FilmFridays: Our film goes to Portugal

For a filmmaker like me, it’s always a good thing to know that people would like to watch your films. In my case, our film “Share the Care” goes to Portugal! Buti pa siya. :))

Last week during a vacation trip to Bohol, I’ve received a wonderful news sent to me via e-mail. It’s from the organizer of Die Erste Vertikale or First Vertical Film Festival. But wait, What is a Vertical film? In simple terms, the film is shot and edited using a 9:16 aspect ratio. This is the event’s official poster.

In essence, the organizers want our film to be screened in Horta, Portugal and in some parts of Europe including Germany! Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of Horta but upon searching it on Google, I’ve seen how beautiful it is. It’s a “maritime town on the east coast of Faial in the Azores” according to a blog. Had I gotten enough time and resources, I would have attended and witnessed the picturesque view myself!

Frankly, it’s my first time to be receiving this kind of news— a film programmer abroad asking me to send them a copy of our film so that they can show it to their audience. It’s surreal, at first– I mean, a stranger has taken interest to view what you’ve created. Anyway, Sharing you a screenshot of the email. Update though, we didn’t win anything but that’s totally okay! 🙂 My goal, as a filmmaker, has always been to let people see our film and not just to take home awards. It brings so much *kilig* knowing people out there, across the globe and total strangers at that, would like to pay attention to what you have created, some out of sweat and tears and your hard-earned money involved! Haha. The invitation from the organizers is an honor in itself.

We made our film “Share the Care” to showcase how the love that starts from our homes can be shared to others in simple and sincere acts of kindness. It’s also a sneak peek of how typical Filipinos commute their way to work. If you’re a foreigner reading this right now, the mass transportation in the Philippines has been totally disappointing. Many times in the past, passengers aboard the MRT have to be unloaded because of technical problems. Also, Traffic in Metro Manila is one of the worst in the world. It eats a lot of your time. In most cases, you can be stuck for an hour or so en route to work. At worst, may be 3 or 4 especially if it rains and floods. I’m still hoping it would be improved though!

As for updates on our film, we’re currently working on the film’s official trailer and poster but in the meantime, we’d love to share with you a still from “Share the Care”.

Thank you to the organizers of First Vertical film festival for including us in your lineup this year. We hope it’s not the last and we’re looking forward to sharing more Pinoy content abroad. 🙂

Continue reading “FilmFridays: Our film goes to Portugal”

MARS Monday: Troy Montero and Nico Locco



Let’s take inspiration from our good-looking guests who exhibit their Pinoy pride even though they were raised abroad. American hunk Troy Montero and Italian-Canadian model Nico Locco will share what they love about the Philippines in Grab-A-Word.

Troy will whip out something for Yummierkules—the uber delicious no-bake cookies and cream bars! But if you’re on a strictly no-sweet diet, get some motivation from Nico who will tell us what inspired him to get fit in Workout Ni Idol. And in Momergency, add up your kitchen food knowledge. Let’s list down the other unique uses of ginger!

Expect all that paandar tonight on Mars!IMG_3270IMG_3269IMG_3267IMG_3266

“Ang Biyahe ni Marlon” is nominated for Audience Choice award in 2018 Viddsee Juree Philippines Awards

It’s a great Sunday! 
Our short film “Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon” has been chosen to be part of the Viddsee Philippines online showcase. The film is eligible for the Audience Choice Award. Voting is from September 7 to September 21, 2018.

You can view our video here.
Our film page link:

It would mean the world to us if you show us your support by watching and clicking the “Heart” button on the tab below the video. Pusuan na natin ‘to, mga bes! 

Maraming salamat po!

Istorya-ng-Pag-asa-poster-_with VIDDSEE

Film Fridays: This is why we’re doing the Hidden Cinema Congress

Last month, I was delighted to know that I’m part of the Hidden Cinema exhibit curated by no less than the multitalented filmmaker and film historian, Nick Deocampo. The Ayala Museum is kind and generous enough to devote a space for alternative filmmakers like us! Aww. Thank you so much! Also to the Filipinas Heritage library and to other sponsors like CNN Philippines, Samsung and Center for New Cinema, big thank yous!

The installation features mostly alternative Filipino filmmakers. From big names such as Cannes Film Festival winner, Raymond Red and Berlin Film Festival awardee, Kidlat Tahimik. And then to a nobody like Florence Rosini.

That’s why I’m deeply honored to have been chosen as one of the filmmakers that make up the first cycle of the exhibit, also dubbed as CineRhizome. To be alongside these distinguished luminaries is a very mindblowing experience! Of course, I don’t want to take all the credit. Everybody from our team made a huge effort to put it altogether. For us to be featured, all it took was an online submission of a one minute excerpt of our film called Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon.’ And then we left it all to… fate. That was July 6.

Last Monday, August 13, was the Hidden Cinema Congress, and later that day, we formally welcomed the second wave of filmmakers that made up “Cycle 2.”

I thought the event was only for established filmmakers who would discuss their filmmaking experiences  to us amateurs. And it was… but it was waaay more than that. Because it was an avenue for a healthy and insightful discussion of the Philippine Alternative Cinema movement.

I keep on saying Alternative or Alt, but what is it anyway? Sir Nick defined this as:

“espousing or reflecting values different from those of the establishment or of mainstream culture”. See photo below.

Sir Nick said that the last time a Congress of such intention was held in the 80s! Wow, 30+ years ago!! From then on, nada. So with this initiative, Sir Nick and his friends gathered everyone for an afternoon to start a dialogue about the current situation of Alt cinema in the Philippines. Alternative cinema includes but are not limited to: student films, short films, advocacy cinema, experimental films, among others.

The independent cinema or alternative cinema in the country has been on the rise in the last thirty years because of the popularity of digital filmmaking, which is accessible to the youth, and the millenials. It’s evident in the proliferation of student films that join festivals and those short films that circulate online. Alt Filmmakers (and boy, were there many of us in in the ground floor of the Museum) made a declaration that day: to continue making alternative films and support the Movement.

It was overwhelming for me. I didn’t think that was going to be a monumental day for alternative cinema in the Philippines! And I was there to witness it. Also present were members of the academe, teachers and students who are film enthusiasts and film lovers, aside from the filmmakers and film historians.

What made this historical? First, the Congress coincided with the centennial celebration of Philippine cinema. Second, we formalized the Movement by gathering everyone through the Congress. We called it the Philippine Alternative Cinema Movement. We defined it, as shown above. Third, we had an open forum where we discussed our action plans, even as welcoming suggestions of institutionalizing the Movement! Thanks to the encouragement of Sir Nick, the support of the community and the assistance of government instutions like NCCA, FDCP and CHED.

Also present in the event to discuss their experiences in alternative filmmaking are filmmakers: Elvert Bañares, Raymond Red, Jag Garcia, and NCCA Commissioner Teddy Co.

Raymond Red
Award-winning filmmaker Raymond Red shares his thoughts on being an alternative filmmaker in the Philippines during the ‘80s.
Jag Garcia
Film practitioner Jag Garcia specifies the important role of academic institutions in the promotion of film literacy in our country. He also stresses that student films are continuously on the rise now that digital filmmaking is accessible to the youth.
Elvert Banares
Elvert Bañares, a filmmaker from Iloilo, shares a visual love letter that showcases the excerpts of some short films from different regions in the Philippines. For him, and we agree, these are some of the gems of #CinemaRehiyon.
Teddy Co
NCCA Commissioner Teddy Co imparts the role of the government in generating film-related awareness and education in the country.

Indeed, I’m sure there will be more reasons to celebrate aside the the Centennial mark of Philippine cinema. And I’m glad to watch history unfold right before my eyes!

Thank you so much to the organizers and the speakers of the Hidden Cinema Congress for creating a space for dialogue and encouraging alternative filmmakers to continue on making waves and movie-making! Salamat po sa inyong lahat! 🙂

hidden cinema congress 1

MARS Monday: Joel Cruz, Kevin Sagra and Carla Abellana


mars kevin joel

Before saying hello to the weekend, make sure to join the unli-chismisan with your ku-Mars this Friday night! Kapuso leading lady Carla Abellana joins Suzi Abrera in delivering the hottest updates in the metro.

Dropping by the studio are Lord of Scents Joel Cruz and One Up member Kevin Sagra. Revelations will surely be uncovered because in the Grab-a-word segment, each of them will have to confess a secret!

Juicy secret plus delicious dinner! We have those here. For the Fry-Day edition of Mars Masarap, Kevin cooks the cheesy burger croquette. Sharing his scents expertise, Joel lists down the many ways we can keep our home smelling fresh and clean 24/7!

And to add more fun in the night’s lineup, a brain game awaits them. Carla, Suzi, Kevin and Joel play the word jumble challenge.

Make it a stress-free Friday night by tuning in to Mars, 7 in the evening from Mondays to Fridays on GMA News TV.

Film Fridays: Musings that will make you love Cinematography (A workshop with Raymond Red)

On a whim, I decided to create Film Fridays. 🙂 Basically, it’s a feature about my film-related experiences that I’d like to share with my readers.

As you may have gleaned from my previous posts, I am film student. Currently doing my post-grad studies in UPFI. Why Film? I love movies, that’s the easiest way to answer it. 🙂 I know there are certain levels: from movie fans to film lovers, from cinephiles to movie geeks. I’m simply a movie fan. Hindi pa naman die-hard. And I don’t assume to be an all-knowing moviegoer. :))

I’m doing this thread because there might be people who are interested to read about my experience (how assuming! Hehe) Not really about me, but the knowledge and insights I’ve picked up from the workshops, conferences and trainings connected to movies or filmmaking.

In this first instalment, let me share with you some photos from the latest workshop I signed up for. It’s a free one courtesy of Panasonic. I heard it through Mr. Alex Ruelo, whom I met when I purchased my Lumix cam months ago.

It’s a cinematography workshop with the internationally-acclaimed director and cinematographer, Raymond Red.

I’d really love to learn more about cinematography. There’s something magical and intimidating about it that bewilders me ever since! So when they offered a free pass for this one, I’m all-out game for it! Who would resist?

It’s easy to take lighting for granted. I guess we barely go into its details when we’re home or when we’re outside- at the mall, the park or elsewhere. In this workshop, Mr. Red gave us a preview of what it means to be a cinematographer: lighting a scene, improvising on the spot depending on the weather and room conditions, working with models and directors. And these are just some of the very basics of the craft.

There were two models who became the subjects of the scene. They were asked to sit on a table and converse with each other. As they did, Mr. Red tasked the guys especially the gaffer to follow his instructions. What color temperature to use, How to adjust the lighting ratio, where to place the lights according to the blocking, how to capture the moment using the camera (we used the Panasonic EVA 1), and so on.

To be honest, it can be really overwhelming to hear all these pieces of information being thrown at us all at once! And I’m already a film student at that! What more if you’re just a regular moviegoer who doesn’t have a clue about filmmaking? It can be daunting. But I guess that’s the challenge: to never give up once something intimidating comes up. And that applies to anything in life. (Awow hugot)

Seriously, I’d love to know more about cinematography. 🙂

Sharing more pics below!

TOSS Travel Thursdays: Why You Should To Travel

Deadlines. New projects coming in. Client meetings that just gets piled up over time. Sounds stressful, doesn’t it? The grind that we face every single day is not an easy battle to win over. It is tedious, worrisome, and can even result to a burn out. Even if you have a well-organized schedule, it doesn’t save you from a possible burn out because all you do is work, work, work, work, work. Cue Rihanna.

If you’re a workaholic (like me and most of us), sometimes, you even hear a nagging voice that tells you to skip using your vacation leaves because that’s equal to being unproductive. But is that really true?

Apparently, CNN does not agree. Because in this article, they listed the reasons why vacations are very much need for our health and wellness.

In TOSS Travel Thursdays, we’re giving you the basis of why you should finally overrule that internal echo you’re hearing and finally give yourself a well-deserved travel vacation!

My mentors and friend from PLM.

Traveling lets us free our minds.

Whether we go halfway across the world or just go around wherever our feet takes us, nothing beats an adventure in-progress. It lets us get away with our usual busy world and take on worlds we’ve never seen. Traveling also recharges us. It inspires us to be better, do better, and work harder. It lets us connect with the things we have felt we have lost.

Pisa Carmela
My sister, Carmela in Italy.

We get to learn new things.

Even if you intend to just chill in your travels, it is always a guarantee that you’ll learn something new somehow. May it be the food, the culture, the people, the sights, or the history,  it is sure that you’d get return home armed with bits of knowledge gained from your recent trip. The takeaway is learning never ends. So might as well get the most out of it whenever you can. Explore! Discover. Enjoy. You will never really know when that knowledge would become useful.

Cinematheque Baguio
Checking out the latest movies at the Baguio Cinematheque.

Journey of Self-discovery

Not all travels go smoothly, sometimes we get lost or probably sleep pass our destination. Moments like these would require us to breathe in and take a chance on spontaneity. Ask the locals how to get to your destination. There are also moments when we see locals do something that is quite foreign to us, so we ask them to satisfy our curiosity and get to know the place. This very simple act reminds us that even little things in life can boost our confidence just because we survive another trip.

Temple of Leah Cebu
Temple of Leah in Cebu.

Unforgettable adventures

New things, new sights, new people — endless possibilities abound! Traveling creates memories that are unforgettable and something we’d like to come back to when we lack motivation to go forward.

Amazing People

In our travels, whether we fly solo or be with our loved ones, there will always be people who would make our adventure more memorable. There are people who we meet and interact with by chance, and some over and over again. As if they’re a recurring character in this travelogue. And if some twist of fate, you dream of a travel romance, who knows, your trip might lead you to a kindred soul that you’ve been relentlessly looking for all these years. Pleasant surprises are always in the corner.

Breathtaking Sights

Traveling lets us see greenery. Vast landscapes, vibrant greenery or the calm beach that let’s us look at how majestic Mother Nature is. When we travel, we let our eyes take a break from concrete, glass, and steel, away away from the hustle bustle of the city. It lets us break free from the concrete jungle we see every day.

These are just a few things to remind you why travel vacations are a must. Don’t feel guilty about it. You’ve worked hard and long, and you deserve this.


Now the questions is, where will your feet take you next?

Let TOSS Travel and Tours help you. 🙂 We’re an FB and message away. 🙂

Where To Go Featured Picture
Sagada, Philippines