Niñal: ‘Eskrimadors’ and Kris A. for president

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Monday, February 1, 2010


LAST Saturday, I watched the world premiere of the documentary film “Eskrimadors” in SM City Cebu. I’m no film expert. If I don’t sleep through a movie, it’s good enough for me. And my idea of brilliant acting is Kris Aquino crying real tears in a Carlo Caparas massacre flick.

Yes, for those who’ve been missing this column, I haven’t changed a bit. I still believe Kris will make a better president than Noynoy.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

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Going back, I won’t be talking about the merits and demerits of “Eskrimadors.” If “Eskrimadors” is good, “that’s a given,” as what my colleague Publio Briones, himself an award-winning actor and filmmaker, said. Meaning, any film produced by the same people behind “Eskrimadors” has little chance of frustrating the viewers. They’re that good. And they’re from Cebu and as Bisdak as the Filipino fighting art of Eskrima.

“Eskrimadors” traces the development of the fighting art from its tribal warfare roots, its use in repelling foreign invaders, as an art of duelists, and its transformation into a sport practiced in over 25 countries.

That’s practically the overall plot of the film. And it should be accurate because I lifted that paragraph verbatim from the film’s official website, eskrimadorsdocu.com. I told you I’m no film expert so don’t expect a synopsis of my own here.

I’m privileged to know some of the people behind “Eskrimadors” and a host of other films that have been reaping awards here and abroad. For their contribution in raising the standard of filmmaking in Cebu, they deserve mentioning here. Three of the most important people behind “Eskrimadors” are Kerwin Go (director, co-producer), Ruel Antipuesto (cinematographer, co-producer) and Jiji Borlasa (associate producer).

I met Kerwin for the first time after last Saturday’s 8 p.m. screening, inside the theater. It was dark and I couldn’t make out what he looked like other than that he’s as tall as I am short and he shook hands like he’s gripping an arnis. I’ve shared a couple of beers with Jiji through some common friends and indirectly worked with her on some film- and literature-related projects.

It’s Ruel that I have the rare privilege of closely working with, spending long hours with him on projects that promote the three advocacies we so passionately care about–-Bisaya films, Bisaya music and sending as many poor kids as possible to school.

Ruel is a person not comfortable with praises. So I won’t do that here. I won’t tell you that he is one artist so fiercely dedicated to his art and his other advocacies that you don’t see him wasting time doing something else. I won’t tell you that his immense talent is equaled only by the humility and generosity with which he shares this gift with us.

I’ve been a fan of Cebu’s art (literature, film, music) scene long enough to know how overcrowded it is with people who are there for the wrong reasons. Cebu’s art scene needs people like Ruel to shame the posers.

Now to my real motive behind this Ruel Antipuesto-is-the-best article. I’ve been elected president of the Kris Aquino For President Movement--Cebu City Chapter. A Ruel Antipuesto documentary of my candidate’s journey from being a serious massacre queen to being a serious presidential contender will be very much appreciated. Now na!

(insoymada@gmail.com)

Niñal ‘eskrimadors’ and kris president

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