Alben meng manyaman, boy!

March 31, 2008

$500,000-budget indie film shot in Angeles City

Kapampangan filmmaker Brillante "Dante" Mendoza is done shooting all of the scenes for Serbis. Shot in the Family Theater of Brgy. San Nicolas, Angeles City, the film involves Kapampangan-Ilocano-Tagalog characters. Thus, expect a trilingual, realistic, artistic film!

I supported the production of the film as local/talent coordinator and Script Supervisor. It was also my responsibility to assign tasks to OJTs, including my friend Diego.

I was surprised to see Jaclyn Jose speaking and understanding Kapampangan. Turns out she was raised in Angeles City and even studied elementary at Sto. Rosario Elementary School.

The best part of my job, me being a Kapampangan culture and language advocate, is translating Tagalog lines to Kapampangan for non-Kapampangan talents. Plus, even though Ms. Jaclyn speaks Kapampangan, she still consults me every now and then.

It was hard making sure non-Kapampangan talents deliver their Kapampangan lines like real Kapampangans, but I nevertheless enjoyed searching for strategies.

For example, Instead of translating "Talo si Ate Nayda?" into "Sambut ya i Atsing Nayda?" I write it down as "Sambuchay ching Nayda?" Instead of "E ke ikit," I make the talent read "Keykit." It makes it easier for non-Kapampangans to sound authentic.

Being the producer of RocKapampangan, I also am happy with the fact that Nora Aunor Fans' Club's Kaplas song was used in one of the scenes (with Julio Diaz).

Here is PDI's article on the upcoming film.

RP indie gets $500,000 deal

By Marinel Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: March 26, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—Award-winning indie filmmaker Dante Mendoza recently inked a co-production deal with the French outfit Swift Distribution to finance his latest film titled “Serbis,” Inquirer Entertainment learned on Monday.

The French sales company will pay a portion of the film’s $500,000 production cost, said Mendoza, who is also a co-producer under his CenterStage Production outfit. This is Swift’s first foray into movie production.

A third company, which the director refused to identify, will shoulder another part of the production cost.

“Serbis” (or “Service”), the story of boys who offer sexual services inside movie houses, features multi-awarded actress Gina Pareño and young actors Kristofer King and Coco Martin. It is written by Boots Agbayani Pastor (“Masahista,” “Kaleldo”), with Bing Lao as creative consultant.

In an interview with, Swift founder Didier Costet said he found the story “highly original.” Costet and Mendoza confirmed the deal at the recently concluded 6th Hong Kong Film Market.

Set in a run-down porn theater, the film about male prostitution will also feature real-life service boys. The 11-day shoot in Angeles City, Pampanga, began on March 21.

Swift is also the distributor of Mendoza’s “Masahista” and “Tirador” in France.

Gina Pareno and Coco Martin rehearsing a scene.

Aurel Ayson, Assistant Director. Also a Kapampangan.

Ma'am Ofelia Gueco and Ma'am Gina Diaz of Holy Angel University as nuns.

Limbun - our first day of shooting.

March 20, 2008

Kapampangan Band makes parody of Voltes V theme song

The Nora Aunor Fans' Club band from Guagua does this parody of the ending song of 'Voltes V' in one of their inuman sessions. Song is called Aku 'Ni. Funny.

March 19, 2008

`Estofado,' tedious painting, gilding process, comes of age

By Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:37:00 03/18/2008

BACOLOR, PAMPANGA – Estofado, a tedious painting and gilding process on wooden sculptures, has come of age in Pampanga.

Sculptor-painter Wilfredo Tadeo Layug – born, reared and still based in the old woodcarving village of Betis in Guagua – has applied the technique locally, the high point of his apprenticeship under Jose Antonio Navarro Arteaga in Seville, Spain, since 2003.

Layug mounted icons, retablo (carved centerpiece of a church), altar pieces, relief sculptures and lecterns in his newest showroom. It is hailed as the first for estofado-styled ecclesiastical art in Pampanga.

National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva not only opened the showroom. He lingered to enjoy Layug's work.

"He's a master not only in sculpting but in painting. He's done these in a very realistic way, very artistic. He's number one in the country in the arena of ecclesiastical art. He really has the eye for coloring, especially in the handling of gold and silver," Abueva told the Inquirer.

Estofado, according to Layug, requires a lot of patience and meticulousness because the wood is "covered by layers of paint that starts from putting a primer up to the gilding method."

Antigong tekniko (Antique technique) is his other term for this completely new trend in Betis.

From afar, it gives the impression that an icon is wearing real clothes. The luxurious details of gold are actually the outcome of the careful gilding method.

Abueva said in applying the new style, Layug has departed from Betis' traditional wood sculpting techniques.

Only a few furniture companies, foremost of them the Betis Crafts, still use an old gilding method but not in the complicated way of the estofado, it was learned.

In the advent of commercial production, most household-based furniture makers have been carving pieces without putting finishing touches on them or by ending with the sanding process.

"What [Layug] learned from Seville is really the height of ecclesiastical art. It is really something to have here around. I hope our seminarians will come here and revive their interest in good art in our churches," Abueva said.

San Fernando (Pampanga) Archbishop Paciano Aniceto took Layug's recent endeavor as "a sign that despite the negative situation that our country is in, ecclesiastical art in Pampanga is going to be more visually magnificent."

The passion to explore, learn and improve the craft brought Layug to Joey Panlilio, museum curator of the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, who, in turn, introduced the Betis artist to the Instituto de Cervantes for support and contacts with Spanish artists like Arteaga.

March 16, 2008

The Power of the Writer

I believe the measure of how godly someone can be comes with the ability to transform things into useful stuff like energy, a piece of art, a tool, food, source of income, etc.; to animate value in things which are otherwise static, boring, and useless if left alone without the tapping of humans.

From both scientific and occult perspective, energy is embedded in everything. However, if we remember our elementary science, energy comes in either potential state or kinetic state. A medium-sized rock planted still on the ground has potential energy; it has energy stored within its mass that can be turned into kinetic, if, say, one picks it up and throws it at the lousy contestant in an amateur singing contest. The potential energy of the rock, fused with the physical energy from the thrust of the arm in throwing the rock, is turned into kinetic.

Or something like that. I am no science expert. Plus, I'm too lazy to check my readings again and go down memory lane. Full of painful memories in elementary, like that time when my English teacher kept insisting to me that the word seize is pronounced saiz instead of seez and that time when our Filipino teacher banned the use of any form of Kapampangan verbal communication in her class. But you get what I mean anyway regarding energy.

With my latest re-realization regarding the god meter I was talking about, I realized yet another thing again: I have underestimated the godliness of a writer. I am in awe of this realization because it is too beautiful to not philosophize about. Consequently, it also gave me a confidence boost during these days I feel a bit low due to my almost-three-year-old frustration in acquiring my ideal body weight.

It's too beautiful that I cannot not use pamamoesya to express my latest finding. So, without further ado, pagdamutan ye ing kanakung kawatasan a makipamagat a...

Ing Upaya Ning Talasulat

Nung lalawen tamu king panimanman ning Apung Ginu
Ing upaya na ning nanu man makasalaleng tutu
King kagiwan nang taginan ing kaya makapalibut
At gawan na pang kapaki-pakinabang keti yatu
Anti mo ring keraklan karing balu tamung tanaman
Dirian dang silbi ing gabun, aslag ning aldo, at danum
Pati pangisnawang tau, nung kekatamu kamandag
Ila sisingapan dang malalam, karela e lasun

(If we put ourselves in the shoes of the Supreme Being
The power of anything truthfully depends
On its ability to wield everything that surrounds him
Make them valuable and useful in this world
Exempli gratia, most of the plants we know
They give use to earth, sunlight, and water
Even the air we exhale even if poisonous to our lungs
They inhale deeply, to them it's not venom)

King Gerona na mu pin ketang lalawigan ning Tarlac
Ating pipanganan karin, Isdaan ing kayang lagyu
Pánakitan da ing mua ring tau, karela mamayad
Para mamasibas platu kabang mánagkas taksiapu
Sukat mung ring kabalenan pati aliwalas diren
Dang pakinabang; espasyu mu ing karelang puhunan
Kukua lang abli karing bisang manyabit patalastas
‘Nya ring negosyanti pati espasyu pisasamsaman

(There in Gerona in the province of Tarlac
There's a restaurant that goes by the name Isdaan
They earn money from the angst of people who pay
To throw plates at a wall while cursing "taksiapu"
Let's not forget the cities that make use of space
Mere space is their capital in this industry
They earn from people who wish to put up billboards
Explains why even businessmen fight over space)

Dapot pangaratang naman karing tau keti sulip
Nung atin ku man yausan bukud iya pin ing talasulat
Pauli ning kayang upayang masakit apantayan
Nung pagisipan me ping malalam tutung makagulat
O ninu pa ta karing sablang mabibiye kening yatu
Makikagiwan dian pakinabang ing keganagana
Puhunan mu kabud kabiasnan king metung a amanu
Mapagumasid a pusu’t isip, papil ampong tinta

(But when it comes to humans here on earth
If there's someone most distinct, it'd be the writer
For his power seemingly unmatched by anyone
If you'd think about it seriously, you'd be in for a surprise
O who among the human beings in this world
Has the ability to give value and use to everything
All it takes is skill in a certain language
An observant heart and mind, paper and ink)

Ing metung a talasulat ding anggang árapan king biye
Mayumu man o mapait, mabanglu man o mabuluk
Mabakanti ya mu oras makalalang neng salese
Nung magaling ya pa, ay, agyu na kang awitan buntuk
Daptanan me mang karawakan, laraman meng maragul
Sapituan me mang masikan, ita ngan adian nang silbi
Ing anggang kapalpakan na manibat pa ‘nyang kebaitan
Ganakan na mung misan, makapanyulat na yang tambing

(Out of all that the writer encounters in his life
May they be sweet or bitter, fragrant or rancid
He can produce an artwork in his vacant time
And if he's really good, he can even enslave your head
Do him harm, tell him a great lie
Slap him hard, all of these he can turn useful
All of his failures beginning from his birth
Once he decides to reminisce, he can already write)

Nung bisyu na’ing miminum, pati ing pamipangunyuran
Ukuman ne man ning meto ketawan bilang salbahi
E bali; pangauli na, pantunanan na mung santing
Ing daraptan na at saka na ipoesya king papil
Kuentu ning kaluguran, saingsing ning kayang kasaman
Ing balita king radyu, pati katak nang Kris Aquino
Tipunan ngan king memorya’t idapuk king kamalayan
Lalangan na king MS Word pota nang misan a aldo

(Even if drinking is his vice, along with philandering
Even if society labels him an infernal person
No big deal; when he comes home, he'll find beauty
In the things he does and transmute them into poetry
The tale of a friend, the complaint of an enemy
The news on radio, including Kris Aquino's blabber
All of these he'll gather and store in his mind
Then make use of them using MS Word one day)

At potang ing realidad makasawa’t alang kule
Gamitan ing waga, mapaglalang a isip paganan
Migut inspirasyun pati king pantasyang agyang dirit
E mu isip-isipan malyari keti kapilan man
Akit mu pati ing ala agyu nang saksakanan biye
At makapatalakad ya pa ping yatu nang sarili
Karing nobela kontroladu na la ngan ding gaganap
Kalinangan a pinupul na ‘bat king kayang paligid

(When the time when reality's boring and colorless comes
Use one's imagination, ignite one's creative mind
Draw inspiration even from fantasy which not one bit
Cannot happen in real life, no siree
You see, he can even give life to nothingness
He can even erect his own world
In novels he controls the lives of every character
Sensibilities he harvested from his environment)

E ya mu king mílabas malyaring manyaklung istorya
At ali ya rin king ngeni mu malyaring magumasid
Ding posibling maganap king bukas apakinabangnan
Nostradamus, Herbert Wells ding ditak a malyaring ‘sambit
Ing kesikan na pang upaya ning metung a susulat
Obra na makikagiwan yang mabiye kabang panaun
Ambuski pa mete ne ing mengudta atiu pa mu rin
Anting bining daragul ding kalalangan nang dinaun

(Not only from the past can he extract a story
And it is not only the contemporary he can observe
Even the possibilities in the future he can wield
Nostradamus, Herbert wells, to name a few
What makes the writer much more powerful
His work has the ability to live through time
Even if the author is dead, still it lives
His art like a seed that grows as time passes by)

At ngening panaun nung nu ing pamiyuyugnayan da
Ring marakal a sosyedad sisikan uli ning IT
Gawa ning talasulat aparala ne Amerika
Asable ne Internet anti ring dakal a MP3
At dening anggang kukudta ning metung a talasulat
Makikagiwan lang magpagalo isip da ring tau
Nung pati kiliti ring sablang mámasâ kayang balu
Agyu nong bayuan biye gamit ing masanting a amanu

(And in this period when the communication
between several communities is enhanced through IT
A writer can send his work to America
He can upload through the Internet like many MP3s
And all the works of an author
Have the potential to influence the minds of the people
If he knows even the approach in attracting readers
He can change their lives using beautiful words)

Ini ing upaya ning metung a biasang talasulat
Upayang masákit sukdan, upayang e ra tanggapan
Kalam a malyaring e balu ‘buski ning makitagle
Upayang king yatung ini e makaying papansinan
Ing kawatasan ku pung ini ing kayang pakinabang
Gisingan la kaladua ring kapara kung talasulat
Ipabalu ku karela ing tatalanan dang sikan
Gamitan da sang masalese para makapamulat

(This is the power of a skillful writer
Power that is hard to measure, power they won't accept
A blessing that might not be known even to the owner
Power that in this world is often neglected
This poem I wrote, this is its use
Wake up the souls of my fellow writers
Make known to them the potential they hold
May they use their power well to wake up more people)

March 12, 2008

RocKapampangan on ABS-CBN Pampanga

ABS-CBN Pampanga's magazine show featuring the activities in Pampanga (called Pampanga) makes a special feature on RocKapampangan. Watch it!

Pampanga airs on ABS-CBN Pampanga every Sunday, 9:30 am.

March 6, 2008

National unity vs cultural diversity


Some say it’s very challenging to have "one Philippines" because Filipinos speak more than 170 languages and dialects. Those with the most number of speakers are Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano or Sugbuhanon, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicolano, Waray, Maguindanao and Maranao.

In the 1930s, Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon sought to legislate a national language, called Pilipino, based on his native Tagalog. But as late as the 1970s and even in cities in the Visayas and Mindanao, people refused to use the lingua franca of imperial Manila and wanted the national language to be based on their own native tongues.

Despite the opposition, there is an evident increase in the use of Filipino. The credit belongs to Manila-based broadcast networks that, after the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, started to regularly beam Tagalog soap operas and comedy shows across the nation via satellite. Radio programs followed shortly thereafter.

But there is also a price to pay for the growth of the national language. There is now a decline in the use of some languages, like Capampangan and Pangasinan, and this has resulted in the loss of literature and the diminution of the richness and history of a culture that reflect the age-old values of a free people.

When Quezon launched the bid to create a national language, based on Tagalog, he undoubtedly thought it was an essential tool in uniting an archipelagic nation further divided by many dialects. But whatever gains we have had in forging national unity through one national language, we have also lost much in cultural diversity.

The Pangasinan language, or Pangalatok, is in real trouble. Even in the cities of Pangasinan, Pilipino is now the language spoken in many homes. Besides this decline in the spoken language, there is also a dearth in Pangasinan literature and even Pangasinan folk songs are no longer heard, even in rare cultural presentations.

Much of the same is true for Capampangan although it continues to be widely used in Pampanga and Tarlac. There is also a dearth of Capampangan literature, save for a few not-so-very-good examples on Internet websites.

The problem has become so evident that the city council of the city of San Fernando has seen fit to integrate the Capampangan language city schools and the Pampanga provincial council is supposedly set to do the same. This is a simple but vital step in areas where the native language is in danger. Perhaps it would also help if some civic group sponsors a literary competition that may produce another Juan Crisostomo Soto.

March 3, 2008

The Taksyapo Wall

Protesters took it out on fun wall

Arroyo image on streamer bears brunt of anger
By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:26:00 03/01/2008

ANTI-GOVERNMENT protesters found a new way to express their disgust with the present administration during last Friday's rally in Makati. They set up a "taksyapo" wall and plastered it with faces of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies, much to the amusement of the demonstrators and bystanders.

"Taksyapo" is an old Kapampangan cuss word used when a person is angry. A restaurant in Gerona, Tarlac, took the word to a new level when it set up a "taksyapo" wall where customers can relieve their anger and stress by hurling plates at the wall.

But the "taksyapo" wall in last Friday's rally was actually just a tarpaulin poster tied to a flimsy bamboo frame. But to the angry protesters, it was good enough and became an instant hit.

Dubbed "Trapo Taksyapo," the wall was set up by members of a militant group behind the rally stage.

At first protesters were hesitant to hurl anything at the "Trapo Taskshapo" wall and were content to gawk at the poster which featured a smirking President Arroyo prominently in the middle, and pictures of "trapos," a slang contraction of the words traditional politician" which also means "rag."

That was until one protester hurled an empty plastic water bottle at the poster, hitting the image of the President smack in the middle.

The feat earned lusty cheers form the protesters. Then the fun began.

Taking the cue, other protesters started to hurl water bottles, crumpled paper and carton boxes, eliciting laughter and hearty cheers from the crowd.

Some of the bottles missed the target. Thankfully, no one standing behind the poster was hit.

Some protesters came up to the "wall" and started slapping and hitting the picture of the President.

One protester, obviously a fan of action star and former presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., imitated the action star's trademark rapid-fire punching style, complete with a double slap on the ears of the "opponent." This also elicited cheers and laughter.

When the flimsy bamboo frame eventually collapsed because of the abuse, protesters let out another lusty cheer and started stomping on the poster.

"Buhay ka pa! (You're still alive)," one male protester screamed as he put his foot down on the image of Ms Arroyo.

The mood turned serious for a while when the militants spotted ZTE whistle-blower Joey de Venecia III. "NorthRail, NorthRail," the protesters chanted, in reference to the alleged involvement of De Venecia's father, former Speaker Jose de Venecia, in another controversial deal.

The poster's frame was eventually repaired and the "taksyapo" fun started all over again.

March 1, 2008

'Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho' features RocKapampangan

Were you able to catch today's episode of Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho on GMA-7? In today's episode, they had a story on what they tagged as "Promdi Rock" and other non-Tagalog recorded music.

Davao band 1017's Charing was also featured, along with the renowned Bisrock (Bisaya Rock) band Phylum and T'boli indigenous musicians.

Representing non-Tagalog Luzon are none other than the Kapampangans for their newly released RocKapampangan album. According to an interview made by their researchers with a certain expert on music, such movements are manifestations of wanting to oppose identity crisis. Gradually, young minds are beginning to think, amidst the proliferation of Tagalog and English records, why can't I sing in my mother language?

Sir Joel Mallari of Holy Angel University was also featured, saying that the RocKapampangan album inspired his balid (non-proficient in Kapampangan) son to perfect his native tongue gradually.

Here are some more screen captures of their feature on RocKapampangan.

If you haven't grabbed your album yet, rugo, nanu'ng panenayan mu?