Buhayin! (Let Live!)

A community film project on traditional music in the lives of ordinary people.

The Ethnographies of Philippine Popular Music Culture group, based in Ateneo de Manila University (Department of Development Studies) and which is a consortium of scholars from the said department and the University of the Philippines Colleges of Music and Mass Communication is pleased to announce the completion of its third video production, this time a short narrative film with documentary footages of folk festival in Obando.

The synopsis of the film and rationale of the project goes:

“The reality of Filipinos going overseas for work creates a condition of alienation (nangulila) for both the traveller and those left behind. Yet, the need to eke out a means of living and the promise of material prosperity for the future override the painful separation that often leads to extra-engagements with others as emotional needs and feelings of loss are compensated by those leaving and entering state borders.

This is the backdrop of the story that this film is about: a woman from the working class who, first decides on aborting her pregnancy, but later– with free will–rescinds to safeguard her body and baby. It was the memory of music and warm companionship that motivated her choice for that path of happiness.

From another angle, this story is also about the story of traditional music band of bamboo instruments (musikong bumbong) in a Tagalog community. Like the devotion to saints, bamboo music, bamboo arches made into art (palamuti), native delicacies are forms of indicating collective euphoria in human relationships and togetherness.

The story focuses on the idea of human agency as a form of redemption from material wants, difficult the choice might be. This redemptive will is generated by an indomitable spirit of human solidarity and values.

Any resemblance of the story to real persons in actuality is purely coincidental.

All the actors in the film are amateurs, belonging to two families in a small community who do not have prior training in the art of acting.

The impulse to pursue this cinema project was hinged on the idea of capacity building among a marginalized group and on the goal of creating an alternative vision of cinema that does not cater to the commercial glossy.

The project is funded by the CHED-NCCA SALIKHA program in the Ateneo de Manila University.”

The schedule of the preview of this film is still being planned but would most likely be in January 2022.

I wholeheartedly thank the small commnity in Obando for the realizing this project. The poster was designed by Hubert Fucio of UP Music.

A trailer of the movie will be shared later on.

Happy New Year to All!