Costanilla: Delightful tableau for ambassador Frank-A A +A
Sunday, February 24, 2013
FILMS. As an advocate for the revival and sustainability of the Cebuano/Visayan movie industry, I am delighted to know that starting today, Monday, until Thursday, there is a Binisaya Film Festival that aims to show full-length flicks produced by local filmmakers.
Surely, this would give the general public, especially the young, the chance to appreciate the rich and lively language of ordinary Cebuanos. I particularly commend J Center Mall Cinema, Bisdak Pride Inc. and Binisaya Movement for joining forces in order to come up with this four-day event as part of the celebration of February as national arts month. The festival is actually a flagship project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts sub-committee on film. I also gathered that the Cebu Alliance of Mass Communication Students and a number of private entities are supporting this commendable undertaking.
Hope. It is our collective hope that this four-day event would encourage its organizers, as well as other interested groups, to continue to tirelessly move forward to achieve what we have been praying for—the revival and sustainability of the Cebuano/Visayan movie industry. It is sad to note that while we in Cebu and other parts of the Visayas have a surplus of talents (writers, directors, actors and even technical men), they have not been afforded the opportunity to shine as filmmakers and their growth as artists stunted simply because we do not have enough producers here. So they go to Manila where big-time film producers are based but their appearance in movies does not happen too often.
Appeal. If only to show our support for the Binisaya film festival, may I appeal to all of you to watch what its organizers have prepared. For instance, this 12:30 p.m., they will show Biyernes Biyernes as its first offering and this will be followed by three short films namely, Ang Gugma ni Olivia, Uwan Init Pista sa Langit and Ngilngig Stories. Tomorrow, Tuesday, starting 12:30 p.m., they will screen Doktora, Undo and Saranghae My Tutor. On Wednesday, the short films to be screened are Salvi, Cantores de Mandaue: Kanta sa Kinabuhi, Brando and Malipayong Punerarya. This will be followed by the full-length flick Kordero sa Dios. Up for screening on Thursday are Pinky Finger, 5th Street, Kataposang Labok, Puklat, Sa Kataposang Palito, Of Tino and Ting and The Perfect Man. The last to be shown is the full-length movie Sabado Sabado. As the organizers are saying, the Binisaya Film Festival is a rich collection of movies that tell stories with an independence of spirit. I wish them all the best in this endeavor. And I will be there to watch all their offerings.
Musical. It was indeed a simple, short and sweet tribute to a very humble man but the entire presentation that was over in less than an hour was very delightful for all of us that watched it. I am referring to the musical tableau titled “A Paean For An Aquarian: The Journey” that the students of Benedicto College presented as part of the school’s Founder’s Day celebration. It was specifically dedicated to retired Philippine ambassador Francisco “Frank” Benedicto, who founded the college 12 years ago. The consummate diplomat and his children were around to entertain some members of media and the business community that enjoyed the program at the college’s artists hall.
Journey. The entire musical tableau perfectly captured in songs and dances the journey of Sir Frank, as he is fondly called, in his pursuit of personal and professional ambitions as a husband, father, businessman and career diplomat. The students that took part in the program were not necessarily veterans in stage presentations but with the guidance of college consultant Mila Espina as director, they were able to entertain us with flying colors. Let me, in particular, cite Ruby Omandac whose version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow was a soulful one. She’s got the voice that when fully trained and refined will surely bring her to places someday. The college’s next offering should be a much bigger one, maybe a Broadway play that Espina is so good at as director.
Surprise. It was a surprise homecoming that concert artist and now Hong Kong-based entertainer Raki Vega did for her dad who celebrated his birthday just days apart from her own. There was a party for this purpose. I will give you an account of what transpired during the happy gathering in my article next Monday. But let me just emphasize that Raki, despite her success in the international music scene, is still the same sweet and talented lady from Cebu. She hasn’t forgotten her humble beginning as well as her Cebuano roots and, of course, her being a devout Marian devotee.
Concert. There are suggestions for Raki to stage a homecoming concert here but her very hectic schedule in Hong Kong prevents her from doing so. But there will be an appropriate time for that soon. And in case you forgot, let me remind you that Raki was a past Garbo sa Sugbo awardee in the field of performing arts. She is really Cebu’s pride.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2013.