2008 has been a very challenging yet fruitful year for Kalalangan Kamaru, which has spawned several Kapampangan works in the field of mass media. Even though composed only of a small number of young individuals, it did not let its pitiful size be an excuse for accomplishing big things for the Kapampangan homeland.
Before the year 2009 enters, allow me to make a review of 2008 by remembering the events Kalalangan Kamaru has been involved in.
February marked the launching of RocKapampangan, the first ever Kapampangan rock album in the history of Philippine music. Co-produced with Holy Angel University, the album featured 16 Kapampangan tracks by 16 Kapampangan bands from Pampanga and Tarlac. The project has been featured in GMA-7's "Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho" with its segment titled "Promdi Rock" and in several other local shows in Pampanga.
To contribute to the small number of Kapampangan films, Kamaru in cooperation with Holy Angel University, produced a 10-minute screen adaptation of the anonymous Kapampangan ballad titled "Ing Bangkeru." Starring Jim Paolo Salvador and Alexandre Tiotuico, the short digital film is available for free viewing on YouTube.
To promote modern Kapampangan music through radio, Kamaru approached GVFM 99.1 to propose the station's first ever Kapampangan FM musical talk show, hosted in the Kapampangan language. The management gave a free weekly one-hour slot to Kamaru, the title of the program being Frequency K: Kool Maging Kapampangan. For months now, it has been playing new Kapampangan songs, broadcasting news about Kapampangan culture, and featuring live acoustic Kapampangan performances from various Kapampangan musicians. The show is heard every Saturdays, 7 PM.
Kamaru tied up with San Fernando-based cable station Infomax-8 to co-produce the first ever Kapampanganovela in Philippine broadcasting history. "Kalam" is a fantasy series in the Kapampangan language that explores Kapampangan folklore in an urban setting. Although the show is not yet running and wouldn't be running anytime soon, the project and the show altogether has astounded Kapampangans—from politicians to students, from cultural workers to linguists, and from non-Kapampangans to kabalens. The first public screening of the pilot episode was held at SM Pampanga in celebration of the first ever Aldo Ning Amanung Sisuan.
Kapampangan music videos
2008 has allowed Kamaru to spawn three official Kapampangan music videos: two from the Tarlac-based band Mernuts and one from Angeles City's 5 Against The Wall. "Oras" and "Alang Anggang Sugat" are the official theme songs of the Kapampanganovela "Kalam," while "Aliwa Kang Talaga" is Mernuts' contribution to the RocKapampangan album. Although the TV series soundtracks are regularly played via Infomax-8, "Oras" was also able to penetrate MTV Pilipinas in its morning OPM show "Tong Hits," making it the first ever Kapampangan music video to be aired regularly on the said channel.
EmoKapampangan was a minor yet fairly-patronized project of Kamaru on the Internet. It is the first digital one-panel comic strip in Kapampangan which featured a young emo couple composed of Yubs and Clacla. They are often accompanied by the stray animals Karag and Damulag. Around 50 issues were released.
Kalam Campus Tour
Kamaru has rounded key schools in Pampanga such as Holy Angel University, Angeles University Foundation, Angeles City National High School Special Science Class, Holy Family Academy, Chevalier School, and UP Pampanga to not only screen the pilot episode of "Kalam" but also to discuss about the current state of Kapampangan culture and language and other related topics such as cultural diversity, regional media, and the global celebration of linguistic diversity. "Kalam" has also been screened twice in UP Diliman, first, in line with ACLE (Alternative Classroom Learning Experience) care of UP Aguman, and second, as invited by several organizations including a Linguistics organization and Stand UP. Kamaru is proud to say that the pilot episode has never failed to amaze every set of audience it encounters in different schools, may they be Kapampangan or non-Kapampangan.
Kamaru's first ever project that is not exclusively for the Kapampangans. Archipelago Music is a blog project that seeks to promote OPM from the regions, may they be in Cebuano, Ilocano, Waray Waray, Cuyonon, Ilonggo, Kapampangan, Maranao, Ifugao, etc. The project aims to make ethnolinguistic communities in the Philippines aware of the music scenes in several regions aside from Manila. Watch out for "hybrid regional songs" co-produced by Kamaru, such as an upcoming Hiligaynon-Kapampangan song.
In the field of journalism, Kamaru has been granted a column on Central Luzon Daily under the Features section. Appearing every Monday and Wednesday, Urban Kamaru tackles Kapampangan, Filipino, and global issues regarding culture and language. The column is maintained by Jason Paul Laxamana, the head of Kamaru.
Kapampangan Environmental PSAs
To reconcile environmental and cultural awareness, Kamaru produced four Public Service Announcements for television, which tackled the importance of trees, planting as counter to global warming, water pollution, and air pollution. Astounded with the simple yet powerful PSAs, Councilor Jimmy Lazatin of the City of San Fernando acquired two of the PSAs for distribution in TV and cable stations within Central Luzon.
Kamaru extends the use of the Kapampangan language to the field of documentary-making, as it produced "Sexmoan Adventures," a 22-minute light documentary exploring the attitude of Sasmuan residents toward the seemingly scandalous former spelling of their hometown: Sexmoan. The complete documentary is available on YouTube.
The year is wrapped up with another Kapampangan short film titled "Balangingi" (Nosebleed). Unlike the usual Kapampangan films that tackle the rural and poor life of the Kapampangans, "Balangingi" seeks to create a film featuring a fresh topic: the life of a Filipino intellectual immersed in a society of average-minded individuals. The film is currently in the phase of post-production.
These have been the major activities of Kamaru for the year 2008, aside from the participation of its members in other worthwhile events such as the mangrove-planting project of ADCL at Pampanga Bay, Kapampangan language and literature seminars in the Holy Angel University and UP Pampanga, and the filming of the Cannes Film Festival-finalist "Serbis" at the Family Theater of Angeles City.
The members of Kamaru are praying for a more fruitful year of cultural service for 2009. These are the plans/activities (both tentative and set) of Kamaru for the coming year:
:: To wrap up the production of the first season of "Kalam" and have it aired regularly
:: The extension of "Frequency K" into either a two-hour radio program or a twice-a-week radio program
:: A production tie up with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) to produce a mini-series on the Aytas of Clark
:: Production of Ara Muna's music video for "O Jo, Ika Ing Buri Ku"
:: Participation in film festivals in Manila and abroad
:: Participation again in UP Diliman's ACLE this February
:: The release of a Hiligaynon-Kapampangan song (Bronze P and Raco Del Rosario)
:: The release of a Waray-Kapampangan song (Exoduce and Mernuts)
:: Kamaru's trip to Palawan to present a lecture on pop culture as tool for cultural and linguistic revitalization, to screen "Kalam" and other Kamaru productions, and to produce a music video in HD for one of the songs of Bulyaw Mariguen, a Cuyonon band.
:: Production of more Kapampangan documentaries, particularly the followup to Sexmoan Adventures: Manibaug Adventures and Darabulbul Adventures.
:: Production of a full-length independent Kapampangan horror digital film
:: Help in the organization of the first ever Kapampangan student short film festival as an additional offering for either Sinukwan Festival or Aldo Ning Amanung Sisuan
:: Help in the organization of an event in UP Diliman in celebration of the International Mother Language Day (February)
:: Dubbing of Filipino animated content into Kapampangan
:: Release of a second set of EmoKapampangan
And many more to come! Miluid ya sa ing Balen Kapampangan!