October 15, Thursday
Before You Know It – 2 p.m.
Gas – 4:30 p.m.
The Viceroys – 7 p.m.
Smalltown, Italy – 9:30 p.m.

October 16, Friday
The Fever – 2 p.m.
Mater Natura – 4:30 p.m.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – 7 p.m.
The Heretic – 9:30 p.m.

October 17, Saturday
One Out of Two – 2 p.m.
What I’m Doing Here – 4:30 p.m.
The True Legend of Tony Vilar – 7 p.m.
Gas – 9:30 p.m.

October 18, Sunday
Caravaggio – 2 p.m.
The True Legend of Tony Vilar – 4:30 p.m.
Mater Natura – 7 p.m.
The Destination – 9:30 p.m.

October 19, Monday
The Heretic – 2 p.m.
The Fever – 4:30 p.m.
One Out of Two – 7 p.m.
What I’m Doing Here – 9:30 p.m.

October 20, Tuesday
Smalltown, Italy – 2 p.m.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – 4:30 p.m.
Caravaggio – 7 p.m.
Before You Know It – 9:30 p.m.

October 21, Wednesday
The Destination – 2 p.m.
The Fever – 4:30 p.m.
What I’m Doing Here – 7 p.m.
The Viceroys – 9:30 p.m.

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote an entry about a tribute-benefit concert for Susan Fernandez.  And now, 365 days after that night of real music, the renowned Nightingale of the Philippine Left succumbed to ovarian cancer at the Medical City in Pasig.

I really don’t know her personally. All I know is that her songs, especially the Metro Pop award-winning song “Babae Ka”, contributed alot to the consciousness of the Filipino people during the so-called glory days of the Philippine progressive movement.

For more information about Susan, check http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/07/02/09/singer-susan-fernandez-dies or simply Google her name.

Shangri-La Plaza
Eiga Sai 2009 Screening Schedule

July 2 (Thu)
7:00 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

July 3 (Fri)
2:00 PM
Tony Takitani

4:30 PM
Turn Over

7:00 PM
Kamome Diner

July 4 (Sat)
2:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

4:30 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

7:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

July 5 (Sun)
2:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

4:30 PM
Mind Game

7:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

July 6 (Mon)
2:00 PM
The Milkwoman

4:30 PM
Mind Game

7:00 PM
Turn Over

July 7 (Tue)
2:00 PM
Turn Over

4:30 PM
Kamome Diner

7:00 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

July 8 (Wed)
2:00 PM
The Milkwoman

4:30 PM
Tony Takitani

7:00 PM
Mind Game

July 9 (Thu)
2:00 PM
Turn Over

4:30 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

7:00 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

July 10 (Fri)
2:00 PM
The Milkwoman

4:30 PM
Memories of Matsuko

7:00 PM
Tony Takitani

July 11 (Sat)
2:00 PM
Kamome Diner

4:30 PM
Tony Takitani

7:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

July 12 (Sun)
2:00 PM
Mind Game

4:30 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

7:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

UP Film Institute
Eiga Sai 2009 Screening Schedule

Aug 14 (Fri)
12:30 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

3:00 PM
Tony Takitani

Aug 15 (Sat)
4:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

6:30 PM
Memories of Matsuko

Aug 17 (Mon)
4:00 PM
Mind Game

6:30 PM
The Milkwoman

Aug 18 (Tue)
4:00 PM
Tony Takitani

6:30 PM
Turn Over

Aug 19 (Wed)
4:00 PM
Kamome Diner

6:30 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

Aug 20 (Thu)
4:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

6:30 PM
Kamome Diner

for provincial (Baguio, Cebu & Davao) screenings, please check: http://www.jfmo.org.ph/events_eigasai09-schedule.html

The 14th French Film Festival here in Manila is now on-going and here’s the screening schedule:

June 5, Friday
Home – 7:30 p.m.

June 6, Saturday
Un Secret- 12:30 p.m.
Ca Brûle – 3:00 p.m.
Jean de la Fontaine – 5:30 p.m.
Van Gogh – 8:00 p.m.

June 7, Sunday
Home – 12:30 p.m.
Marie-Jo et Ses Deux Amours – 3:00 p.m.
Flandres – 5:30 p.m.
Ma Saison Preferee – 8:00 p.m.

June 8, Monday
Van Gogh – 12:30pm
Flandres – 3:30 p.m.
Ca Brûle – 5:30 p.m.
Zim et Co – 8:00 p.m.

June 9, Tuesday
Zim et Co – 12:30pm
Marie-Jo et Ses Deux Amours – 3:00 p.m.
Flandres – 5:30 p.m.
Jean de la Fontaine – 8:00 p.m.

June 10, Wednesday
Ca Brûle – 12:30pm
Home – 3:00 p.m.
Van Gogh – 5:30 p.m.
Un Secret – 8:30 p.m.

June 11, Thursday
Dix-Sept Fois Cecile Cassard – 12:30pm
400 coups – 3:00 p.m.
L’esquive – 5:30 p.m.
La Pianiste – 8:00 p.m.

June 12, Friday
Sabongero – 3:00 p.m.
Serbis – 5:30 p.m.
Independencia – 8:00 p.m.

June 13, Saturday
Ridicule – 12:30 p.m.
Dix-Sept Fois Cecile Cassard – 3:00 p.m.
L ‘Esquive – 5:30 p.m.
Flandres – 8:00 p.m.

June 14, Sunday
Un Secret – 12:30pm
Jean de la Fontaine – 3:00 p.m.
Les Quatre Cent Coups – 5:30 p.m.
Van Gogh – 8:00 p.m.

Months ago, I was about to write a blog entry for Francis Magalona to encourage readers to support his fight against leukemia. But as I research about him, I stumbled upon his request that his battle not be made too public and his family’s privacy be respected. So I decided not to proceed then.

Until the time to write a tribute came. Francism once wrote on his blog that, “I guess if we just loved our country so much we would be willing to die for it. I would. But a dead me is a useless me. I am more useful alive…”. I beg to disagree though. I believe that any dead person who lived a life relevant to society serves as an inspiration for everyone to be just like him. And the Master Rapper is one of those.

Arguably, Francism’s musical career boom started when he popularized rap music in the Philippines through the nationalistic tune of “Mga Kababayan” in 1990. This moralist approach, a broader definition of nationalism, to Philippine society fits my generation well that time. I was in grade school then. His songs, album after album, became more mature as he ventures into other social approaches; from Ito ang Gusto Ko’s direct action to Nilamon ng Sistema’s social realism.

And then high school days came, Francism is still there. And he is one of those who never succumbed to the artificial war of hiphop and metal. I know a lot of the former teenagers of that time knows what I’m talking about. Despite being in such a situation, the Man from Manila dared to unite the music of the two factions. He set-up the Psychedelic Posse for the hip-hop kids and the Kannabiz Band (I don’t know if this was eventually the Hardware Syndrome during the mid-90’s) for the children of metal. His wife Pia’s Evil Step-Sisters, then, added the soul flavor to his music.

It is with his daring and no non-sense attitude that Francism gained the respect of Filipino musicians from Masta Plann to The Dawn, from APO Hiking Society to Joey de Leon. No wonder that, time and again, he was being invited by a lot of artists to be a guest on their albums and shows. The Eraserhead-song Superproxy is one of the most famous of these.

Even after the Eraserheads’ break-up in 2002, the Master Rapper remained true to his unifying ideals. He resisted the temptation of taking sides and continued to collaborate with each of the Philippine Fab Four individually.

And when Ely Buendia had a heart attack in 2007, he is the first celebrity to publicly raise the call of Eraserhead unity. His now-popular blog entry is supposedly the opening sentence of my blog when I learned of his leukemia and this is how it goes:

“Fast forward to right now, 9:58 am, Jan. 9, a lot of what if’s scenarios pop in my head. What if the E-heads members are back, like long-lost blood brothers? What if ‘the most significant OPM band of Pinoy Rock’ would be in one room, what would happen?… Para sa akin panahon na para mag-reunite ang E-heads. Sugod na mga kapatid…rock & roll na hanggang umaga.” 

One of the most difficult things to measure is how anyone influenced society. We really don’t know if Francism’s earlier patriotic tunes influenced the massive mobilizations against the US Bases that led to its ejection in September 1991. We really don’t know how his blog entry made the Eraserheads’ forget about their differences and give reunification a chance. Well, there are no meters nor celsius for influence measurement.

Surely though, we have someone to thank for the influential music he gave us.

Francis M is dead. Long live Francis M!

1. The movie was graded an A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, the highest score possible.

2. Critics and filmmakers around the world (France, United States, India, China and Singapore) took turns in praising this motion picture and showcasing it as part of their own International Film Festivals.

3. High caliber character actors like Ronnie Lazaro, Joel Torre and Jojit Lorenzo accepted the roles with little exposure and dialogue given to them. Seemingly a testament to their faith in the movie’s quality.

4. Cuyonon actors were trained and hired to add authenticity to the film. All of the actors and even the major players in the crew has Cuyonon buddies to guide them as they film every scene.

5. Dante Nico Garcia is an authentic local of Cuyo Island who studied in UP and became Judy Ann Santos’s friend during her Mara Clara days. Dante grabs this rare opportunity to save the dying Cuyonon language. This is also his birthday gift to Judy Ann.

6. This movie made Judy Ann Santos transcend her soap opera image.

7. The film’s cinematography is simply superb. It is a visual candy that provides us an opportunity to know that the Philippines’ environmental beauty is beyond Boracay and Mayon.

8. Aside from the beauty of the island, Cuyonon’s rare culture was made public in the film.

9. It is seldom that a film that shows some tragedy would also be labeled by a lot of people as a feel-good movie.

10. This film is a saving grace for a dying local movie industry marred by traditional conservatism, censorship, dirty politics and commercialism.

The album cover of Circus, Eraserheads’ second album, said, “It is the trip not the destination.” Now, after the concert, albeit cut short, of the Philippines’ Fab Four, I must say, “It is the crowd, not the performers.”

Way before the organizers finalized the details of the concert, not a few people heard me rave that I will never miss that concert and the reason is not really because I idolize the Eraserheads but because I deem them as an influence not just to me but to my generation; the MTV Generation.

I won’t dwell on the reunion concert being cut short due to Ely’s alleged heart attack nor on the apparent commercialization of the event. My verbal rants about the organizers’ seeming conclusion that the happy-go-luckies of that generation have turned into 5-digit in 15 days-yuppies are enough.

I was there, of course,  to enjoy Eraserheads’ music. But more than that, I want to enjoy it with a crowd that I grew up with and, I should say, got high with. This is an audience that does not need growl music (with apologies to Slapshock’s fans) to scream. This is a generation appreciative of the simple honesties (and lies) of daily life as Eraserheads’ songs’ lyrics reflect.

The sad part though is that I failed to see close friends from high school. There are a lot of possibilities why I did not see them. First, it is hard to find a few specific faces in a 60,000-strong crowd. Second, most of us never saw each other for a decade or so and their faces could be really different by now. Another possible reason is that they are either too busy or too broke to watch the concert. Possibilities are infinite why I never saw my high school buddies.

Still, as I expected, I found a lot of friends there. Good thing that I decided to go there alone to prevent me from being bonded to a single group. One of the firsts I saw is my boss heating his ass on the Global City grounds. It is the first time I saw him in such a light, in a MTV Generation-kind of way. I also got to meet old faces from PLM, UP Diliman and UP Manila including Rhia Diomampo, my first Editor-in-Chief in AP before. Some others like former UP Student Regent Terry Ridon simply sent a text message asking if I too was there. They are singing their hearts out as well.

Thanks to Buddy Zabala, Marcus Adoro, Raymond Marasigan and Ely Buendia for reuniting this crowd. I’m still thinking if there are other ways (an instant pancit canton-eating contest?) to reassemble this generation . It seems that other bands are either too political (Yano), too heavy (Wolfgang) or too deep (Rivermaya–the original line-up) to really gather that audience again. 

And, of course, thanks a lot Eraserheads for including Shake yer Head in your first set. Eventhough it seems that some members of the crowd, I assume those from other generations, do not know the song.