Low and out loud

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By Myke U. Obenieta

So to speak

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


WHAT we see is not always what the movies show. As the vividness of make-believe blazes the world over from the fortress of Hollywood, even the hard of hearing can’t miss the message from some of its stars: There’s more to tell than the image they impress upon and sell to its audience.

Applause for authenticity, loudly does it. So goes the encouragement from the enlightened in spite of the intolerant who may as well be gasping with surprise, if not squirming, at celebrities who reveal their real sexual orientation.

No tricks needed for true colors, indeed. All it takes to stand out is to come out in the open, as Ellen Page did recently when she received a standing ovation after she admitted being gay because “she is tired of hiding and… lying by omission.”

Exclusion of identity is not exclusive in the skirmish-prone politics of gender, however. It’s no less fraught with the peril of extinction than in a culture fading, by dint of disregard, into its twilight zone. Such as the shadow that now falls on the old glory of Cebu’s film industry.

“In the 1970s, Cebuano movies ran parallel or were more popular than Tagalog and international movies to audiences in the province and the region,” recalls the convenor of the Cebuano Cinema Development Council. “It is unfortunate that a majority of these motion pictures are now considered whispers of a lost cinema.”

Composed of Cebu’s independent film artists, the CCDC looks forward to the support of City Hall counselors by way of an ordinance that would revive and advance the local cinema through the creation of the Cebu Cinema Development Council. Certainly, low frequencies of hemming and hawing are strident in the scheme of high expectations.

Dream on. But as far as Cebu’s blueprint for development goes as good as the movie in our minds, the imperative for wakefulness is of the essence lest we’d be long only in nostalgia and short of the necessary reality check.

Thus there’s no quelling these questions: Where marginalization has been deeply embedded in the local consciousness, would there be an audience for Cebuano stories?

How could the native narrative stand a chance against the gravity of globalization—this market force where Hollywood pulls and throws its weight around?

Straightforward answers would be forthcoming if only most of us have figured out a way of becoming “glocal”--global and local both as citizens—true to the taste for movies or any art that reflect cultural diversity as well as originality. Only then can we, as Cebuanos, stand proud being out and loud.

(geemyko@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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