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31 July 2008

ellen ongkeko's film BOSES goes to u.p.

Ellen Ongkeko Marfil and Froi Medina's


Coke Bolipata
Julian Duque
Ricky Davao
Meryll Soriano
Ms. Cherry Pie Picache

A film about a reclusive musician and a battered child who come into terms with their past by sharing the gift of music.

Aug 4, Monday, 5pm at UP Cine Adarna
Tickets are sold at P70.

With a special violin performance by the lead child actor (Julian Duque) after the show.

For ticket inquiries, text 09174907697.


Cinemalaya's Boses offers hope, music for kids



Through a peephole in a grimy kitchen cabinet, Onyok sees his drunken father stumble on his way to open the door. Angry neighbors accusing the father of child abuse barge in and search the room frantically, but Onyok, the seven-year-old child hiding inside the cabinet, is too traumatized to even flinch.

Finally one of the neighbors opens the cabinet door, sees the battered kid, and decides to take him to a rehabilitation center for kids – and for the next 90 minutes award-winning director-producer Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil (Mga Pusang Gala) takes the audience on a pleasant musical journey toward regaining faith in humanity.

Ongkeko-Marfil’s latest film, the Cinemalaya entry Boses which celebrated its Gala Night last July 16 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, is a heartwarming story of a boy and a man both scarred by tragic histories who found solace in each other and the music they create together.

Young musical prodigy Julian Duque plays Onyok, a mute abused child rescued from his drunkard father (Ricky Davao) and brought to a rehabilitation center for abused children operated by Amanda (Cherry Pie Picache).

Here Onyok meets a variety of colorful characters: the bully Enteng (Carl John Barrameda) who was once abused by his father and takes out bottled-up rage through bullying and therapy sessions; the friendly Shirley (Tala Santos) who almost always has a sunny disposition despite being a victim of sexual harassment by her own father; and the reclusive violinist Ariel, played by world-renowned musician Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata in his first major foray into acting.

Disturbed by his own past, particularly the death of student and girlfriend Bianca (Meryll Soriano), Ariel comes out of his shell when he sees Onyok’s musical talent. He volunteers to tutor the boy, who also gradually learns to trust another human being after being used as a human ashtray by his abusive father.

Bolipata, a seasoned performer but a relative newcomer in the acting field, was able to hold his own in his dramatic scenes with veteran Picache, who played his sister. But his best moments are the musical ones – Bolipata’s acting skills come off most naturally when his character Ariel is playing the violin with Onyok. The fascinated, approving looks he gives the child are effortless.

Bolipata also flawlessly maneuvers the movie’s musical direction: In one climactic scene where the young Onyok lets out all his rage after he and Ariel escapes the violent father, Bolipata’s furious playing firmly captures the intensity of their emotions and the bond that they now share.

Duque is the film’s brilliant discovery. He doesn't speak a word and rarely contorts his face to show emotion, save for an occasional small smile, but Duque’s piercing eyes can express joy or sadness with one look.

Indie film regulars Davao, Picache, and Soriano also give strong, solid performances that do justice to the screenplay penned by Froi Medina and Rody Vera based on the former’s Tinig sa Dilim which won second prize at the Cinemanila 2007 scriptwriting tilt.

The story is essentially a drama, but in Ongkeko-Marfil’s deft hands you see the characters' pain without feeling that the scenes are overly maudlin.

To illustrate: "Sinasaktan din ba siya ng tatay niya? (Does his father also hurt him?)" was Shirley’s innocent question, her face unblinking, when she couldn’t understand why Ariel was so anti-social at first.

This treatment of sensitive topics is part of what made the film so warmly received by the audience on Gala Night. There are no long, grand speeches about child rights, because the actions of the characters speak for themselves.

It also doesn’t hurt that Boses has its fair share of comedic moments which made excellent use of good old Filipino humor, including one hilarious funeral scene.

Boses is a movie that speaks to audiences not just because of its good message, but because it communicates that message through excellent direction, fine portrayals, and beautiful music.

An Erasto Films production, Boses is presented in cooperation with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Casa Miguel Foundation.

It has been adopted by Unicef, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Council for the Welfare of Children-Secretariat as part of their campaign dubbed "Children Against Violence."
- GMANews.TV


Listening to ‘Boses
Rica Bolipata-Santos
July 28, 2008

By the time you read this, the winners for the Cinemalaya Film Competition will have been announced. There have been rumors about the quality of this year’s competition including chismis that someone important has declared “this is the best crop of films so far!” In the past, my only experience of being a participant of the festival was the desire to find the time to actually watch one of the movies. Happily, this year, I finally had the chance to watch.

I’ll tell you from the get-go it was not for purely unselfish reasons. My brother, Coke Bolipata, was acting in one of the movies. Entitled Boses and directed by Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, Coke also took care of the musical direction of the film. More importantly, it was shot in CASA San Miguel in Zambales, an Art Center our family had put up in the mid-’90s. Coke is also both its founder (having dreamed of this whole thing in an actual dream, believe it or not, while working in the mountains of Indiana) and its president. (There was another movie shot in CASA, Paul Morales’ Concerto.)

The plot of Boses is simple. Coke plays Ariel, a down-and-out violinist escaping from a troubled past (and a permanent broken heart courtesy of Bianca, played by the luminous Meryll Soriano) into a hut in the province. Near his hut, his sister, played by the amazing Cherry Pie Picache, runs a shelter for children who have been abused by their parents called Kanlungan. Into the shelter’s care comes a young boy named Onyok, played by Julian Duque, a seven-year-old unknown who, in truth, is Coke’s real violin student. Abandoned by his mother, he has been brutalized by his father, played by the incomparable Ricky Davao, for years, causing him to injure his larynx and rendering him mute.

The story arc is easy to predict. Ariel and Onyok, both battered and bruised, will find in each other a twin, or a foil. The irony, really, is that communication between two people who cannot communicate in words (which one presumes to be one of the easiest ways, hinted at by the constant use of the line “ba’t hindi mo na lang sinabi sa akin?”) and have failed to communicate with people around them, can somehow communicate wordlessly. The first time Onyok hears Ariel playing through his bedroom window, the music brings him back to the memory of being in his mother’s arms. It is a precious memory that music is able to call forth and he begins to find solace in Ariel’s hut — beckoned both by music and the unarticulated feeling that Ariel is a kindred soul.

This is only fiction, of course, and film uses different elements to tell the story. Beneath the plot, conceived and rendered by veterans Froilan Medina and Rody Vera, are other artistic elements and this is really where the movie sets itself apart. Coke constantly plays throughout the entire film and you are given a concert without being really aware of it. Most of the film was shot using live sound so one can truly hear Coke playing. In other movies where actors play roles that require them to do something that requires a physical skill they lack, like playing golf or cooking, the acting often becomes so superficial it’s painful to watch.

But Coke is a violinist and a violin teacher and the natural in him comes out onscreen. One of my favorite scenes is when he tries to coax Onyok out of his cabinet by showing him the violin can be a bee, a horse, a cow, a rat. Onyok is hidden in a cabinet and the camera peers in and catches a rare smile on his face. Nap Jamir, a painter, is the film’s cinematographer, and you begin to realize that every scene has been conceived as if it were on canvas. Ellen’s sure direction, honed by years of filmmaking, orchestrates the entire show. At the premiere night, the audience was not shy in proclaiming its feelings about the movie, both shouting, laughing and crying at various times. In one scene, Ariel attempts to elude Ricky’s character and the audience collectively cheered, some people even rising from their seats! At the back of the hall was a row of foreigners and I wondered what they all thought of this Filipino brand of audience participation.

At the end, a rousing ovation was given the movie (the foreigners had risen, too) and the crowd started to chant Onyok’s name and Julian stood with pride and went onstage. Like Pacquaio at the end of a well-fought match, he stood at the center, crossed his arms and looked straight into the lenses of the cameras that had flocked around him. Standing far away, I knew that the audience recognized genius and was giving it its proper recognition.

After all the crying, clapping, and Kodak moments (of course I insisted I have a picture with Ricky!), the family moved on to have dinner together and here was another story. In the midst of wolfing down our hard-earned dinner (it was already 10 p.m. by this time and we had all been both tense and nervous, collectively as a family, as is our wont), we started to ask ourselves what we would have changed about the movie. There were many suggestions, of course, such as my opinion that the beginning perhaps might have been too long. My brother-in-law wondered why Meryll Soriano’s character had to suffer such a fate and if that particular plot line was helpful to the rest of the movie. My husband wondered if the audience thought it believable for Coke to be a down-and-out violinist, considering his present stature. My sister thought the final scene funny and would have wanted it to end on some other scene. Coke himself knew of other scenes that he felt should have been part of the movie but ended on the cutting floor. This particular part interests me because art, after all, should spur conversation; it should make people not only feel, but also think.

Let me be a college teacher here and answer what many of you might be actually asking at the end of watching a movie: What is the lesson here? I can hear my college students making fun of me, as they know I hate this question but it is a valid one and one that I wish to answer. It is this: more than the movie being about how wounded people can be; more than how terrible it is that people who should love us hurt us and can somehow still miraculously redeem themselves; more than the movie being about the ability to heal and the heart to strengthen; more than the movie about being able to let go of people and trusting in what you have taught them; the movie is about how healing can come from art.

I think there was no other place last week that could best represent this lesson more than at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. For nine whole days, from July 11-20, the CCP was teeming with people watching independent Filipino films. That description brings with it certain connotations: filmmaking that respects and challenges audiences and filmmaking with conscience and filmmaking that is about making art and not always about making profit. The CCP has its own connotations and it was not lost on me and other cultural watchers how the act of Cinemalaya being held in CCP was a form of healing, too.

On the way back home, going down the stairs from the Nicanor Abelardo Hall to the Huseng Batute, dodging excited people, both young and old (sighted in the audience was National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera who was watching his second movie that night! His smile held such pride), realizing that the audience included everyone from matronas with the usual stiff hair, avant-garde artists in scarves and boots, artistas from mainstream cinema to colegialas on dates to students still in their uniforms, I stopped in the middle steps and enjoyed the energy abounding. Again and again, I am mesmerized by the Filipino brand of creativity and, more importantly, by the way we see art — as something communal, something shared and something celebrated together. Here, in our lovely country, the lines that divide fantasy and reality, art and Art, public and private, are messy. This is who we are, no apologies, no explanations needed. And that perhaps is Cinemalaya’s exquisite lesson for me.


coke bolipata, cherry pie picache, ricky davao and julian duque
coke bolipata and julian duque
julian duque

ellen ongkeko marfil and julian duque

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23 July 2008

cinemalaya goes to u.p. diliman

cinemalaya 2008 winners

full-length films

Best Film - “Jay”
Best Director - Chris Martinez, “100”
Audience Choice -”100” (directed by Chris Martinez)
Best Actress - Mylene Dizon, “100”
Best Actor - Baron Geisler, “Jay”
Best Supporting Actor -Yul Servo, “Brutus”
Best Supporting Actress - Eugene Domingo, “100”
Best Cinematography (tie) - Jay Abello, “Brutus” and Dan Villegas, “Huling Pasada”
Best Screenplay -Chris Martinez, “100”
Best Editiing - Francis Pasion, “Jay”
Special Jury Prize -”Brutus” (directed by Tara Illenberg)
Best Sound Design -Lito Cruz, “Ranchero”
Best Original Music -Joey Ayala, “Brutus”
Best Production Design - Cristina Honrado, “Baby Angelo”

short films

Best Film - Rommel (Milo) Tolentino for "Andong"
Best Director (Short Film) - Mark Reyes for “God Only Knows”
Audience Choice (Short Film) - “God Only Knows” (directed by Mark Reyes)
Best Screenplay (Short Film) - “Andang” (directed by Rommel Tolentino
Special Jury Citation (Short Film) - “Angan Angan (Dreams)” (directed by Sheron Dayoc)
Best Special Jury Citation (Short Film) -”My Pet” (directed by Anna Bigornia)


July 28 Mon

Manuel Conde Retrospective: Genghis Khan 2:30 p.m.

Baby Angelo 5 p.m.

Concerto 7:30 p.m.

July 29 Tue

Cinemalaya's Past Best Pictures Showcase: Pepot Artista 2:30 p.m.

Jay 5 p.m.

Huling Pasada 7:30 p.m.

July 30 Wed

Cinemalaya's Past Best Pictures Showcase: Tulad ng Dati 2:30 p.m.

Brutus 5 p.m.

Namets 7:30 p.m.

July 31 Thu

Cinemalaya's Past Best Pictures Showcase: Tribu 2:30 p.m.

100 5 p.m.

My Fake American Accent 7:30 p.m.

Aug 1 Fri

Ishmael Bernal Gallery Night with Film Premiere of Adolf Alix's Imoral 7:30 p.m.

Aug 2 Sat

Endo 2/5/7 p.m.

Aug 4 Mon

Anita Linda Tribute: Tambolista 2:30 p.m.

Boses 5 p.m.

Ranchero 7:30 p.m.

Aug 5 Tue

Manuel Conde Retro: Krus na Kawayan 2:30 p.m.

Cinemalaya 2008 Competing Shorts A (composed of Andong, Ang Ibang Mga Palmilya, Angan-Angan, Diamante sa Langit, and God Only Knows) 5 p.m.

Cinemalaya 2008 Competing Shorts B (composed of Huling Biktima, My Pet, Panggaris, Trails of Water, and Tutos) 7:30 p.m.

Aug 6 Wed

Anita Linda Tribute: Sisa 2:30 p.m.

Cinemalaya 2008 Special Jury Prize Winner (Brutus) 5 p.m.

Cinemalaya 2008 Best Picture (Jay) 7:30 p.m.

Aug 7 Thu

Donsol 2:30 p.m.

Kadin 5 p.m.

Anita Linda Tribute: Sisa 7:30 p.m.

Aug 9 Sat

Premiere: Torotot (Destierro) 7:30 p.m.

Aug 11-14 Mon/Tue/Wed/ Thu; 16 Sat 4/7 p.m.

Eiga Sai 2008 in Celebration of Philippines- Japan Friendship Month: We Shall Overcome Someday; Linda Linda Linda; Juvenile Jungle; Hanging Garden; A Stranger of Mine; Canary; Chibi Maruko Chan

Aug 19 Tue
Juno 7 p.m.

Aug 20 Wed
Juno 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.

I-Witness Docus Presented by OBEM 5 p.m.

Aug 21 Thu

Bayani d/w Sakay 2:30 p.m. onwards

Premiere: Latak 7 p.m.

Aug 23 Sat

Premiere: Cris Pablo's Quickie 7:30 p.m.

Aug 25 Mon

Special Full Run: Juan Baybayin 2:30/5/7 p.m.

Aug 26 Tue

Linggo ng Kasaysayan Presentation: Anak Dalita 2:30 & 5:30 p.m.

Aug 27 Wed

Bayani d/w Sakay 2:30 p.m. onwards

Replay by Demand: La mujer de mi hermano (My Brother's Wife) 5:30/7:30 p.m.

Aug 28 Thu

Replay by Demand: La mujer de mi hermano (My Brother's Wife) 1:30/3:30 p.m.

Premiere: The Thank-You Girls 6:30 p.m.

Aug 30 Sat

Replay by Demand: La mujer de mi hermano (My Brother's Wife) 2/5/7 p.m.

Sept 1 Mon

Replay by Demand: La mujer de mi hermano (My Brother's Wife) 2:30/5/7 p.m.

@ the Videotheque

July 28 Mon

Blue Jeans 5:30 p.m.

July 29 Tue

Jaguar 5:30 p.m.

July 30 Wed

Daluyong 5:30 p.m.

July 31 Thu

Menor de Edad 5:30 p.m.

Aug 1 Fri

Virgin Forest 5 p.m.

The Battle of Algiers 7:30 p.m.

Aug 2 Sat

Lapu-Lapu 2:30 p.m.

El Vibora 4:30 p.m.

Aug 6-7

Special Full Run (Preceded by short film Lispong Terorista): Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo 4:30/6:30 p.m.

Aug 8-9

Bernardo Carpio 5 p.m.

Special Full Run (Preceded by short film Lispong Terorista): Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo 7 p.

Aug 11 Mon

Special Full Run (Preceded by a bonus short film): Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo 5 p.m.

Aug 12 Tue

Special Full Run (Preceded by a bonus short film): Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo 5 p.m.

Aug 13 Wed

Suriyothai 5 p.m.

Aug 14 Thu

Edward II 5 p.m.

Aug 15 Fri

Lapu-Lapu 5 p.m.

Suriyothai 7 p.m.

Aug 16 Sat

Edward II 2:30 p.m.

The Tin Drum 4:30 p.m.

Aug 18 Mon

The Tin Drum 2:30 p.m.

Ang Alamat ni Julian Makabayan 5 p.m.

El Vibora 7 p.m.

Aug 19 Tue

The Battle of Algiers 5:30 p.m.

Aug 20 Wed

Asiong Salonga 5:30 p.m.

Aug 21 Thu

Capitan Pepe 5:30 p.m.

Aug 22 Fri

Zuma 5 p.m.

Ang Alamat ni Julian Makabayan 7 p.m.

Aug 23 Sat

Bayaning 3rd World 2:30 p.m.

Geron Busabos 4:30 p.m.

Aug 25 Mon

Bayaning 3rd World 5:30 p.m.

Aug 26-29

Special Full Run: Juan Baybayin 5/7 p.m.

Aug 30 Sat

Special Full Run: Juan Baybayin 2:30/4:30 p.m.

francis pasion receives best picture prize for jay

chris martinez receives best director for 100

mylene dizon receives best actress award for 100

baron geisler receives best actor award for jay

eugene domingo receives best supporting actress award for 100

Cheers For This Seasons Cinemalaya Winners
From Left: Cinemalaya 2008 Jury members Lito Zulueta, Max Tessier, Kim Ji-Seok, Cinemalaya Foundation Chairman Antonio O. Cojuangco, Cinemalaya Competition Director Laurice Guillen, CCP President and Cinemalaya Festival Director Nestor O. Jardin, with Cinemalaya 2008 Best Picture winners Rommel “Milo” Tolentino for Andong (Short Feature Film) and Francis Xavier E. Pasion for Jay (Full-Length Feature Film).

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13 July 2008

many events:uaap season 71 (UP vs UST),book launch at ayala museum/shangrila mall, palanca awards judging, u.k.pinoys reunion, u.p.icw parties

uaap season 71:
u.p. vs u.s.t.
( philippine sports arena-pasig, 12 july 2008)

coach salvador antonio (aboy) castro, assistant coach jerry codinera, assistant coach potit de vera with members of the u.p. fighting maroons men's basketball team, including students from my creative writing (cw 10) and introduction to southeast asia (sea 30) classes: michael joseph (mike) gamboa, woodward (woody) co, miguel antonio (migz) de asis, don carlo (don) fortu, dionisio hipolito iii, and mark anthony lopez. the other members of the team include jay agbayani (team captain), kevin astorga, arvin braganza, czarlo de la victoria, francis maniego, andrew marfori, ron pajela, martin reyes, magi sison and paul sorongon.
all in the family: former unesco official lucille custodio ascalon, andre gregorio ascalon, u.p. mass comm alumna / corporate communication expert cecilia gregorio ascalon (wife of jaime ramon torre ascalon, the outgoing vice consul and third secretary of the philippine embassy in brunei), retired u.p. vice president for administration / european languages professor martin gregorio
alumni sisters: u.p. college of arts and letters/ metrobank outstanding teacher awardee priscelina patajo legasto and u.p. law alumna lorna patajo kapunan
u.p. journalism major trish duque does the anchoring for abs-cbn's studio 23

pinoy-u.k. (association of u.k.alumni from the philippines) reunion
(11 july 2008, saisaki-glorietta 3, makati)

(l-r, standing) edna pana (queen mary, university of london), presidential management staff assistant secretary ferdinand cui jr. (london school of economics), fe abogadie (university college london); (l-r, seated), grace baretto-tesoro (cambridge), u.p. avp for development jaime caro (oxford) and jose wendell capili (cambridge); photo credit: archie tesoro (cambridge)
(l-r) dodge dillague (goldsmiths, university of london), jaime caro (oxford), fe abogadie (university college london), mahar lagmay (cambridge) and jose wendell capili (cambridge)
book launch:
the legend of mandaluyong by patrick alain azanza,

edited by national artist for literature virgilio s. almario and jose wendell capili
(11 july 2008, shangrila edsa mall)
crowd at the shang
backstage: taking a break from emceeing, as patrick alain azanza delivers his thank you speech
(l-r) prizewinning fictionist efren abueg, patrick alain azanza, former u.p. system university secretary / u.p. arts and letters dean vivencio jose, retired u.p. professor consolacion rustia alaras and jose wendell capili
mandaluyong city major benhur abalos
cultural center of the philippines president nestor jardin
douglas nierras' powerdance
memorandum of agreement:
signing for the revival of the dulaang u.p. mobile theater
(10 july 2008, u.p. college of arts and letters)

(l-r, standing): teresa paula sangil-de luna, s. anril pineda tiatco, fabiola ortiz, jose wendell capili, dean and national artist virgilio s. almario, dulaang u.p. co-artistic director alexander cortes, johannah bautista, manuel casalan, edna may landicho and niel kenneth jamandre;
(l-r, seated): belen calingacion and buy&sell magazine group of companies CEO / u.p. engineering alumnus ignacio gimenez
book launch:
si lupito at ang barrio sirkero
written by rowald almazar
art works by jose (john) santos iii
translated and edited by john jack wigley and jose wendell capili
(8 july 2008, ayala museum)
(l-r) with prizewinning visual artists jose (john) santos iii, pamela yan-santos, jesus lozada and leo abaya
melissa salva ramos (with baby lucas, hidden), carla pacis, a friend, and jeric ramos
2008 carlos palanca awards for literature judging
(1 july 2008, little asia-tomas morato)
with ralph semino galan of the university of santo tomas (L) and dr. benilda s. santos of the ateneo de manila university (R), and palanca awards representatives mon and nemie bermejo (3rd and 4th from the left)
u.p. institute of creative writing merienda for vim nadera, butch dalisay, joi barrios and anton juan
(30 june 2008, u.p. institute of creative writing)
prizewinning writers gemino abad, butch dalisay (u.p. institute of creative writing director), joi barrios, marnie kilates, charlson ong, anton juan, virgilio s. almario (u.p. arts and letters dean / national artist for literature), joey baquiran, cristina pantoja hidalgo and vim naderajoi barrios and rosario torres yu (former u.p. diliman vice chancellor for student affairs / arts and letters dean)

the u.p. pep squad

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06 July 2008

scenes from the uaap season 71 opening rites at the araneta coliseum (5 july 2008)

host institution: university of the philippines
u.p. system president emerlinda r. roman

u.p. diliman chancellor sergio s. cao

over-all artistic director: dexter s. santos

concept and over-all script writer: s. anril pineda tiatco

over-all musical director and musical score: carol rodriguez bello of pinikpikan band

production design: tuxqs rutaquio

lights design: john ilao batalla

choreography: van manalo

faculty in-charge: dean leilani gonzalo
participating peformers:
u.p. swimming team captain / beijing olympics-bound athlete luica dacanay
u.p. pep squad
u.p. filipiniana dance company

u.p. dance company

u.p. danzport
u.p. street dance club

u.p. cherubim and seraphim
bb. pilipinas international patricia fernandez
julia roman abueva

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