I realized that I’d been posting a number of entries that were essentially commentaries, and lumping them together with genuine ephemera in the blog’s Extras section. I then resolved to store separately these entries before they accumulate to a point of unwieldiness. I will also be using this section for posting personal opinions on issues of film and culture, including the occasional review. I will have to find a way of organizing these entries later, but I figured it would be best to start with a section devoted exclusively to them.
The present section will open with a boxed set of links on film criticism, followed by a reverse-chronological list of various other items starting in 2016 (the year after my last personal anthology, Millennial Traversals, came out).
July 30 – “Innocence Regained” is the revised and updated version of my review of Khavn’s Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, originally published in The FilAm on July 16, 2018, as “Amid the Nightmare of War, a Coming-of-Age.”
March 21 – A tribute to the late, great artist “Farewell Farewell, Bernardo Bernardo,” supplemented by “Bernardo Bernardo: Exchanges on Facebook Messenger,” which I managed to download and save before the online file was inexplicably deleted.
September 18 – My review of Treb Monteras II’s Respeto, originally published in The FilAm, has been corrected and updated: “Film May Be Dead, but Film Culture Is Alive and Well.” Some bases for the corrections may be found in the record of exchanges that I kept: “Source Exchange for Review of Respeto.”
January 23 – “Peerless Vampire Killers” is my review of Matthew Abaya’s Vampariah. For the record of exchanges building up to the drafting and publication of the review, see “Source Exchange for Review of Vampariah.”
November 17 – “President Duterte’s War on Drugs” is a lecture I delivered during a forum at the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy in Seoul.
October 30 – “The Original Post of the National University’s Roundtable on Film Criticism” is an introduction to a PDF copy of a file that had been truncated at its source, the vol. 13, no. 1 (2016) issue of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication’s journal Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society.
October 18 – “Cold Word Wars: Philippine Film as a Critical Activity” is the 2016 FACINE Gawad Lingap Sining Lecture that I delivered at the Diego Rivera Theater, City College of San Francisco.
September 1 – “Fallout over ‘A Lover’s Polemic’” is my account of “A Round Table Discussion on Poetics and Practice of Film Criticism,” as published in the recently posted vol. 13, no. 1 (2016) issue of Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society. In relation to this, I have uploaded, as a one-time previously unpublished blog entry, a review of Marie Jamora’s Ang Nawawala [What Isn’t There] (2012), titled “Searched For, But Not Missing.”
March 11 – My take on the recently concluded Philippine presidential elections, titled “Pop Culture and Halalan 2016,” originally published as “How Pop Culture, Social Media Played a Role in Halalan 2016” in The FilAm.
March 11 – A formal letter I wrote to “Colleagues in the Graduate Faculty” at Southwestern University, regarding controversial Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
February 18 – “Artists, Cultural Leaders Speak Out against Pacquiao’s Words”: one of several short statements solicited by GMA News Online. The complete text I drafted is as follows:
The tragedy of Manny Pacquiao is a magnified version of the situation that confronts Filipinos who aspire for a better life and who manage to achieve it, usually by working overseas: Filipino culture (including the educational system) fails to prepare the citizens for a life of privilege and leisure, and allows or even encourages them to fall back on pre-scientific belief systems. Pacquiao is correct in saying that his statements appear in the Bible. What he overlooks is the fact that those prescriptions were made for a specific place and time, roughly the desert culture of 3,000 years ago. It may be a simple process of deduction for a few educated people to realize that the difference between then and there on the one hand, and here and now on the other, is tremendous. However, the fact that the tools necessary for Pacquiao to take that fairly simple step were unavailable to him should be the shocking realization, the wake-up call, for the government’s responsibility in fostering a scientific and material approach to Filipino culture.