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L’INHUMAINE Helouise La Harpe

Helouise La Harpe (electric harp/vocals); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus Bautista

Beneath the flickering light of the screen, she sways. Moving slowly swinging her hips, arms, shoulders, in a smooth sexy rhythm…in high heels. Her eyes are on the screen above her, plucking the harp the way she plucks at men’s hearts. She moves to the music she makes, a sight to behold.

Helouise La Harpe (electric harp/vocals); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Even in the near darkness of the Shang Cineplex movie theater, we were all captivated with watching her. We would’ve been forgiven if we forgot there was actually a silent film we had to watch. The enchanting jazz music by Helouise La Harpe on the electric harp, Ryan Villamor (keyboards) and percussionist Aldous Castro was more than enough entertainment.

ALPAS performed their song ‘Bagani’ at the Atrium of Shang Plaza for the Musika X Pelikula a parallel event courtesy of PARA SA SINING, September 3rd 2017. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

The fest ran from August 31 to September 3, 2017, featured a total of 9 Silent films from 9 different countries accompanied by esteemed musicians from the local scene. Opening the fest is EL GOLFO (1918) from Spain- Instituto Cervantes on 8 PM August 31 with music by TALAHIB.

from left: Japan Foundation Mla Dir. Hiroaki Uesugi, benshi Ichiro Kataoka, British Council Head of Arts & Creative Industries Malaya Del Rosario, British Council Dir. Nicholas Thomas, FDCP Chair Liza Diño, Spanish First Sec. Guillermo Escribano, US Emb Public Affairs Officer Matt Keener, U.S. Asst. Cultural Affairs Jeanie Duwan, FDCP Exec Dir Wilfredo Manalang, Austrian Emb Press & Cultural Officer Zelpha Bombais and PARA SA SINING Dir. Micah Pinto. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

September 1st Anthony Asquith’s UNDERGROUND (7:30 PM) from the U.K.- British Council with music by GOODLEAF; THE NEW ENCHANTMENT (9:30 PM) from France accompanied by Helouise La Harpe. September 2nd A PERFECT FAMILY (3 PM) from Italy- Philippine Italian Association / Emb. of Italy with live score by TOM’S STORY; Yasujiro Ozu’s DRAGNET GIRL (5:30PM) from Japan – Japan Foundation with live narration from benshi Ichiro Kataoka and music by THE CELSO ESPEJO RONDALLA; Gym Lumbera’s TAGLISH (8PM) from the Philippines – FILM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES with music by KAPITAN KULAM. September 3rd CAFÉ ELECTRIK (3PM) from Austria with music by RIVERMAYA; PANDORA’S BOX (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH and Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL (8PM) from the U.S.A with music from FLIPPIN SOUL STOMPERS.

Helouise La Harpe (electric harp/vocals); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

The choice for Helouise La Harpe was actually perfect for the story of (English title The New Enchantment) L’INHUMAINE (1923) from FRANCE in more ways than one. The story involves Claire Lescot a captivating opera diva, played by Georgette Leblanc who was the most sought after beauty of her time. Her suitors were among the most powerful and famous men: A Maharajah – Djorah de Nopur (Philippe Hériat), an intellectual revolutionary – Wladimir Kranine (Léonid Walter de Malte) and the mysterious Einar Norsen (Jaque Catelain) who keeps his true profession away from prying eyes. The description of being inhuman comes in, as nothing these men did to please or capture her attention seems to satisfy her.

Georgette Leblanc (Claire) in France’s L’INHUMAINE (1923). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Percussionist Aldous Castro using The Hang; The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Percussionist Aldous Castro had several instruments at his disposal to produce a lot of different sound effects. But one of the most unique is The Hang (‘the hand’ in Swedish/German). It looks like a giant wok inverted with circular indents. He is able to hit it with one hand and control the vibrations with the other. There are wide varieties of sounds it emits that contribute to the mood of the scene.

Jaque Catelain (Einar), Georgette Leblanc (Claire) in France’s L’INHUMAINE (1923). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

In between scenes keyboardist Ryan Villamor would bark out moods and tempo. Among the silent film titles L’INHUMAINE had the feature of having different colored tints from shot to shot. Sometimes it would be sepia, green and of course the usual black and white. Cristina Moricca of PIA (Phil. Italian Association) shared a previous talk by cinema historian Nick De Ocampo. He said that these tints were an indication of mood for the scene, which was used in the silent era. Villamor also said that these indicators were quite helpful to the musicians. For modern viewers it could be disorienting, it takes some getting used to; imagine a feature length Katy Perry music video.

Scene from L’INHUMAINE (1923); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Directed by Marcel L’Herbier there’s a strong fantasy element to the film with elaborate sets. Claire’s home for example was palatial with pools and fountains complete with servants. In the story, Einar was so distraught by Claire’s perceived rejection he drives his car off the cliff. In spite of news spreading of the suicide, Claire decides to go on with her scheduled concert.

Spectators quickly became a mob in France’s L’INHUMAINE (1923). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

The theater hall was filled with spectators, and after one rabble-rouser heckles her for the suicide (for being inhuman) the whole crowd turns and chaos ensues. Just as people were about to mob Claire she begins to sing. In real time Helouise La Harpe also begins to sing in French. The mob that was about to tear Claire apart was so moved by her voice they begin to calm down. The live audience in Shang Cineplex were similarly moved by Helouise’ jazzy, hypnotic voice. By the end of the song the theater was in a rapturous applause for Claire and trouble had been averted.

Helouise La Harpe (electric harp/vocals); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

This was one of those cinematic moments that evoke a deep emotion and stays with you. Made all the more special by a unique live performance. It doesn’t matter that it’s from a French film from nearly a hundred years ago. You don’t have to know or understand everything. All you have to do is watch, listen, the way Helouise was feeling the story, the music, with her body just moving to it.

from left: Ryan Villamor (keyboards), Helouise La Harpe (electric harp) and Aldous Castro (percussion) played for France’s L’INHUMAINE (1923). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Apart from the electric harp and her sexy moves, Helouise hid her most emotional tool: her voice, for the climactic scenes, including one dialogue where she sang as Claire spoke of love. There was an incredible applause after the film as she enchanted everyone in the cinema.

Helouise La Harpe (electric harp/vocals); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: French Press Attaché Camille Conde, Helouise La Harpe, Aldous Castro, French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal & Ryan Villamor. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

She is of French and Vietnamese descent. Her name is pronounced (with a silent H in the beginning) EH-LOO-WEES LA-HARP. Emb of France Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal ‘discovered’ her while performing at the Makati Shang Rila Hotel’s French Week. He has earned high praises for acquiring her talents for the Intl Silent Film Festival Manila.

Ryan Villamor (keyboards); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

We converged in our favorite bar downstairs BROTZEIT, which has German, European and a lot of unique beers on tap as well as the best German cuisine. This is where Ryan Villamor spoke of ‘controlled improvisation’. Each musician had instructions on the mood and sound for the sequences at the same time the element of jazz gave them space to improvise.

Artist Allan Cosio had an impromptu portraiture of Helouise La Harpe at Brotzeit. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Evidence of the power of Helouise’ performance, renowned abstract painter and portraitist Allan Cosio was so moved he gifted her with an impromptu sketch at BROTZEIT. He instructed Helouise to pose across the table. In a few minutes of strokes in charcoal he was able to produce a portrait that she warmly treasured.

Artist Allan Cosio had an impromptu portraiture of Helouise La Harpe at Brotzeit. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Cosio also happens to be the father of Ina Avellana-Cosio of the FDCP and Intl. Silent film Festival Manager. Ina’s grandfather on her mother’s side is National Artist for Film Lamberto Avellana.

All in all it was a magical night that started with controlled improvisation in the cinema and ended with an impromptu portrait session in BROTZEIT.

from left: Japan Foundation Prog. Coordinator Roland Samson, Patrick Pulumbarit, PIA Translator Cristina Moricca, French Press Attaché, Aldous Castro, French Audio Visual Attaché, ISFFM Mgr / FDCP Officer Ina Avellana Cosio and PARA SA SINING Dir. Micah Pinto. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

scene from Anthony Aquith’s UNDERGROUND (1928) from United Kingdom. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

UNDEGROUND from the British Council with GOODLEAF

Anthony Asquith’s UNDERGROUND may have been the most technologically advanced (as far as camera work) not just in this batch but from the silent era. The quality of the digital restoration also seems better than films of later eras in the 30s or 40s for example. I’m unsure how much of it was the restoration or the image quality the filmmakers were able to achieve. Whichever the case UNDERGROUND was certainly ahead of its time.

British Council Dir. Nicholas Thomas; The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Asquith was able to build suspense and emphasize emotion through camera movement, even editing. This was not commonly utilized in most silent film. The underground station will seem very familiar to today’s audiences. Its mind boggling to think that the underground has celebrated its centenary and is still very much in use today as it was back then. The tunnels to the trains, factories, even the power plant shows a London that was the very first industrialized city/nation in the world.

GOODLEAF played for United Kingdom’s UNDERGROUND (1928). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

The very urban, industrialized theme of the film is perfect for the synth and electronic sound of GOODLEAF. Their sound is a rich combination of electronica and even reggae. This is a combination most commonly heard in the 1980s not unlike British band from the era: UB40. But GOODLEAF has its own updated twist with trip-hop and has their young fans that were also drawn to the screening. Their music gives the viewing experience of UNDERGROUND a more current interpretation that helps people today appreciate the film in a way they normally wouldn’t.

GOODLEAF’s Jolly Navarro (keyboards); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

GOODLEAF from left: Cliff Pama (guitar), British Council Head of Arts & Creative Industries Malaya Del Rosario, Edy Varde (guitar), Marco Hautea (bass), British Council Dir. Nicholas Thomas, Ranjit Alabos (synth), Jolly Navarro (keyboards), Ryan Goan (guitars) and Jas Sonido (drummer- not in photo). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ernesto Vilches in Spain’s EL GOLFO (1918); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

EL GOLFO from Instituto Cervantes with Talahib

El Golfo from Spain on the other hand pulls on the heartstrings. Ernesto is a street urchin who turns his life around and makes good abroad. This is similar to the OFW stories here in the Philippines. The drama comes when he tries to win back his childhood love whose parents supported his education and success abroad.

Talahib’s Burn Belacho (flute/guitars); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

The combination of the film with band Talahib was very successful. Talahib uses native instruments like the hegalong along with drums, guitars and chimes. So the original Filipino sound mixed with the Spanish film results in something unique but at the same time we’re used to since the Philippines is a product of all these influences.

TALAHIB from left: James De Vera (percussion), Banjo Agustin (guitar/vocals). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Spanish First Sec. Guillermo Escribano; The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

For Pinoy viewers the subtitles in Spanish had a lot of words in the Filipino language, so there’s that also that common bond. From everyday words like hijo, hija, noche, amigo to longer words like ignorante, origen, memoria, la muerte.

scene from Spain’s EL GOLFO (1918); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

The band is composed of vocalist Janis Ann Añonuevo, Noel Taylo (percussion), Burn Belacho (guitar, hegalong), Mark Estandarte (bass), Domeng Molina (percussion), Jones De Vera (percussion), Darrel Roberto (drums) and Max Celada (percussion).

TALAHIB from left: James De Vera (percussion), Banjo Agustin (guitar/vocals), Jaime Hernandez (Artist Mgr), Burn Belacho (lead guitar/flute), Spanish First Sec. Guillermo Escribano, Karl Ramirez (keyboard), Max Celada (percussion), Inst Cervantes Cultural Affairs Head Jose Fons, Daniel Roberto (Drums) and LJ Pasion (bass). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Percussionist Max Celada is also a member of the esteemed theater group Tanghalang Pilipino along with partner Sheenly Gener. I was able to photograph the couple on the last day of the ISFFM in Shang.

Talahib’s Max Celada (percussion); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sheenly was not able to catch Max’s performance with Talahib because she was shooting a film entitled SI APPLE, SI CHEDENG AT SI ELVIE. The Cinema One produced film has Gloria Diaz and Elizabeth Oropesa as its stars co directed by Rae Red and Fatrick Tabada. Sheenly can also be seen in the upcoming DORMITORYO in QCinema directed by Emerson Reyes.

from left: PDI writer Totel De Jesus, TP actors and couple Sheenly Gener and Max Celada also of Talahib. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

TALAHIB played for Spain’s EL GOLFO (1918); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

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French Cultural Counselor Yves Soberman; The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jaque Catelain (Einar) in France’s L’INHUMAINE (1923). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aldous Castro (percussion); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Talahib’s Daniel Roberto (Drums); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Talahib’s Burn Belacho (flute/guitars); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

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GOODLEAF’s Marco Hautea (bass); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best buds from left: Cyril Constantino, Roland Samson, Camille Conde and Dems Angeles. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

GOODLEAF from left: Edy Varde (guitar) and Ryan Goan (guitars). The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

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scene from Anthony Aquith’s UNDERGROUND (1928) from United Kingdom. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

GOODLEAF’s Ranjit Alabos (synth); The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist Allan Cosio had an impromptu portraiture of Helouise La Harpe at Brotzeit. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival Manila ran from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance was free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

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RIVERMAYA, SANDWICH Play to Dietrich and Lulu

Marlene Dietrich in the scene that made her into a star in SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932)

Written by

Jude Bautista

Men wished to lay fortunes at her feet, and celebrities vied with each other to be seen and photographed with her. Tribute was collected from men of rank and fame, the most famous actors wished to have her as their partner, producers and directors couldn’t wait until they could work with her, and her circle increased to include the top writers and creators of her day. Dukes and generals and even the heads of nations wanted her to grace their tables. One journalist, quoted in one of the many books devoted to her, not only raved about her beauty but ‘rated her brains on a par with those of Napoleon, Caesar, Mussolini and Lenin’. Opposed to this pinnacle of glory was her position on my stage. Here was no enthusiast, but a cold-eyed mechanic critical of every movement.

Portrait of Marlene Dietrich for ANGEL directed by Ernst Lubitsch, 1937

If there was any flattery, it was concentrated in a ‘That’s fine, it will do.’ More often she listened to ‘Turn your shoulders away from me and straighten out … Drop your voice an octave and don’t lisp … Count to six and look at that lamp as if you could no longer live without it…Stand where you are and don’t move; the lights are being adjusted’.” One gets the sense that von Sternberg loved the exposure and the success their relationship brought them, but his intimate relationship with Dietrich was becoming increasingly complex. Writer James Hancock describes the connection between screen icon and director in his article ‘The Brilliant Doomed Romance of Marlene Dietrich and Josef Von Sternberg’. The quote from Von Sternberg is from his autobiography FUN IN A CHINESE LAUNDRY.

From left: French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal, US Emb Public Affairs Officer Matt Keener, U.S. Asst. Cultural Affairs Jeanie Duwan, benshi Ichiro Kataoka, Japan Foundation Mla Dir. Hiroaki Uesugi, Shang Ri La Plaza Pres. & GM Lala Fojas, Italian Deputy Head of Mission Fabio Schina, PIA GM Alessandro Milani, British Council Head of Arts & Creative Industries Malaya Del Rosario, Austrian Emb Press & Cultural Officer Zelpha Bombais, Inst Cervantes Cultural Affairs Head Jose Fons and FDCP Exec Dir Wilfredo Manalang. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Filipino audiences have the great privilege of catching a very rare screening of Marlene Dietrich’s early work CAFÉ ELECTRIK with live music by RIVERMAYA in the 11th Silent film festival for free on September 3rd, 3pm at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. Entry/ seats are available on a first come first served basis so check schedules and come an hour early.

The fest running from August 31 to September 3, 2017, features a total of 9 Silent films from 9 different countries accompanied by esteemed musicians from the local scene. Opening the fest is EL GOLFO (1918) from Spain- Instituto Cervantes on 8 PM August 31 with music by TALAHIB.

(center) Instituto Cervantes Director Carlos Madrid with TALAHIB from left: Jaime Hernandez and Burn Belacho; The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

September 1st has Anthony Asquith’s UNDERGROUND (7:30 PM) from the U.K.- British Council with music by GOODLEAF; THE NEW ENCHANTMENT (9:30 PM) from France accompanied by Helouise La Harpe. September 2nd has A PERFECT FAMILY (3 PM) from Italy- Philippine Italian Association / Emb. of Italy with live score by TOM’S STORY; Yasujiro Ozu’s DRAGNET GIRL (5:30PM) from Japan – Japan Foundation with live narration from benshi Ichiro Kataoka and music by THE CELSO ESPEJO RONDALLA; Gym Lumbera’s TAGLISH (8PM) from the Philippines – FILM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES with music by KAPITAN KULAM. September 3rd has CAFÉ ELECTRIK (3PM) from Austria with music by RIVERMAYA; PANDORA’S BOX (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH and Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL (8PM) from the U.S.A with music from FLIPPIN SOUL STOMPERS.

September 2nd – Yasujiro Ozu’s DRAGNET GIRL (5:30PM) from Japan – Japan Foundation with live narration from benshi Ichiro Kataoka and music by THE CELSO ESPEJO RONDALLA. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis

MUST SEE from every country

Every title from every country has its own ‘must see’ attraction. The Japan Foundation for example will bring in a benshi or traditional narrator Ichiro Kataoka combined with the very Filipino classical musical sounds of THE CELSO ESPEJO RONDALLA. They will be performing to DRAGNET GIRL (1933) from one of Japan’s most revered filmmaker in Yasujiro Ozu.

EL GOLFO (1918) from Spain- Instituto Cervantes on 8 PM August 31 with music by TALAHIB. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

The International Silent Film Festival Manila on its 11th edition has garnered some praise from abroad. Pordenone Silent Film Fest programmer and VARIETY film critic Jay Weissberg said, “One of the wonderful things about the festival in Manila is that everything is accompanied by live music exactly in the way these films were originally screened. Music too is an important part of any silent film. The program that you will be seeing is also exceptional. You have wonderful films, one of my favorites Anthony Asquith’s UNDERGROUND a truly terrific drama, thriller. The program goes beyond Europe and the United States of course Japan. And relatively more recent films from the Philippines prove that filmmakers even today are experimenting with the pure visual beauty of what it means to make a silent film as always with live music.”

September 2nd – Gym Lumbera’s TAGLISH (8PM) from the Philippines – FILM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES with music by KAPITAN KULAM. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

Weissberg is referring to the recent work of Gym Lumbera’s TAGLISH (2012) and from Filipino-Italian filmmaker Ruben Maria Soriquez: Una Familia Perfetta A PERFECT FAMILY (2017).

September 2nd – A PERFECT FAMILY (3 PM) from Italy- Philippine Italian Association / Emb. of Italy with live score by TOM’S STORY. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis

Two Female Icons Plus

Two countries have set themselves apart by having a strong female icon in their cast. Austria has CAFÉ ELECTRIK from 1929 with Marlene Dietrich. Viewers have the chance to see a rare glimpse of the screen legend before she achieved stardom.

STYLE ICONS left Louise Brooks and Marlene Dietrich

Dietrich is considered to be the ninth-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema as ranked by the American Film Institute. In the same list on the male side is Buster Keaton ranked 21. One of Keaton’s biggest films THE GENERAL (1926) is also part of this fest as an entry from the U.S.. Soul and funk music from FLIPPIN SOUL STOMPERS will accompany the biggest budget action comedy movie of its era.

September 3rd – Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL (8PM) from the U.S.A with music from FLIPPIN SOUL STOMPERS. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

SANDWICH; FUSION the 1st Phil. Music Festival was held January 30, 2015 just 5 days after the Mamasapano Clash. Photo by Jude Bautista

The second female icon is from a German film: Louise Brooks (as Lulu) stars in George Wilhelm Pabst’s PANDORA’S BOX (1929). Goethe Institut Philippinen has likewise chosen a high stature band in SANDWICH to provide the live score. Both RIVERMAYA and SANDWICH are established Filipino bands with a long list of hits. RIVERMAYA guitarist/vocals Mike Elgar has said that they will be choosing from their library of music and play the best songs to fit the soundtrack for CAFÉ ELECTRIK.

Rivermaya – Mike Elgar; RWM’s Grand Countdown at the Newport Plaza Mall, Dec. 31, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

First Female-to-Female Kiss

Marlene Dietrich was born in December 27, 1901 in Schöneberg, now a district of Berlin. Her screen name is a combination of her given name Marie Magdalene with a nickname Lena. So the pronunciation is MAR-LEE-NA. She came from a cabaret background in 1920s Berlin that was a more open and tolerant scene.

Marlene Dietrich in MOROCCO (1930)

She was used to wearing men’s clothes. She made quite a splash with her Hollywood film MOROCCO (1930) wearing a tuxedo, top hat and tails. She capped off those moments with the first ever female-to-female kiss in the lips on the silver screen. The 30s were also the time when talkies became popular where sound had accompanied film.

Marlene Dietrich added beauty and pizzazz to men’s clothing.

Biographer Steven Bach said, “I still think that’s the most startling star introduction in the history of motion pictures. Marlene was the first great star to be created in the sound era. And how did he (Josef Von Sternberg) do it? She sings a French song from the turn of the century, dressed in men’s clothes. Turns, gives a very obvious lesbian kiss to another woman…This was the Marlene Dietrich he wanted us to remember.”

Marlene Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg

Later on she would deny ever making a silent era film, although she did at least two in Europe. She eschewed being identified with the older silent era stars. “Only Garbot and Gish made silent films , I never..” That’s why her appearance here in the Austrian made CAFÉ ELECTRIK is a very special and rare opportunity for Filipino audiences. They will be able to compare her performance from that time to her more popular and known film work.

Marlene Dietrich in MOROCCO (1930)

Sandwich from left: Mong Alcaraz and Raimund Marasigan performed KAGULO from latest album DEBRIS. PALAKASIN ANG OPM COLLAB Sessions first 12-hour OPM festival was held at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheatre, Bonifacio Global City Taguig last March 14, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

“Adult Themed”

PANDORA’S BOX in 1929 actually predated MOROCCO and was more significant going beyond a mere kiss. Louise Brooks was an American who was cast in a German production. Director George Wilhelm Pabst describes her, “Brooks had both innocence and the ability to project sexuality without coyness or premeditation.” And for the character of Lulu, this magical combination was essential. [From: The Style Essentials: Louise Brooks written by Kimberley Truhler]

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

It would be years later when PANDORA’S BOX would be recognized for breaking barriers: “This film is notable for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores, including one of the first screen portrayals of a lesbian. Brooks then starred in the controversial social drama Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), based on the book by Margarete Böhme and also directed by Pabst, and Miss Europe (1930) by Italian director Augusto Genina, the latter being filmed in France, and having a famous surprise ending. All these films were heavily censored, as they were very “adult” and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, as well as their social satire.” [From: Louise Brooks Wikiwand]

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

Creatively PANDORA’S BOX was also considered as a landmark achievement in terms of the visuals. The lighting, mood made it a precursor to the famous film noir genre. Kimberley Truhler writes, “G.W. Pabst is a legend of early cinema. The composition of his shots was elegant and ahead of its time, especially when combined with the lighting of cinematographer Gunther Krampf. Together they used shadows to create drama and, especially toward the end of Pandora’s Box, a somewhat sinister mood. Some scenes in the movie included filtering light through window blinds, which would later become a staple of film noir style. In the 1930s, directors like Josef von Sternberg continued to refine the look; his cinematography with Lee Garmes and James Wong Howe for 1932’s Shanghai Express, for example, shows even more of the evolution. And when film noir hit its stride in the 1940s, directors Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity), Carol Reed (The Third Man), Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce), and Alfred Hitchcock (Notorious) all admitted their admiration for Pabst and Pandora’s Box. “There’s no question,” says Film Noir Foundation founder Eddie Muller, “that German Expressionism was one of the strongest roots from which film noir grew.” [ from: The Style Essentials: Louise Brooks written by Kimberley Truhler]

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

Bob Cut and Jean Patou

Louise Brooks had a unique style all her own. She had a very distinctive short bob cut that became a trend and was copied by other actresses of her time. But its impact can still be seen today, such as Katie Holmes and Linda Evangelista. “Other fashion trends that stem from the movie include Jean Patou’s tank dress, which became a staple of 1930s style and resurged in popularity once again in the 1990s. Pandora’s Box fan Calvin Klein included them in collection after collection that decade. And Prada is still remembered for dressing Uma Thurman in one for the 1995 Academy Awards. At this year’s Oscars, we saw another 20s-30s trend with jewelry draped down the back of some stars, which brought to mind Patou’s bejeweled razor back dress for Lulu.”

[ from: The Style Essentials: Louise Brooks written by Kimberley Truhler]

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

The same article continues, “Lending to Lulu’s seduction are the all-important costumes of Pandora’s Box. Though the wardrobe was overseen by (and credited to) Art Director Gottleib Hesch, Louise’s clothes were courtesy of Jean Patou. Patou is one of the legendary European couturiers of the early 20th century, already dressing Louise and other international stars such as Gloria Swanson both onscreen and off. Along with Coco Chanel, he is considered the inventor of our modern casual attire, especially in the area of sportswear.”

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

Rivermaya-Mark Escueta; RWM’s Grand Countdown at the Newport Plaza Mall, Dec. 31, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Portrait of Marlene Dietrich by Cecil Beaton, 1935

Sewing Circle

Both Louise Brooks and Marlene Dietrich were known to have many lovers, men and women. But they seem to prefer men, having a greater number and more intimate male sexual relationships. Dietrich’s biographers seem to agree with this and in Brooks’ case her own memoirs.

But it’s the lesbian angle that seems to titillate a lot of fans, even historians who have studied their lives. For example, Dietrich’s female lovers have included a lot of high society names, movers and shakers in Hollywood.

from left: Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, and Lili Damita, 1930’s

“Sewing circle was a phrase used by Dietrich to describe the underground, closeted lesbian and bisexual film actresses and their relationships in Hollywood. In the supposed “Marlene’s Sewing Circle” are mentioned the names of other close friends such as Ann Warner (the wife of Jack L. Warner, one of the owners of the Warner studios), Lili Damita (an old friend of Marlene’s from Berlin and the wife of Errol Flynn), Claudette Colbert, and Dolores del Río (whom Dietrich considered the most beautiful woman in Hollywood). The French singer Edith Piaf was also one of Dietrich’s closest friends during her stay in Paris in the 1950s, and always rumored something more than friendship between them.” [From: Marlene Dietrich- wikiwand.com]

Portrait of Dolores del Rio in THE FUGITIVE directed by John Ford, 1947

Neither Bi nor Lesbian

The sources for most of Dietrich’s intimate details of her life are from her daughter Maria Riva who wrote tell all book and biographer Steven Bach. Brooks however, was more open about her past, with a few interviews and even through her own writing.

Keene Thompson reads to Louise Brooks on the set of NOW WE’RE IN THE AIR directed by Frank R. Strayer, 1927

“Brooks enjoyed fostering speculation about her sexuality, cultivating friendships with lesbian and bisexual women including Pepi Lederer and Peggy Fears, but eschewing relationships. She admitted to some lesbian dalliances, including a one-night stand with Greta Garbo. She later described Garbo as masculine but a “charming and tender lover”. Despite all this, she considered herself neither lesbian nor bisexual:

Portrait of Greta Garbo for Mata Hari directed by George Fitzmaurice, 1931. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull

I had a lot of fun writing ‘Marion Davies’ Niece’ [an article about Pepi Lederer], leaving the lesbian theme in question marks. All my life it has been fun for me. … When I am dead, I believe that film writers will fasten on the story that I am a lesbian… I have done lots to make it believable […] All my women friends have been lesbians. But that is one point upon which I agree positively with [Christopher] Isherwood: There is no such thing as bisexuality. Ordinary people, although they may accommodate themselves, for reasons of whoring or marriage, are one-sexed. Out of curiosity, I had two affairs with girls – they did nothing for me [From: Louise Brooks – wikiwand.com ]

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

Sandwich from left: Raimund Marasigan, OPM VP Noel Cabangon, Diego Castillo and Mong Alcaraz. PALAKASIN ANG OPM COLLAB Sessions first 12-hour OPM festival was held at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheatre, Bonifacio Global City Taguig last March 14, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Dietrich’s Modern Marriage

Dietrich however, had a rapacious sexual appetite that would make Madonna look ‘Like A Virgin’. Brooks was more just unlucky in love. She was unable to marry the great love of her life in George Marshall. Brooks became a noted film critic and writer later on.

left-Madonna idolized, Marlene Dietrich and included her in the song VOGUE

In 1923 Dietrich married Rudolph Sieber and had her daughter Maria a year later. Maria Riva in an interview for the documentary NO ANGEL – A LIFE OF MARLENE DIETRICH, said, “Ménage trois we understand. But ménage quatre (4) and ménage cinq (5) was very normal in our house.” Steven Bach added, “Dietrich had a famous affair with Douglas Fairbanks and it was reported the two moved in with Rudy (Sieber) and his girl friend. These two were modern people even by today’s standards”.

NO ANGEL – A LIFE OF MARLENE DIETRICH

Dietrich would even show the letters of her lovers to Sieber. He would have a mistress later on in life with the knowledge of Marlene who at one time brought them to California. Sieber and Dietrich although living apart, would remain formally married until the time of his death in 1976.

Marlene Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg

In 1930 she made her first film with Josef Von Sternberg, THE BLUE ANGEL and the same year MOROCCO. The brilliant director was madly in love with her. The problem was she tended to have affairs with co-stars, which broke his heart. They continued to make films 7 in total, some argue is the most successful team up of actor director creatively. Their best work was undoubtedly with each other as Dietrich shot to stardom after MOROCCO.

Portrait of Marlene Dietrich in MOROCCO directed by Josef Von Sternberg, 1930

War Efforts

Because of her fame the Third Reich had offered Dietrich to come back home to Germany and produce propaganda films. To this Dietrich flatly refused despising what the Nazis had done to her homeland.

“In the late 1930s, Dietrich created a fund with Billy Wilder and several other Germans to help Jews and dissidents escape from Germany. In 1937, her entire salary for Knight Without Armor ($450,000) was put into escrow to help the refugees. In 1939, she became an American citizen and renounced her German citizenship. In December 1941, the U.S. entered World War II, and Dietrich became one of the first celebrities to help sell war bonds. She toured the US from January 1942 to September 1943 (appearing before 250,000 troops on the Pacific Coast leg of her tour alone) and was reported to have sold more war bonds than any other star.”

From left: Jean Gabin, Marlene Dietrich and Lucien Nat in MARTIN ROUMAGNAC directed by George Lacombe, 1946

“During two extended tours for the USO in 1944 and 1945, she performed for Allied troops in Algeria, Italy, the UK and France, then went into Germany with Generals James M. Gavin and George S. Patton. When asked why she had done this, in spite of the obvious danger of being within a few kilometers of German lines, she replied, “aus Anstand”—”out of decency”. Wilder later remarked that she was at the front lines more than Eisenhower.” [From: Marlene Dietrich- wikiwand.com]

from left: Eugene Pallette, Anna May Wong, Marlene Dietrich and Clive Brook for Shanghai Express directed by Josef von Sternberg, 1932

For the Cause

The documentary also dealt with her war efforts, “Narrator: It wasn’t just her talent she gave. Fact was she was willing to lay her body for the cause. A dedication extended to fulfilling the servicemen’s fantasies. [Footage of Dietrich surrounded by crowds of servicemen, sometimes crowd surfing them]

Marlene Dietrich as a former cabaret girl had perfect legs photos from movies (left) BLUE ANGEL, (right) MOROCCO.

Riva said, “It was part of the romanticism. If you were going to face death don’t you want to live one time? Really magnificently before you face death? Right? She felt that if a young man, a soldier from Arkansas, the South, somewhere, would sleep with a movie star who was beautiful and giving and loving. Was that not the proper way to prepare for the mourn of his demise?” Narrator: She didn’t restrict herself with enlisted men she had a long affair with James Gavin the youngest general in the army. He was described as a cross between ‘Henry Fonda and Gary Cooper’.

Portrait of Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich for MOROCCO directed by Josef Von Sternberg, 1930

Her affair with Gavin would be the cause of her rift with her long time lover, French man Jean Gabin. Even in later years she was still capable of seducing co-stars. “Ex lover Michael Todd directed AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, the 54 year old Dietrich had 3 others in the cast who claimed to be her old flame: George Raft, David Niven and Frank Sinatra.”

Marlene Dietrich and Jean Gabin in MARTIN ROUMAGNAC directed by George Lacombe, 1946

Proudest Accomplishment

For her War efforts Dietrich received the Medal of Freedom, from the U.S. in November 1947. She said this was her proudest accomplishment. She was also awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government for her wartime work. She would become the first woman and German to receive the Israeli Medallion of Valor in 1965, “in recognition for her courageous adherence to principle and consistent record of friendship for the Jewish people”.

Dietrich was the true embodiment of glamor. To this day we continue to be fascinated with her work in film, as singer and recording artist but even more with how she lived her extraordinary life.

Portrait of Marlene Dietrich by George Hurrell, 1938

The 11th International Silent Film Festival is made possible in partnership with Shangri-La Plaza, Para sa Sining, the National Film Center of The Museum of Modern Art of Tokyo, the Embassies of Italy, Japan, and Spain, Filmoteca de España, Institut Français, JEC Philippines and Marks & Spencer London . All screenings will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Watch and listen as we score the silents again!

For more information on the schedule and inquiries, please check our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/InternationalSilentFilmFestivalManila or you may also check our websites:

Seated from left: US Emb Public Affairs officer Matt Keener, French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal, Inst Cervantes Dir Carlos Madrid, filmmaker Ruben Soriquez, PIA GM Alessandro Milani, Japan Foundation Mla Dir. Hiroaki Uesugi, FDCP Festival Dev. Lead Officer Jo Andrew Torlao, Austrian Emb Press & Cultural Officer Zelpha Bombais, British Council Head of Arts & Creative Industries Malaya Del Rosario, PARA SA SINING Dir. Micah Pinto standing from left: Harpist/vocalist Helouise La Harpe, Tom Naval w Chris De Guzman of TOM’S STORY, Elaine Espejo Cajucom of THE CELSO ESPEJO RONDALLA, Mike Escueta, Ryan Peralta, Nathan Azarcon and Mike Elgar of RIVERMAYA, Bing Austria of FLIPPIN SOUL STOMPERS, Burn Belacho and Jaime Hernandez of TALAHIB, Marco Hecolea and Ranjit Alabas of GOODLEAF, Animator Nikolo Salazar, Goethe Inst Prog Coordinator Shadin Kitma and SOUPSTAR Road Manager Ana Rizella Laura Flores. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

Greta Garbo in ANNA CHRISTIE directed by Clarence Brown, 1931

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from left: French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal, RIVERMAYA’s Mike Elgar, Ryan Peralta, Austrian Emb Press & Cultural Officer Zelpha Bombais and Nathan Azarcon. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Dolores del Río, Basil Rathbone, Gary Cooper and Lili Damita, 1930’s

Goethe-Institut Philippinen

https://www.goethe.de/manila

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Rivermaya – Mike Elgar has selfie with fan. RWM’s Grand Countdown also had a stage at the Newport Plaza Mall, Dec. 31, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, September 3rd (5:30 PM) from Germany – Goethe Institut Philippinen with music by SANDWICH. The 11th Intl. Silent Film Festival is running from Aug. 31- Sept.3, 3017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City. Entrance is free on a first come first served basis.

The 11th International Silent Film Festival is made possible in partnership with Shangri-La Plaza, Para sa Sining, the National Film Center of The Museum of Modern Art of Tokyo, the Embassies of Italy, Japan, and Spain, Filmoteca de España, Institut Français, JEC Philippines and Marks & Spencer London . All screenings will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Watch and listen as we score the silents again!

Rivermaya – Norby David; RWM’s Grand Countdown at the Newport Plaza Mall, Dec. 31, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Marlene Dietrich in THE SCARLET EMPRESS directed by Josef von Sternberg, 1934

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2nd from left OPM Pres. Ogie Alcasid poses w Sandwich from left: Diego Castillo, Mong Alcaraz, Raimund Marasigan and Mike Dizon. PALAKASIN ANG OPM COLLAB Sessions first 12-hour OPM festival was held at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheatre, Bonifacio Global City Taguig last March 14, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Sandwich front man Raymond Marasigan wore a Michael Jackson jacket from Thriller. FUSION the 1st Phil. Music Festival was held January 30, 2015 just 5 days after the Mamasapano Clash. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Latest Threat To Our Democracy

COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista; SAFEGUARDING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, a lecture series for the 2016 Presidential Elections. January 7, 2016, Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila. Photo by Jude Bautista

Disclaimer: the opinions, thoughts, views in this article are solely from the writer, and do not reflect those of COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista and his family. Quotes, sources are highlighted, linked to or acknowledged when relevant. This was originally posted August 10, 2017 but has been revised, rewritten to accommodate newer information.

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus Bautista

I first met COMELEC Chairman Atty. Andres Bautista when I was 14 years old through badminton. He was always just Andy to us. He wasn’t that much older (22); he was like a kuya or older brother. Andy along with his college buddy Vincent Rondaris were looking for a way to de-stress from the pressures of Law school in Ateneo. It was the late 80s, badminton wasn’t popular then. My parents, brothers and I all played together. We all enjoyed his easygoing, lighthearted personality. So much so that we’re still friends even after those years to the 90s, to this day.

That’s why when PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer) broke the screaming headlines last August 7, 2017, Monday of his wife Patricia Paz Bautista accusing him of amassing P1 Billion in hidden wealth we were all shocked and dismayed. Tisha even accused him of emotional and verbal abuse under the acronym: VAW (violence against women). This was something none of us could believe, as I had never even heard him raise his voice against anyone or lose his temper throughout the years of knowing him.

standing from left in red is writer Jude Bautista, 3rd from right COMELEC Chairman Atty. Andy Bautista in a reunion of the badminton group. PCA, January 7, 2016.

PDI had designated a large print space on top for Tisha’s baseless accusations while Andy was given a corner at the bottom about a third of space for his side. As side note, it was indicated that he was making the official statements in the presence of his mother in law and in their residence. If Tisha really were abused, why would her own mother be more supportive of Andy? In spite of this obvious fact that would clearly disprove at least one accusation media, some Senators and congressmen have already pre judged the embattled COMELEC (Commission On Elections) Chairman.

Even PDI, a newspaper I often quote and praise for their reporting, seemed to be too eager in publishing these accusations. Andy, incidentally, used to be a columnist for their rival, the Philippine Star. PDI would make it a banner story the following day as well, publishing slightly more of Andy’s side.

from left: COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista, Lea Salonga and Patricia Paz Bautista in a David Benoit concert February 11, 2010, PICC. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tisha’s own mother Baby Cruz-Vazquez has recently broken her silence and made a statement in support of Andy: “I’ve known Andy for many years. I know him to be an honest man, upright, God-fearing husband and father. He is a man of unquestioned integrity, the kind of man any mother would entrust her daughter to. This is why I cannot believe the accusations against him even if they are from my own daughter.”

Erudite and God fearing

Andy belongs to a very distinguished, erudite and God fearing clan. Former De La Salle University President Brother Rafael Donato was his uncle, the brother of his mother. He was very close to Brother Rafe and was very much affected by his untimely death from a swimming accident. Even when it wasn’t easy for him to do so he made the time to teach in DLSU, Ateneo and even PLM (Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila). He internalized his uncle’s mission of teaching and sacrificing one’s self to help educate others. This is something that Far Eastern University recognized and appreciated. That’s why they made him Dean of their College of Law.

Immediately after getting to the top 5 of the Bar exams he went to Harvard to earn his Doctorate of Laws. By the time he got back to the Philippines he was already working for U.S. based law firm White and Case. He worked in their Hong Kong branch and was instrumental in opening their office here in Manila.

Andy’s own brother Martin is a doctor and sister Susan has lived and worked in the U.S. but is now with the ABS-CBN Foundation specifically in BANTAY BATA. Knowing their brother’s frugal, stingy lifestyle, he was designated as the family treasurer. Their names are among the Luzon Development Bank passbooks that Tisha claims to be evidence of wrongdoing.

ANC Early edition interview of Martin Bautista

Successful Corporate Lawyer

He was already a very successful international corporate lawyer, way before he married her. It wouldn’t be surprising if he had earned or created some sort of wealth for himself, all perfectly legal of course. Although, this is by no means the 1 billion pesos she dreamed of.

What is more believable is that Tisha wants to include her share in all of Andy’s wealth even before the period of their marriage.

Eric Salamat w Atty Andres Bautista who was a Professor of Legal Management in both Ateneo and DLSU. And was the Dean of College of Law at the Far Eastern University. The Blue Eagles were UAAP champions, September 25, 2008. Photo by Jude Bautista

By the time they were married Andy also became the President of the Shang Properties Inc. This is the conglomerate that operates Makati Shang Rila Hotel, Edsa Shang Rila Hotel and Shang Rila Plaza Mall. So, again it is understandable if Andy has gained a certain amount of financial success. Because of his good career record and is admired, respected in legal circles President Noy noy Aquino appointed him as PCGG (Philippine Commission on Good Government) Chair and later on COMELEC Chairman.

Loyalty vs Qualifications

In hindsight, it would’ve been far more lucrative for Andy had he just stayed in the private sector. His life would’ve been easier, less troublesome. But because of his desire to serve the country and sacrifice himself the way that he learned from Bro. Rafe and his family, he chose to work for PCGG and later on COMELEC. There was this idealism that he never lost since the days I met him as law student decades before.

This is not unlike the very accomplished career of Albert Del Rosario who was Director of Metro Pacific Investments Corp and sits on the board of many top corporations and was a former Ambassador before he was appointed as Secretary of the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs). Del Rosario fought for the decision of international court in The Hague to rule in favor of the Philippines with China’s incursion in our territory.

APRIL 2012, then DFA Secretary Albert Del Rosario broke the news to the world of Chinese Navy Vessels escorting Chinese fishermen who illegally harvested, fished many endangered species in Philippine territory. Photo by Jude Bautista read story here: SHOW THE WORLD CHINA’S A BULLY or click on photo

There is this glaring gap between the appointees of President Aquino and current President Duterte who preferred to base them on support during the campaign as opposed to achievements and qualifications. Among them flamenco dancer and actress Liza Diño was appointed FDCP Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairman, whose father is a known supporter of Duterte. Then there’s Mocha Uson from the singing group Mocha Girls with the hit ‘Wag Kang Jejemon’ as Assistant Secretary in the Presidential Communications Office. Uson was also previously appointed to the MTRCB (Movie Television Review and Classification Board)

Hands Not Really Off

The issue of loyalty vs qualifications, loyalty vs independent thinking goes to the very heart of the conflict between Andy and Patricia. When PDI broke the news on Monday August 7, it was about Tisha meeting with President Duterte (July 26) and showing him the passbooks and documents supposedly as evidence of corruption. On August 1, the President met with Andy. The President has gone on to say that he was hands off on the issue between the marital spat.

Meanwhile his supporters/allies, namely DOJ secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Senator Tito Sotto have expressed their intentions of investigating the corruption accusations on Andy from wife Tisha. The possible impeachment or forced resignation of Andy as COMELEC Chairman has lot of political implications. Since Andy has proven to be impartial, objective in his post, the president has no control over him and has a longer tenure.

COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista; SAFEGUARDING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, a lecture series for the 2016 Presidential Elections. January 7, 2016, Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila. Photo by Jude Bautista

There is fear from some quarters that Duterte will take advantage of the situation to wrest control of the COMELEC. Clearly Andy has been objective without partisan biases. That’s why the last election was universally praised with dozens and dozens of international observers who hailed the honest and efficient manner that it was conducted. That’s what’s at stake here now.

They’ve done it before

Previous events give credence to this fear. In 2014, Vice President Binay was leading the Presidential polls. Senator Allan Peter Cayetano then led a hearing into the investigation of corruption charges against Binay. The VP would never recover again in the polls after that. Cayetano’s motives would not have been questioned except for the fact that he became the running mate of Mayor Duterte. He was seen as ‘paving the way’ for Duterte in the presidential elections in 2016. As reward Cayetano was appointed DFA Secretary.

 

Democratic System of Checks and Balances

Democracy in the Philippines is very much threatened. Democracy isn’t just about individual rights, although we ALL know how much President Duterte values it. His famous quote being ‘Human rights? AMBOT!’ (Roughly translated from Visayan: Whatever). House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has already threatened ‘to strangle the Commission on Human Rights budget to the point of the agency not being able to operate and exist anymore’. This was after President Duterte wanted the CHR abolished. (from Rappler.com: Give CHR zero budget if it cannot be abolished – Alvarez)

Democracy is also about the natural checks and balances of the main branches of government: the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. That’s why Trump and Duterte don’t understand why a Supreme Court judge ruling sometimes curtails their powers as president. Or when Trump can’t just ram through his legislative agenda in the U.S. congress and senate.

According to Britannica.com : The framers of the U.S. Constitution, who were influenced by Montesquieu and William Blackstone among others, saw checks and balances as essential for the security of liberty under the Constitution: “It is by balancing each of these powers against the other two, that the efforts in human nature toward tyranny can alone be checked and restrained, and any degree of freedom preserved in the constitution” (John Adams).

Presidents don’t have absolute power for a reason.

Human Rights Watch executive Director Kenneth Roth writes, “Unfettered majoritarianism, and the attacks on the system of checks and balances that keep governmental power constrained by rights and the rule of law, is perhaps the greatest danger today to the future of Western democracies.”

Here in the Philippines it’s already far worse.

Lower House Control

We have both the Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez and majority house leader in Cong. Rodolfo Fariñas who are known and proven to be Duterte’s strongest allies.

From Rappler article Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s lieutenant at the House :

‘He has the backing of the 250 members of the House supermajority, their sheer number giving Alvarez comfort that Duterte’s pet bills could be passed under his watch…His anointment as House Speaker by the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) was not a surprise. Alvarez, after all, played a crucial role in Duterte’s rise to the presidency.’

The same article states: ‘Alvarez, PDP-Laban’s secretary-general, convinced his party to have one member – Martin Diño – file his certificate of candidacy (COC) on the last day to give Duterte another shot at being president.’ This is the same Martin Diño, whose daughter Liza Diño was appointed FDCP Chair as mentioned earlier.

VACC Connection

The connection with Martin Diño in this case is also relevant as he is the former Chairman of the VACC. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption is the same organization that has filed impeachment cases against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno AND COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista. (From Rappler article: VACC starts impeachment case buildup vs Chairman Bautista) They also filed the criminal case against Senator Leila De Lima, long time critic of President Duterte that led to her arrest. (From ABS CBN News: VACC insists case vs De Lima is ‘strong’)

Current VACC Chairman and founder Dante Jimenez has himself said: Ang VACC at si President Duterte iisang pusod lang ang hinuhugotan e: anti crime, anti corruption, anti-illegal drugs. My brother was killed by a drug syndicate…Matagal ko na siyang kaibigan” [Pres. Duterte and the VACC are joined at the hip for the same causes… He is a long time friend.]

This is from an interview of Dante Jimenez on UNTV’s Get it Straight.

Facts speak for themselves. While President Duterte says he is ‘hands off’ on the marital spat, his appointee in DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has expressed intentions in investigating Andy Bautista. (Philstar: DOJ Expands Probe on COMELEC Chief)

The VACC an organization that has close ties with Duterte has already filed an impeachment case against Bautista in the lower House that happens to have a Speaker identified as a Duterte ‘Lieutenant’ in Pantaleon Alvarez, with ‘supermajority’ leader Rodolfo Fariñas.

In the upper house Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III has initiated an investigation on Bautista. “Sotto said he filed Senate Resolution 456 for the purpose of coming up with appropriate amendments to Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.” [From GMA NEWS ONLINE: Sotto: No politics in seeking Senate probe on allegations vs. Comelec chief ]

COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales at the launch of coffee table book THE CARPIOS OF PAOAY, authored by the Ombudsman. Manila Hotel, January 7, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Impartial Judiciary

Our Judiciary has independent minds, so judges are maligned. Our president has repeatedly criticized Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. He also has an ongoing word war with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. They are both women with unquestionable integrity and sharp legal minds, who won’t cave in to his whims or close their eyes to the many extra judicial killings and possible cases against the policemen who have perpetrated them. The supposed arrest of Mayor Parujinog that led to his death is only the latest among high profile figures.

Now people are up in arms with the killing of Kian Lloyd De los Santos, the 17 year old who was accused as a drug runner. Seeing the reaction, the President said “Intel is intel. So, if there is no probative value, how can you use it in court and to the people? Those are just information gathered by the police and the military. It is an internal thing… Maya-maya mali iyan (it may even be wrong).” [from philstar.com Duterte: Police intel on Kian could be wrong]

Kill 1,000, I’ll Protect You

His reaction to the Kian case contradicts his famous July 2016 statement, “Do your duty, and if in the process you kill one thousand persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you. And if they try to impeach me, I will hurry the process and we will go out of the service together” [from philstar.com: Duterte to PNP: Kill 1,000, I’ll protect you]

COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales at the launch of coffee table book THE CARPIOS OF PAOAY, authored by the Ombudsman. Manila Hotel, January 7, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

The inconsistencies in his statements, underline his combative stance against members of the judiciary. In his word war against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales he said, “I will not allow my men to go there to be investigated. Human Rights Commission, you address your request through me because the Armed Forces is under me and the police is under me. And for the Ombudsman to refrain from citing them in contempt for what? Because I have the authority to give the final say whether they will attend (an investigation) or not.” [from Inquirer.net : Ombudsman Morales tells Duterte: Anong Pakialam Niya?]

Consequences

In summary, President Duterte’s Lieutenant (coined by Rappler) Pantaleon Alvarez is Speaker of the House, with Rodolfo Fariñas as head of a ‘supermajority’. The President has a combative stance against members of the Judiciary as enumerated above. And an organization that has admitted close ties with the President, the VACC, has filed impeachment cases against Chief Justice Sereno, COMELEC Chair Andy Bautista and previous to that a Senator in Leila De Lima who has had a long history of criticizing Duterte.

ABS-CBN reporter Ron Gagalac with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales at the launch of coffee table book THE CARPIOS OF PAOAY, authored by the Ombudsman. Manila Hotel, January 7, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

In a truly progressive, mature democracy, the more independent the branches of government (Executive, Judiciary and Legislative) are from each other, the stronger the system of checks and balances. They are there to counter as John Adams puts it ‘efforts in human nature toward tyranny.’

The COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS is one such sensitive agency of government that has to be completely independent of the pressures and powers of the president.

Even if he is impeached or if he resigns Andy Bautista will not be the biggest loser here, it is our country. He came from a more lucrative private practice to serve the people. He has taken more stress, criticism and flak than he ever would if he just stayed as a successful international corporate lawyer.

If President Duterte appoints his own COMELEC Chair it will further weaken the system of checks and balances that is supposed to be inherent to our democracy. The possible impeachment and or resignation of Atty. Andres Bautista is the latest threat to our already weakened democracy.

COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista; SAFEGUARDING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, a lecture series for the 2016 Presidential Elections. January 7, 2016, Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sources:

(not yet complete but will be updated)

http://www.rappler.com/nation/138296-duterte-pnp-duty-die-for-you

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/918386/ombudsman-morales-tells-duterte-anong-pakialam-niya

http://www.rappler.com/nation/175857-duterte-ombudsman-morales-shut-up-not-be-like-obama

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/22/1731654/duterte-police-intel-kian-could-be-wrong

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/924713/philippine-national-police-kian-loyd-delos-santos-president-rodrigo-duterte-drug-runner-war-on-drugs-police-anti-drug-operation

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/919799/duterte-allies-foiled-in-bid-to-impeach-sereno

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/tag/chief-justice-maria-lourdes-sereno

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/899852/full-text-cj-sereno-these-are-times-when-everything-that-can-be-shaken-is-being-shaken

https://judebgallery.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/show-the-world-chinas-a-bully/


Hoy! Say Moh! Soxie Topacio!

Soxie Topacio; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

The first time I met Soxie Topacio was a few years back in PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association). He was directing HIMALA the Musical and was there for a rehearsal. Naturally he was barking directions left and right. But as soon as you start talking to him he had a ready smile was warm and accommodating. Although the only time he could spare for a brief interview was through a cigarette break. I told him I remembered his work in DUPLEX on TV and that made him smile.

from left: Composer and Musical Director Vincent De Jesus, Angeli Bayani (Ensemble), Director Soxie Topacio, Ricky Lee (Librettist) and Bong Cabrera (Mayor). HIMALA The Musical had a successful 10th Anniversary run at PETA in March 24, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

When news broke last July 21, 2017 that Soxie Topacio had passed away from pneumonia and complications from lung cancer, I was genuinely shocked. I did not know that he was diagnosed with lung cancer as reported by PDI.

Soxie Topacio & Cynthia Guico; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

During PETA’s 50th Anniversary in April he was in high spirits, hosting, singing on stage, I couldn’t imagine him being sick. Although I did notice he was wearing a hat that did hide the loss of his silver hair.

from right: Soxie Topacio, Joel Lamangan, Dessa Quesada-Palm, CB Garrucho, and Beng Cabangon. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

But during Philstage’s GAWAD BUHAY awards in May, I did notice he was more frail. He seemed less energetic and didn’t even bother to wear a hat. That night was special because they were able to give a glowing tribute to the work of the consummate thespian, teacher, writer and director of stage, TV and film.

Soxie Topacio and nephew Rendell Topacio wait for the opening curtain. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

A lot of credit should be given to PHILSTAGE Pres. Audie Gemora and the jury for having the foresight of giving him the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY award (Lifetime Achievement award). PHILSTAGE is an association which counts the most prestigious theater productions, dance groups and companies among its members. The PHILSTAGE jury consists of Vlad Bunoan, Gibbs Cadiz, Glenn Mas, Elka Requinta, Jovy Zarate, Ralph Galan, Steve Villaruz, Martin Lopez, Chantal Primero, Romano Jorge, Tats Manahan, Ricky Toledo, Chito Vijandre Cora Llamas, Vincent Gregory Yu, Fred Hawson and Philip Cu-Unjieng.

Clockwise from right: PETA Founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Repertory Phil. Founder / Chair Emeritus Baby Barredo, Rep Pres. & CEO Mindy Perez-Rubio, PHILSTAGE Pres. Audie Gemora. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

PETA was then able to produce an admirable tribute for that segment of the awards show. A wonderful script written by Phil Noble encapsulated Soxie’s colorful career. Which was brought to life by Norbs Portales, a young actor of PETA whom he had mentored. Norbs channeled his inner Soxie and portrayed the famous character Nene from DUPLEX and IT’S A DEAL. Shows that were enumerated by INTERAKSYON and also his most recent TV work.

Norbs Portales performed as Soxie Topacio in the role of Nene. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nene or Neneng is the Filipino term for young girl, while Soxie at the time (80s) was an overweight gay man. So his TV name alone was comedy gold. Norbs used the flamboyant voice that made Soxie famous complete with replacing ‘s’ with th and z’s much like a homosexual Elmer Fudd from Looney Tunes.

right: Norbs Portales reminded us how hilariously funny Soxie was as a comedian. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

We learned in such a casual, hilarious way how National Artist for film Lino Brocka was one of the people who helped Soxie break into TV and film. We learned how PETA founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez inspired him and others to give of themselves and their art for the country.

National Artist for film Lino Brocka

We were laughing so hard that the message of his sacrifice and contributions went straight to our hearts. So it was really no surprise when the Ramon Magsaysay Awards considered as the Nobel Peace Prize of Asia, included among its awardees PETA- as an organization. The awardees were announced just this week, July 28. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Soxie Topacio passed away just over a week before.

A young Cecile Guidote established PETA in 1967. Soxie Topacio joined in 1969 at age 17 and was soon conducting theater and acting workshops in the remotest and poorest parts of the country.

God and man conspired to give Soxie a huge send off in recognition of his life and work. He would be so proud that PETA is honored in this way. He played no small part in that as member since 1969.

Soxie Topacio was given the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Included below is the tribute during the Gawad Buhay awards written by Phil Noble and co-written / performed by Norbs Portales as Nene (Soxie’s famous TV character). Immediately after the performance by Norbs he called Soxie on stage who sang ALAY NG LUMIKHA, one of the PETA anthems with playwright Rody Vera and a half dozen members.

Soxie Topacio was given the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Then also included below is Soxie’s acceptance speech where we learn from his own words his personal journey. He relates the experience of conducting (with other PETA members) acting workshops in war torn villages, victims and fighters for varying causes, even the urban poor. His speech puts everything into clear perspective. This is especially valid given Pres. Duterte’s most recent mindless, brash statement of ‘bombing Lumad schools’ as NPA sympathizers or hot bed of NPA recruitment. Soxie’s experiences in Cagayan De Oro and many other remote areas bring to light that they are themselves victims of violence.

PETA Pres. CB Garrucho; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Through his speech we find out exactly how and why PETA deserves the Ramon Magsaysay Award. Mother Soxie’s personal evolution and growth as teacher-artist is just one example of PETA’s mission.

Thank you to PHILSTAGE organizers of Gawad Buhay, Thank you Soxie Topacio, thank you and congratulations to PETA.

Read on enjoy, laugh, reflect and be inspired.

Norbs Portales performed as Soxie Topacio in the role of Nene. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

GAWAD BUHAY/PETA Tribute

Written by Phil Noble

Norbs Portales as Soxie in the role of Nene

Hoy! Saaay mooooh?

Diyan talaga ako na kilala ng buong Pilipinas. Bilang si Nene noong 80s sa DUPLEX. Oy ako lang naman ang baklang kapitbahay ni Ading Fernando, also known as Daddy Groovy. Pang Gulo! Chismosa!! Laging bisita wala akong bahaay. Ang saya.

Norbs Portales performed as Soxie Topacio in the role of Nene. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sa PETA talaga ako nagsimula. Fresh na fresh pa ko. Virgin na virgin. 17 years old ay ka tagal na yoon. Actually meron nagpakuha yung PETA meron daw event. Opening sa Paco park bibigyan ng award si Paul Dungol. Naku galit ako noon. Sabi ba naman ni Nonon Padilla, “Nasan na mga Putang Inang taga Araullo High School na yan?”

Aaay ayaw namin noon kami na inimbitahan kami pa yung minumura?

left: Soxie Topacio had an unforgettable run in with Theater director Nonon Padilla (right), in his first encounter with PETA.

Pero ganoon talaga sa PETA murahan. Ayon we taped, we performed. Tapos nung nasa U.P. nako nakasalubong ko si Nonon Padilla. Eto nagmura sakin noon e.

Do you study here?

O yung minura mo dati! Ano?

If you have time and you want to audition go to the 4th floor.

On video wall is Maryrose Raj who played Josephine Bracken in PETA’s RIZAL.

Haaa? Na tense naman akooh! Na punta ako ng Fort Santiago. Na star struck ako kasi yung gaganap na artista kay Jose Rizal si Dindo Fernando! Si Josephine Bracken, si Rosemary Raj! Ha! Join akoh.

Since then I stayed. In one season ang dami kong ginawa: nag SM ako, nag Sound ako,

Nag Voice ako at nag artista ako. Lahat yan sabay sabay nakakaloka!

Actress Melvi Pacubas, one of many teacher-artists like direk Soxie in the early years of PETA.

Ginagabi na kami, wala kaming sweldo. Humihingi lang ako ng pera sa Nanay at Tatay ko. Go!

Alam mo sunod sunod nakapag direk ako. Una ANG PIGING, 1973, at sunod sunod na. Mga memorable plays ko MAKLI-ING DULAG. Isipin niyo ha, sa opening scene pa lang sumisigaw na si Joel Lamangan, “Pumasok kayo! Pumasok kayo!”

from left: Me Ann Espinosa, Soxie Topacio, Mae Paner and Joel Lamangan; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Kaming mga audience Ha? Ha? Ha? Mga audience ka sali pala sa play!

Eto pa 1896 ang first true musical ng PETA. Pati si Ariel Rivera pina kanta ko!

On video wall is Ariel Rivera from PETA’s 1896.

MINSA’Y ISANG GAMO GAMO, first play ni Ate Guy. Pag pasok ba naman sa unang rehearsal, BOOM! Drop script na loka yung mga taga PETA di kinaya.

My friends in PETA sila talaga yung nagdala sakin sa mundo ng TV at pelikula.

Nora Aunor was cast in PETA’s MINSA’Y ISANG GAMO GAMO

Pano kamo e pag na busy sila, ENTER frame ako. Tumawag ang ABS ‘Yes hello busy po si direk Lino Brocka kayo lang po ang pwede pumalit sa kanya’. Tumawag ako kay Lino ano ito? Sabi naman ni Lino Brocka, “Oo lang ng oo tanggapin mo na.”

Sabi ko naman Ahh Ok sige. At nakapag sunod sunod na. Nakapag direk ako BABAE. Sunod sunod na sa TV kay Rosa Rosal, Tanghalan at nakapag direk na rin ako sa pelikula.

Norbs Portales performed as Soxie Topacio in the role of Nene. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Favorite ko siyempre DED NA SI LOLO na Oscar hehehe.

Kasi I have friends who gave me opportunities. And that made me.

PETA Mgt Committee seated from right: CB Garrucho, Maribel Legarda, Beng Cabangon, Queng Reyles, Marichu Belarmino and Anj Heruela. Standing from right: Bong Billones, Gail Billones, Leloi Arcete, Julie Bautista, Melvin Lee and Pamela Ovejas. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Alam niyo? Si Lino talaga ang dahilan kung pano ako naging Executive Director ng PETA. Pano kamo? Sabi niya, Hatiin natin ang organisasyon hindi pwedeng one man rule lang. So ako, si Gardy (Labad), si Nonon ako yung Executive Director so after 2 years tumawag ba naman sakin. Hello Soxie, busy ako ikaw na bahala sa PETA ha? Tawag ka na lang pag kelangan niyo ng pera.

Nakaka LOKA! Haaay! Haay! Hay!

Norbs Portales performed as Soxie Topacio in the role of Nene. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pero ma kwento ko sa inyo. Mula sa pagiging stand up comedian, sa pagiging artista at sa pagiging director sa stage, sa TV, sa pelikula alam niyo kung ano ang inspirasyon koh? Ay mga bata kami sinabi ni Cecile sa amin:

“You only live once! Yan ba ang kontribusyon mo sa bayang ito???”

TI-NA-MA-AN akooh! HENDE ko naman na Entindihan! Asan na ngayon si Mama?

Honorees from left: Repertory Phil. Founder / Chair Emeritus Baby Barredo & PETA Founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nag eskapo sa Amerika na iwan kami. Na wa kami lahat. Kelangan ko tuloy sa workshop e di workshop sa Cebu, sa Escalante, sa mga manggagawa. Naka salamuha sa lahat ng uri ng tao.

Ay doon ko lang na realize di pala pwedeng sarili lang. Hindi pwedeng ka eskwela lang, di pwedeng kapit bahay lang. DAPAT buooong bayaan?

Simula noon yon ang pinahahawakan ko sa LAHAT ng mga gawain ko.

Direk Soxie is grateful to all past and current PETA members. Each of them teacher-artists in their own right. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ang sining ko ay para sa BAYAN KO.

At yon, yon ang panata ko.

Ako si Soxie Topacio, magandang gabi na lang sa inyooh!

AT tinatawagan ang totoong Soxie Topacio si Soxie Topacio!

Soxie Topacio was given the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Soxie Topacio acceptance speech for the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY AWARD

Nais kong pa salamatan ang Philstage for giving me this award. Ang piliin ka ng kapwa mo Theater artist ay isang malaking karangalan para sa akin. Nais ko ring pa salamatan ang lahat naging kasapi ng PETA noon hanggang ngayon. Dahil kayo ang humubog sa aking pagkatao. Gayun din ang mga workshop participants ng PETA sa mga nagdaang maraming taon.

PHILSTAGE Pres. Audie Gemora & VP Maribel Legarda; The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Bukod sa PETA nais kong pa salamatan ang mga ibang theater groups na naka trabaho ko. Tulad ng Gantimpala, U.P. Rep, Teatro Tomasino, Sining Kambayoka, U.E. Dramatic Club, Kulturang Atin Foundation at marami pang iba.

Actor / director Nonon Padilla, one of many teacher-artists like direk Soxie in the early years of PETA.

Noong sumali ako sa PETA ay 17 years old ako. That was the year 1969. Noong panahon na yon ang U.P. Campus ay punong puno ng mga kaganapan. Kabikabilang boycott, mass action, walk out. Eto ang tinaguriang First quarter storm.

At sa gitna ng lahat ng mga rally na ito ay na saan ako?

Sa loob ng sinehan.

foreground from left: Carlon Matobato and Gio Gahol; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Hindi ako naging interesado sa political events na nangyayari sa bayan. Kasi ang alam ko lang, ang iniikutan ng buhay ko ang pamilya ko. Pero nung sumali ako sa PETA nagbago ang takbo ng buhay ko.

Tuwing nagrerehearse kami o kaya may hindi na gustohan ni Cecille Guidote. Lagi niyang sasabihin. “You only live once. And for that one life what is your contribution to your country?”

Michael Odoemene and Neomi Gonzales; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Matagal kong inisip ang mga sinabi ni Cecile. It took many years for me to discover the answer to it. When Cecile left we lost a leader who knows everything. What play to put up, where to get the funds, when will be the next workshop? Mabuti na lang through the help of other PETA members we were able to revive the company.

from left: PETA Executive Director Beng Cabangon and President CB Garrucho. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

AT mula noon na assign nako ng PETA sa iba’t ibang workshop sa probinsya. Kami ni Brenda ay nagworkshop sa Cagayan De Oro sa liblib na pook sa kabundukan. Halos lahat ng participants namin ay na matayan ng ama, kapatid at ina. Sa araw ng workshop kami nga lang ang tao.

Soxie Topacio; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pero pag dumating ng dilim ang dami ng tao sa paligid. Nang tinanong ko kung saan sila galing, sabi ng organizer mga NPA sila. Ang mga anak at kapatid nila ang mga estudyante ninyo. Kaya pala ganoon ka bigat ang mga kwento nila, sa improvisation.

Sa Kalinga Apayao ang mga estyudante namin ay patuloy ipinaglalaban na hwag itayo ang Chico Dam na maglulubog sa kanilang ancestral homes.

A young Nanding Josef in KALINGA directed by Soxie Topacio.

Sa Ilo ilo na turuan kami ng mga mangingisda paano awitan ang mga isda para madali silang mahuli.

Sa Smokey Mountain di ko akalain ganoon katatapang ang mga bata. Grabe mag mura at marami pang ibang workshop. Sa workshop di man sila naging artista, pero na bigyan sila ng pamamaraan para maisawalat nila ang ka nilang mga loobin. Na isasadula nila nag kanilang mga hinaing.

from left: Joel Lamangan, Soxie Topacio and Mae Paner; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Na isip ko ito ba ang kasagutan sa tanong ni Cecile? Ang tumulong ako sa mga taong na aapi? Para magka boses sila at I realized hindi lang sa workshop ko na kita ang layuning kong ito.

Kahit sa mga dulang na gawa ko ay na bigyan ko sila ng boses. Sa JOE HILL binigyan ko ng laya ng manggagawa at masabi kanilang hinaing. Sa MAKLI-ING DULAG pinakita ko ang paglalaban ng mga Kalinga. Sa MARIANG ALIW na ipakita ang sakit at sama ng loob ng mga prostitute. Sa NOLI AT FILI DEKADA 2000, pinakita namin ang walang habas na sakuna na dulot ng illegal logging. At marami pang iba.

May Bayot (Elsa) is smothered by devotees. HIMALA had a successful 10th Anniversary run at PETA in March 24, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Dito sa mga dulang ito at mga workshop na ginawa ko ay na kita ko ang aking misyon sa buhay. Isang buhay na iaaalay ko para sa bayan. Pati sa pagdarasal ko ay para sa PETA at sa mga kasama. Noon ko na realize di lang political ang misyon ko, spiritual din. Again Maraming Salamat.

from left: Joel Lamangan, Soxie Topacio and Jess Evardone. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Additional Sources:

Makisama ka, hindi ka star dito: Why Soxie Topacio was Mother Soxie to All by Totel De Jesus

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/269421/makisama-ka-hindi-ka-star-dito-soxie-topacio-mother-soxie/

 

Theater pillar Soxie Topacio, 65, passes away by Gibbs Cadiz and Totel De Jesus

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/268948/theater-pillar-soxie-topacio-65-passes-away-2/

 

SALAMAT, SOXIE | Remembering Soxie Topacio, artist and entertainer by Edwin Sallan

http://www.interaksyon.com/salamat-soxie-remembering-soxie-topacio-artist-and-entertainer/

Soxie Topacio was given the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Director Soxie Topacio, Librettist Vincent De Jesus, Cynthia Culig-Guico (Chayong), Joy Virata of REP and Lionel Guico (Pari). HIMALA The Musical had a successful 10th Anniversary run at PETA in March 24, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Joel Lamangan and Soxie Topacio; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

tumblr:

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Playwright Rody Vera gave a riveting vocal performance. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

9th Gawad Buhay scriptwriter Dennis Marasigan who like Soxie is a writer, actor and director for stage and film. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

from left: Joel Lamangan and Soxie Topacio; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Host Jon Santos; The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

http://judebautista.tumblr.com/

Cynthia and Lionel Guico; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

Norbs Portales performed as Soxie Topacio in the role of Nene. The 9th PHILSTAGE GAWAD BUHAY was held May 10, 2017 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Cris Gonzales and Soxie Topacio; SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Direk Soxie is grateful to all past and current PETA members. Each of them teacher-artists in their own right. SINGKWENTA PETA’s 50th Anniversary Concert was held April 7 & 8, 2017 at the PETA Theater Center. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Lines On The Hand

Artist Michelle Pauline Lim

A poem by

Jude Bautista

My Delicate Rose,

Noel and Rachel Bautista; Balesin Island, Philippines June 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Each line of the skin is for every time

you hold this hand in yours

Cris Villonco and Bernardo Bernardo in DEAR AND UNHAPPY part of VIRGIN LAB FEST, which ran from June 28-July 16, 2017 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

Words can only do so much

my feelings are known by touch

from left: Dolly De Leon and Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo in SI DOLLY DALISAY AT MGA LADYBUGS part of VIRGIN LAB FEST, which ran from June 28- July 16, 2017 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

The mind’s distress can sometimes

be eased by my caress

from left: Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo and Dolly De Leon in SI DOLLY DALISAY AT MGA LADYBUGS part of VIRGIN LAB FEST, which ran from June 28- July 16, 2017 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

We argue over nothing turning

to fighting over everything

from left: Dolly De Leon and Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo in SI DOLLY DALISAY AT MGA LADYBUGS part of VIRGIN LAB FEST, which ran from June 28- July 16, 2017 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

You kiss this hand and make

my heart yours again

Cris Villonco in DEAR AND UNHAPPY part of VIRGIN LAB FEST, which ran from June 28- July 16, 2017 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

The lines twist and turn for

the trials that we face

Cris Villonco in DEAR AND UNHAPPY part of VIRGIN LAB FEST, which ran from June 28- July 16, 2017 at the CCP. Photo by Jude Bautista

The curves form a flower

on a vine that blooms

Noel and Rachel Bautista; Balesin Island, Philippines June 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

This hand is an extension not

of my body but my love

Artist Michelle Pauline Lim


Endearing HER LOVE BOILS BATH WATER

from left: Rie Miyazawa (Futaba Sachino) and Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino) © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

My Warmth, you inspire me.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Azumi (Hana Sugisaki) is the best illustrator in art class quietly working on a painting. Mean girls suddenly descended on her like birds of prey. They grabbed tubes of paint and started squeezing them on her palette. Out of desperation Azumi grabs the tray out of their hands.

Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino) is surrounded by bullies. © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Next scene her mother Futaba (Rie Miyazawa) gets a call from the principal, there’s trouble with Azumi. Futaba sees Azumi with paint all over her face and clothes. Principal says, “She claims she did it herself.” After another incident of bullying, Azumi retreats to her bed hiding under the covers. Futaba pulls the blanket, “Stand up for yourself! You have to face them.” In tears Azumi says, “ I’m inferior to everyone else. I’m not like you at all.” Futaba says in exasperation, “We’re no different you and me. Where do you think my strength comes from if not you?”

from left: ‘HER LOVE..’ Director Riyota Nakano , FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño, Japan Foundation Director Hiroaki Uesugi, Shang Rila Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas and Emb of Japan Minister Atsushi Kuwabara. Catch HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista.

HER LOVE BOILS BATH WATER is just one of 20 titles in the 20th Eiga Sai Film Festival running in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017. Tickets are at the cost effective rate of only P100 each. After the Shang Plaza Mall run screenings will continue at the U.P Film Center, CCP Little Theater and move on to Davao, Cebu, Baguio, Bacolod and Ilo-ilo until August 29, 2017. For exact schedules and updates log on to the official JFF | EIGASAI Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/eigasaiPH

HER LOVE… Writer Director Ryota Nakano was at the opening last July 6th at Shang Cineplex to grace the event and discuss details of the film with moviegoers and Pinoy filmmakers.

‘HER LOVE..’ Director Riyota Nakano; Catch HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista.

HER LOVE BOILS BATH WATER 湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛 has earned numerous prestigious awards: BEST PICTURE, BEST SCREENPLAY from 41st Hochi Awards, 26th Japanese Movie Critics Awards, and BEST ACTRESS (Rie Miyazawa) and BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (Hana Sugisaki) from 40th Japan Academy Prize, to name a few.

Rie Miyazawa as Futaba Sachino © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

This is one of the most touching stories of maternal love and sacrifice perfect for all ages. The strong familial bond is something that Filipino audiences can easily relate to. The rich Japanese culture, traditions are in full display especially when they go on a road trip seeing the most iconic landmarks such as Mount Fuji and eating deep sea crabs in the Northwest region.

Film star Rie Miyazawa plays Futaba Sachino who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has only a few months to live. Struggling to raise her teenage daughter Azumi, she decides to look for her estranged husband who abandoned them years before. In order to support the family Futaba reopens the old bathhouse in their property. Each character has his or her secret tragedy and pain. They learn that the only way to cope is to lean on each other as a family.

from left: Rie Miyazawa (Futaba Sachino), Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino), Aoi Itō (Ayuko Katase) and Joe Odagiri (Kazuhiro Sachino) © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

In the Philippines, just days before the opening of Eiga Sai, there was a news report of an infant left at the NAIA airport. The infant was found in the male restroom, but was otherwise healthy and unharmed. This is an indication of the reality that parents do abandon their children, in some cases even abuse and harm them. One can only imagine the experience of this child growing up, not knowing his birthparents. HER LOVE… allows us an intimate look into how a child who was abandoned struggles with identity and how this longing to know one’s parents is carried throughout life.

Aoi Itō as Ayuko Katase © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Consummate Actress

Rie Miyazawa is one of the most recognizable Japanese actresses and also the most awarded. She starred in last year’s Eiga Sai opening film PALE MOON where she played a middle-aged bank employee who has an affair with a college student. This time she is the strong-minded and independent Futaba. This is the strength of character that allows her to raise her daughter on her own even when her husband leaves her. She is very believable not because she seems emotionally invincible. In spite of her weak moments when she cries, she soldiers on and overcomes.

Rie Miyazawa as Futaba Sachino © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Rie excels in the little moments when she can’t help but be an affectionate person not just to her own family but to people in general. In one scene she pulls the chin hair of Private Investigator Takimoto (Tarō Suruga) and wipes the cheek of his adorable daughter Mayu. Her character immediately endears herself to the child.

from left Rie Miyazawa (Futaba Sachino), Tarō Suruga (Private Investigator Takimoto) with movie daughter Mayu. Child actor in Mayu role is unlisted in official website. © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Writer Director Nakano in an interview after the screening said, “She’s very professional. There’s a very strong persuasive element to her acting. That was the biggest thing I felt the persuasiveness, the power of her performance.” The dedication of Miyazawa is peerless. During the portions where her character takes a turn for the worse, there is a real physical transformation, “She really loses weight, and she becomes thinner. She goes into her role deeply.”

‘HER LOVE..’ Director Riyota Nakano; Catch HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Hana Sugisaki as Azumi Sachino © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Luminary Young actors

Rising star Hana Sugisaki plays teenage daughter Azumi Sachino. Her role may be the most difficult in the film. Bullies in school bog her down and worse she also has to contend with the turmoil in her family. The way Sugisaki was able to portray the growth in her character in finding that inner strength to face these battles was excellent. The performance earned her 4 Best Supporting Actress nods (Hochi Film Awards, Japanese Academy Awards, Blue Ribbon, Japanese Critics) along with Best Newcomer (Japanese Academy Awards). Director Nakano admitted that he wanted to work with Sugisaki and had her in mind for the role.

Aoi Itō as Ayuko Katase © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

The child actors are the unheralded thespians of the cast. Nakano admits that Japan is rich with young talent, which he discovered through auditions. Aoi Itō as 9 year old Ayuko Katase has the unenviable role of the new or younger daughter of absentee husband Kazuhiro Sachino played by Joe Odagiri. Ayuko can’t relate to her emotionally distant ‘father’ and has not seen her own mother for sometime. At such a young age she is able to act out the difficulties of trying to fit in with her ‘new’ family.

The role of Mayu at age 6, daughter of the Private Investigator Takimoto (Tarō Suruga), is un-credited in the official website. Which is unfortunate as she is one of the most adorable child actors in Asian cinema today.

Tarō Suruga (Private Investigator Takimoto) with movie daughter Mayu. Child actor in Mayu role is unlisted in official website. © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

The Family enjoys Shabu shabu; © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Japanese Food

Cuisine plays a huge role in this typically Japanese movie. Shabu-shabu in their household is only eaten on special occasions such as birthdays. This is the savory soup of veggies and strips of wagyu beef. They are added into the broth cooked in an open pot right on the table. Shabu shabu is also a means for Futaba to shower affection to her family and bring them together on the table. Their home is located just outside Tokyo in Ashikaga City where Shabu shabu is popular.

from left: Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino) and Aoi Itō (Ayuko Katase) feast on Spider Crab © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Futaba also brings her two daughters on a road trip to Toda Harbor in Shizuoka prefecture. This is where they see a picturesque sunset with the iconic figure of Mount Fuji looming in the horizon. This is one of the few places where they could taste deep-sea spider crabs that are easily thrice as big as the typical variety. The experience of the special meal is one of the happiest for the two kids.

The family views Mt Fuji from Toda Harbor, Shizuoka prefecture © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Aoi Itō as Ayuko Katase © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

Facing Challenges

Director Nakano intimated that he used some personal experiences to write the touching screenplay. He lost his father at age 6 and was raised by his mother. Some of the characters are based on real people. With this film he believes that by contemplating trials and making those who love us our family, we are able to see the true joys in our life.

from left: Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino), Aoi Itō (Ayuko Katase) and Tori Matsuzaka (Takumi Mukai) © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

JFF | EIGASAI 2017 is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM City Baguio, SM City Bacolod, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Viva Communications Inc., Tagalized Movie Channel (TMC), Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Akira, SumoSam and Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.

center: ‘HER LOVE..’ Director Riyota Nakano surrounded by the Japan Foundation family. Catch HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista.

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Tori Matsuzaka as Takumi Mukai © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

from left: Rie Miyazawa (Futaba Sachino) and Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino) © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

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from left: Aoi Itō (Ayuko Katase) and Hana Sugisaki (Azumi Sachino) © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.

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Tarō Suruga (Private Investigator Takimoto) with movie daughter Mayu. Child actor in Mayu role is unlisted in official website. © HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER Film Partners. Catch this film and many more at the 20th Eiga Sai Japanese film festival at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017.


MP: Let Go And Let God

You’re the greatest ever. Time to let go and let God give you new challenges.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Disbelief was going through Filipinos minds watching Senator Manny Pacquiao get overwhelmed by the aggressive, bigger Jeff Horn. From the opening bell Horn went right at him, forcing him to the ropes. It didn’t matter if the shots were inaccurate they came flying at him. The volume of body shots was also surprising. The body punches may have taken the sting off Manny’s attack especially in the later rounds.

Horn lands deadly body shots; Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

We were so used to seeing him dominate his opponents we were all shocked to see him like this. In the first three rounds, I think he may have been trying to time a haymaker as Horn was coming in. So he wouldn’t lead, meaning try to punch ahead of Horn. It may have been his strategy to wait in the pocket for that perfect opening to land that killer left hook or right straight that had felled countless opponents in the past.

Pacquiao’s devastating left hook that KOed Ricky Hatton.

Just like that legendary knockout of Ricky Hatton who came surging at him. Manny caught him with that picture perfect left hook that sent him reeling to the canvas. The technique is deceptive it takes incredible, speed, timing and power for all of it to come together. The problem now Horn was getting ‘in’ and throwing punches before he could hit him with that perfect counter. Instead Manny was the one getting hit.

Pacquiao turtles up in the onslaught of Horn’s attack. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017

This made him look like he was pulling his punches. Was it mental or physical? We really don’t know. He looked tentative waiting for the counter. And after the first 3 rounds when this strategy wasn’t working, why wasn’t he able to adjust or change his game plan?

Enrique Gil for CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol

Pacquiao had problems in the clinch. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Deadly Clinch

The moments when Pacquiao was forced to the ropes by Horn was also telling. Horn was just busier on the inside landing to the body, short punches to the face. In the past, he could just slip away using his footwork and head movement or even better punch his way out of the clinch. In close quarters Horn seemed to trap his arm and sneak in some damage. This is where the size and strength of the taller Aussie came to play. Before, against Antonio Margarito and legendary Oscar Dela Hoya or the more recent Rios and Alghieri, there were never any problems in the clinch. All of them are at least several inches taller. So prior to the fight, height and reach wasn’t deemed a factor.

Pacquiao had no problems before with bigger taller fighters like Alghieri. That’s why Horn’s size was not deemed a factor before the fight.

Pacquiao and Horn face off; Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

While Manny did not suffer a knock down you could see his head getting thrown back from the punches. They were doing damage. For Pinoys who care for the People’s Champ it was painful to watch.

Tanduay Derek: Tanduay Rhum is the drink of choice for Derek Ramsay – from The One TVC

Pacquiao had Horn on the run in the 9th. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

9th Round Comeback

Manny’s shining moment came in the 9th round, when he finally landed a combo and then another staggering Horn. The roles were suddenly reversed. Pacquiao had him on the run, trying to finish him off. Horn looked glassy eyed ready to tumble and buckle under the power. But he was able to survive and go back to his corner.

After the 9th Ref Mark Nelson warns Horn of fight stoppage if he doesn’t come back. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

The damage was such that Referee Mark Nelson, said to him in the corner ““YOU’VE had enough. Show me something in this round or I’m stopping the fight.” If there was a moment Manny could comeback to win the fight it should have been the 10th round where fans thought he had the time to finish him off…but he didn’t. Horn recovered stood his ground and even resumed his attack through to the 11th and 12th rounds. At that point Horn had won more rounds and was ahead in the scorecards getting the win.

Horn is given the unanimous decision win by the judges. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Unilever Phil tapped Steph Curry to endorse Rexona in basketball crazy Philippines

Horn was ahead in the Tale of the Tape; Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Age Factor

Questions come back to haunt MP, why didn’t he pursue those combos or was more aggressive earlier? If Horn was hurt in the 9th why couldn’t he put him away in the 10th or later rounds?

Pacquiao lands deadly body shots. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

The simple and obvious answer is that age has finally caught up with our beloved hero. Filipinos have been in denial, including myself, believing him to be invincible and even immortal in the ring. For so long, the whole national psyche clung to his rising fortunes and triumphs. He’d lift up the spirits of his country 100 million people strong. It didn’t matter if it was Yolanda, typhoons, natural disasters, economic and political crises.

As senator, President or Citizen Pacquiao we know you’ll fight for us.
Time to move on.

Nation’s Hopes and Dreams

The young Senator would literally BE THERE distributing relief coming from his own purse, whether it was an earthquake in Bohol or just giving away turkeys to Pinoys or the less fortunate in the U.S for Thanksgiving.

Senator Manny Pacquiao is a member of 20 committees in the Philippine senate. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

We didn’t even realize how much we’ve been relying on him as a people for so long. At 38 he could have called it quits years ago. But being the warrior that he is even he didn’t want to let it go. If there was anyone who’s worthy of a messianic complex it should be him.

He has shouldered the burden of a whole nation’s hopes and dreams for too long. I think, that’s why even if he is in literal pain he fights through it. He feels he has to fight for us even when he should obviously stop.

You’ve taken thousands of punches for us Filipinos. Let God guide your life in a new direction.

Pacquiao is patched up for accidental head butt. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Long Term Damage

In boxing there’s only one certainty: you get hurt whether or not you win or lose.

Concussion damage to the head isn’t a mystery; it’s a medical fact. Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith in CONCUSSION) was saying something people didn’t want to hear. American football is a dangerous sport that has long-term effects on the human brain. His study points out the simple and obvious fact that our brains are encased in liquid. As the head experiences trauma the brain is jolted out of position and hits the skull causing massive damage. One can only imagine how much damage the human brain can take in the sport of boxing, where the head is punched over and over and over again…in one fight.

Buboy Fernandez encourages his legendary ward. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Retired football players years after their playing days exhibited symptoms of insanity, random violent behavior, voices in their head, endangering themselves and their family. One only has to look at what happened to our own former boxing champ in Rolando Navarete who is now in a pitiful state. Manny you’re the one giving dole outs to Navarete when he drops by your house in Gen San giving him food and money. You’ve seen the long-term damage that boxers can suffer from head trauma.

Because what makes our people great is what is in our hearts

Pacquiao raises arms in triumph; Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Transcended Sport

The brutality that makes boxing beautiful also makes it dangerous. Buboy Fernandez, Freddie Roach, they’re all aware that you’re putting your life on the line each time you climb the ring. Roach said he’d be the one to ask you to retire if you lost against Horn. You could have quit when you were knocked out by Marquez and we supported you. You could have quit when you lost against Timothy Bradley and Mayweather and yet we still supported you.

Jerwin Ancajas retains his Jr Bantamweight IBF Title vs Teiru Kinoshita in the undercard. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Manny, you’ve transcended your sport you’re now a senator. Your MP Promotions has discovered Jerwin Ancajas who successfully defended his IBF Jr Bantamweight Belt in the undercard. This is the time for you to find new champions and impart your knowledge.

As senator, President or Citizen Pacquiao we know you’ll fight for us.
Time to move on.

Let Go And Let God

You’ve taken a lot of punishment, thousands of punches throughout the years for us Filipinos. You can let go and let God steer your life in a new direction. That’s why now we have to say thank you, we love you, but we need you to fight for us in a different arena. We know you want to be president and may want to earn your war chest through the sweat of your brow, unlike your politician friends.

But whether you’re a Senator, a President or citizen Pacquiao we know you’ll fight for us. And you need a clear and healthy mind to do so. You had a great run Manny some say the greatest ever now its time to move on.

Pacquiao congratulates Horn after the fight. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

You’ve shown that win or lose you congratulate your opponent with a hug. You always manage a smile for our people through the most difficult times. This is the heart or puso of the Filipino. A sentiment embodied in a song by Lea Salonga, Bamboo and Sarah Geronimo:

Babangon sa bawat pagkakataon

Ngingiti anu man ang panahon

Lilipad para abutin ang lahat

Pusong walang pagod tumanggap

Magbigay, Mangarap

Pusong Pilipino

Nagniningning sa gilas

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Christine Allado and THE WORD choir sang the Philippine national anthem.
Allado starred in the West End version of HAMILTON along w Rachel Ann Go. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Pacquiao turtles up in the onslaught of Horn’s attack. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017

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Senator Manny Pacquiao is a member of 20 committees in the Philippine senate. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

GMA Reporter Mav Gonzalez talks about Pacquiao’s dedication as senator.

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Pacquiao had Horn on the run in the 9th. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Jeff Horn was jubilant immediately after the fight. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

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Pacquiao raises arms in triumph; Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Christine Allado and THE WORD choir sang the Philippine national anthem.
Allado starred in the West End version of HAMILTON along w Rachel Ann Go. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

You’ve taken thousands of punches for us Filipinos. Let God guide your life in a new direction.

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Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Philippine flag in the ring; Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

A man of faith Pacquiao prays before and after each fight. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

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Senator Manny Pacquiao is a member of 20 committees in the Philippine senate. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

Pacquiao is greeted by crowd of fans in Brisbane. Pacquiao vs Horn was held at the Sun Corp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia last July 2, 2017.

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You’re the greatest ever. Time to let go and let God give you new challenges.

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