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.
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 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 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 25 – “Siren Call” is my review of Lawrence Fajardo’s streaming entry Nerisa, first published August 23 in The FilAm.
July 16 – “An Error in the Urian’s Internet Record,” whose title I hope says enough.
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 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 18 – A 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 7 – Another pandemic-era obit to someone who should have stayed forever: Anita Linda, a.k.a. “Mother Pinas, Onscreen.”
May 9 – “My Peque Gallaga Interview” is actually the one that got away, upon the director’s unexpected demise.
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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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).