...it was probably in 1978 or 1979–our apartment was used as a film set. I remember chaos: lots of noisy people and lights. I soon grew weary of all the commotion and asked my mom to tuck me in. When we got to my room, there was a strange man sleeping on my bed. Apparently the lead actor (Christopher de Leon, if you care to know) found his way upstairs and decided to nap on my princess bed. I was kind of annoyed because I was a sleepy three year old who wanted her pillows. My mom was kind of pissed since she specifically instructed the shooting to contain itself downstairs–and so poor old Boyet was roused from his slumber and chastised by my mom.
Decades later, I would find myself working on a film set (Ang Pamana, if you care to know), stuck on location in Bulacan in the middle of summer. It was hot and dusty and the neighbors were singing nonstop karaoke. I was sleep deprived and grumpy as hell. I found myself napping under mango trees in between takes, or falling asleep on monoblock chairs while they were setting up lights. Suddenly I felt sympathy for Mr. de Leon and his exhausted slumber. Let me tell you–making a movie isn't a picnic. It's a lot of hard work. Blood, sweat, tears, and more.
After the Great Bulacan Adventure, I swore I would never work on another film set. Of course, a few months ago I found myself working on Off World, another independent film. This time we shot mostly in Smokey Mountain, armed with rubber boots, Lysol, wet wipes, and bottled water. Strangely enough, I found myself having fun running around the slums and dump site.
I don't know if I'll ever work on another movie again but I do know that it's a good time for Filipino film. There are a lot of talented and creative people who put in lots of passion and effort into what they do–despite the limitations or lack of resources. There's a wealth of good content here, after all Filipinos are natural story tellers. Hopefully we're moving away from all the baduy clichés. All the hard work is slowly paying off. But why not watch a Pinoy film soon and see for yourself?