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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.

Book on Jesse Robredo released

Bicol Mail

ALMOST everyone in Naga has a Robredo story to share.

A book entitled Jess Robredo Proud Nagueño Memories has compiled some of these stories to draw an up-close-and-personal picture of what Jess was to the people of Naga City, “whom he was proud of, whom he served well, whom he loved, and who loved him in return.”

The book will be launched on Saturday, December 8, 2012, at the Fernando Hall, Ateneo de Naga University, 3:30-6  p.m.

Compiler-editors Doods and Sol Santos initially planned a festschrift, which in academe is a collection of articles compiled as a tribute to a well-loved mentor.  Anvil Publishing Manager Karina Bolasco however requested a virtual scrapbook instead, to be submitted within September. It took the Santos couple a week or two to do the interviews, gather articles, and put them together with the help of poet/graphic designer Vic Nierva.

“We believe this presents a fair, if not good, Nagueño perspective of Jess,” the editors state. “This is not a definitive biography of Jess. But it provides many leads for a more deeply and lengthily researched work of that sort. In the meantime, let this be just another of the Nagueños’ resounding and extended celebration of the life, even as they mourn for the passing, of a most beloved son, brother, friend, classmate, co-worker, leader, and father.”

The launch is open to the public.  The book will be sold at all National Book Store, Powerbooks, and Bestsellers branches nationwide.

PhilPOP sets stage for next year’s songwriting contest

Bicol Mail

THE PhilPop MusicFest Foundation, Inc. (PMFI) is now setting the stage this early for the 2013 Philippine Popular Music Festival (PhilPOP).

With the resounding success of the July 2012 pop music festival, the Foundation is hoping to be able to propel the growth of the Filipino pop music with budding and contemporary songwriters joining next year’s event.

In an interview, PMFI Executive Director Ryan Cayabyab said that the July 2012 event allowed the Foundation to register nearly 3,000 song entries; a good number of them came from nearly a hundred cities abroad.

He said the competition has given way to 14 brilliant songwriter-contestants to be a part of an album, which is “on its way of achieving platinum record sales.”

The foundation, Cayabyab said, aims to revive the nation’s love for Filipino music.  “That’s the reason why there’s a definite need to push a giant undertaking like the PhilPOP in order to remind people where our music would and should be headed,” he said.

The PMFI’s event was specifically produced to shed light on deserving songwriters who can inspire and spark positive change through their masterpieces.

The search is open to all excellent Filipino musical composers, here or abroad, who can showcase musical ingenuity and passion.  Interested individuals can start sending their original song entries by January 1 until the end of February 2013 through www.philpop.com.ph

Meanwhile, Cayabyab said he was delighted over the modest turn out of attendees at the songwriting workshop held at the Naga City People’s Hall last November 24, 2012.

Dubbed Songwriting with Maestro Ryan Cayabyab (Naga leg), the activity attracted hundreds of music enthusiasts from Camarines Sur and nearby provinces to an interactive learning experience.