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25 August 2008

a tv ad

i used to do print and tv ads during my early to mid-twenties. years after studies in japan, england and australia, and after many years of teaching in diliman, i was shocked to receive an offer to be part of bear brand milk’s laki sa gatas campaign. what made the offer a bit more shocking is the fact that the campaign will also involve prizewinning actress / batangas governor vilma santos, miss international 2006 precious lara quigaman, and manila vice mayor isko moreno.

after meetings with chris cahilig consultancy founder / CEO chris cahilig and nestle philippines officials, i was convinced that the milk drinking should be relayed to more people across the country. surveys indicated that in underdeveloped communities in the countryside, parents would rather spend their money on mobile phone credits, instead of buying milk for their children.

facing the cameras again turned out to be a tedious task. i have zero acting talent and double zero projection skills. worse, i gained weight months after arriving from australia. after my photo shoot with belgian director frank hoefsmit (make-up by mickey see of shu uemura, styling by janet of propaganda), i was encouraged to lose a few pounds and stay healthy.

last 31 july, miss international lara, vice mayor isko and i shot our respective commercials in manila’s andres bonifacio elementary school, a pilot school along tayuman (between avenida rizal and abad santos), with film and television director jay altarejos (lalaki sa parola, among others). ricci chan did the styling and make-up with propaganda’s janet. ace lensman walter villa documented the scenes behind the making of the ad. pao orendain was director of photography.

direk jay’s technical staff and crew arrived at the site between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. lara’s call time was 6:00 a.m. vice isko’s was 7:00 a.m. i was expected to arrive after 5:00 p.m. because of my classes and administrative duties in u.p. diliman.

miss international lara and vice mayor isko were certified pros. they nailed every bit of the shoot. in contrast, i was shaking at every scene, mumbling lines and messing up. big time. i had sore throat and running nose. i didn’t get to sleep well the night before—i read a paper and moderated a session during the international philippine studies conference at the philippine social science center, conducted classes and attended meetings in diliman, attended the opening of the thirteen artists awards retrospective at the cultural center of the philippines (curated by prizewinning production designer / visual artist leo abaya), before jumping to a meeting with filipino-american scholars at the university of santo tomas. worse, on the day of the shoot, many streets in manila were flooded due to heavy rains that week. throughout the shoot, i was comforted by direk jay, chris and his deputies, henry and gerai. direk jay’s technical staff and crew cheered me up every time i miss out. the kids, all fifty of them, inspired me to recover. by 3:00 a.m, shooting was over and we packed up.

after rough cuts, countless brainstorming sessions and further post-production work, my ad was finally aired over many shows on abs-cbn channel 2 and gma channel 7. when i woke up early this afternoon, i received at least ninety two messages from family members, friends and former students from places like batac (ilocos norte), lubao (pampanga), pililla (rizal), santa maria (bulacan), bacolod, dumaguete, cebu and polomolok (south cotabato). thanks to the wonders of editing, chris cahilig’s vision and direk jay’s magic touch, the final cut didn’t seem bad at all.

governor vilma santos spearheaded our campaign during a well-attended press conference at annabel’s (tomas morato) last thursday. governor vi also spoke our advocacy in kamuning elementary school. lara quigaman traveled to public schools in bulacan to promote the campaign. vice mayor isko moreno began his advocacy in schools all over manila. i’ll be starting my campaign in the regions really soon.

i am very fortunate to be part of bear brand’s wonderful campaign. wonderful, it still is.

andres bonifacio elementary school in tayuman (tondo, manila)
inside andres bonifacio elementary school
with director of photography pao orendain and his team
with the fifty plus kids during the shoot
direk jay altarejos motivates the kids
cheering up the kids
listening to instructions by belgian fashion photographer frank hoefsmit

between takes
with kuya bear
with mama bear
with miss international 2006 precious lara quigaman
with manila vice mayor isko moreno
ace photographer walter villa
with film, television and advertising director jay altarejos
with gerai, CEO chris, walter and henry
styling by ricci chan and propaganda's janet
with chris cahilig consultancy deputies gerai and henry

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22 August 2008

videos of manila before world war two

Glowing Citation of Francis Pasion's Jay from Nigel Andrews, The Financial Times

Movie bliss-out means business

By Nigel Andrews

The 65th Venice Film Festival delivers a thrill to the eyes before a film has even been seen. As if leaping from a screen into the future, three sculpted lions are seen part-emerged – a head, front and feet here, head and claws there, face only of the last in sequence – from a giant white cloth covering the front of the Palazzo del Cinema.

Spectacular? Yes. Symbolic? That too. Clearly, say the lions, those in charge of this dream event in the film calendar, a movie bliss-out on a lagoon, have their more active dream for the future. A foundation stone was laid on day two for a new cinema palace planned for 2011. It will bring fresh eminence to the Mostra del Cinema. It will tell the rival Rome Film Festival to get lost or get busy catching up. And if we ever thought Venice was a mere folderol, a solace to ease the film junkie’s long withdrawal pains after Cannes, director Marco Müller, who has signed a new four-year contract, means business.

Müller must cater for a world in love with audiovisual saturation and cultural completism. Does that mean the days of wine and roses are over? We who love the Lido gig’s reflective pace hope not. Films are allowed to breathe and blossom here: even a slapstick-comedy opener such as the Coens’ Burn After Reading. Just as the crowds could almost touch George Clooney and Brad Pitt during the stars’ gala wave-and-walk-through on first night, critics are allowed up-close dalliance with the film’s fine-tuned fun – a plot about CIA spies accidentally rumbled, then methodically blackmailed, by a gymnasium assistant (Frances McDormand) with dreams of cosmetic makeover – in a festival where quality isn’t crowded out.

Burn after readingDetractors might say this has its downside. We’re happy enough to linger over the Coens, with a smart cast – Clooney (left) and Pitt showing their comedy chops, McDormand’s naïve-as-a-fox heroine (memories of Fargo’s Marge Gunderson), John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton in expert support – being led through a movie where every line counts and every look counts double. Hollywood made us medium-happy, too, with Guillermo Arriaga’s The Burning Plain (pictured below), a subtly epic tale of two women living different lives in different times, with Charlize Theron gnawed by slowly revealed guilts and griefs in present-day Oregon while Kim Basinger finds a tragic love-rapture in sunnier, earlier Mexico. (Are the two women connected? No plot spoilers from me.)

But this year’s Venice line-up sagged a little early on between high points. We had time to ponder too many mixed-nation thrillers grimy with hokum. Barbet Schroeder’s Inju follows a French crime writer (Benoît Magimel) to Japan to duel with a serial-killing psychopathic rival in a film of popcorn Schadenfreude. Yu Likwai’s Plastic City is set in São Paulo and promised a Chinese visionary’s insight into Brazilian social meltdown. Yu is the regular cinematographer of leading director Jia Zhang-ke. But the film explodes into multiple fragments, part gangster movie, part identity drama, part lens artist’s visual brainstorm.

As I write, steadiness is creeping back into the competition. Halfway, the best in show is a low-budget tale of obsession by an Iranian working in the US. Proving that international mixes can work, Amer Nedari’s Vegas: A True Story presses our faces to the window of a poor family’s bungalow on the edge of the Nevada Babylon – the Strip a garish shimmer in the background – as their slender fortunes turn to calamity. Sold the notion that a suitcase full of millions lies under their backyard, father, son and sceptical mum heave to with spades and mattocks. The loot keeps eluding them; the garden keels into ruin; the house becomes a mining camp, filthy with dust and despairing hope.

Naderi made an early gem of new Iranian cinema, The Runner, before relocating to America. Vegas may prove his naturalisation project, a raw tragedy in the tradition, if not with the bank-breaking budget, of Stroheim’s Greed. By the end an unknown cast has become a trio of indelible faces, a patch of land a glimpse of purgatory.

The burning plainCurios are starting to crowd up for the Golden Lion’s attention. Turkey’s Milk, the growing-up tale of a poet, has a gobsmacking opening. A cauldron of milk, a woman hung upside-down, a live snake extracted from her mouth. Whenever this scene is shown there should be a sales lady in the auditorium with a tray of smelling salts. France’s L’Autre is more long-distance in its weirdness. A looks-proud, independent-minded thirtysomething, played by the mesmerising Dominique Blanc (face of Jeanne Moreau mixed with Bette Davis), discovers she is a fraction too late to throw over a stable relationship for the fugitive dream of freedom and love on the hoof. She becomes – perhaps she always was – borderline psychotic and over-the-border delusional. When you see your Doppelgänger on a passing train, it is time to settle down or hire a shrink.

On the Venice fringe there have been two films to cheer: an Italian reconstruction and a Philippine satire. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1963 La Rabbia (‘Rage’) was a potion of screen rhetoric, never before seen in the undiluted form the director intended. The original producers wanted to “balance” PPP’s jeremiad against class and capital – which becomes much more as the winds of prophecy fill his sails – with a rightwing film-essay from author Giovanni Guareschi. The latter is now discarded. Giuseppe Bertolucci (Bernardo’s brother) has re-assembled the old material, added some never seen, and puts before Italy and the world Pasolini’s true original rage, a scintillating montage of 20th-century news footage – from Mussolini to Marilyn Monroe – unified and signposted by a genius’s vision.

Perfidious media managers; treachery in the name of truth. They are everywhere today, not least in the lies of “reality TV”. Francis Xavier Pasion’s Jay, from the Philippines, is an acutely funny tale of intrusive telly reporters, bearing down on a family bereaved by a gay son’s murder to make their grief part of a nation’s infotainment. They start by poking a lens at the family’s faces as they learn the news; they end by getting them to act, or re-enact, every emotional convulsion that needs a second, third or umpteenth take. The remuneration? The reporters will help find the son’s killer. By the time they do, even the murderer, we know, will be signing release forms and hungrily securing his 15 minutes of fame.

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18 August 2008

auditions for jeffrey jeturian's new film


Auditions for Quantum Films' indie film "PARANGAL," written by Armando "Bing " Lao and Chuck Gutierrez and to be directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, are scheduled on August 23 and 24, 1-7 P.M. at 7 Villanueva Drive, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. If you are coming from Philcoa going towards Fairview, get off at the overpass at Tandang Sora along Commonwealth Ave., cross over to Puregold on the left and walk a few meters towards Grand Terrace and Isuzu. In-between is Villanueva Drive, a dead-end street. For those with cars, turn at the first U-turn after Tandang Sora flyover. If you are coming from Fairview, the venue would be on your right.

Kindly bring both a close-up and full body photo. Incidentally, for the hunks roles, kindly bring swimming trunks. We are auditioning for the following character roles:


- 60-70 years old
docile, servile, faithful
over-protective of ward
arthritic and has failing eye-sight


- screen age, 45-55 years old
eldest sister
stern-looking, old maid
preferably fair-skinned


- screen age, 45-55 years old
middle brother
corporate guy
chauvinist and homophobic
preferably fair-skinned


- screen age, 40-50 years old
youngest sister
affable, loving
preferably fair-skinned


- screen age, 40-50 years old
Joaquin's wife
typical middle class


A. TIMMY - 18 years old, nerdy
B. MONICA - 13 years old, giggly
C. RJ - 9 years old, bratty


- 70-80 years old
family matriarch
senile, sickly


- screen age, 45-55 years old
music professor
gay, flamboyant, loud


- screen age, 45-55 yeras old
affable, charming
discreet gay



- can speak fluent Tagalog


- female, music student
-can sing Tagalog or Visayan folksong


- private nurse, 25-35 years old


- 12 years old



G. MATRON, widow





L. DEAN, male


N. ASSORTED GAYS, young and middle-aged



Quantum Films' "PARANGAL" Auditions

Auditions for Quantum Films' indie film "PARANGAL," written by Armando "Bing " Lao and Chuck Gutierrez and to be directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, are scheduled on August 23 and 24, 1-7 P.M. at 7 Villanueva Drive, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. If you are coming from Philcoa going towards Fairview, get off at the overpass at Tandang Sora along Commonwealth Ave., cross over to Puregold on the left and walk a few meters towards Grand Terrace and Isuzu. In-between is Villanueva Drive, a dead-end street. For those with cars, turn at the first U-turn after Tandang Sora flyover. If you are coming from Fairview, the venue would be on your right.


We are looking for good-looking, hunky males, ages 18 to 27. We are looking for the following:

1) BRIAN - screen age 15 to 25, good looks and good build

2) JHUN - screen agre 15 to 25, dark-skinned, well-toned body, can pass for a young JULIO DIAZ

3) BENJIE - screen age 15 to 25, fair skinned, well-toned body, can pass for a young RICKY DAVAO

Important: All "auditioners" must be willing to bare & engage in love scenes in the movie. Bring trunks, close-up, and full-body photos.

For further inquiries, you may call Josie at 09174918539 or 4075437 or visit http://parangal.multiply.com.


(l-r) at chocolate kiss cafe, with prizewinning film director jeffrey jeturian, u.p. theater professor anril pineda tiatco, u.p. european languages instructor errol john agustin, mercator models founder / CEO jonas gaffud, u.p. music lecturer paul aquino, and u.p. speech communication instructor erica jan valerio
prizewinning screenwriter armando "bing" lao and cinemalaya film festival best picture (for "jay") winner francis pasion
jeffrey jeturian with visual artist / businessman jay lozada

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