Archipelago Music Intro

The Music Village

May 31, 2009

I gave a lecture not in Pampanga but in PALAWAN!

Last week, I was in Palawan to expand my cultural work to Cuyonons, who, like the Kapampangans and the other non-Tagalogs, and experiencing cultural decline. Aside from directing a Cuyonon rock music video in Puerto Princesa, I also delivered a lecture to Mass Communication students of PSU (Palawan State University). See news item below (taken from


As a means to entice young media practitioners in creating works of art or production works with local cultural content, Matinlo Productions in cooperation with Bulyaw Mariguen, Kamaru Productions and JCI Kiao conducted a lecture/workshop entitled Local Eyes: creating Works of Art with Local Cultural Content to 31 3rd & 4th year Mass Communication Students of the Palawan State University last May 27, 2009.

The lecture started with an exercise conducted by Jason Laxamana of Kamaru productions assessing how the students use their local environment in creating their own superhero. Jason Laxamana then proceeded to explaining the exercise and then to showing the students some of the works of Kamaru.

In his lecture, Jason laxamana emphasized the benefits of creating production works with local cultural content. His Kapampangan short film entitled Balangingi in Kapampangan or Nosebleed in English which won in the ETC First Philippine Digital Awards for best short film is living proof that using local cultural content in film can give filmmakers a competitive advantage in such competitions. The sense of pride such works bring to the local community was also mentioned.

Due to a scheduled radio guesting at DYPR Palawan Radyom, Jason Laxamana gave way for Bulyaw Mariguen to perform their carrier single, Ploning Adin Ka Ren. Matinlo productions chose to ask Bulyaw Mariguen to perform in this lecture to show the students the possibility of using the local language in Palawan, Cuyonon, in making songs that are appealling to the young generation of Palawenos and viable for mainstream broadcasting. Joey Fabello of Matinlo productions, also known as DJ Jojo of IFM 99.9 by some of the students, briefly explained the Bulyaw Mariguen project after the performance of the band to reiterate the value of using local content in works of art and production works.

Certificates were awarded and snacks were provided by Jci Kiao after the lecture.

Some feedback from the students can be seen below.

Nainspire po kami sa inyong shinare samin and we are hoping also na magkaron ng sariling version ang mga Palaweno to produce music, movies, telenovelas, etc of our own.

Thank you for inspiring me. Makakatulung po talaga ito sa lahat. Keep up the good work...May God Bless You...

Nakakainspire. Namulat ako sa dapat kong kamulatan. -Psydz

Marami po salamat sa mga binahagi niyong kaalaman sa amin, tama nga dapat din nating ipakita sa iba na pwede rin natin ibahagi sa kanila ang culture na mayroon tayo. tnx po. Sana makalat pa ito sa iba.- Rearitz

Very inspiring. It really gives indication that we have to uplift ones local culture through music and film. -Anna Lissa Magtibay

Marami po akong (kaming) natutunan. Now I realized na mahalaga maging maka local tayo para narin stain to. galing po ng speakers at nakakatuwa. - Jeric

Mahalaga po sa amin bilang Palaweno na ipagmalaki sa buong mundo ang katutubong kultura. Sa pamamagitan ng Seminar workshop na ito namulat ang aking isipan na maaari tayong kilalanin. maraming salamat- Anagyn Barrios

Matinlo productions would like to thank Ms. Faith Malacao of the Palawan State University for making this event possible.

Feb 28, 2009

Call for Entries: Cinekabalen Short Film Competition

Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan Studies,
Kalalangan Kamaru, and
Circle of Young Angelenos


The 1st Cinekabalen Philippine Film Festival

The short film competition seeks to explore, criticize, promote, empower, and/or describe the Kapampangan experience through independent cinema.

We are looking for short narratives that tell the story and perspective of the Kapampangan people, who, since their pre-Hispanic participation in the affairs of Asia, have been leading diverse lives up to the contemporary times—from the humble rural folks of the riverbanks to the dehumanized drones of highly urban areas, from resilient survivors of the Pinatubo eruption to the aggressive players in national industries, from sun-worshipping dwellers of the mountainside to the strong devotees of Roman Catholicism, from the protesters of social inequality since ancient times to the culturally overloaded youth of the nation, from the migrants forced to live elsewhere for greener pastures to the politically maturing residents making waves in mass media, from the craftsmen who balance business and art to the brown tillers of the plains, etc....

Rules and mechanics of the short film competition:

- The contest is open to everyone, student or professional, Kapampangan or non-Kapampangan, living in the country or abroad, etc. except members of the core organizing committee

- any topic is allowed, as long as it expresses "The Kapampangan Experience"

- entry must be a narrative; no music videos or documentaries

- no limit of number of entries

- because promoting the Kapampangan language is one of the aims of the festival, the dialogues, if any, should predominantly be in Kapampangan. The occasional use of non-Kapampangan languages is allowed as long as used in proper linguistic context.

- setting of the story does not necessarily have to be in Pampanga or other Kapampangan-speaking regions like Tarlac and Bataan

- film must have readable English subtitles

- strictly 10-20 minutes in length; for animated entries, minimum of 5 minutes is allowed

- in digital format (submit final work in playable DVD)

- extreme violence and obscenity and unnecessary abuse of foul language are discouraged, but not prohibited

- use of copyrighted music is not allowed, unless permitted to by the owner of the material

- deadline of entries (final DVD, registration form) will be on July 31; they must be shipped or submitted in person to the Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, Angeles City; the registration form will be downloadable beginning mid-March

- 8 to 12 finalists will be chosen (depending on the quantity of submissions) to compete in the festival; cash prizes and trophies are at stake for the top three best short films, which will be selected by a Board of Judges consisting of experts from the industry; special awards (best male performer, best editing, best screenplay, etc.) will also be given; the competing films will be screened during the actual Cinekabalen Philippine Film Festival in August at the Holy Angel University Theater in Angeles City; an Awards Night will follow

Inquiries: text JASON @ 0918 699 2459 or email

Amateur filmmakers are welcome to consult the organizers regarding their entries

Jan 25, 2009

Kapampangan B/W short film 'Ing Bangkeru'

Last Thursday and Friday, Kalalangan Kamaru screened Ing Bangkeru (The Boatman), directed by yours truly. It is a Kapampangan short film that is a screen adaptation of an anonymous Kapampangan ballad of the same title.

Having a lot of long takes, being in black and white, and having an unconventional (philosophical) story line, I was expecting the audiences to get bored by it.

Last Thursday, we went to Systems Plus College Foundation in Balibago, Angeles City and screened all of our works, including the first episode of Kalam, to all the 4th year high school students.

Surprisingly, Ing Bangkeru was able to keep up, as the students not only appreciated it -- they enjoyed it. They understood the story very well and cheered, hollered for the clever boatman when he was owning the arrogant student. There were two screenings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon; the reactions of both batches were just the same.

Then, Last Friday, Brillante Mendoza's award-winning Kapampangan film Kaleldo had two runs at the Holy Angel University Theater. Serving as front act was Ing Bangkeru. I watched (even paid a ticket), majorly only to check out the reactions of the audience to our short film.

Boy, were my assistant director Diego and I ecstatic with the audience reaction! They enjoyed it as well, and their reaction was like an exact copy of the reaction of the students from Systems Plus. The difference, the HAU Theater has 1000 seating capacity. That makes 2000 individuals (because it had two runs, and the theater was full in both runs), and to see them applaud for our short film in spite of its strange treatment, it was very heartwarming. As Diego stated: maybug kung gumaga (I want to cry).

Haven't watched it yet? Here:

Jan 14, 2009

Ilonggo short: Webcam Diary

To expand the content of Archipelago Music, we will also be featuring independent films, especially short ones, from the regions, using the local language.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is already seeing Philippine Cinema in a different manner, as film scenes from the regions are beginning to emerge, especially in Mindanao where annually, they hold a Mindanao film fest.

For a start, allow me to post this Ilonggo short film called Webcam Diary.

A short film starring WIT Teatro Primiero Members: Roque John Latosa, Mary Grace "Meg" Bonita, and Joylene Legaspi. Shown during Western Institute of Technology's 44th Annual Cultural Contest. Script developed by the actors themselves.

Jan 9, 2009

1622 - Unang Usbor, Banton Band

This is a traditional Asi song performed live on May 6, 2008 during the launch of the new Banton-based musical band, 1622 - Unang Usbor. Read more about 1622 in

The Asi language is a Visayan language spoken, along with the Romblomanon and Onhan languages, in the province of Romblon, Philippines. The language is also known as Bantoanon, Calatravanhon, Odionganon, Sibalenhon, Simaranhon, and Bisaya.

Specifically, it is spoken on the following islands within Romblon:
:: Tablas: the municipalities of Odiongan and Calatrava, situated respectively on the western and northern parts of the island.
:: Banton: the island's sole municipality of Banton.
:: Simara: the island's sole municipality of Corcuera.
:: Maestre de Campo (also known as Sibale): the island's sole municipality of Concepcion.