Bullying a hot topic at ‘Boses’ community screening

Bullying starts as a subtle and casual form of child abuse. As such, an increased consciousness of one’s interaction with the young is a good step to prevent it. This was aired in a discussion following a community screening of “Boses”.

“Boses” is a multi-awarded Indie film featuring the poignant story of a mute boy who experiences healing in a shelter, helped by a friendship with a violinist who leads him to discover his musical gift. It was first shown five years ago in select venues but gets the opportunity to be shown nationwide at SM Cinemas on July 31, 2013.The film stars two real life violinists: multi-awarded Coke Bolipata and child prodigy Julian Duque and receives great support from veterans Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache, and Meryll Soriano.

The community screening was sponsored by Ang Mananampalatayang Gumagawa (AMG) Inc., a Christian organization that that provides care for children in need and at risk. It was attended by youth leaders and families from a poor community in Quezon City. It kicked off the film’s roadshow this year with communities that espouse child protection and other organizations which relates with the film’s take on values and other elements such as healing through music.

Neriza B. dela Cruz, an AMG youth leader, shares that the film led her to rethink her interactions with younger siblings.

“(Sa Boses), kita sa mga mata ng mga bata ang takot at lungkot. Naisip ko mga kapatid ko, minsan nagiging masungit ako sa kanila at nasasaktan sila. Narealize ko na bago maging lider, dapat ayusin natin ang relasyon natin sa ating mga kapamilya. (The children’s eyes reflect fear and sadness. I thought about my siblings and at times they are victims of my moods and they get hurt. I realized that before I become a leader, I need to fix my relationships with my family.)”

Pastor Nick Llantada, an AMG church leader, states that the film presents a challenge. “We make impressions on the young around us. Youth, you won’t be youth forever. You need to be conscious that you are future parents, you need to be mindful of your words and actions.”

Neriza B. dela Cruz, a youth leader from Ang Mananampalatayang Gumagawa (AMG), shares that “Boses” made her realize the importance of being kind to her younger siblings.

“Boses” was recently tagged by the Department of Education as a “powerful advocacy tool” for the promotion of child protection. It was also cited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as compelling way to increase child rights awareness among young people.

The film is a collaborative work of director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, writers Froi Medina and Rody Vera, cinematographer Nap Jamir, production designer Bianca Gonzalez with musical direction by Bolipata and score from pianist Jourdann Petalver.

Meanwhile, a fresh round of “Boses” screenings is set to take place here and abroad. The Vienna International Centre (VIC) Club Filipino, an organization put up by Filipinos working at the United Nations in Vienna, will present the film to its members and guests this May. The VIC Club Filipino screening also serves as a fund drive for the film’s promotions.

On June 20, Boses will be screened at Riverside Studios Cinema in London. The screening is supported by the London group of the One Billon Rising (OBR) campaign on violence against women and children, Save the Children and the Philippine Consulate in London. Teacher invitees of the Ortigas Library Foundation will also be shown the film on May 16, followed by a forum on child protection.

Boses will also be part of a 7-film series for officers and employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) posted overseas which will be held on May 22. The screenings are sponsored by the Cultural Diplomacy Unit of DFA. Early screening for the Youth Archdiocese in Cebu takes place on June 25.

“Boses” was produced by Erasto Films with grants from Cinemalaya , National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC). The production was also in cooperation with Casa San Miguel and its cast and creative staff, all acclaimed artists in their own right, who took on the work as some kind of experiment on social enterprise. Follow @BOSEStheMovie on Twitter for more updates on the film.###


The Plight of UP Arco

As I write this, the University of the Philippines Arco, is struggling to raise funds so they can attend the the 24th Festival International de Musique Universitaire (FIMU).

Photo by Kapao Gupalor

The selection gives UP Arco the distinction of being the sole and  first Filipino group to perform at the FIMU. Regarded as one of the world’s most culturally diverse music festivals, FIMU is slated on May 26, 27 and 28. It will be held at Belfort, France. 

UP Arco is under the musical directorship and guidance of Prof. Edna Marcil “Michi” Martinez. It is currently composed of  27 select student artists, all of whom are majors of the Strings and Chamber Music Department of the UP College of Music.

“By taking part, UP Arco verifies the fact that our instrumental music education at the tertiary level is at par with global standard,” beams Martinez. “ They have reached and set a high bar of honor and excellence in both musical éclat and performance élan.”

Need for funding

The group needs more than 1.7 million pesos for airfare and travel expenses within France. UP Arco recently held a benefit concert at the Bulwagang Dangal in UP Diliman. A limited edition CD containing with the classical music performed by UP Arco has also been released.

“All proceeds go directly to the students’ travel expenses. The support we get goes a long way: not only for our country and the university but more so to the lives of our young musicians—the new generation, the hope and pride of our nation,” states Martinez.

Global scope

FIMU was created 26 years ago by the University of Technology of Belfort-Montbeliard to enhance student life in Belfort. Today, the event is organized jointly by the town of Belfort and local students. FIMU has gathered students from across the globe for 24 years. The three day festival stages 250 concerts and attracts over 80,000 visitors.

Photo by Dolly Aspiras

The event is expected to assemble over a hundred student music groups and covers  a wide berth of music genres: from classical music, new music, jazz, rock music, world music to brass band and opera.

Among those performing at FIMU are mandolin ensemble Orchestra di Mandolini E Chitarre Il Plettro, Orchestre De L’Université de Geneve, Blues Chronicles, and Orchestre Symphonique De L’Université de Budapest.

Each year, one instrument takes center stage at FIMU. In an editorial for the festival’s website, Belfort Mayor Etienne Butzbach, states: “By celebrating one instrument each year we can look at its development and the transformations it has undergone in its passage through time.”

For more information on how you can help UP Arco take flight, email trishabautista@gmail.com or call 09175941020.###