Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Delivering Stories of Progress


HOWIE SEE IT: Our film, our story

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Okada Manila
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The Manor at Camp John Hay
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By Atty. Howie Calleja

At the onset, allow me to thank all those that supported the premiere showing of ORAS DE PELIGRO both at the SM MEGAMALL (last February 23) and at the Cine Adarna, UP Film Center in UP Diliman (last February 24). As a first-time producer, this film under Bagong Siklab Productions (together with Alvi Siongco) was indeed a heartwarming experience to feel the overwhelming backing of all those who wanted to watch truthful storytelling in these precarious times of distorting history.

Special mention goes to the many personalities and friends who supported the film and attended which includes Justuce Tony Carpio, Justice Chit Morales, Former Commissioner Heidi Medoza, Former Sen. Bam Aquino, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Dean Chel Diokno, Former Cong. Neri Colminares, Former Cong. Tonchi Tinio, Cong. Raoul Manuel, Cong. France Castro, Cong. Arlene Brosas, and Entertainment personalities such as Angel Aquino, Pilar Pilapil with daughter Pia Jim Paredes, Mitch Valdez and national artist Virgilio Almario among others. While on Feb 25 at the UP film center, Sen Kiko Pangilinan graced the occasion

When I read comments like, “The archival footage (in Oras de Peligro) intercut with a lower-middle-class family’s struggle when actual events were taking place in February of 1986. There is no way what really happened at EDSA 86 can be denied. Excellent job, archival geniuses Rose Roque, JL Burgos and Frank Brobio”(Bibeth Orteza); “Mahalagang mapanood ng bayan ang Oras de Peligro. Para mas makita nila ang totoong nangyari sa 1986 Edsa People Power. Hindi magsisinungaling ang film clips. Batay naman sa totoong buhay ang trahedya ni Dario at pamilya” (Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature); “I can’t help it. Napaiyak ako after the screening” (Sister Mary John Mananzan) — it truly gives me the continued inspiration to seek worthwhile undertakings such as this in the Spirit of Truth, Democracy and Nationalism.

When asked, “why produce this film?” the simple reason I would always give is TRUTH. It is our “categorical imperative” (as Immanuel Kant would say), to stand for the truth and to share this truth amidst the duplicity and lies. There’s nothing political. We don’t have any political characters. We are not on any political side. But as they said, the truth has to be told, again and again ang again so that the truth would not be overshadowed.

What is our story? Through the creative direction of Joel Lamangan, the viewers will see that as the EDSA Revolution unfolds, a mother, son, and daughter who live in a slum near Malacañang Palace would grapple with the murder of their patriarch in the hands of corrupt policemen, thus turning them from passive victims of social injustice into active participants in the final hours of the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Movies are powerfully effective at communicating with the youth, most especially those who are too young or too uneducated to evaluate it critically. Precisely because of its audio-visual presentation, movies are especially effective at illogical persuasion. No careful logical reasoning is presented in films used for publicity, and worse, while being bombarded by rapidly changing images and sounds, the mind cannot critically follow complex arguments. Thus, it is critical that we utilize this same “propaganda” mechanism for proper education and information dissemination; and, I thank Direk Joel and his pool of actors — Cherie Pie Picache; Allen Dizon; Mae Paner; Therese Malvar; Dave Bornea; Gerald Santos; Carlos Dala; Felixia Dizon; Jim Pebanco; Nanding Joseph; Apollo Abraham; Marcus Madrigal; Rico Barrera; and Elora Espano; who in their own creative way continues to stand up for the TRUTH.

This is our story; this is not based on any bias against any family but the story of every Juan Dela Cruz and about the struggles of every Filipino who continues to fight for truth and justice. So, like what I have said in my media interviews, we hope the film does well commercially but also brings the right message to the people. The theme is something that revolves around the Filipino and love of country. If the people like what we offer them, then there should be no problem making a second, third or fourth movie; and we hope you would support its Nationwide Cinematic release on March 1, 2023.

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