Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Art in the Time of Quarantine

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Communication students from Far Eastern University recently held an online exhibit to take on different pressing issues during the pandemic. The best creative media productions were also recognized in a virtual awards night last May and July 27.

As part of MULAT 2.0 and MULAT 2.1 exhibits (, FEU Communication majors contributed short films, movie posters, photo and video essays, and advocacy print ads which deal with the theme “Visual Expressions of Quarantine.”

Prof. Herwin Cabasal noted that the exhibits are in line with the program’s mantra “may alam, may pakialam.” The MULAT adviser added that the works urge viewers to think critically. “It is not enough that we just merely appreciate the aesthetics, but to perceive what it is really trying to convey. Most of the time, we must see these artworks outside the frame. It is by seeing outside the frame that we become critical and responsive to the diverse issues of society.”

Since MULAT’s inception last year, FEU DepComm program chair Prof. Anansa Dijan has backed the exhibit. “Now more than ever, we find it very important that our students are aware of what’s happening around them. MULAT is one way where our students can showcase their creativity and more importantly how they see the value of their voices in the society,” she said.

In the July 27 awarding ceremonies, sophomore student Sophie Casasola bagged the Best Cineminuto Short Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Audience Choice and Best Application of Theories in Cinema for her work “Ang Sigaw sa Hardin ng Digma.”

Jillian Marie V. Bolayog took second prize and Best Editing for “Salingin,” while Ericka Insigne and Paula Navarro placed third for “Papel.” Best Production Design was awarded to “Aking Liyag” by Gene Sayson and Silas Hope Obien, and Best Acting went to “Ikaw ay Ikaw” by Carl Saliente and Carl Digno.

The Best Video Essay and Best Application of Theories in Cinema went to “Marxismo at Aktibismo sa Pelikulang Pilipino” while “Structuralism in Philippine Cinema” was hailed second.

Last May, Nickey Zacate’s “Blue Zone” topped the Cineminuto category. Marc Andrew Baldo’s “Kapalaran” got second place and Best Editing, while Neil Juliano’s “Ayuda-Me” won third, Best Screenplay and Audience Choice awards.

Imran John Aquino was adjudged Best Director for “Hirap sa Harap, Harap sa Hirap.” Nina Gonzalez’s “Makabagong Darna” won Best Acting and Best Application of Art Movement, sharing the award with Prince Rodriguez’s “Ika-4 na Estado” and Karl Magboo’s “Contrast.”

Meanwhile, in the Movie Poster category, Rosie Cerdiña’s “Tikom” topped the field, with Matthew Zach Quinto’s “Panik” placing second and Keziah Natividad’s “Quarantingz” at third. Drink Rivera’s “Tatay, Gusto Kong Tinapay” won the Audience Choice prize.

In the Photo Essay category, Mark Bryan Seño got first place for “2020 Calendar,” with Joanna Marie De Guzman bagging second for “No Safe Spaces” and Trixie Catindig taking the Audience Choice award for “No Escape From Reality.”

Sofia San Diego’s “Ang Bala ay Hindi Gamot” won the top and Audience Choice prizes in the Advocacy Print Ad category. “Lunas, Hindi Dahas” by Jay Cenzon and “Bigas, Hindi Dahas” by Lovely Baylosis placed second and third, respectively.

Selected participants from MULAT also guested in online talks “Kwentuhang May Alam, May Pakialam Episode 1: Quarantine Stories,” which was organized by FEU DepComm, and “KwaranSINE: Mga Kwento sa Gitna ng Pandemya,” which it co-hosted with the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates and In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement.

PAHRA Secretary General Rose Trajano moderated an online talkback with Cabasal and six student filmmakers after the screening of “Bantay” by Regina Atenas, “Ingay” by Melvin Rosetes, “555” by Edel Hembrador, “Ayuda-Me,” “Blue Zone,” and “Makabagong Darna.”

Cabasal believes that through the online visual arts page’s engagements, it has already attained its objective, “which is to serve as a platform for discourse and discussion about what matters in our society.” For him and MULAT artists, what Aldous Huxley wrote in “The Art of Seeing,” “the more you know, the more you see,” sums up their visual communication experience.

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