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Arts and Culture

Llana and Cordero to talk on Bikol Literature in Ateneo de Manila

Bicol Mail

Bikol writers and scholars Dr. Jazmin Badong Lllana of the De La Salle University in Manila and Kristian Sendon Cordero of Ateneo de Naga University will talk on issues concerning the state and development of Bikol literary writings. The forum, organized by the Union Writers of Philippines (UMPIL) and Ateneo Institute for Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) and the Department of Filipino, Ateneo de Manila Univeristy will be held on January 28, 2013, at 4:30 PM at the Natividad Galang Fajardo Conference Room, Horacio de la Costa Bldg, Ateneo de Manila University. Award-winning poet and translator Marne Kilates will serve as the moderator. The public is invited to attend. For more details please contact Dr. Michael M. Coroza, Secretary General, UMPIL,  mcoroza@ateneo.edu or Bb. Eva Garcia Cadiz  gondour03@yahoo.com.

Two Naga yuppies represent PH in ASEAN-Japan event

Two young professionals from Naga City represented the Philippines as cultural ambassadors in the Japanese Government-sponsored Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP), October 24 to December 14 last year.

Rodolfo SB. Virtus Jr. and Apple Allison B. Perez were selected by the National Youth Commission (NYC) because of their community and work leadership experiences and advocacies. Virtus works as Deputy Director of Student Affairs at the Ateneo de Naga University and facilitates an anti-corruption training in the province. Last year, he received the Mayoral Award for Community Youth Leadership. Perez, on the other hand, is the Brand Manager of Avenue Plaza Hotel and part-time Media Studies teacher. She handles leadership and team building processes, and organizes special events.

Now on its 39th year, the said diplomatic and cultural exchange program was sponsored by the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government and supported by ASEAN. The NYC, with the SSEAYP international Philippines, facilitated the 29-member Philippine delegation’s orientation and training in diplomatic affairs, culture and arts, among others.

On board Japanese liner Fuji Maru, the Philippine contingent joined their counterparts from ASEAN members and Japan for the 53-day cruise and country program. They stopped by six countries: Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei, where they experienced courtesy calls with government officials, among them the Prime Minister of Japan, institutional visits, and homestay/immersion.

On board the youth ambassadors had various activities like team building, sports and recreation, showcasing of certain traditions and other interactions. But the core of the program was the small group discussion of local and global youth issues. At the end, the discussion groups came up with plans for post-program collaboration. But even before the end of the program, the entire SSEAYP delegation had carried out a fundraising project for the Yellow Boat Foundation in the Philippines. About P48,000 was collected out of the loose change (sukli) of different currencies that the youth delegates saved during the program. The project was a response to the Philippine contingent’s presentation of the Yellow Boat of Hope, which showed the struggles of children who risk swimming just to reach school. According to the SSEAYP administration said that it was the first time in SSEAYP’s history that an entire delegation implemented a project onboard.

To complement this breakthrough project, the Filipino delegates shall implement in 2013 activities that would improve the quality of education in the area where the boat shall be donated. They shall raise educational materials and conduct capacity-building activities for teachers and students.

Further, the Filipino ambassadors showcased Filipino traditional dances, songs, martial arts and games onboard and in the port-of-call presentations. Virtus, who led the delegation’s choir in singing the nationalistic song Bayan Ko and Ako ay Pilipino during the delegation’s cultural night, described his performance as one of his proudest moments as a Filipino.

Coming soon: Jesse Robredo movie

By Juan Escandor Jr.
Bicol Mail

MOVIE FOR JESSE. Film Director Epi Quizon (left), Executive Producer Noel N. De Luna (center) and Movie Coordinator Joe Perez (right) pause for a photo shoot right after their pre-production meeting in Manila recently.
They will soon meet the local press for the soft launch here of the proposed movie on the life
and times of the late DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, former mayor of Naga City.

A multimedia firm based in this city is in the works of producing a film based on the life and times of Jesse M. Robredo, a distinguished son of this city who died in a plane crash last August 18, 2012.

The movie with a working title “Pogi,” the term of endearment of Nagueños for Robredo, will be produced by The Bicol Bloc MultiMedia and Public Affairs (Bicol Bloc) and targeted to premier on the first death anniversary of the former mayor of Naga City and secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) known for his good governance record.

Noel De Luna, chairman of   Bicol Bloc, told the Bicol Mail the film will revolve around the noteworthy character of Robredo who had been nationally and internationally recognized for good governance practices as well as the personal life he lived.

De Luna, also the executive producer of the film, recruited Epi Quizon, son of the late comedian Dolphy, to direct “Pogi” that he said would dwell primarily on the life of Robredo as a student, a father, a servant-leader of his community and the country, and a man of God.

He said the production adopts an indie film process to avoid the limitations of commercial formula of making film and explore the aesthetic value of the story.

Jose B. Perez, assistant executive producer and production coordinator, revealed the plan to make a movie about Robredo came last October and the widow, lawyer Leni Robredo, has already stamped her approval on the project.

“The movie project as well as the story line will be non-political one and will not be used for political or campaign purposes considering that shooting and production period fall within the 2013 campaign period and Atty. Leni Robredo incidentally is a candidate for congresswoman in Camarines Sur’s third district,” Perez disclosed.

De Luna, Perez, and Quizon met last week in Manila for the initial brainstorming of how the production and the movie will go about and finish the film in time for the first death anniversary on Aug. 18, 2013.

Perez said veteran indie scriptwriters Jules Katayag and Malaya Pasion were placed on board to put together the facts of Robredo’s life into a coherent storyline for the movie.

“Authenticity of facts and events will be referred to Atty. Leni Robredo and those close to Jesse for review and verification,” he said.

Perez said they have shortlisted actors Ricky Davao, Christopher de Leon, Joel Torre, and Albert Martinez to play Jesse Robredo and actresses Lani Mercado, Agot Isidro, and Dawn Zulueta for Leni Robredo’s character.

He said location shootings will be in Naga City and Manila.

Perez bared that Bicol Bloc also eyes producing films about the liberation of Naga City from the Japanese occupation forces and the fifteen martyrs during the Spanish period in collaboration with known historians here.