Tag Archives: Education

Entries in the 2 Editions of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art

The second edition of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, ed. Nicanor G. Tiongson (Manila: CCP & the Office of the Chancellor, University of the Philippines Diliman, 2017, ISBN 978-971-8546-70-3), is a noteworthy improvement over the first – except, again, for the exorbitant selling price. Now comprising 12 volumes, including two for literature, it however overlooked several books on film, an area which has been booming way before the millennium and shows no sign of letting up. (Just in time then for my uploading in Ámauteurish! of a fairly comprehensive bibliography on Philippine cinema.) I had the same contributions in Film (Volume 6, ISBN 978-971-8546-63-5) for this edition, plus an additional one in Theater (Volume 9, ISBN 978-971-8546-63-6). Special thanks to Maricor E. Jesalva, Cultural Attaché, for making available for scanning the set owned by the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Seoul, Korea.

These entries are listed below, starting with a file of the preliminaries of the Film volume, including (for good measure) the page where I’m featured, and ending with General Sources, listing the materials I had written. The same warning I sounded regarding my entries in the first edition still applies: these articles had been co-written, relied on dated auteurist perspectives, and were occasionally outright erroneous. Scanned PDF copies, in order of pagination:

Preliminaries (Vol. 6, Film: cover, frontispiece, title, copyright, staff, contents), to page xv;
• “Aksiyon” (with Lynn Pareja, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Mesandel Arguelles), 112-13;
• “Animation” (with Lynn Pareja, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Michael Kho Lim), 114-17;
• “Horror” (with Lynn Pareja, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Erika Carreon), 134-35;
• “Komedi” (with Lynn Pareja, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Mesandel Arguelles), 136-38;
• “Musical” (with Lynn Pareja & Nicanor G. Tiongson, with notes from Pio de Castro III & Bienvenido Lumbera; updated by Johann Vladimir J. Espiritu), 139-40;
• “Acting in Film” (with Justino Dormiendo, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Johann Vladimir J. Espiritu), 146-47;
• “Cinematography” (with Nick Cruz, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Elvin Valerio and Clodualdo del Mundo Jr.), 161-64;
• “Distribution in Film” (with Rosalie Matilac, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Albert Almendralejo), 179-82;
• “Producing for Film” (with Nick Cruz & Rosalie Matilac, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Jose Javier Reyes, with notes from Johann Vladimir J. Espiritu), 196-99;
• “Sound Recording in Film” (with Nick Cruz, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Rica Arevalo), 210-11;
• “Training and Education for Film” (with Lynn Pareja, with notes from Pio de Castro III, Bienvenido Lumbera, & Nicanor G. Tiongson; updated by Johann Vladimir J. Espiritu), 213-14;
• “Studies” with entries on Isagani R. Cruz’s Movie Times (1984), 386, and Emmanuel A. Reyes’s Notes on Philippine Cinema (1989) and Rafael Ma. Guerrero’s edited volume Readings in Philippine Cinema (1982), 388, plus an entry covering my first three books – The National Pastime: Contemporary Philippine Cinema (1990), Fields of Vision: Critical Applications in Recent Philippine Cinema (1995), and Wages of Cinema: Film in Philippine Perspective (1998) – by Eileen Ang, 386-87;
• “David, Joel” (by Rosalinda Galang, updated by Elmer L. Gatchalian), 427;
• “General Sources,” 566-67; and
• “Velasco, Johven” (Vol. 9, Theater, including cover; updated from Bonifacio P. Ilagan’s text), 796.

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For those interested in looking further (or going further back), the following are my entries in the first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, ed. Nicanor G. Tiongson (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1994, ISBN 971-8546-23-5). Scanned PDF copies, in order of pagination, from Philippine Film, Volume 8 (of 10 volumes, ISBN 971-8546-31-6):

• “Aksyon” (with Lynn Pareja), 82-83;
• “Animation” (with Lynn Pareja), 83-84;
• “Horror” (with Lynn Pareja), 90;
• “Komedi” (with Lynn Pareja), 90-91;
• “Musical” (with Lynn Pareja & Nicanor G. Tiongson), 92-93;
• “Acting” (with Justino Dormiendo), 96-97;
• “Cinematography” (with Nick Cruz), 105-07;
• “Distribution” (with Rosalie Matilac), 112-14;
• “Production” (with Nick Cruz & Rosalie Matilac), 124-28;
• “Sound Recording” (with Nick Cruz), 134-36;
• “Studies and Training” (with Lynn Pareja), 136-37.

Finally, a batch of material I forgot about and recently rediscovered from the same encyclopedia edition’s Volume 9, titled Philippine Literature (ISBN 971-8546-32-4). Most were written by me, but I included the entries on my first book as well as on me as author, plus a film-book entry (Bien Lumbera’s) that I did not write:

• Isagani R. Cruz’s Movie Times, 473;
• Joel David’s The National Pastime, 474;
• Emmanuel A. Reyes’s Notes on Philippine Cinema, 475;
• Rafael Ma. Guerrero’s (as ed.) Readings in Philippine Cinema, 484-85;
• Bienvenido Lumbera’s Revaluation: Essays on Philippine Literature, Cinema and Popular Culture (entry written by M.T. Wright), 485-86;
• Nicanor G. Tiongson’s (as ed.) The Urian Anthology 1970-1979, 495; and
David, Joel (entry written by Rosalinda Galang), 575.

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Á!


Meta-Kritika! (Ámauteurish turns 5!)

Launched on June 13, 2014, Ámauteurish! observes its fifth year of more-or-less continuous existence and offers its readers the chance to own a signed copy of author Joel David’s latest book publication, Manila by Night: A Queer Film Classic. How? By joining the Philippines’s first Meta-Kritika Contest. Here are the rules:

  1. The contest is open to college undergraduate students (regardless of nationality) in Philippine universities. Associate or vocational students, foreign students on exchange in a Philippine university (or Filipino students on exchange abroad), and out-of-school youth who have completed high-school-level education or its equivalent, will all also be eligible, though not people who have completed at least one bachelor’s degree.
  2. The prospective contestant should select one readily available current or past Filipino feature film, as well as one piece of published commentary by any author (regardless of nationality) on the film; said commentary should be a review, at least, although it may also be a longer critique. “Filipino feature film” refers to any film dramatization with distinctive Philippine issues, whether released locally or overseas. “Published commentary” may include material uploaded on the internet, excluding audio-only or audiovisual presentations. Only one film may be paired with one commentary, and each participant may submit only one entry.
  3. The contestant should provide critical commentary on the film in relation to the commentary on it. In effect, she or he should respond to the film as well as the review or criticism written previously on the same film.
  4. The contestant should complete at least two single-spaced pages, but no more than five pages of writing, using a form that may be downloaded here. Notes and citations may be elaborated via footnotes, if necessary, using the Modern Language Association’s writing guidelines. Entries may be submitted in English, Filipino, or any variation of Taglish; commentaries may also be originally printed in any of the specified languages.
  5. The contest entry should be in MS Word format (as either a .doc or a .docx file) and should be submitted as an email attachment, with “Meta-Kritika Contest submission” in the subject line. The contestant’s name should also be the file name of the entry.
  6. Entries will be evaluated by a specially constituted Board of Judges, using standard nonfiction criteria (accuracy, fairness, originality, expressive creativity). The Board’s decision will be considered final.
  7. All entries will be treated as shared copyright material by the contestant and Ámauteurish Publishing. Winning entries and excerpts from the other contributions may be published in a special folio by Ámauteurish! at the publisher’s discretion.
  8. Writers of the best five entries, as determined by the Board of Judges, will be sent one copy each of Manila by Night: A Queer Film Classic, signed by the book author.
  9. The deadline for entries is midnight (Philippine Standard Time) of October 31, 2019. Winners will be announced in Ámauteurish! on or before December 1, 2019.

Some tips: Resist the inclination to prove your superiority over the film and/or article that you’ll be selecting; avoid as well providing a mere summary of the (film and published) texts. For this reason, it may be better for you to pick out texts that you feel can challenge your analytical ability. There will also be a wide variety of possible responses beyond agreeing or disagreeing with the material. Assume that your readers are familiar or will familiarize themselves with your material, so there won’t be any need to extensively synopsize or summarize what you’re writing about. The minimum expectation is that you will be triangulating your own position vis-à-vis the film and the article. Reading up and watching related materials will ensure that you will be better prepared for the exercise.

Possibly the most difficult challenge of all would be to try maintaining a light, conversational tone, rather than a hectoring or argumentative voice. Spend some time on the opening section of your article; often, achieving the right stylistic mix in raising the issue (just one, please), identifying the texts to discuss, and plotting your own course in pursuit of your position will already help speed you along, once you’ve nailed it. Try anticipating at least one other critical voice in your head, pointing out possible weaknesses in your argument, so that you’ll be able to ensure a rigorous output for yourself.

After completing your draft (preferably using this template), pause long enough until you feel distant from it, then go over it mercilessly, looking for ways to improve it further. Remember that, in writing on material that required technical skills to be expertly created, your own technique will also be subjected to inspection; make sure to use software checkers for spelling and grammar, if available, as well as any available source (starting with the internet, which you should also approach critically) for fact-checking.

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Statement on the Availability of Filipino Films during the Internet Era

Like other developing countries, the Philippines finds itself at a disadvantage in coping with and adjusting to the manifold challenges posed by rapid technological changes during the current digital period. All predigital media have been profoundly transformed, with positive and negative consequences for each one.

The case of film is instructive and exceptional, since this has been the medium where most Filipino talents tended to converge, given its ability to bestow widespread recognition and financial compensation. Given the call to make as much of humanity’s cultural legacy as readily available as possible, the output of commercial media raises special complications, premised on issues of copyright and fair use.

As critic and scholar, my primary advocacy in this situation would be in favor of the public domain – the theoretical, legal, much-contested entity that lays claim to any true artist’s or author’s handiwork. In the view of public-domain advocates, the right of an investor and/or a creator to profit from her or his product should always be granted, but it should also be proscribed as immediately and urgently as possible when the public interest comes in conflict with it. We see this occur on a regular basis with the expiration of copyright, when any previously protected work forthwith becomes shared public property. Only when this happens does the creative process become complete: the poet, painter, composer, filmmaker, etc. finally yields her legacy, to be claimed and owned by humanity, with the acknowledgment of authorship as the artist’s or author’s only permanent reward.

This is the reason why in any generation in cinema, we find a virtual cadre of workers who continue the tasks of tracking, claiming, preserving, and reproducing titles that have become rare or that might have been lost. The human weaknesses of hoarding and reprofiting off found material has also been part of this tendency from the beginning, but with the formulation and propagation of values anchored on public interest, we are now witnessing collectors of rare material making their items available to all interested parties at little to no cost. This activity is enhanced by the global reach of internet media – a historical juncture that endows present and future generations with artefacts of culture and literature, many of which were previously reserved for only the most privileged members of society.

For the past few years, the Philippines’s most successful film studio, Regal Films, still involved in production though not as actively as it used to, has been deadlocked in its negotiations with the country’s sole remastering outfit, ABS-CBN Film Restoration, effectively freezing hundreds of movies from the 1970s to the present. Some of the most outstanding titles ever made, number among its releases. My personal disclosure regarding my interest in this state of affairs is that a Regal movie, Ishmael Bernal’s Manila by Night (1980), was one of the 20-or-so titles included in the acclaimed Queer Films Series of Vancouver-based Arsenal Pulp Press. I wrote the monograph for the film – but, as the series editors (Thomas Waugh and Matthew Hays) reminded me, Manila by Night was the only entry that was unavailable to foreign scholars.

A far-from-satisfactory DVD edition went out of print several years ago, while copies presumably unsanctioned by the producer may be found online; I have found myself referring researchers to the published version of the full script (translated to English by Alfred A. Yuson) in the August 2012 issue of Ateneo de Manila University’s open-access journal, Kritika Kultura. Obviously none of these measures could subtitute for an adequately remastered and subtitled official version of the film. Ironically Manila by Night may even count itself lucky in relation to all the other Regal Films productions, since it can still allow the public to reimagine how its filmmaker must have envisioned it, based on the substantial traces it has inadvertently left on the web.

In an instance such as this, I would uphold the effort of individuals (many of whom must necessarily remain nameless for now) who sought to make as readily available as possible any reasonably acceptable version of the film, in the meantime that the producer and prospective distributor work out their differences. Since his outlet has taken the risk of providing this service to the public, I mention in particular Jojo Devera, where a translated integral version of Manila by Night resides in a carefully curated and remastered condition – entirely at his own expense, with the help of other public-domain activists – on his Magsine Tayo! website, free for anyone to watch and study. Since I had been making the call to my circle of friends to make this particular title available, Devera’s posting was in response to my request; for this reason, I hold myself entirely responsible for the movie’s free and ready availability on his web page.

I enjoin all other Filipino and Philippine-sympathetic collectors to heed the historical requisite to provide otherwise unavailable materials for present and future generations to pore over, in order to enable everyone to participate in ongoing discourses on the country, its culture, and its achievements and shortcomings. It is our moral duty to assist one another, in effect to strengthen the public domain, in instances when the institutions responsible for releasing rare holdings find themselves incapable of responding to this need.

April 15, 2018
Incheon, Korea

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