Free movie weekend: Two Lino Brocka movies tomorrow at the UPFI Videotheque; re-screening of ‘Sayaw’ on Sunday.

From the looks of it, the DVDs of the films we are screening tomorrow are working good, although the audio of Tubog sa Ginto is in rather bad condition. I really hope we won’t encounter the same embarassing technical problem we has last Saturday.

I already wrote three long paragraphs about last Saturday’s DVD failure and how it could have been prevented if I found time to test the disc first, but all that seemed like needless recounting of events I’d rather not remember and seems to be pointless now.

Here are the important things.

Sine Bahaghari will again screen Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa this Sunday at 5pm at Chef’s Bistro in Tomas Morato.

And prior to that are two Lino Brocka movies which we’ll screen tomorrow at the UP FIlm Institute Videotheque: Tubog sa Ginto at 2pm, Ang Nanay Kong Tatay at 5pm.

Lino Brocka is probably the greatest filmmaker this country has produced. And yet, how many of us has seen a Lino Brocka movies? (Sadly, I will raise my hand to that one.) It’s rather tough to drum up people’s interests to the Brocka screenings because these are old films.

But people should try to make some effort to see movies like these precisely because they are old films. Movies encapsulate many of the existing cultural norms from their time. All the more so in these two movies because these were from a director who was keen to present and comment on societal values. Filipinos have a notoriously short collective memory; we could do well learning more about our past and its lessons.

Tubog sa Ginto was said to be one of Eddie Garcia’s favorite films. When I was previewing the DVD, I can’t help but fall a little in love with the almost fragile beauty of the young Jay Ilagan.

Ang Nanay Kong Tatay is considered to have some of the finest acting from Dolphy. A lot of us vaguely remember seeing this film in cable reruns. It’s time we see the movie again in full.

Just like before, these screenings are free admission and are open to everyone. Just show some love to Chef’s Bistro for offering to host the re-screening even before we asked them about it. People like them are hard to come by.

Sine Bahaghari opening features two internationally-acclaimed Filipino LGBT films.

Internationally-acclaimed films from two celebrated Filipino directors open Sine Bahaghari, a festival of Filipino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) themed films. Screening are Raya Martin’s “Next Attraction” and Alvin Yapan’s “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa”.

The second part of Raya Martin’s intended Box Office Trilogy, “Next Attraction” follows a film crew shooting a short film which stars Coco Martin, Paolo Rivero and Jaclyn Jose. In the short film, Martin runs away from his mother and meets Rivero who gives him his first sexual encounter. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Cinemanila International Film Festival.

Alvin Yapan’s “Sayaw” is the story of a well-to-do student who enrolls in dance class to get the attention of his college professor, who sidelines as a dance instructor. He is secretly tutored by the instructor’s apprentice, who is also his classmate in the professor’s class. The film stars Paulo Avelino, Rocco Nacino and Jean Garcia as the dance instructor. The film won Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Original Music at the 2011 Cinemalaya Film Festival and the Bronze Prize at the Bogota International Film Festival.

Sine Bahaghari opens on February 11, 2012 at Chef’s Bistro, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. It is included in the National Commission for Culture & the Arts’ (NCCA) Philippine Arts Festival this February 2012.

For more inquiries, please contact PJ Salendra at (0918) 942-8513 or email You could also visit the Sine Bahaghari website at

Six days before the Sine Bahaghari opening night.

It was very embarassing how it turned out that I misspelled two people’s names when I wrote the press release for Sine Bahaghari. And I found out about it after the press release was already posted in GMA News Online. My apologies to PJ and Roni Bertubin.

The Filipino LGBT experience showcased in Sine Bahaghari

February 5, 2012 ­— The status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples remains as one of the last great civil issues of our time. In the Philippines, the LGBT community faces a multitude of issues: hate crime, discrimination, and HIV/AIDS, to name a few.

In celebration of National Arts Month, Akei, together with PinoyG4M and Pelikula Tumblr, launches Sine Bahaghari, a showcase of the Filipino LGBT experience as seen in Philippine alternative cinema. The Sine Bahaghari project aims to promote discussion on how the LGBT community is depicted in Philippine cinema and popular culture as well as introduce Filipino-made contemporary independent films to a wider audience.

Featured are two classic works by renowned director Lino Brocka, National Artist for Film, which explored homosexuality as viewed by Philippine society during the 70s.

Sine Bahaghari opens on February 11 at Chef’s Bistro with two films from celebrated Filipino filmmakers: “Next Attraction” by Raya Martin and “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa” by Alvin Yapan. Also screening are films from prominent independent filmmakers, such as Adolf Alix Jr, Sigrid Bernardo, Roni Bertubin, and Vincent Sandoval.

Sine Bahaghari will have screenings on February 11, 18, 24 and 25. All screenings are free admission and open to the public.

Sine Bahaghari is included in the National Commission for Culture & the Arts’ (NCCA) Philippine Arts Festival this February 2012.

For more inquiries, please contact PJ Salenda at (0918) 942-8513 or email You could also visit the Sine Bahaghari website at

That’s what happens when you’re doing several things all at once while having very little sleep.

I was finally able to sort out the width of the embedded Youtube videos in the website (the default Youtube shortcode doesn’t seem to work with the theme I used so I had to find another way), and PJ told me that the souvenir shirts and bags are already printed. Tomorrow, the invitation postcards — which took a lot more work designing than I initially though — will also be ready.

I am already excited for Saturday’s opening night. See you at Chef’s Bistro.

Once this is over, maybe I could write about ‘how to organize a mini-film fest in 30 days’.

When I agreed to help friends organize a mini-filmfest of locally-made LGBT-themed films this February, I knew it’ll be difficult. Mostly because we all have regular jobs with incompatible working hours. At the very least, discussing about a non-profit project in between work, relationships and other personal responsibilities will take a lot of careful time management. One of us is not even currently living in the country and it was he who came up with the idea in the first place. But somehow, we’re able to plan, brainstorm, and argue over various details of the project.

It’s still too early to tell if the Sine Bahaghari project will be successful or not, but already there have been a few small, but not insignificant, miracles. We are able to secure at least 3 venues with minimal difficulty. And there are some film directors and producers who have given us support this early by graciously agreeing to have their film included in our program. So many people complain how the local film industry is pervaded with shallow and idiotic movies and is run by money-making studios who do not care for original ideas. But there is a mostly unseen side in the industry made up of people who truly love cinema. And there are so many of them.

It’s times like these when I really, REALLY value the help from many friends who graciously share ideas when I ask them, out of the blue, questions like, “Do you know where we could hold film screening on a minimal budget?” It’s just wonderful to have people like them to help us out.

The other day, I woke up too early after barely three hours of sleep to check my emails and see the updates we have for Sine Bahaghari. Bern woke up soon after when he felt I left the bedroom. When I got a response from one of the directors I sent a message to, I went back to our bedroom and told him about it.

I asked him how he could tolerate me and my manic moments. But you know, I’m really glad he does.