Maynila, Setyembre (a very tattered postcard from the other side of the ball)

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by Khavn de la Cruz

what’s happening here in the philippines?

there’s jeffrey jeturian’s »kubrador«, aka »the bet collector«, doing the festival rounds. jeffrey is a batchmate of lav diaz in regal films’ low-budget film spree. (helmed by mother lily, regal films is an entertainment dinosaur that makes movies that appeal to a broad range of Filipinos.) ka elmo, who will die in the end of this postcard, also acted in »kubrador«.

the deadline for next year’s »cinemalaya«, the third edition, is this september. (cinemalaya is a project of channel 5, in partnership with the cultural center of the philippines and the university of the philippines film institute. cinemalaya has a film competition, exhibitions, expo, market, seminars, and conferences.) two of this year’s winners are begininning to tour the festival circuit. adolf alix’s »donsol«, a love story with whale sharks, just won in a marine festival in japan. mike sandejas’ »just like before«, a fictional rockumentary about the dawn, a pinoy band from the 80s, is competing in pusan, along with paulo villaluna & ellen ramos’ »ilusyon« and jeturian’s »kubrador«, both in exhibition.

another competition organized by a filipino movie channel (channel 2) is »cinema one originals«. it also gives new filmmakers a chance to make their first features. the second batch is currently in production. one of the filmmakers is young gun sherad sanchez who showed his short films in rotterdam and pesaro.

the latest independent digital film to try its luck in the commercial theatre sea is »sarong banggi« (one night), a cinemalaya film from last year, from the makers of »the blossoming of maximo oliveros«, berlinale winner for both best children’s film and best queer film.

the originals. that’s not their name, but it could be. a bunch of independent filmmakers is organizing a multi-purpose cooperative that will lobby for tax exemptions, manage the first mall-based theater for independent digital films in the country, and work for other benefits of being in a group versus being alone. one of the cooperative’s projects is a fund-raising activity involving 15 filmmakers to create a shortfilm omnibus on guimaras, one of the philippines’ beach paradises damaged by an oil spill disaster.

lav diaz is shooting near the mayon volcano which is about to erupt big time anytime now, finishing his magnum.357 opus »heremias« before it finishes him.

raya martin wanted to shoot the eruption as well but decided to shoot other catastrophes instead, he’s in pre-production for a new short and a new feature.

john torres is premiering his first baby in the state university this saturday, but by the time you read this, it’s some saturdays ago.

i’m listening to the new mogwai album for the third time. what is the significance of the number three? i’m trying to finish three silent black & white features before proceeding to the full version of »mondomanila«.

this is a diary. not diarrhea. been sick for the longest time. who cares? we walk in this world with a stick, a crooked one, looking for frogs, for that one singular croak that will save our life and many others who we don’t know but care for, or try to.

this is manila. i am manila. i only see me. a small self-portrait with friends.

got very drunk last night. with invisible wine. sold one of my souls to a mobile phone company. everybody happy. you’re making a very big mistake.

will watch the third german silent film concert tonight. it’s every tuesday night in makati, the singapore of manila, the first world section.

caligari, tabu, then golem.

there’s another new television program featuring local short films. hope it lasts long enough this time.

hollywood has ruled here ever since. this week: click, my super ex-girlfriend, little man, and don’t forget: snakes on a friggin’ plane!

the brockas fucked and killed everyone before. now they’re calling themselves healers. gimme a break. last i heard, they died again. just like their father.

what else could i tell? met two filipino-american students from seattle. very interested in philippine film and culture. what do you expect? they’re still filipinos.

will attend the national literary awards night this friday. i’m part of the jury for new fiction. last week, i went to the free press literary awards. free press is a political magazine. more drinking. what is life? a full glass of wine.

nothing is still happening.

wazakaciously yours,


Publsihed in Ekran, 2006 (October/November)


Written by Nika Bohinc

September 13, 2006 at 8:38 pm

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