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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Vibal Foundation’s Art Book Chronicles 123 years of Philippine Cinema

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Vibal Foundation recently launched Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020—a lavishly illustrated art book that not only provides an in-depth retrospective of over a hundred years of Philippine cinema, but also simultaneously traces its history, genres, narratives, tropes, and lore while subjecting its rich filmography to critique and film theory. The book tracks Philippine cinematic beginnings as a technological marvel and its many turns up to the twenty-first century as it blindly accepted, appropriated, indigenized, and even attacked Western conventions through intentionally wicked but hilarious parodies.

Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020 is the latest addition to Arte Filipino, Vibal Foundation’s imprint on art books. Arte Filipino promotes Philippine artistic history and culture, and brings art into broader public view by pairing innovative scholarship with brilliantly reproduced visuals.

Written by Gaspar Vibal and Dennis Villegas and edited by film educator, curator, and archivist Teddy Co, Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020 boldly looks at the seamier side of the film industry with its unblinking examination of DVD plenitude and piracy, trafficking of low-brow exploitation flicks, dislocation of mainstream distribution brought on by the advent of streaming and Netflix, and the tragic loss of the cinematic archive and the consequent loss of national memory.

Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020

In Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020, a common thread runs through all its pages: a fevered cinephilia that equally valorizes the sublime and the ridiculous, from the socially realistic films set in the most miserable slums to the most inspired satires of spy capers and spaghetti westerns, and from the most profound critique to a weltering listmania of nostalgia and trivia. Its one hundred essays contain 1,200 notes and gossipy asides, plus over 1,315 images, which will equally delight any diehard movie buff or casual cinematic art lover.

The book is a retrospective survey of cinema from its birth in Spanish colonial Manila to the challenging era of the pandemic. Arranged chronologically in four periodizations, the book’s 100 essays on manifold aspects of cinema, such as its artistic language, conventions, narratives, textual sources, discourses on women, gender, modernity, and national identity as well as its inherent hybridity and undeniably transnational character are written primarily from an audience or fan perspective.

In seeking to elide the division that traditionally separated academic film discourse from the bakya (popular) or the commercial, the book posits a holistic approach to appreciating Philippine cinematic art. In acknowledging this populist bent, an attempt has been made nevertheless to balance this cinephile-driven art history with postmodern critique and film theory.

Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020 is part of the Arte Filipino series. The art books under the series aim to elevate Philippine artistic history and culture and bring art into broader public view. Other titles in the series include Fabian de la Rosa and His Times, The Life and Art of Botong Francisco, The Life and Art of David Medalla, The Life and Art of Francisco Coching, The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo, The Life and Times of Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, and The Life, Art, and Times of Damian Domingo; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Damián Domingo; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Francisco V. Coching; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Isabelo Tampinco; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Philippine Cinematic Art; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Toti Cerda; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Art of Window, Display, and Design; Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Nono: The 19th-Century Masters of Angono; and Fifty Shades of Philippine Art: Lee Aguinaldo.

Interested readers may purchase Vibal books online at and at Shopee

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Tumindig Against the Dutertes

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Astonished to see artists leading the fight for good governance.

A DDS artist tried to downplay the #Tumindig campaign by making their own version of Sara Duterte as Thanos. The first version showed Sara killed all those who joined #Tumindig. After receiving flak, he changed it without the blood

Like father, like daughter? Kill, kill, kill? 

Dito na ba napunta ang P70 million budget mg PCOO? Is Steven Pabalinas one of their hired graphic artist contractors?

It looks like a criticism of Daughterte, if any --- depicting her as a violent killer who doesn't like people standing up.

Ang pinapakita dito kasamaan at hindi katapangan. Like father, like daughter nga kung ganoon.

Ganun naman mga DDS, tapang tapangan lang. Pag madami umalma, urong bayag, tulad ng poon nila.

Identified na tlga sila by their penchant for profanity. This is everyone’s concept of this mag-ama, DDS or not. And the artist thinks this is his best positive interpretation of the daughter—as a homicidal maniac?

Hindi ba nila alam ang fate ni Thanos sa huli? Thanos failed. Sara, without an H (Honesty), will also fail!

Utak kriminal talaga mga DDS no? mga bobong basura haha!

He depicted Sara as mamamatay tao. not surprised that this is also how the DDS see he Duterte's. Nakakadiri! Like father like daughter naba talaga ang peg? They don't even try to hide it anymore, kill kill is all they could think of. Napa mura na lang ako, taranThanos talaga eh!

The DDS artist even did a couple of revisions, two as per his upload on social media. The 2nd  and third turned into  more confusing, not necessarily better images. And the caricature does not favor Sarah at all..

Either hindi siya tunay na DDS, o confused lang siya talaga. 

He unintentionally admitted that his idols are murderers and that he and his disgusting DDS kind are blind followers and enablers.

Although puede ito ang next character ni Juana Change. 

The DDS are the real cancer in the society. A life-long disease that no medication can ever heal or kill. The worst virus of all viruses.

Isn't this the usual thing from Duterte and his team? They try to shock you with vulgarity and violence, then the next day they try to walk it back, claiming it was a joke or misunderstanding?

The artist behind Tarantadong Kalbo calls on Filipinos to speak out and stand up, ‘even if it feels like you’re the only one doing it.'  

It’s just so beautiful from one person standing up to the rest of us.  

We can also look beyond the politics of personality. For me, #Tumindig has a greater meaning. It encourages each and every one of us to stand up for his/her aspirations, dreams, and what someone wants in life. Kailangang tumindig para marating mo ang mga pangarap mo. 

Wazzup Pilipinas stands with Tarantadong Kalbo and other artists in defending the ideals of democracy against authoritarian rule.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Annual Donsol count identifies 26 new whale sha

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Donsol - A couple new faces were among the old as the latest whale shark survey came to a close in Donsol.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines identified 58 individual whale sharks during the organizations’ 2021 population survey, held annually off the coast of Donsol.

Of the 58 whale sharks spotted during the survey, 32 were returning individuals that had been recorded during previous surveys. The remaining 26 were new to the site and had never been recorded before in Donsol.

The survey was conducted from March 27 to June 15, 2021 with a total of 27 days and 144 whale shark encounters. The highest number of encounters happened in the month of May, which clocked 78 encounters out of 144.

The previous season’s survey was suspended due to quarantine measures imposed by the government in March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Philippines.

This year, WWF-Philippines pushed through with the annual survey despite pandemic restrictions. The local government of Donsol and the local Bantay Dagat lent their support to the effort.

“We’re always pleased to see new individuals popping up in our annual whale shark survey. The waters off the coast of Donsol are really known for the whale sharks that pass through them. To be spotting new individuals year after year is proof that whale sharks still choose to come here,” said WWF-Philippines Project Manager Manuel Narvadez.

The Ticao-Burias Pass Protected Seascape (TBPPS), located between the provinces of Masbate, Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Sur, is a biodiversity hotspot renowned for the presence of the charismatic whale shark.

Since 1998, WWF-Philippines has been working with the local government of Donsol and the Department of Tourism to protect the local whale shark population. Employing a landscape approach, WWF-Philippines and its local partners aim to minimize human pressures threatening the health of the TBPPS.

The conservation organization also helps operate a citizen science effort to keep track of whale sharks passing through the TBPPS. By tasking visiting tourists with documenting and sharing the whale sharks they identify while out on guided tours, WWF-Philippines has helped create employment for locals while developing a database of individual whale sharks that have passed through the area over the years.

While similar in appearance, each whale shark individual can be identified by the unique pattern of white spots across its body. The Wildbook for Whale Sharks maintains an online database of individuals that have been identified throughout the history of the species’ conservation.

“This International Shark Awareness Day is a good time to remind everyone of the need to safeguard places like the TBPPS, for the sake of species like the whale shark. Each new whale shark we identify serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting this precious place,” said Narvadez.
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