Because we our doing the first ever Kapampangan TV drama, they decided to feature us to represent the Kapampangans.

This is the second time a Kamaru project has attracted national television. If you can still remember, RocKapampangan was also featured months ago when they did a segment on Promdi Rock.

What's negative about Jessica Soho is that she doesn't see the distinction between a language and a dialect. She would call the Kapampangan language a dayalekto (dialect), sometimes, wika (language). Researchers should advise her on the difference of the two, and that non-Tagalog Philippine languages are, well, languages, not dialects.

Second is the constant labeling of provincial products as Promdi products. Promdi rock, promdi telenovelas, etc. It implies a centralized view of the Philippines -- Manila is Philippines, and if you come from the province, there's a special label for you.

If you failed to watch the 'Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho' featuring Kalam, it's now on YouTube:

June 19, 2008

Local language recognition angers French Academy

For years France's regional languages were seen by Paris as a taboo that threatened national unity and should be repressed - children were punished for speaking Breton in the playground, banned from speaking Occitan in southern schools or Alsatian dialect in the east. But now, just as the French parliament has taken a historic step to recognise minority languages in the constitution, a new war of words has broken out.

L'Académie française, the institution that defends the purity of French, yesterday issued a furious warning that recognising regional languages in the constitution would be "an attack on French national identity". In turn, local language militants criticised the academy as a ridiculous relic of outdated nationalism.

The row has highlighted how far France differs from other European countries in the defence of minority tongues. Unlike the UK, which has acted to protect languages such as Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, France is one of the few European states which refuses to ratify the European charter for minority languages and give legal status to its various language groups.

France boasts 75 regional languages, including those spoken in far-flung territories from the Indian Ocean to South America. Regional languages such as Alsatian, Occitan, Corse, Breton and Basque, and even smaller ones such as Béarnaise and Picard, have increasingly powerful and well-organised lobby groups. Parents have campaigned to set up regional language schools outside the state system, while the state has started offering some bilingual classes.

But minority languages have no legal status and are deemed by Unesco to be dying out. Before 1930 one in four French people spoke a regional language to their parents; that figure has nosedived.

Last month the parliament broke a taboo by holding a debate and agreeing to insert a line in the constitution recognising local languages as part of French heritage. "Speaking or singing in Breton, Alsatian or Basque doesn't stop you being patriotic," said one Breton MP. All parties were unanimous.

But before the senate examines the issue today, l'Académie française has objected, warning that writing regional languages into the constitution would dilute French identity.

Dàvid Grosclaude, president of Occitan language group l'Institut d'Estudis Occitans, issued an open letter to the academy, which he called "full of bitterness, resentment and fear" and too blinkered to recognise France's diverse citizenship.

Philippe Jacq, director of l'Office de la Langue Bretonne, said the constitutional change was only a small step, and France must provide legal recognition and sign the European charter.

He said: "All we ask for is to speak our languages in public life, to have services in our languages, for parents to have the right for their children to be taught in the language of their choice."

June 16, 2008

Main actors for Kapampanganovela unveiled

By Jason Paul Laxamana

ANGELES CITY—The eight main actors of Kalam, the Kapampanganovela (Kapampangan telenovela) being produced by Infomax-8 and Kalalangan Kamaru, have been chosen out of approximately 60 hopefuls. They were unveiled last June 14 during the final auditions held at the Kapampangan Center of Holy Angel University, Angeles City.

The story of ‘Kalam’ (a Kapampangan word which means ‘gift’ or ‘blessing’) is a mixture of urban fantasy, action, romance, comedy, and social relevance featuring the struggle of modern day magkukulam (folk witches/healers) in urban Pampanga. It follows the life and adventures of Yubs, a delinquent college Nursing student who, with the aid of both normal and magical allies, reunites with his folkloric roots and enhances his skill in order to counter cases of harmful witchcraft and to prove to society that kulam is not absolutely evil, but a gift that can be used in service of the people.

Grabbing the lead role is Aries Yap of Angeles City, who became a finalist in ‘Close Up to Fame 2’ last 2006.

Reachel Mucho of the City of San Fernando, a Financial Management and Accounting student of the University of the Assumption, gets the role of Dette, a lagayan (spirit seeing) rich girl who captures images of ghosts and elementals through her camera. Mucho became a finalist in the 2008 teen model search Circle of 10.

Freshmen boyband member KC Aldana (former screen name: Roel Aldana) of the same city takes the role of John Joy, a drop-dead-gorgeous but snobbish mangguguna (potion and charm maker) who will become Dette’s object of infatuation.

Mutya ning San Fernando 2006 and Mutya ning Kapampangan 2006 beauty pageant winner Nicolette Henson of San Fernando grabs the lead antagonist’s role. She will act as Albina, the more-than-a-hundred-year-old but still young-looking and pretty ukluban (powerful sorceress) seeking to punish people who discriminate witches. Unlike the typical villainess, Albina does “evil things” in a calm and elegant but cunning and precise manner.

Jayvie Dizon of San Fernando, a Mass Communication student of Angeles University Foundation and a member of its Repertory Theater, takes the role of Kenneth, the uple (illusion master) sidekick of Albina.

Yap, Mucho, Aldana, Henson, and Dizon joins Alex Tiotuico, Raco Del Rosario, and Ms. Edith Chu in the main cast.

Tiotuico, a resident of Angeles City and an Architecture student of Holy Angel University, will act as Kulubasa Kularyut, the 300-year-old loud and comic laman labuad (elemental) who serves as Yubs’ guide in the world of magkukulam. Tiotuico is a theater actor from the Academy of Performing Arts (APA) who acted as Gorio in the stage play ‘Ang Lihim.’

Taking the role of Rhodskie is Del Rosario (son of APA founder Bicong Del Rosario), a Nursing student of AUF and also a theater actor and dancer from APA. Rhodskie is the ghetto ex-boyfriend of Dette who speaks balid (twisted) Kapampangan.

Last but not the least is local businesswoman Ms. Edith Chu, who takes the role of Puring, the mother of Yubs who acts as the community’s fake faith healer.

Before the producers start taping ‘Kalam’ in July, the main actors will undergo acting workshops, personality development seminars, and photo shoots. They will also undergo a crash course on the Kapampangan language to make them more comfortable in reading and speaking Kapampangan lines.

“This is more than a TV show,” the producers said. “It is also an advocacy project seeking to promote Kapampangan culture and language to the people, especially the youth, while showcasing and enhancing the Kapampangans' media-related skills.”

‘Kalam’ is set to premiere on the final week of August, the language month. Visit for more information and updates.

[photos of Yap, Tiotuico, Del Rosario, Aldana, and group picture courtesy of Rachel of Enterprise school paper, College of Business Administration, Holy Angel University]

June 11, 2008

Congratulations, 'Kalam' auditions finalists

Congratulations! In no particular order, these are the applicants whom Kalalangan Kamaru had selected to move on to the second, final screening on June 14 (Saturday) at the Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, Angeles City (calltime: 1 PM).

To the finalists, prepare to give your all during the final screening! Confidence, acting skills, and so-called X, or this time, K-factor (Kapampangan factor!).

[no picture]
Nigel Laxamana

[no picture]
Edith Chu

[no picture]
Reachel Mucho

KC Aldana

[no picture]
Maikka Rustia

Aaron Christian Rivera

Shayne Fontillas

Peter Danganan

Frency Rodriguez

Aries Yap

Jayvie Dizon

Bor Ocampo

Nicolette Henson

Dennis Dizon

Jeramie Mendoza

If an applicant is not chosen, it doesn't mean he's bad. Of course, we are also taking into account factors such as: schedule flexibility, command of the Kapampangan language, and most importantly, if they match the descriptions of the characters we have in mind.

If an applicant is not chosen as part of the main cast, several supporting roles are still waiting to be occupied, and he might just fit in any of those.

As much as we would like to make everyone happy (since we are pleased that a lot of Kapampangans responded to this "call of Indung Kapampangan") by giving them a break in local show business, we, as of the moment, cannot easily make it happen, as we are still in the early, exploratory stage of television drama production.

But eventually, we'll get there, and take part in the thriving global cultural industry.

June 8, 2008

Guagua lad in Pinoy Idol

I was informed that one of the male candidates (and considered by many as the best vocalist among the men) in GMA-7's Pinoy Idol is a Kapampangan from Guagua.

He's none other than Elizalde Camaya, or as his screen name goes, Kid Camaya!

Watch him use his suave RnB voice in this video:

To vote for Kid Camaya:

Text IDOL KID and send to the following numbers:

367- smart and talk and text
2344- globe/touch mobile/suncellular

cost is PHP2.50 per vote.

June 7, 2008

Auditions for Kapampangan-speaking actors

[Note: This is not a complete list of applicants.]

Who will rise as part of history and be part of the first ever Kapampanganovela in the world?

On June 7, the first major auditions for Kalam will take place at the Academy of Performing Arts in Angeles City (in front of Villa Angela Subdivision and Carmelite Monastery) from 1 PM to 6 PM.

After the first level auditions, potential actors will be recalled for a second screening.

June 4, 2008

Kabalen is RP's rep in Manhunt Int'l 2008

One pressuring but flattering stereotype for Kapampangans is that they are a physically beautiful race. Beauty queens and gigolos that represented not only Pampanga but the country as well run far as back as when show business began to invade the Philippines.

Nice physical features, partnered with an aggressive attitude towards life and the superior confidence (causing non-Kapampangans to view Kapampangans as mayabang), could be the reason why a lot of kabalens are engaged in the beauty industry.

And here's the latest.

Our kabalen Marvin Raymundo (former name: Marvin Wijangco) of the City of San Fernando will represent the Philippines in the Manhunt International World tilt in Seoul, South Korea this coming July 2, 2008 and there will be more than 50 contestants competing fot the title. Marvin is also a member of the ABS-CBN Talent Center’s Star Magic Batch 15.

If you've seen the Pampanga Tourism music video (that goes me keni, tuki ka, malaus ka Pampanga!), the lead actor there is Marvin.

Congratulations, Marvin! Another proof that Kapampangans are not only achievers, but a gorgeous race as well. :)