A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

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Tunay na BAYANI SAN DIEGO

from left: Angeli Bayani, Bayani San Diego and Lilith Reyes. The 5th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI office, Dec. 11, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus Bautista

Bayani San Diego Jr. was an influential figure in the world of Philippine cinema. As writer, editor, journalist he faithfully reported on the successes of countless Filipino filmmakers who earned honors abroad. When independent filmmakers, artists and performers are sometimes oppressed by the commercial system or suffered in some way he’s been there to report on it. He performed these duties for about two decades.

So his passing at age 48, last October 25, 2018 left a huge absence in media and the world of entertainment. The news of his death was a huge shock to friends andcolleagues who have seen him work actively on the field.

Months before he was confined in an ICU but decided to keep his hospital stay under wraps from most people. He was diagnosed with coronary heart disease necessitating a heart by pass procedure. Instead of concentrating on his health he was still more focused on his job.He managed to control his diet and lost weight but it wasn’t enough.

In the morning of his death his sister tried to wake him up for an upcoming flight for the Tokyo International Film Festival. Bayani was rushed to the hospital, where he was resuscitated but to no avail. . His ‘official cause of death was cardio pulmonary arrest’. — From report of Marinel Cruz, PDI.

2017 trip (left) Love, love, love this year’s @tiff_site‬ poster and logo. Tokyo Film Fest. So young and fresh. The poster; not me! Char! #MissingTokyoMonAmour‬‬ ‬‬
(right) Ordering via a tap on the computer screen. Since there’s no English menu, Ryoko of @tiff_site ‬was a huge help and kept the food and drinks rolling all night! #RoppongiMonAmour — in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.‬‬ – TIFF 2017 (from Bayani San Diego facebook page / Instagram)‬‬

Heroes

Bayani’s parents may have predestined his life by naming him. Bayani in Tagalog literally means ‘hero’ and that’s what he became as a champion of Filipino cinema. By the same token, I feel there are also important names and people who recently passed away who should also be recognized: Mario A. Hernando who diedSeptember 5, 2017 at age 68,from bone and prostate cancer and Bibsy Carballo – Decemeber 2, 2016 at age 75.

from right: MPP founding member Mario Hernando, Indie Bravo Proj Dir Marinel Cruz. The 37th Gawad Urian Awards was held at the Dolphy Theater June 17, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

There is a worldwide crisis where journalists are vilified and sometimes even murdered, if not jailed or harassed. TIME’s selection of Persons of the Year is a statement against this persecution in Jamal Kashoggi, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo of Burma and our very own Maria Ressa in the Philippines. Our beloved country is notorious for this as the 32 journalists killed in the Maguindanao Massacre have yet to find justice 9 years after. It is the world record for most number of journos killed at one time.

Bayani San Diego, Mario Hernando and Bibsy Carballo may not have been persecuted like the TIME honorees, but their contributions in the world of Philippine entertainment and journalism are not any less vital. All contributed greatly, they are journalists, editors, columnists and definitely heroes in their own right.

After over a decade of interviews, finally a photo with @brillante_mendoza … At the Homecoming Dinner, Makati Shang. (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Best Actress Nora Aunor is hugged by Benilda Santos as other MPP members look on from left: Mario Hernando, Dr. Mike Rapatan and Tito Valiente. Pic was taken during 36th URIAN awards night at the NBC tent June 18, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mario Hernando, Bibsy Carballo

Mario A. Hernando was a film reviewer and had a pioneering TV show dedicated to Philippine cinema and TV in the 90s. He became Managing Editor of Ang Pahayagang MALAYA and was also appointed as part of the Movie Television Review and Classification Board. More importantly he was a founding member of the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the most respected award giving body in the country.

from left: Jake Macapagal ‘Thank you for the love and support you gave to our community Bibsy. One last hug!’ (from Romano Macapagal’s facebook page)
(Right pic) from right: Bibsy Carballo, FPJ and BK Jimenez. (From BK Jimenez’ fb page)

Bibsy Carballo was a columnist for the Philippine Star. She wrote not only about movies but also Philippine Theater, music, dance and the cultural scene. While many today know her to be a journalist, she was also one of the producersof the epic Filipino classic HIMALA. This became a cultural phenomenon that starred Nora Aunor and was also produced and executive produced by former Governor Imee Marcos now running for the Senate. HIMALA director Ishmael Bernal was honored as National Artist for Film.

from right: National Artist Benedict ‘BenCab’ Cabrera, Bibsy Carballo (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

INDIE BRAVO Tribute

This year’s 9thINDIE BRAVO AWARDS at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office in Makati was more poignant than previous editions. Bayani or Ton ton to family and friends was one of the originators of the now much awaited event that brings together the best of independent filmmakers who reaped honors abroad. Bayani was remembered in a touching tribute, highlighting his contributions.

The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

INDIE BRAVO has become a yearly tradition that unifies everyone in the independent film community. Emmie Velarde, one of the originators, called it a night of recognition as opposed to a competition.

These are directors, artists, documentary filmmakers who are usually out of the studio / commercial system. Most are products of film fests such as Cinemalaya , CineFilipino, CinemaOne, QCinemaeven the MMFF but  are not confined to them. For example, this year’s batch includes National Artist awardees: Ryan Cayabyab, Kidlat Tahimik, Lav Diaz and ‘future’ National Artist Brillante Mendoza.

Another point of view. Selfie with the PH team in Cannes: @rargutierrez @andieigengirl Jaclyn Jose & @brillante_mendoza — with Raymund Ribay Gutierrez. 2016 (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Context of Cannes

In the middle of the ceremonies organizers were surprisedby a volunteer who shared his memories with Bayani. French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Marvin Macalintal was moved to tears seeing Bayani’s photo at the Louvre in Paris during the slide show. Macalintal was there with Bayani during that same trip.

from left: Atty. Virgie Suarez and Cara Magsanoc (CALL HER GANDA) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Through his extemporaneous speech Martin was able to give a clear timeline to Bayani’s journey,  “Talagang tinututukan niya lahat ng lumalabas sa international film festivals. Bow ako. And in his first trip to Paris was in 2008 nagkataon July yon birthday ko e. Pati dinner sagot ni Mother Lily totoo yon.  That was 2008 at least 50 filmmakers kasama namin ni Bayani to showcase Philippine cinema in France. Of course after that alam niyo na. After 2000 the very first time pumasok ang ANINO (by Raymond Red)sa short film, the very first Palme D’Or na pumasok na Filipino si Bayani kinukulit nako. That was 2000 naging best friends kami ni Bayani because of Philippine cinema.”

French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal;The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

After the 2008 Philippine cinema showcase, it somehow bore fruit: Brillante Mendoza’s KINATAY won in Cannes. The successes may have inspired Bayani and Emmie Velarde to start INDIE BRAVO the same year 2009, “Bayani maraming salamat, Indie Bravo maraming salamat. And yon that was 2008, Indie Bravo came 2009 / 2010, katas yan e, magkaka sunod yan e. After the tribute to Philippine cinema in 2008, then 2009 we had KINATAY in Cannes. So yon yung nag udyok kay Bayani and kay Miss Emmie para gawin talaga to.

From Left: Enchong Dee and Lotlot de Leon reads to kids at the Inquirer office. Nov 2016 (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

From then on an avalanche of awards have followed nearly every single year, not just from Cannes but from all over the world: Brillante Mendoza THY WOMB (2012) Best Director- Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Pepe Diokno’s ENGKWENTRO (Clash) Lion of the Future – “Luigi de Laurentiis” Award for Best Debut Film, as well as the Orizzonti Prize from the Venice Film fest (2009), Lav Diaz’ NORTE, HANGGANAN NG KASAYSAYAN (2013), and so on.

Ken Ken Nuyda accepted for NGITI NG NAZARENO.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Many more younger Filipino filmmakers were discovered along the way earning honors abroad. INDIE BRAVO became the official gathering and homecoming of sorts for these independent filmmakers who’ve honored the country with their groundbreaking work.

from left: Treb Monteras, Sonny Calvento, Thop Nazareno, Carlos Dala, Jay Altarejos, Denise O’Hara and Carlo Obispo. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Red’s Circle

The 9th edition of INDIE BRAVO has come full circle in a way as these days original Pinoy Palme D’Or winner Raymond Red is now known as current awardee Mikhail Red’s dad. Mikhail earned his INDIE BRAVO Goyuito (the second time) by winning Most Promising Talent and Best Director at the 13th Osaka Asian Film Festival for NEOMANILA a truthful take about the current war on drugs. Local release is set for January 2019.

from left: Timothy Castillo, Mikhail Red (NEOMANILA) and Mary Joy Apostol (BIRDSHOT). The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Witness

PDI Pres. and CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez was there to bolster the institutions’ support for the honorees, “Inquirer has been a witness to how the indie film community has grown and how it has gained respect not only locally but in the international arena as well. From the very beginning we have always expressed our full support to your artistic endeavors and to the talent of local artists. Your films have shown the world the richness of Filipino spirit, our resilience, our simple joys, struggles, challenges and hope. Please continue to inspire the present and future generations with stories we’d love to go back to over and over again. I hope you carry the passion to do whatever it is you love to do despite all the challenges you probably face.”

PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez;The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

She also mentioned that the INDIE BRAVO space has been coveted, “In fact many other section editors are so jealous of the kind of space you get in the supplement in the anniversary. But that’s the testimony that we’d like to give you.”

Laila Ulao (WOMEN OF THE WEEPING RIVER); The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Before RESPETO

Treb Monteras director of RESPETO has won several awards from Cinemalaya and abroad. He talked about how Bayani helped them, “Whenever we’re part of a festival, he’s always there first, na uuna siya parati. For him his devotion to his job and his desire to help out Pinoy Filmakers really shows. You know its tough to promote our films. Bayani messages me every 2 weeks to update with projects and festivals. It helps a lot; like me with RESPETO its self produced.  So I don’t have a PR company. Bayani is always there for us even for small events for my film.”

RESPETO wins Cinemalaya Best Picture: Producer Monster Jimenez (on mic), Director Treb Monteras (with trophy) looks on; Cultural Center of The Philippines, August 13, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monteras’ INDIE BRAVO experience began way before he started his own movie, “I directed the 30th anniversary of the Philippine Daily Inquirer 3 years ago (2015). That time I wanted to get an Indie Bravo, it was also at the same time, December. But I still didn’t have a film. Someday I hope to get an Indie Bravo. Now after 3 years na abutan ko pa si Miss Letty Jimenez Magsanoc. I’m so happy the owners of Inquirer are still the Prietos.”

Finally, my Queen series of photos is complete. Thanks, Lea Salonga Lea Salonga. Loved last night’s show. As you often write in my favorite @inqent Inquirer Entertainment column (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) “Backstory”: “Break legs, tonight!” — at The Peninsula Manila. (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Defending Freedom of Self Expression

Filmmaker Carlo Obispo during his acceptance speech said, ‘This is the time for us to speak out’, referring to the current political climate of repression in the Philippines.

from left: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Thop Nazareno, Carlo Obispo and Carlos Dala (1-2-3; GASPING FOR AIR) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

When asked about it Treb was more specific and pointed out the ‘unofficial martial law’ in the whole country, “Nangyayari kasi if you look around parang Martial Law na hindi, not just in Mindanao, hindi lang siya in-announce, hindi siya official, what’s happening right now is what happened 30-40 years ago. With Ressa (of Rappler) and now with filmmakers tinatag kami na komunista daw, terorista lahat na ng ‘ista’ nakakabahala (film makers are being tagged as communists and terrorists, its very disconcerting). I think lahat ng media, filmmakers at ng artist kelangnan natin magkaisa (All media, filmmakers and artists should unite) to defend our freedom, to defend our right to self expression.”

Treb Monteras (RESPETO);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

POST SCRIPT: Thank Yous

My own recollections of Bayani were always of his professionalism. I have to confess that every time I see him interviewing someone I made it a point to sneak in it as well. His questions were always intelligent and he had an insight or update no one else knew that he was certain to ask. I was also sure that it irked him no end whenever I snuck in, but I still did it. This is born out of his devotion to PDI, getting an exclusive was foremost in his mind.

Ian Veneracion in ILAWOD

Later on though, I noticed he softened his stand at least in my sneaking in because he knew that promoting Philippine Independent cinema was an enormous task. Getting the public to know about and watch these movies is a challenge.

ALPHA RIGHT TO KILL by Brillante Mendoza earned an Indie Bravo

Normally this MMFF season, people would much rather watch JACK EN POPOY, an action comedy starring the biggest network stars in Vic Sotto, Maine Mendoza and Coco Martin. And even the popularity of that is (in reality) only secondary to their foreign counterparts. Because for the majority of the year its Hollywood blockbusters like AQUAMAN that rule ticket sales.

Team “Meant to Beh,” led by Vic Sotto, @BaebyBaste @andreaetorres and director @iLuvChrisM Chris Martinez at the #MMFFParadeOfStars 2017 in @OFFICIALMUNTI Muntinlupa. #MMFF2017 Photo c/o @EatBulaga | @bayanisandiego‬(from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

I never got to thank him for all those times he let me sneak in my audio recorder while he was interviewing someone. I consider it a huge privilege and honor to have known him along with Mario Hernando and Bibsy Carballo. I want to personally thank them for everything I have learned and everything that I WILL learn from them as their work lives on in the web. I can still reference their articles, the stories and information they’ve gathered.

With the late Bibsy Carballo at PETA Center in QC, “Pamana,” a docu-musical tribute to Cory and Nonoy, July 25, 2013. (from Mario Hernando facebook page)

They may not know it but I consider Emmie Velarde (former PDI Entertainment Editor), Crispina Belen (Manila Bulletin Columnist & former MB Entertainment Editor) and Francis G. Rivera (Advertising Photographer) as eternal mentors.

from left: Indie Bravo Show Director Tcel Maramag and former Entertainment Editor Emmie Velarde. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Incidentally, two of my college professors have photos here with Mario Hernando: Clodualdo ‘Doy’ Del Mundo and Mike Rapatan. Their mastery of their craft in screen writing, film reviews and expansive knowledge of cinema is still unmatched, in all my years of covering entertainment. I’m a better person for having them as teachers, again thank you.

left: Rody Vera is one of the multi-hyphenated of PETA, from playwright to actor and musician. April 9 2017 (right pic)With filmmaker, writer and De La Salle com arts college icon Doy del Mundo. Doy wrote some of Mike de Leon’s best films and Lino Brocka’s “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag.” June 2017 (from Mario Hernando’s facebook page)

I want to say thank you to everyone involved with INDIE BRAVO for shining an extra light to what Pinoys should watch and look out for and giving honor to our talented and courageous film makers:Rito Asilo – PDI Entertainment editor, Marinel Cruz – Indie Bravo Proj. Director, Jenny Santiago – desk editor, Oliver Pulumbarit – writing editor, Allan Policarpio – reporter, Belle Roberto – editorial assistant, Tcel Maramag–Indie Bravo show director.

PDI Entertainment Team (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

I want to say thank you to all my friends and colleagues who are writers, photographers, editors, videographers, bloggers, media, filmmakers and artists. I want to grab this opportunity to say what you do means something. All your sacrifice means something. Just like Treb said above, we have to unite and have the courage to tell the truth.

The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Dessa; The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Superstar with Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino- from right: Natl Artist for Literature Bien Lumbera, Rolando Tolentino, Dr. Nick Tiongson, Benilda Santos,Best Actress Nora Aunor (THY WOMB), Tito Valiente, Dr. Mike Rapatan, Mario Hernando and Butch Francisco. Pic was taken during 36th URIAN awards night at the NBC tent last June 18, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Finally, a selfie with Mega. After the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the roller-coaster ride that was the last few years, Sha remains just as sweet, just as stellar as always. @reallysharoncuneta at the #historymakerawards Brava Mega! #my40yearssharon (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

from right: Dawn Zulueta, Bibsy Carballo (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

from left: Gaye Domingo, Atty Virgie Suarez and Pearce Pinlac (CALL HER GANDA). The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Mario Hernando and Concert Director Roeder Camañag. GINUGUNITA KITA Performance Art, May 20, 2015 where composer Jesse Lucas set the poetry of Maningning Miclat to music. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ryza Cenon sneaks a cellphone pic of Odette Khan.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Odette Khan (ECHORSIS: SABUNUTAN BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Carlos Dala (1-2-3; GASPING FOR AIR);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Andrea Caparanico (THE LANDSCAPE WITHIN), wife Ilaria Caetani and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Christian Bables (SIGNAL ROCK) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Mario Hernando, Ting Nebrida, Ronald Rios and Teddy Co.

Sonny Calvento (NABUBULOK);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Shireen Seno (NERVOUS TRANSLATION), John Torres and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Shireen Seno (NERVOUS TRANSLATION);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Mario Hernando, Gloria Romero, Isah Red and Ricky Calderon (From Mario Hernando’s facebook page)

from right: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Alemberg Ang and Gaye Domingo (ANG LARAWAN) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Ryza Cenon (MR. AND MRS. CRUZ);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Home visit with the one and only Superstar Nora Aunor. Home Body Story came out Monday in Inquirer Entertainment, p. D1. — with Vic E. Velandria, Wilma Gaba and Sohn SanDiego. (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Tanghalang Banhyuhay Artistic Dir Roderick Alo and Zeni Ang accepted for Nash Ang (NO MAN IS AN ISLAND). The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Indie Bravo Proj Dir. Marinel Cruz and PDI Entertainment Editor Rito P. Asilo. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aljur Abrenica with PDI Entertainment team

Mario Hernando with Kathy Solis and Dr. Mike Rapatan. Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista.

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Timothy Castillo (NEOMANILA);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

From left: Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Mario Hernando with Cara Barredo (Caitlyn), former Rep Assoc. Artistic Dir. Menchu Lauchengco Yulo and B Delgado (Peggy) during the CAMP ROCK press launch. The musical ran November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nico Nicolas; The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Mary Joy Apostol (BIRDSHOT);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mario Hernando with Kathy Solis; Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Bibsy Carballo embodied the Bohemian spirit (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

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Andrea Caparanico (THE LANDSCAPE WITHIN) and wife Ilaria Caetani. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino seated from left: Phl Star Columnist Butch Francisco, Dr. Mike Rapatan, Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso standing from left: Dr Nick Tiongson , Head of Cinema One and Velvet channels Ronald Arguelles, Ntl Artist for Literature Bien Lumbera, Mario Hernando, Tito Valiente and Dr. Roland Tolentino. The 37th Gawad Urian Awards was held at the Dolphy Theater June 17, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Laila Ulao from scene in WOMEN OF THE WEEPING RIVER

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Jay Altarejos (TALE OF THE LOST BOYS / INSTANT FREINDSHIP);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Treb Monteras (RESPETO) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Actress- Nora Aunor (THY WOMB) gets a hug from Mario Hernando of the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Pic was taken during 36th URIAN awards night at the NBC tent June 18, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Presenters from left: Alex and Ping Medina with MPP member Mario Hernando. Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Bayani San Diego and Monique Wilson in the 80s

Eric ‘Nui’ Cabales is the Artist / subject in the docu THE LANDSCAPE WITHIN by Andrea Capranico. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Mario Hernando with Kathy Solis; Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista.

former PDI Entertainment Editor Emmie Velarde; The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Early dinner at PETA Center July 25, 2013. Friends Amadis Ma. Guerrero, Bibsy Carballo of Philippine Star, and Jude Bautista. Is that my plate at the table, full of cauliflowers, broccoli, fish fillets, pancit, and fried chicken? (From Mario Hernando’s facebook page)

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Bibsy Carballo embodied the Bohemian spirit (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

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BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: QUEEN’s Greatness

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Brian May (Gwilym Lee): See, we don’t want to repeat ourselves the same formula over and over.Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek): Formulas are a complete and utter waste of time.Ray Foster (Mike Myers): Formulas work. Lets stick with the formulas. I like formulas.Freddie: We’ll call the album A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. Ray: Are you aware that no one actually likes opera? Miami Beach (Tom Hollander): I like opera.Ray: Do you?John Reid (Aidan Gillen): I do.

Mike Myers as Record Exec Ray Foster; Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Freddie: Don’t misunderstand darling, it’s a rock and roll record but the scale of opera, the pace of Greek tragedy, the wit of Shakespeare, the unbridled joy of musical theater. It’s a musical experience rather than just another record. Something for everyone, something…that will make people feel it belongs to them. We’ll mix genres; we’ll cross boundaries. We’ll speak in bloody tongues if we want to. John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello): There’s no musical ghetto that can contain us. Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy): No one knows what QUEEN means because it doesn’t mean one thing!

from left: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury)
and Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon).Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Their era was a time when rock stars were like gods and there was no bigger name than QUEEN. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, the movie will take fans on that journey from obscurity to possibly the greatest band of all time. I feel this is the best rock roll movie ever made since PURPLE RAIN from the late great Prince. It’s the best two hours you can spend inside a darkened cinema without having sex or foreplay. All the intimate moments, sometimes tumultuous that resulted in some of the greatest lyrics and music ever writtenand performed are shared and recreated here.

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The Greatest Ever?

The consensus that THE BEATLES is the greatest is up for debate especially when you watch this film. QUEEN is up there in terms of numbers and popularity: the biggest crowd ever assembled for a concert 130,000 in Brazil, their song WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS was voted as the greatest rock and roll song in a global music poll and the greatest rock performance of all time: QUEEN in LIVE AID. Their album sales topped 300 million worldwide making them as one of the best selling artists.

They also produced the top stadium anthems played over and over in all of the biggest sporting events around the world: WE WILL ROCK YOU, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS and RADIO GAGA. Music critic Paul Gambaccini made note of the fact that Freddie Mercury never saw a single football match in his life; from QUEEN MERCURY RISING video documentary.

QUEEN Mercury Rising

More than that is the experimentation in sound and the sheer audacity of crossing genres from opera to ballads to disco from what is essentially a heavy metal band.

from left: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

In terms of experimentation no one could never touch the creativity of QUEEN. Other bands all mostly stayed in their lane while QUEEN at its worst most criticized album HOT SPACE, dominated the disco charts. Which is unthinkable for a guitar screeching, rock laden, metal band.

right: Gwilym Lee (Brian May) explains his audience participation concept to Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

That same album also happened to have UNDER PRESSURE their collaboration with David Bowie which received critical praise decades after it was first released. The dialogue above (and many others in the movie) helps viewers understand the band’s mind set as far as breaking barriers in music is concerned.

NEW TRESemmé Range

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Freddie’s Vocals

Apart from the creative side of writing lyrics, music conceptualizing music videos, costumes etc is the performance side. That is where the consensus falls in favor of Freddie Mercury. No one in recent history, in any genre can match the colossal vocal range he was capable of. Youtuber POLYPHONIC in his video ‘The Secret Behind Freddie Mercury’s Legendary Voice’ was able to collate the research from the past decades concerning his voice.

Polyphonic video

His voice ranged from a Low F2 to a Soprano F6 but more than this is his ability to use it and maximize it to his advantage. Spanish Opera singer Montserrat Caballé said, “The difference between Freddie and all other rock stars was that he was selling the voice. His phrasing was subtle, delicate and sweet or energetic and slamming. He was able to find the right coloring or expressive nuance for each word.” The song that illustrates this (according to the video) is SOMEBODY TO LOVE.

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

2016 Research

In 2016 a group of researchers published: FREDDIE MERCURY ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS OF SPEAKING FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY, VIBRATO AND SUBHARMONICS. It discovered that Mercury, ‘frequently sang in the tenor register, his natural voice was actually a baritone. It was no trouble at all for Freddie to jump out of his natural range throughout his career’.

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

He also had a highly irregular and unique vibrato that made his voice standout. He was also able to use subharmonic tones although the study did not determine if this was something that Mercury did intentionally or out of instinct. The unique vibrato can be heard in the hit WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.

Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

What the fresh research and scientific analysis gives us is empirical proof of Freddie Mercury’s superiority if you will over names like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones). We see that Mercury’s vast vocal range combined with his unique use subharmonics gives him a quantitative edge over other vocalists of some of the ‘Greatest Ever Rock Bands’. This is based on measurable data and analysis.

Gwilym Lee (Brian May); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Brian May: Among The Top Guitarists of All Time

Just as distinctive as Freddie’s voice is the aggressive guitar solos of Brian May.Whether it is in the epic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, KILLER QUEEN or SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE to the HIGHLANDER theme WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER (which May wrote and composed) what distinguishes Brian May is that he not only plays lead guitar but actually writes or composes his own guitar solos for these legendary songs.

Queen – Who Wants To Live Forever (Official Video)

Brian May learned and played the guitar at a young age starting with the ukelele. Since they could not buy him an electric guitar he made his own with his father Harold. This early creation has now earned several names: Fireplace or The Old Lady. The name comes from the sources of materials. May shared, “The oak panel on the back is from an old table top, the neck is from a fireplace which was 100 years old at the time. The dot markers were from my mom’s button box…I think this was also the first guitar in the world to have a tremolo with almost zero friction.”

from right: Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Credible Proof from Steve Vai

Multiple Grammy winner and one of the world’s top guitarists himself, Steve Vai said, “I don’t think enough is really said about the brilliance of Brian May’s guitar playing, in the sense that it’s overshadowed by the greatness of the music itself. The QUEEN II album was one of those pivotal moments that just nailed me to the wall.”

Vai is able to put May in context against other great guitarists as well, “He’s probably one of the top identifiable guitar players, even more so than Beck, Page and Clapton. They’re all so identifiable, but Brian May had such a tone in his head and in his fingers. It speaks volumes. His contribution to orchestrated guitars is unprecedented. There was nothing like it before him. He’s a class act from head to toe, and it shows in his playing. I can listen to any player and pantomime their sound, but I can’t do Brian May. He’s just walking on higher ground.” The description is from Guitar World magazine’s article entitled: Thirty Great Guitarists — Including Steve Vai, David Gilmour and Eddie Van Halen — Pick the Greatest Guitarists of All Time

Brian (ranked 26) is listed higher than John Lennon (ranked 55) but lower than George Harrison (ranked 11) in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists. Every other list, however,has May higher than Harrison. In Guitar World’s Greatest Guitarist of All Time Reader’s Poll – Brian May finished second to Eddie Van Halen. It was a mammoth 132 guitarist tournament that spanned 6 months and got more than half a million votes. The two beat out the likes of Jeff Beck, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads and a host of others. George Harrison ended up at no. 25 in this exhaustive poll.

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

The Ultimate Live Experience

Its almost cliché when other bands say they are the best live performer but QUEEN delivered this in every aspect. Apart from the sheer vocal power of Freddie it was his ability to enunciate each word clearly and add the right emotional phrasing. This enhanced his ability to literally command tens of thousands of audience members to sing with him and basically do whatever he wants.

Before anyone else they defined audience participation by incorporating it in their songs, that’s why they became arena anthems. In concerts upwards of 100,000 the experience was far more powerful and exhilarating than any other band could muster. You had tens of thousands singing along, clapping and chanting in unison whether its WE WILL ROCK YOU, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS or RADIO GAGA. Add the matchless guitar playing of Brian May, powerful drum beats of Roger Taylor and haunting bass line of John Deacon QUEEN is the ultimate live band.

Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas. Photo from Official facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/BohemianRhapsodyMovie

People will get to see an enhanced version of QUEEN’s LIVE AID segment in the movie. It’s better than the actual footage because there’s better camera movement and editing. The band’s actual audio or sound performance is seamlessly mixed into the movie, along with vocals of Rami Malek and American Idol Alumnus Adam Lambert. With today’s Dolby ATMOS Surround sound system in cinemas, I feel its better than live.

foreground: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor)– (nearer audience) from left: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) and Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

QUEEN’s Head To Head Battle

LIVE AID in 1985 was so monumental because the simultaneous concerts raised  £150 million pounds for the benefit of the Ethiopian famine. All of the biggest names in the music industry were there. Of particular interest were the legendary bands like THE WHO, surviving members of LED ZEPPELIN, vocalists Mick Jagger (THE ROLLING STONES), even Paul McCartney (THE BEATLES). Both Mick and Paul however, jammed with other artists instead of their original bands.

Mike Myers (Ray Foster) photo bombs cast mates. Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas. Photo from Official facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pg/BohemianRhapsodyMovie

All of these bands mentioned above were all ranked higher than QUEEN in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. But LIVE AID was the singular biggest collection of artists that allowed people to see, hear and experience them in one concert, perhaps compare them side-by-side.

from left: Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

While it’s not a definitive competition, it’s a strong indication of how these bands perform live. And it was QUEEN who was hands down able to steal the show from all of them. They not only had the biggest audience reaction at Wembley but their performance actually inspired a wave of phone calls from TV audiences to donate to the cause. Organizer Bob Geldof himself attests to this. What happened in LIVE AID bolsters the belief that QUEEN is the greatest band ever.

Watchmojo actually considers QUEEN’S LIVE AID appearance as the best not just for that event but THE GRATEST live performance ever. Their selection spans concerts from the 1950’s with artists like Elvis, The Beatles, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash to the most recent DAFT PUNK appearance at Coachella.

Top 10 Greatest Live Musical Performances

Greater Together

This is where the movie BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is able to illuminate the true story of QUEEN. We find out that drummer Roger Taylor did a lot of vocal work in Bohemian, albeit under the direction of Freddie. Taylor also wrote a ton of QUEEN’s hits: THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1991) etc. Bassist John Deacon composed the basic rhythm of ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST and BODY LANGUAGE, which took the band in the new and different direction of disco.

from left: Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Gerard Way of MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE credits QUEEN as their biggest influence. He said, “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is arguably the greatest song ever written. I’m sure people told them it was too long or had too many movements. But then it came out and just took hold of the world. When you’re in a band and you find something that breaks every rule, it gives you creative hope. And QUEEN were always trying something new; none of their hit songs were paint-by-numbers.”

Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas. Photo from Official facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/BohemianRhapsodyMovie

Sometimes it’s the conflict, the push and pull between great minds that result in landmark work. That’s what we witness throughout the movie. The real secret is that it wasn’t just about Freddie or Brian, it was about each of them working, creating this genius we all know and love as QUEEN.

It’s easy to think or to say they had the best vocalist and guitarist but they were actually more than that. Whatever your basis, sheer popularity, musicality, talent, breaking norms and genre barriers, they’ve achieved it all. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts that’s why QUEEN is the greatest band of all time.

Watch out for part 2 of this series, which talks about the cast of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.

from left Gwilym Lee (Brian May),Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) and Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon).Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

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Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas. Photo from Official facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/BohemianRhapsodyMovie

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Gwilym Lee (Brian May); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas. Photo from Official facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/BohemianRhapsodyMovie

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

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from left: Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon) and Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor). Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

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Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury); Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas.

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Catch BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY in Shang Plaza Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Eastwood City Mall and Resort’s World Manila Cinemas. Photo from Official facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/BohemianRhapsodyMovie

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Rajo’s Vision of the Millennial Filipina

Supermodel and fashion photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Our country, the Philippines, is blessed with many great designers especially ones who’ve championed the textiles and materials of our forebears. Our people have used some of them from a thousand years before, prior to the Spanish colonial period.

Supermodels from left: Ria Bolivar, Jasmine Maierhofer and Jo Ann Bitagcol. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There’s the research, academic and creative work of Patis Tesoro, there’s the elegant, stylistic landmark creations of Pitoy Moreno who is a National Artist in the hearts of his countrymen even without the official conferment (akin to Nora Aunor).

Supermodel and fashion photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Dita Sandico Ong has pioneered the use of natural fibers in her work. The variety of tribal weaves, textures our country has to offer can be mind boggling such as the Nalak of T’Boli Tribe of Southern Mindanao to Hablon from Miagao Iloilo.

from left: BENCH Founder Ben Chan, Kaye Tinga, Rajo Laurel and Tessa Prieto Valdes. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There are several monumental efforts here from Rajo. First is to collate all of these different materials and textures from the many parts of the country and create a cohesive collection out of it.  Then truly reinterpreting these materials in a new light and transforming them for the Filipina of today takes another kind of genius altogether. These are just some of the achievements in Rajo Laurel’s 25th anniversary fashion show, RED CHARITY BALL at the MARRIOTT HOTEL MANILA Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. It was the true culmination of the success that Rajo Laurel has achieved over the years.

Unliever Head of PR for Personal Care and PMAP Exec. Apples Aberin. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Abel (from Ilocos) is almost unrecognizable taking on an otherworldly sheen.Jusi and Piña are cut, twirled and even crumpled takingon shapes never seen before, some of them are like abstract flowers, other forms that have originated from Rajo’s fertile mind. But always draped perfectly to highlight the female form of the Filipina. Some of the shapes are geometric, origami-like fusing both eastern and western influences.

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If turning these beloved and revered materials for the Pinay of today was all that he did, then it would have been more than enough of a pinnacle for his career. But he went beyond that. He also made innovative use of newer ‘fabrics’ such as plastic, and shaped them into the unmistakable, or traditional form of the terno.

from left: U.S. Amb. Sung Kim, Philanthropist Chavit Singson and Panamanian Amb. Rolando Anibal Guevara Alvarado.The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

He didn’t stop there, he also used a metallic fabric, almost like an astronaut suit also for the familiar terno. His mind is able to envision, no place, no planet that cannot be conquered by the strength and ambition of the Filipina. (I’m not so sure about Filipino men, but definitely the Filipina).

The traditional Filipino Terno is given a space age make over. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

BENCH

The most recognizable Filipino fashion brand BENCH by Ben Chan was also able to show their mostly male, masculine collection that same night. Rajo in several TV interviews (together with Kaye Tinga and Tessa Prieto Valdes) especially in CNN Philippines profusely thanked Ben Chan who is a strong supporter of Filipino Fashion designers. The BENCH collection was able to balance out Rajo’s, which was mostly for women.

BENCH Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lea The Journey

Lea Salonga

Red Charity Ball producers and Rajo himself pulled out all the stops to tell his whole story and progression if you will by tapping someone who was there from the beginning. No less than Lea Salonga serenaded audiences with two hits Rajo requested: THE JOURNEY an original by Lea Salonga and THE HUMAN HEART from ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. THE JOURNEY was written by Julie Gould who also wrote the hit FROM A DISTANCE.

Lea Salonga is a childhood friend and supporter of Rajo. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

NEW TRESemmé Range

In between the powerful performances she was able to relate, “I first met Rajo when we were kids, I was 6 years old auditioning for KING AND I from Repertory Philippines. This is where his love for fashion and costume and theatricality came from. So many years later we both turned this love and these passions to lifelong vocations. And I’m only so proud as a frequent client as well as an old friend to see how he has grown and evolved and thrived in this incredible industry.

Leo Valdez as King Mongkut in Resort’s World Manila’s production of KING AND I (2012) where Rajo Laurel was costume designer.

RWM’s King and I

The venue holds a special significance to Rajo’s story as well. Manila Marriott’s Grand Ballroom is just next door to Resort’s World Manila.After that historic Repertory Philippines production decades before, Rajo was able to reprise his fascination and love for KING AND I through a Resort’s World Manila Production at the Newport Performing Arts theater (NPAT) last 2012.

This time though instead of being part of the cast Rajo would be Costume Designer. Leo Valdez was King Mongkut with Monique Wilson who played Anna, later productions would have Nonie Buencamino and Menchu Lauchengco Yulo in the same roles.

Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut) and Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Anna) in Resort’s World Manila’s production of KING AND I (2013) where Rajo Laurel was costume designer.

Rajo described the musical through the video presentation, “With fashion you could see how a simple person could become the King of Siam. I fell in love with the power of clothes. It has the power to transcend reality and somehow at the same time make it all real and tangible.”

The Archipelago Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

ARCHIPELAGO

In his own words Rajo explains his thought process, “The collection is ARCHIPELAGO, it’s my 25th anniversary collection, essentially it is an essay. It is my attempt to define what Philippine fashion is now. So I began by collecting fabrics from all over our beautiful country. I was going from Aparri to Jolo, to create this wonderful collection. For me what’s beautiful about this is there’s a continuing legacy. It’s almost like creating a tapestry, a story of our people.

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Being a Filipino designer it’s already enough that I am part and parcel of the global world. As part of that global stage is to tell stories of where you’re from. I’m from the Philippines, I am a Filipino fashion designer; hear me. This is my people. This is my heritage and this is the magic that we weave. After 25 years of doing what I love to do, I feel that I made a difference. And I have been a catalyst for change. I have been a catalyst for good. And I am grateful what I do is what I love. And I love what I do.”

Marriott Manila Hailed Overall Champion in Philippine Culinary Cup

BENCH Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Wide Ramp

What’s the most spectacular collection worth if it’s not seen properly? So a large horizontal shape, like a theater stage was constructed in the center with square ramps to side. This allows the large 95 piece strong collection to be displayed efficiently over a large space. The stage and ramp goes through almost the whole breadth of Marriott’s Grand Ballroom.

from left: Coleen Garcia, Dr. Vicki Belo, Iza Calzado, Cristalle Henares-Pitt and Lovi Poe.The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Of course choreographing, directing an ensemble piece of models and dancers necessitated an equal part of genius to Rajo’s. This was in the person of overall director Robbie Carmona, who is considered to be THE top-flight fashion show director in the country for some time now.Both the design of the stage and Robbie’s choreography gave photographers and audiences multiple angles to view Rajo’s innovative designs.

Watch out for more photos from Rajo’s ARCHIPELAGO collection in upcoming articles.

from left: Rajo with Fashion Show director Robbie Carmona during rehearsals.The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Accessories by JEWELMER; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Archipelago Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Rajo Laurel is the most celebrated Filipino designer in the new millennium.The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Accessories by JEWELMER;The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Supermodel and fashion photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Archipelago Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Accessories by JEWELMER;The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The traditional Filipino Terno is given a space age make over. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Archipelago Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Top designers: from left: Joey Samson, IvarluskiAseron, Ben Chan and Patrice Ramos Diaz. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The Archipelago Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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BENCH Founder Ben Chan hugs and congratulates Rajo Laurel. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

BENCH Collection; The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Supermodel and fashion photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Accessories by JEWELMER;The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Supermodels from left: Ria Bolivar and Jasmine Maierhofer. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Lea Salonga is a childhood friend and supporter of Rajo. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Accessories by JEWELMER;The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Accessories by JEWELMER;The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Rajo Laurel is the most celebrated Filipino designer in the new millennium.The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Accessories by JEWELMER;The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Supermodel and fashion photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol. The RED Charity Ball on its 10th Year Celebrated Rajo Laurel’s 25th Anniversary in Fashion at Marriot Manila’s Grand Ballroom last October 27, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Seeing THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

W…

Written by

Jude Thaddeus Bautista

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender): I should’ve died years ago. Meeting you for the first time changed everything, to be loved by you allowed me to feel again. The pain, sacrifice it was all worth it for every moment I ever had with you.

The Light Between Oceans is a best seller list novel translated to several languages including Italian. Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS the movie on HBO Asia.

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is a compelling story about choosing duty or love. It is currently airing in HBO Asia (click on this link for screening schedule). Based on a bestselling novel written by Margot L. Stedman that has been translated to multiple languages and sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

The Shadow of World War I

Set in the 1920s, Tom Sherbourne was a soldier, a veteran of the First World War. After an extremely conservative and strict upbringing, he was trained to suppress his emotions just to survive. Tom’s adherence to the rules was second nature coming from his stringent childhood. This was something he got used to also as a soldier in one of the most brutal wars the world has seen.

The actual shooting location for the lighthouse was Cape Campbell Lighthouse in Marlborough, New Zealand. Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

The Janus island lighthouse, on the other side of the world, in one of the remotest parts of Australia was a unique challenge. A lone operator had to be able to follow procedure and schedules, without having to be supervised. Previous operators were unable to deal with the sheer desolation. Finding the right person for the job was a near impossible task. But the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service found their man in Tom.

Not only was he able to perform his duties well but the desolation was nothing compared to the horrors he had witnessed on the Western Front. There were no more shipwrecks with the consistent hand of Tom manning the lighthouse.

from left: Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Jack Thompson (Ralph Addicott).Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Ralph Addicott (Jack Thompson) an old boatman who would bring him supplies was his only link to the civilized world. On the rare occasion, Ralph would bring him to town, (which was still a considerable distance away) Tom was met with a grateful townsfolk. As a war veteran he seemed an almost heroic figure.

Alicia Vikander as Isabel Graysmark; catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Isabel

Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander) had a warm smile, light easygoing nature anyone could fall in love with. She was the antidote to his serious, melancholy side.  She took away all the painful memories of the past, made him grateful for his current life and look to the future. They seemed destined for each other.

Since she couldn’t bear to see him leave she asked to marry him so she could be permitted on Janus (as his wife). Tom was hesitant to bring Isabel into such a desolate place. But because she was so in love with him it became their private paradise. They had everything they needed in a small island: a storm proof house (apart from the lighthouse itself), a vegetable patch, a broken piano, two hens.  Most of all they had each other.

Inconsolable

After sometime, one stormy night Tom tells Isabel that nothing will happen to her as long as she stays in their house. Tom has to make sure the lighthouse was operating especially during the storm.Isabel was in the kitchen when she feels a sharp sudden pain in her abdomen. The pain was so excruciating she felt she had to go to Tom. So she went outside to brave the winds and rain going to the lighthouse. But the gate was made of metal and the howling winds masked her voice and banging. Tom didn’t hear her. He found her the next morning lying by the gate still alive. They discover that she had a miscarriage.

Moral Dilemma

The next scene Tom plants a cross in their yard to mark a grave for their unborn child. Isabel is inconsolable. In spite of their prayers and best hopes, after some time, Isabel has a second miscarriage. Isabel was lying beside the grassy patch by the graves when she heard Tom scream from afar. He was trying to signal to her that a small boat was approaching near the beach. She saw him run to it so she followed.

The rowboat had a lifeless man carrying a baby that was alive. The infant was a girl with wisps of blonde hair not unlike Isabel’s sandy brown blonde color. She held the baby the whole night without letting her go. The following morning Tom tells her of the need to radio their discovery. Isabel begs him, “You’re all about saving lives. Let’s save this one life because she needs us. We’re not doing anything wrong.” Tom is torn between the regulations he has so faithfully followed all his life and his wife’s need for this child. This is the moral dilemma; the beginning of the conflict Tom finds himself in.

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Real Life Romance

The novel made waves after it was published in 2012. Not long after its bestseller list success, plans were made to produce the film, which was shot in 2014. Lead actors Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander met before, but this time writer director Derek Cianfrance required them to live on set for six weeks. This is to establish ‘intimacy’ that would translate into the screen.

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

It’s a chemistry that would spill over real life. Soon after production the two stars announced they were dating. Fassbender is 12 years her senior at 37 while Vikander is 25, during production. A year later after the film was released the two married, in October 2017.

They are among the two of the biggest stars in Hollywood today. Fassbender having iconic roles as Magneto in the X-MEN franchise, ASSASSIN’S CREED, the recent thriller shot in Netherlands THE SNOWMAN also currently airing in HBO. AliciaVikander replaced Angelina Jolie as TOMB RAIDER, before that she has already established herself in more dramatic and serious roles.

One of my favorite early roles for her was in ANNA KARENNINA with Keira Knightley. In fact Alicia has won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for THE DANISH GIRL (2016). Fassbender is not far behind as a nominee from 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Castmate Rachel Weisz also won Best Supporting Actress for THE CONSTANT GARDENER (2005). Rachel plays Hannah Roennfeldt here in this movie.

Rachel Weisz (Hannah Roennfeldt); Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Let’s hope their marriage survives the temptations and rigors of their Hollywood lifestyles. No matter what happens, fans can always look back to LIGHT BETWEEN THE OCEANS as the loving scenes that grew into a real life romance.

Racism In Australia

Author M.L. Stedman who was born in Western Australia, managed to shed light into racism in her country of birth. One of the pivotal moments in the book is when racism leads to a tragic incident. The irony in this case is that the discrimination was against a German immigrant.

Most people who are familiar with Australian history would already know of the oppression of the Aborigines by the white settlers. But their racism in this case at least extended to another Caucasian leading to dire consequences. Although, this is in the context of the First World War where the British Commonwealth was at war with Germany.

Sadly, however, racism from Australia still rears its ugly head to this day. Most recently July 2, 2018, here in the Philippines a brawl broke out in a basketball match between SMART Gilas Philippine team and Australian Boomers.

While racial slurs are immediately called out on the football pitch in the English Premiere League this incident went far beyond that. The Australian side was guilty of tampering and removing advertising on the basketball court a day before the match. Which already irked the Filipino side, their unusual physicality only exacerbated the racial overtones of their actions. So a wild brawl ensued between the teams and even spilled on to violence from the home crowd. Both sides have actually apologized and have been sanctioned by the FIBA organizers.

Given their history and incidents such as these there are steps that the Australian government should take. First is to acknowledge that racism exists and second have the necessary guidelines especially for their national squads. They should be more racially and politically sensitive because they are representing their nation in competitions abroad.

The actual shooting location for the lighthouse was Cape Campbell Lighthouse in Marlborough, New Zealand. Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

New Zealand Lighthouse

The film is the last of DREAMWORKS for Disney, although an American production outfit, it was shot in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. While the setting in the film is Australia, the main lighthouse was actually shot at the Cape Campbell Lighthouse in Marlborough, New Zealand. The cast and crew lived there for five and a half weeks. Other locations include Port Chalmers outside Dunedin also in NZ and the town of Stanley in Northwest Tasmania, Australia.

Isabel Graysmark:

Take me out to Janus with you.

Tom Sherbourne:

What?

Isabel Graysmark:

I want to see it. I want to see where you hide yourself away.

Tom Sherbourne:

I’m afraid that that would be against Commonwealth rules.

The only woman allowed on Janus is the keeper’s wife.

Isabel Graysmark:

Then marry me.

Author M.L. Stedman; M stands for Margot; Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Frank Roennfeldt:

You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day,

Every day, all the time. You have to keep remembering

the bad things. It’s too much work.

Rachel Weisz (Hannah Roennfeldt); Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Isabel Graysmark:

Tom, when I first saw you, I felt like I knew you, and I couldn’t stop seeing my life with you; and building a family together, one that isn’t stuck in the pain of the past. It’s very pretty. And so, if you’re asking me

if my proposition still stands…then my answer is yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

The novel won 2 awards: Best Novelist Debut and Indie Book of the Year (2013) for author M.L. Stedman. Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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from right: Screenwriter / Director Derek Cianfrance and Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia

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Rachel Weisz (Hannah Roennfeldt) and Bryan Brown (Septimus Potts).Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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Florence Clery as Lucy-Grace; Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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from left: Screenwriter / Director Derek Cianfrance and Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne); catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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Rachel Weisz (Hannah Roennfeldt); Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark). Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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The actual shooting location for the lighthouse was Cape Campbell Lighthouse in Marlborough, New Zealand. Catch LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS on HBO Asia.

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Maningning’s Legacy of Art & Poetry

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Maningning Miclat was a true creative force who is an inspiration to young artists today.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Maningning Miclat at age 28 was already an accomplished artist and published poet in both China and the Philippines. She had exhibited a grand abstract work at the Cultural Center of The Philippines. Being fluent in three languages, she translated her poems in Mandarin to English, Filipino and vice versa. Apart from this she was a generous soul, wanting to give young artists the same opportunities that had been granted her. She went on to teach in Far Eastern University.

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Bamboo Scroll – Charcoal Brush on Rice Paper, 1986 by Maningning Miclat.

So it was an immensely painful tragedy when the world lost her creative genius. She took her own life, 18 years ago, September 29, 2000. Soon after, her mother, Alma Cruz Miclat along with their closest friends and supporters put up the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation Incorporated (MMAFI). One of its main missions is to search for and support young artists through competition.

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From left: Inquirer Lifestyle’s resident Artist / Critic Cid Reyes, San Carlos Seminary Dean of Studies Fr. Sid Marinay, MMAFI VP for Ext Affairs Orestes Monzon, MMAFI Pres. Alma Miclat, U.P. College of Fine Arts Professor Emeritus (and former Dean) Nestor Vinluan and world-class sculptor Ramon Orlina open the 2018 MANINGNING MICLAT ART AWARDS exhibit. It ran from Sept 3-26, 2018 at the Nicanor Reyes Hall, Far Eastern University, Sampaloc, Manila. Photo by Jude Bautista

The foundation organizes the Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards, a competition held every 2 years specifically for artists 28 years old or younger. Since 2004, the competition has been synonymous with discovering budding artists who have progressed to fruitful careers.

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FEU Chorale; FEU Auditorium, September 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

For this year’s edition, held at the Nicanor Reyes Hall of Far Eastern University is a special homecoming of sorts. MMAFI President Alma Cruz Miclat explains, “It has been very difficult for me to imagine coming to FEU specifically here at the Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts. For 17 years I could not even pass by Nicanor Reyes Avenue without crying. It was from the 7th floor of this building that my beautiful daughter Maningning fell to her death September 29, 2000. She was an art teacher here. I am coming to terms with my anguish, fear and anxiety all related to this place. Entering the campus was a test of will and courage. Last year during Nick Joaquin’s centenary I felt as if he bade me come. And so I did. As contributor, not often though in the arts and books section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I wrote about the Nick Joaquin event and my experience coming here.”

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MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat; FEU Auditorium, September 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Shards of Our Own Lives

Alma took note of a description of Nick Joaquin’s work as inspiration, “I quoted Vicente Rafael in his introduction to Nick’s THE WOMAN WITH TWO NAVELS and TALES OF THE TROPICAL GOTHIC, made available world wide through a single Penguin Classics release. It says, ‘We whoever we are receive his stories told from a ruined world, hearing and perhaps sharing them as the shards of our own lives’. I did pick up the shards of my own ruined life and set forth to share them. Facing my pain and grief head on resulted in this partnership between the MANINGNING FOUNDATION, the artist playground DISTRICT GALLERYand the FEU President’s Committee On Culture; Headed by the great gentleman here Mr. Martin Lopez who arranged this beautiful activity.”

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from left: FEU Pres. Committee On Culture Dir. Martin Lopez with Top Four finalists- Harddy Santos, Jessica Lopez, John Nikko Pelaez, Wendi Patoc, Jurors- Dexter Sy, Egai Talusan Fernandez, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat, Historian / Writer Prof. Fe Buenaventura-Mangahas, MMAFI Board Member Julie Lluch, Author / U.P. Prof Mario Miclat and MMAFI VP for Ext Affairs Orestes Monzon. Photo taken during the awarding ceremonies of the Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018. It was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

Maningning Loved FEU

Alma talked about how her daughter felt for the esteemed educational institution she taught and worked for, “After all Maningning did love teaching here. Telling me how her students were so gifted. ’Nay ang gagaling ng mga kamay nila’. She was also in awe of the campus, this leading art museum, buildings done in art deco style. And she happily told me once that she was being asked to curate for a few exhibits here at the exhibit hall. That was 18 years ago. Now I feel it in my heart Maningning had a hand in bringing us all together here to put an end to the painful past and move on more vigorously in helping young artists have a place in this world.“

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Bananaue Miclat-Janssen; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

Martin Lopez

As director of FEU President’s Committee on Culture, Martin Lopez was instrumental in the successful and memorable homecoming of the Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards exhibit and ceremony held last September 26, 2018.

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Maningning’s mural sized work was exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Lopez said the event coincided with the 90th anniversary of Far Eastern University. But also noted many other celebrations, “We had a ceremony in this very space to mark the 100th anniversary of Nick Joaquin our National Artist for Literature, whose work and exhibit is on the 5th floor of this building. With the reopening of the auditorium after two and a half years of waiting (sister) Banaue was one of the first artists to inaugurate the newly reopened auditorium when we closed our Nick Joaquin Centennial year. We are all here to celebrate Maningning, we are here to celebrate art and music and her gift of art and poetry. We are very, very fortunate to participate and to partner with the MANINGNING MICLAT ART FOUNDATION in this endeavor and hopefully we have many more partnerships in the future.“

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FEU Pres. Committee On Culture Dir. Martin Lopez; FEU Auditorium, September 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Grand Prize Winner: Jessica Lopez – MOTION OF LIFE

Prior to GINUGUNITA KITA performance art of Maningning Miclat’s poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, was the awarding ceremony of the Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards. The newly renovated FEU Auditorium was the perfect venue for the glittering night last September 26, 2018.

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Grand Prize winner Jessica Lopez in front of her work Motion of Life, the trophy was sculpted by Julie Lluch. The Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018 was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jessica Lopez of Pangasinan State University was awarded the Grand Prize for MOTION OF LIFE. She is the first female winner, perhaps the only one to highlight and use waste material (bangus fishbone) in her work.

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Artist: Jessica Lopez Title: Motion of Life, Fish Bone on Plywood, 48 x 36 inches

As Grand Prize winner, Lopez received a Julie Lluch Sculpture Trophy, P28,000.00, Maningning Miclat Book Collection and a solo exhibit at District Gallery.

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from left: MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat with Top Four artists: Wendi Patoc, Jessica Lopez, John Nikko Pelaez and Harddy Santos, Author / U.P. Prof Mario Miclat Mario Miclat. The Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018 was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

Top four artists were further recognized from among 18 semifinalists (including Lopez). They are John Nikko Pelaez (.U.E.) – BEG, Harddy DC Santos (.U.E.) – COVER UP and Wendi T. Patoc (EARIST) – HINDI NA MAIBABALIK PA. Both Nikko Pelaez and Harddy Santos are from the University of the East. These three artists, as part of the top four, were given Honorable Mention awards.

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Artists from left: Harddy Santos, Jayroll Francisco, Ralph Lauren Barola, Kenneth Santiago, John Nikko Pelaez Dominic Nelson Jinon, Dhan Louie Bautista, Cyrill Mustera, MMAFI Pres. Alma Miclat, Christine Capili, Arvin Santos and Previous winners Niño Cubacub and Dexter Sy. The artists are among 18 semifinalists of the 2018 MANINGNING MICLAT ART AWARDS. Their works were exhibited in Nicanor Reyes Hall, Far Eastern University, Sampaloc, Manila, Sept 3-26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

18 Semifinalists

Hundreds of entries were sent online and were whittled down to 18 semifinalists. Being chosen to be part of the 18 is prestigious by itself as they were able to display their work at the Nicanor Reyes Hall in FEU from September 3-26, 2018.

Among them:

Andres M. Catig (EARIST)-DINADALAW NA NAMAN TAYO NG KALULUWA NI PAPA

Arvin Santos (.U.E)-ORDINARY DAY

Christine Capili-TABULA RASA

2Artwork

LEFT: Artist-Cyril Cleope, Title-PEACE, 2018, Oil and Acrylic, 36×24 inches RIGHT: Artist-DeoAmarante, Title-Longings of the Heart, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas 24×30 inches

Cyriel Cleope (EARIST)-PEACE

Cyrill Jan Mustera (U.E.)- SINNERS

Deo Carlos Amarante (EARIST)-LONGINGS OF THE HEART

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Renato Lucas; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

Dhan Louie Bautista (EARIST)-COLLATERAL DAMAGE

Dominic Nelson Jinon, (T.U.P.)-COME, HE’S HERE!

Harddy DC Santos (U.E.)-COVER UP

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Artists from left: Dominic Nelson Jinon, Dhan Louie Bautista, Cyrill Mustera, MMAFI Pres. Alma Miclat, Christine Capili, Arvin Santos and 2014 winner – Niño Cubacub. The artists are among 18 semifinalists of the 2018 MANINGNING MICLAT ART AWARDS. Their works were exhibited in Nicanor Reyes Hall, Far Eastern University, Sampaloc, Manila, Sept 3-26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jayroll P. Francisco (U.E.)-ICON

Jessica Lopez, (Pangasinan State University)-MOTION OF LIFE

JhecoLorica, (F.E.U)-THE MODERN THRONE OF BASIC NEEDS

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Artist: Kenneth Santiago, Title: Different State of Emotions, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

John Nikko Pelaez (U.E.)- BEG

Kenneth H. Santiago (U.E.)- DIFFERENT STATE OF EMOTIONS

Ralph Lauren Barola (Marikina Polytechnic College)-The ARTstoppable

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from left: Jurors- Dexter Sy, Egai Talusan Fernandez, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat, Historian / Writer Prof. Fe Buenaventura-Mangahas, MMAFI Board Member Julie Lluch, Author / U.P. Prof Mario Miclat and MMAFI VP for Ext Affairs Orestes Monzon. Photo taken during the awarding ceremonies of the Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018. It was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ronald Dulay (U.P. Baguio)-BALIK TANAW

Rhicelle Kirk Tabanera (EARIST)-DIFFERENT MOTIONS THROUGH EVERYDAY SITUATIONS

Wendi T. Patoc (EARIST)- HINDI NA MAIBABALIK PA

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Top Four Artist – Wendi Patoc and MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat. Title-Hindi Na Maibabalik Pa, 2018, Acrylic on layers Canvas panel on canvas 7 wire spring, 24 x 48 inches. The Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018 was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Maningning Miclat was a true creative force who is an inspiration to young artists today.

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National Artist for Music Ramon Santos; FEU Auditorium, September 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: FEU Pres. Committee On Culture Dir. Martin Lopez with Top Four finalists- Harddy Santos, Jessica Lopez, John Nikko Pelaez, Wendi Patoc and Juror Dexter Sy during the awarding ceremonies of the Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018. It was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: FEU Pres. Committee On Culture Dir. Martin Lopez, MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat and writer Ibarra Mateo; FEU Auditorium, September 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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right: Dancer Angela Castro and Banaue Miclat-Janssen; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artists from left: Harddy Santos, Jayroll Francisco, Ralph Lauren Barola, Kenneth Santiago, John Nikko Pelaez are among 18 semifinalists of the 2018 MANINGNING MICLAT ART AWARDS. Their works were exhibited in Nicanor Reyes Hall, Far Eastern University, Sampaloc, Manila, Sept 3-26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Christine Capili, Title: Tabula Rasa, Oil and Ink on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

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Jesse Lucas; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Semifinalists / Exhibiting Artists from left: John Nikko Pelaez, Christine Capili, MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat, Grand Prize winner Jessica Lopez, Dominic Nelson Jinon, Dhan Louie Bautista, Kenneth Santiago and Ralph Lauren Barola. The Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018 was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from right: Vim Nadera, Juror Egai Talusan Fernandez

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Artist: Cyrill Mustera Title: Sinners, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 36 inches

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from left: Al Gatmaitan, Toots Tolentino, Banaue Miclat-Janssen and Jesse Lucas; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Teresita Ang See is a huge fan of Maningning’s Chinese poetry.

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Top Four – Artist: Harddy DC Santos, Title: Cover Up, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas, 40x30inches.The Maningning Miclat Visual Art Awards 2018 was held September 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Jesse Lucas, Banaue-Miclat Janssen and Renato Lucas the stars of GINUGUNITA KITA a performance art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems and the Music of Jesse Lucas with performances by Al Gatmaitan, Angela Castro and Nasser Lubay. It was held on Sept 26, 2018 at the FEU Auditorium, Far Eastern University, Sampaloc, Manila. Photo by Jude Bautista

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LEFT: Artist-Rhicelle Tabanera, Title-DIFFERENT MOTIONS THROUGH EVERYDAY SITUATIONS, 2018, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 24 inches RIGHT: Artist-Dhan Louie Bautista, Title-COLLATERAL DAMAGE, 2018, Oil on Canvas

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from right: Rome and Jing Jorge with MMAFI Pres. Alma Cruz-Miclat; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Maningning Miclat’s oil painting “Trouble in Paradise,” Art Association of the Philippines’ grand winner in 1992. Photo courtesy of Miclat family

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Artists from left: Dhan Louie Bautista, Cyrill Mustera, Christine Capili, Arvin Santos are among 18 semifinalists of the 2018 MANINGNING MICLAT ART AWARDS. Their works were exhibited in Nicanor Reyes Hall, Far Eastern University, Sampaloc, Manila, Sept 3-26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Robert Tiaño, Title: Innermost Self, 2018, Oil on Canvas, (2016) Grand Prize winner

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Al Gatmaitan and Banaue Miclat-Janssen; GINUGUNITA KITA a Performance Art of Maningning Miclat’s Poems set to music by Jesse Lucas, Sept. 26, 2018, FEU Auditorium. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Serendipitous PLAN MAN

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Beloved, I’m crazy for you.

Written by

Jude Bautista

In a small nightclub So Jung (Han Ji Min) switches to a ukulele to sing her latest song: “Your day begins with an alarm… Alarms are always on time… Get up to the wake alarm… Wash to the shower alarm…  When the alarm rings 12:15 pm… You go inside a store… At the store she is always there… You want to tell her how you feel… So you set an alarm and a plan… To make the perfect confession for the only girl exactly like you… Like him…  like her… lonely you

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

To Mr. Han’s (Jung Jae-Young) horror So Jung sees him in the audience. She points him out of the crowd: “Its plan man! He’s the plan man!” So Jung starts a cheer: Plan Man! Plan Man! (the audience turns to him and starts to cheer too: Plan! Man! Plan Man!) Mr. Han is embarrassed and screams: “That’s personal!” He storms out the exit.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

PLAN MAN is a funny, endearing rom com from Korea currently showing in RED by HBO. Actor Jung Jae-Young plays Han Jeong Seuk a librarian with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. In his case he plans out his day almost to the millisecond, from the moment he wakes he irons out his bed sheets. In his mind it’s the people who don’t plan, who don’t obsessively clean up after themselves who are ‘crazy’.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

The problem comes when he falls for 7-11 cashier Ji Won (Cha Ye-Ryuun). Not only is she pretty but is definitely another OCD. He notices her ‘appealing’ habits of arranging the display, disinfecting her hands and endlessly cleaning glass surfaces.  Big surprise he is inept with the opposite sex. Enter So Jung (Han Ji Min) who volunteers to help him date the lovely Ji Won. So Jung needs Mr. Han because she’s obsessed with joining an American Idol-type contest for bands.According to the rules So Jung could not enlist herself as a soloist and she needs him, who just happens to know how to play the keyboards.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young

Jung Jae Young is a veteran actor of Korean cinema and has played a wide variety of unusual heroes. According to his Wikipedia page / credits include: “a war-weary North Korean officer who befriends his counterparts from the South in WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL, a shy rural farmer who travels to Uzbekistan in the hopes of finding a wife in WEDDING CAMPAIGN, a Joseon merchant who gets drawn into plans for developing a rocket against the Ming Dynasty in THE DIVINE WEAPON” to name a few.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Evidence of his talent are countless Best Supporting and Best Actor Awards.  His most recent Best Actor awards are from 68th Locarno International Film Festival, 35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, 53rd Gijon International Film Festival for the movie RIGHT NOW WRONG THEN in 2016.

Needless to say he was very convincing as someone with an OCD here in PLAN MAN but also tragically funny. While having made more than a dozen movies he’s a relative newcomer to TV. For 2018 he is in the show STRANGE FAMILY and has recently completed the film ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Hollywood Parallels

I noticed a number of Korean movies that seem to borrow some concepts from Hollywood. MISS GRANNY that has a Sarah Geronimo hit remake is a combination of FREAKY FRIDAY with elements of PRETTY WOMAN (especially with the Roy Orbison soundtrack). PLAN MAN seems to be similar with AS GOOD AS IT GETS because of characters dealing with OCD. Apart from that however, this is a more original or different take altogether.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

PLAN MAN is definitely funnier at the same time points to traumatic past events that may explain the disorders or mental state that people find themselves in. While it is a comedy, it also deals with the lack of ethics in the TV broadcast industry and how it may destroy lives permanently.

Koreans also have Turo turo (Filipino term for sidewalk eatery).

In AS GOOD AS IT GETS, no less than Jack Nicholson plays the cranky OCD guy pestering the lovely Helen Hunt. PLAN MAN has Han Ji Min who plays the endearing musician songwriter So Jung. Mr. Han sees her as messy, quirky. She’s a cat lover who frequents a turo turo (Filipino term for sidewalk eatery) that specializes in intestines and tripe. Mr Han asks, “How can you eat it when dung passed through them?” She replies, “That’s why they’re so good!”

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

KEYS TO THE HEART

Han Ji Min is one of those Korean superstars the whole world seems to fall for these days. She also stars in KEYS TO THE HEART, a drama that was just released April of this year in cinemas. Owing to her acting abilities, she’s more somber almost unrecognizable there as an heiress who loses her joie de vie after a serious car accident.

KEYS TO THE HEART’s storyline is about an over the hill MMA fighter who has difficulty accepting his special needs brother. This touching drama is also currently showing in RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min

Han Ji min’s accent is endearing or cute when she speaks English (at least in role of So Jung). For example she pronounces plan man as Puh-lan man! Puh-lan Man! It becomes an unmistakable 3-syllable cheer. I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s just her or a Korean thing.  Then I saw the translations for the title from Korean, which were spelled Pel-raen Man. This isn’t unique to the Koreans, the Chinese also add a syllable or two when translating some English words. This makes it easier to read and pronounce phonetically from their language.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong, behind her is the Triangle Gim Bap display.Watch PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

She also writes a song about the Triangle Gim Bap, a rice cake / sushi like product. It’s on the 7- 11 shelves she works in. Like the fried chicken, fried siomai in Mini Stop or siopao and Hot dogs in Philippine version of 7-11.

Ji Min also has an uncanny resemblance to Leica Carpo who is known as a marathoner. Leica was a former publisher of Sunday Inquirer Magazine, the weekend mag ofPhilippine Daily Inquirer. These days Leica runs her own public relations firm in the U.S.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Philippine Connection

In real life Han Ji Min has a heart of gold. Her educational background as a Social Welfare graduate from Seoul Women’s University has given her an insight in using her fame to help those in need. Back in 2009 she visited a rural village in Bukidnon, Philippines. It was for a TV show focused on charity work called World Special Love from the Korean tVN network.

Han Ji Min visited a remote village in Bukidnon, Philippines to help out with the education and welfare of kids in 2009.

A youtube video, shows her having fun from the plane trip via Philippine Airlines. The unmistakable red, yellow and blue tail of PAL could also be seen when she lands. Han ji Min was so moved by her experience with the kids that she wrote a book about it: WE’RE ALREADY FRIENDS: HAN JI-MIN’S PHILIPPINES DONATION BOOK.

Proceeds from the book were then donated to educational programs of kids in the Philippines, other developing countries and even North Korea. In 2012, she was also  designated as goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP. Ji Min returns to the TV screen in 2018 for the romance FAMILIAR WIFE.

Han Ji Min visited a remote village in Bukidnon, Philippines to help out with the education and welfare of kids in 2009.

Different locations from the movie around Seoul form a heart (supposedly).

Walking in Seoul

Apart from the language and food, the city of Seoul figures prominently. The small side streets and alleyways seem to create an impression of a pedestrian friendly metro. All the locations revolve around just a few blocks from each other. The characters walk from one scene to the next. His workplace, the library to the corner store, his therapist, the nightclub So Jung plays. They even have their own version of the large pedestrian crossing in Tokyo although definitely not as chaotic.

Seoul has its own busy pedestrian lane crossing although less chaotic than Tokyo’s.

In this movie Mr Han may be the title character but its Han Ji Min (as So Jung) who will melt your heart. Beyond her adorable smile it’s her fun, quirky personality and kindness that makesaudiences love her.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

From left: Cha Ye-Ryuun (Ji Won) and Han Ji Min (Su Jong)in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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