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.

11011The 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) but preceded by an earlier tribute to a colleague in Korean academe, Manuel “Bangy” Dioquino Jr.

A FilmCrit Folio

• “A Second Golden Age” – the article that first claimed that another filmic Golden Age, roughly coinciding with the Marcos martial-law period, ended with the fall of the dictatorship, no thanks to the liberal-democratic system that replaced it.
The Trouble with Golden Ages – what should have followed the previously listed piece: a challenging of the Golden Ages framework, rather than the lionizing of a supposedly ongoing third one.
More on the 2nd Golden Age – an argument for understanding the art-vs-commerce approach used by martial law-era practitioners.
Ten Best Films Survey – the first comprehensive canon-forming survey of Philippine cinema, conducted and published in 1990.
• “Problems in Philippine Film Awards” – a memorandum submitted in 2003 to colleagues at the University of the Philippines Film Institute, after I ended my directorship to be able to go on foreign exchange. Like several official letters, this one was ignored and resulted in a state of affairs that affirmed the egos of the critics-dominated members of the faculty, but had no significant contribution whatsoever to the interests of Philippine film criticism.
Every Tier a Victory; Or Why Film Awards Don’t Have to Be So Divisive – an account of how several like-minded critical critics (as opposed to the more typical uncritical practitioners) sought for and decided on a workable means of providing recognition for achievements in film practice.
An Awards Exercise – a mock ceremony that declared winners in standard categories, covering all Filipino film releases up to the point of publication (early 1991).
Pinoy Film Criticism – titled “A Lover’s Polemic,” a hasty and compressed evaluation of the difficulties encountered by local practitioners of film criticism.
Fallout over Criticizing Critics – a narrative of the original Filipino film critics circle’s displays of pique over feeling alluded to in the allegations of the previous article (“A Lover’s Polemic”); continued in “A Formative Sojourn.”
• “From Cloud to Resistance” discusses the troubles of and prospects for film criticism in the Philippines. It comprises two parts, opening with “The Problem of Our Critical Approaches,” concluding with “Toward a More Responsive Critical Practice” and supplemented by an Appendix.
Critics & Their Canons – a summary and hopeful closure of my long-term canon-forming activities.

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February 2023

February 9 – “Anonymity & Its Discontents,” on an annoying social-network trend.

September 2022

September 13 – “From Cloud to Resistance” is my assessment of political film criticism in the Philippines, comprising three uploads: Part 1, “The Problem of Our Critical Approaches”; Part 2, “Toward a More Responsive Critical Practice”; and Appendix, “‘Category E’ Samples.”.

August 2022

August 6 – “A Formative Sojourn” is a personal account of insights I picked up on film criticism, based on my experience with the local awards-obsessed critics’ circle.

June 2022

June 26 – “A Season of Comebacks” is an opinion piece on issues pertaining to the 2022 recipients of the Order of the National Artist.

June 11 – “National Artist Endorsement for Ricky Lee” is a letter dated October 20, 2020, uploaded February 2, 2021, and “published” after the last batch of National Artists under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte was announced.

June 3 – “What Lies Above” is a mini-commentary that ought to concern folks concerned about the state of film criticism.

March 2022

March 10 – “The Political Is Personal” is my review of Sheila Coronel’s “Marcos and Memory: The Past in Our Future,” this year’s Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture of the Writers Union of the Philippines, first published March 6 in The FilAm.

September 2021

September 28 – “Nether Nation” is my review of Joel C. Lamangan’s Lockdown, first published September 27 in The FilAm.

September 13 – “A Missing Installation in the Philippine Pantheon,” a draft of an article on the neglected director Gregorio Fernandez (1904-73).

August 2021

August 25 – “Siren Call” is my review of Lawrence Fajardo’s streaming entry Nerisa, first published August 23 in The FilAm.

July 2021

July 16 – “An Error in the Urian’s Internet Record,” whose title I hope says enough.

April 2021

April 15 – “NUT’s Kernel,” a tribute to the late great critic and filmmaker Nestor U. Torre; both functions were under-recognized when he passed away.

February 2021

February 15 – A strangely worded article, titled “Experimental Cinema of the Philippines: A Hasty Recollection,” also posted as a Special Lists sidebar entry.

February 2 – Dovie Beams, who passed away in 2017, deserves much more than the short tribute I posted, but that might have to be taken up by someone with more time and resources than I have at this time.

December 2020

December 18A translation of the review by Chuckberry J. Pascual of my 2017 book Manila by Night: A Queer Film Classic, published in the 2020 issue of the University of the Philippines Film Institute’s relaunched Pelikula: A Journal of Philippine Cinema.

July 2020

July 7 – Another pandemic-era obit to someone who should have stayed forever: Anita Linda, a.k.a. “Mother Pinas, Onscreen.”

May 2020

May 9 – “My Peque Gallaga Interview” is actually the one that got away, upon the director’s unexpected demise.

January 2020

January 28 – In response to requests to elaborate further on an aspect of the “Bibliographical Essay” I posted earlier, here’s a mini-essay titled “The Aunor Effect in Philippine Film Book Publications.”

October 2019

October 31 – “Showbiz Babylon” is my Halloween-appropriate commentary on the Barretto family scandal, formerly published as “The Barrettos and the Privilege of Behaving Badly” in The FilAm.

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June 2019

June 27 – An obituary for the then-still-thriving actor-director Eddie Garcia, titled “Manoy Takes His Leave.”

June 5 – Independent filmmaker Joselito (Jay) Altarejos posted an announcement of a screening of his excellent social-problem film, Jino to Mari, quoting a message I posted last April 9 on Facebook. Please click on the pic to enlarge it for readability.

March 2019

March 25 – “A Salute to Our Pinay Filmmakers” is a short statement I originally posted on Facebook, in recognition of the innovative contributions of women directors to the local rom-com genre.

December 2018

December 25 – “Tears Go By” is my review of Mes de Guzman’s Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha, originally posted on the All Things Sharon fan website.

August 2018

August 24 – “Signal Rock and a Hard Place” is the revised version of my review of Chito Roño’s film, originally published in the Philippine Entertainment Portal on August 17, 2018.

July 2018

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 2018

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.

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September 2017

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 2017

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.”

December 2016

December 22 – “MMFF: A Festival in Flux” is a commentary I wrote on the 2016 edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival. I have listed it in this section as “A Festival in Flux.”

November 2016

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 2016

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 2016

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.”

May 2016

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 2016

March 11 – A formal letter I wrote to “Colleagues in the Graduate Faculty” at Southwestern University, regarding controversial Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.

February 2016

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.

May 2013

May 26 – A farewell tribute to the late Manuel “Bangy” Dioquino Jr. (1960-2015), on his last day as professor at Sungkyunkwan University and founding Chair of the Philippine Resource Persons Group (renamed the Association of Filipino Educators in Korea).

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