THE “Battle of Tres de Abril” was a historical event embedded in the hearts of every Cebuano. It was a story of victory, freedom and tragedy; a story of how Cebu played its part in the quest for the country’s freedom from its colonizers. However, over the ages, its story has faded for the younger generations. The youth are unable to relate these stories of the past to their present struggles.
To bridge the gap between the past and the present, Palm Grass: The Cebu Heritge Hotel conducted a workshop with the help of University of the Philippines - Cebu alumnus and Hong Kong-based video creator Prospero Laput. The workshop invited participants composed of students from different universities.
Last May 20, a special screening of the short fiction film entitled “Kinasing” was held. The film was produced by Palm Grass Hotel and Laput of Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Focus Features, in cooperation with UP Cebu Mass Comm and Cebu Normal University (CNU) students.
Kinasing is a bisaya word which refers to the heart-shaped weave of a “puso” (hanging rice). Hanging rice was used in the film to represent the weaving of a love story involving younger characters and the battle of Tres de Abril.
“While shooting an interview in Pasil about puso and the 1898 Tres de Abril, we realized that this beautiful creation, kinasing can be a potential source of a story. And we thought that there is no other way to tell a story about the kinasing than through a love story,” said Laput.
CNU student scriptwriters and set designers immersed at Pasil and stayed with host families for days to learn more about the lives of the puso-makers. UP Cebu screenwriters together with the CNU writers then wrote the script for two days. The actors and actresses of the film also immersed among the people in Pasil and learned to weave the more intricate pattern of “kinasing”—a pattern more difficult than the “puso binaba” which the more common type of pattern among “puso” being sold now.
The short film tried to weave the historical “Battle of Tres de Abril” with a love story that revolved around some of the contemporary problems being faced by the younger generation. Despite being the product of mostly students who are only beginning their career in film making, the film was able to spark a conversation about society and Cebuano history.
“Kinasing” is also the title of the theme song of the film which was specifically created for it. The song was translated off an English poem written by Jeff Escarda, Joannah Jane Sy and A. Guivelondo.