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Movie making from Waray’s olden history should begin now

By CHITO DELA TORRE
January 20, 2010

Marinel Cruz of the Inquirer entertainment staff dished out late afternoon of January 11, 2010 an information on ABS-CBN’s intensive preparations to unleash soap opera teleserye series sans cowering under an earlier announcement by TV5 that it would go heavy with “more films than ABS-CBN’s Star Cinema and GMA Films combined”. Said ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya network Channel head Cory Vidanes in Cruz’s feature story, “We are ready to compete.

Even before Manny Pangilinan took over TV5, we’ve already lined up new projects for 2010”.  Pangilinan, whose Media Quest recently took over the management of TV5, was quoted as saying that TV5’s goal for 2010 is to “provide the best content for everyone, everywhere, anytime.

ABS-CBN, through business unit head Deo Endrinal, told the Inquirer entertainment staff that it will make sure its products address all the markets that it wants to penetrate.  “When we compete, we go where we are strong” and “(w)e have content inspires the viewers.”  Soap operas are dramas which originate from scripts written for the radio, originally in the United States of America and later on in the Philippines (according to Endrinal: “In April 1949, P&G brought in the very first Pinoy soap, “Gulong ng Palad,” which aired on dzRH. It was written by Lina Flor and directed by Lucas Paredes.”) and were voice-acted to give life to the script’s characters, without the actors being seen by radio listeners composed mostly of female launderers.

Well, for that plan, I say, good luck to ABS-CBN. Well, too, that plan doesn’t put aside GMA7 which Cruz said “GMA7 has positioned itself as the fantaserye network”. On this note, it happens that I am one of the avid watchers of GMA7’s fantasy serials like those of the love-team Dingdong and Marian and Richard’s.

On top of all these, I’d suggest that the Philippines’ top television drama and commercial movie producers now start producing history-based films and biographies of adventurers of fellow Filipinos many of whom have been recognized for their heroism, and epic adventures.  The Juan Tamad had been one of the contemporary examples along this line, although perhaps Juan “Johnny” Pusong of Leyte and Samar may prove just as worthy.  We also have a rich history of the pulahan rebel warriors.  That, too, could make for a vivid movie and tv presentation, more particularly if the actors and actresses are chosen from among the Waray talents, of which we have a preponderance.  Calbayog City alone continues to produce new casts for stage plays that make a long list of stage players since short plays had unwound in the guerrilla campaign against the Japanese soldiers.  Colorful history-allied legends could likewise be portrayed, like the Bungansakit of Basey, Samar (although newfound archives reveal that Basey did not actually get its name from the word baysay, native term for beauty, from an explorer who bore the surname “Basey”, and although Bungansakit was actually not an incanto’s daughter but that of a woman abused by a Spanish priest assigned to Basey).

That done, our own local history would help much in educating our youth, and re-educating our adults on their distant and most remote past. The world-famed Balangiga Massacre had gone into video documentaries, but a full movie on that massacre need be produced, with compact disc copies reproduced for circulation, as should other similar history-recounting movies, and deposited in schools and public libraries.  Perhaps, too, there should be a cinematographic revivification of the Philippine rediscovery of Fernando de Magalhaes via Homonhon island of Guiuan (the southernmost tip town in Samar island.  A friend based in Makati City – a highly urbanized city boasted of by its mayor, now vice-presidential candidate Atty. Jejomar Binay – sent a message asking if the idea is good that a former education regional director (Maximo Alibe, Nacionalista Party of presidential candidate senator Manny Villar) from Eastern Samar who is now a candidate for congressman in that lone district would promote historical revivifications.

Along this vein, Mao Tse Tung had this thought to teach:  “No political party can possibly lead a great revolutionary movement to victory unless it possesses revolutionary theory and knowledge of history and has a profound grasp of the practical movement. – (The Role of the Chinese Communist Party in the National War" [October 1938], Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 208.)