Thursday, May 3, 2007

Remembering the "Huling Balyan"

I was checking on my friendster account when I get to run over Drei’s profile and get to take a peek at his pictures… there were pictures of friends that I get to work with during the shooting of the “Huling Balyan ng Buhi”… Somehow, looking at those pictures makes me remember the challenges and the fun I had during the shoot of the film… it was indeed a nice experience.

I remember we were in Arakan Valley, Philippines. We would wake up as early as 3 o’clock in the morning… I would borrow Marlyn’s jacket, carry the XL2 camera then would come along with the guys on the way to the location for setup. And I would take footages of them while working. Then Macky and T-bo would start joking around. I would go back to the house along with Coicoi, Rjay, T-bo, Babs, Chico, John and Mark then we’d get ready for breakfast Kuya Jek-jek has prepared for us - Hotdog, corned beef, egg and fried rice… amoy pa lang, makagutom na… Then I would hear T-bo or Macky yell, “Marlyn!!! Nanlimpyo na ka og balay?” (Marlyn, did you clean the house yet?) That’s their way of messing around with one of our production assistant, Marlyn.

Marlyn? I miss her… she fascinates me… and man, she does talk a lot!!! As in!!! She always wants to ask you questions even though sometimes it’s completely unnecessary. But mind you… she is a caring friend… she takes care of me and Karina. I remember, one night, we were really freezing cold and Marlyn was already shuddering because of the temperature. So Karina and I hugged each other with Marlyn at the center of the both of us. And in the morning we would tease her about how she acted the other night… and Marlyn would then act childishly. And Karina? I cannot forget her… after the “Huling Balyan”; she had become a dear friend indeed. We hangout together and even travel together… we converse a lot and share intelligent ideas.

Going back to the way it was in the production… Ah, the whole production would then gather in the living room and would discuss about the shooting schedules depending on the weather, sometimes if the weather is too foggy, we would then re-schedule the shoot and the rest of the production would spend the day resting or just hanging around with everyone. The guys: Macky, Coicoi, Ivurr, Chico, Jay-R, Ramir, Rjay, Drei, T-bo, Mark and Babs would Jam along with each other. Coicoi would even use the water container as beat box and Macky, Chico, T-bo would play the guitar while others would sing along with them.

In the sunny morning, we would then proceed to the location I would hear Adi Yelling “Time check!!!” Everyone would then rush things to keep up with the time, and then were on for a few more sequences. What’s so good about the production is that everybody exercises Multi-Tasking. We call ourselves “slashers” from documentary to production assistant even being a key grip. That’s when I realize that being in a production is never easy. But it’s worth the experience.

One unforgettable experience I had is when we were trekking our way back from the cave and I almost slipped down the cliff, if Macky had not accompanied me? I would have fallen and I might have not shared my experiences right now.

When I think about coffee? These guys always pop in my mind – Chico and Ramir. These guys are my instant coffee mates and my P.A.s too... (short for "personal alalay") well actually, we are each other's P.A.. They would make coffee for me and I’ll do the same for them. And man, they’re really a PRO when it comes to making coffee... it just taste so good.

The shoot usually ends up at 10 or 11 in the evening. We were so tired that sometimes we’d rather sleep than eat. But most times, Rjay and I would review the videos and would then ask me about it… and we would discuss a lot of things. His friend, Kenth, I never really pictured him as someone who jokes around, i pictured him as someone profound and serious. Karina and I were actually surprised that he is in fact capable of sharing funny stories and can indeed joke around. (and i find him smart too)

And Sherad? I admire him for his strong will and determination to finish the film. Unfavorable circumstance indeed occurred during the production period but hell, he was still able to bag the major awards (Best Picture, Best director, Best screenplay, and special award for citation of ensemble of actors) in the Cinema one film festival. What I most remember about him is when we went to Kidapawan for a courtesy call with Gov. Manny Piñol… along with Mike, Ate Joy, Eddie, And Bembol Roco. He would share about himself… and would joke around with us…and would again welcome me to the team.

Well those were the days... I am so thankful that Dax gave me the chance to work with these wonderful and highly skilled individuals. I kinda miss them. I guess, this is how it ends... my experience with the “Huling Balyan ng Buhi”.

( most photos in this post were captured by Mark Limbaga, the official photographer of the production)

Here is the trailer of The Huling Balyan ng Buhi... :

No comments: