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.
January 23 – “Peerless Vampire Killers” is my review of Matthew Abaya’s Vampariah.
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.
October 6 – “President Duterte’s War on Drugs,” a short lecture I delivered at the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy forum in Jeongno-gu, Seoul. Wonderful discussion session but unfortunately unrecorded. Many thanks to Lee Youngah, Jung Bubmo, Jung Jaewon, and Baek Gayoon for the excellent translations.
September 1 – “Fallout to ‘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 In relation to this, I have uploaded, as a one-time previously unpublished blog entry, a review of Marie Jamora’s Ang Nawawala [What Isn’t There] (2012), titled “Searched For, But Not Missing.”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.