Watching the short film Pangandoy (First Leap Productions, a Allan Layaguen film) on the big screen at the Sinulog Film Festival 2010 Awards Night last Saturday made me really proud, I could not help it, I cheered. Even prouder to see the works of our very own Visayan filmmakers.
My favorite in the film fest was Kurtina nga Pula (which won the 1st Place Best Short Film) by Remton Zuasola. It immediately reminded of the short story Burgundy which had a strong impact on me from the first time I got to read it.
In Kurtina’s shortness and simplicity (of only two characters, a voice over from the telephone, a bathroom and a bedroom, the red curtain), it delivered an ordinary message of the miracle from a child, from the daughter, maybe with her Pa, ingon ka dili duwaan ang kurtina ni Mama (Papa, you told me not to play with Mama’s curtain)…from the Sto. Niño, well yes (the cloth covering the statue fell and woke the child, this was not noticed in the film, it was only related to us by Remton later). Its ordinariness made it not ordinary…it was surprising and unforgettable.
A distraction for me though, was the dubbing as sometimes, it would sound like Bro (ABS-CBN’s primetime TV series, May Bukas Pa) talking. Or perhaps, it is intended to be such for the surreal feel.
Eskrimadors simply made me say, it could happen. Making a world-class Cebuano/Visayan film is very possible. Actually, the Saturday that was made me believe more of the possibility. One shot, just one shot and we’re off to the dawning of another Golden Years of Cebuano and Visayan Film Industry…just like in the ‘50s.
On eskrima and the documentary itself, my friend said, it is glamorizing violence and it is not something historical or cultural. I had deleted his message so I could not directly quote his words. Just visit his blog: toddlinggadfly.blogspot.com because he has a lot to say there.
I only had a chance to tell him that we cannot change the history of eskrima being violent as it involved death matches. But human history as a whole was barbaric even. And our origins as Filipinos (before we were “civilized” by the Spaniards) show so much of our brutal past. We had bolos, swords, spears, bows, and arrows as tools and weapons for survival.
In the first place, that is why eskrima is a sport now. The eskrimadors chose not to use it in violence anymore, but against violence…and of course, for the sake of preserving this truly Cebuano martial arts which is, sadly, dying.