Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fun Moments with Mindanao Filmmakers

My trip to Cotabato City last February 24, 2008 was indeed exciting and fun... having to relax a bit from work and spending time with friends and fellow filmmakers is surely a wonderful experience... we tried out food found in the place and spend time chatting with filmmakers the entire night... and of course taking pictures :)

At the hotel Lobby, El Manuel Hotel

On our way to Cotabato City, With Sheng, Arthur, Me, Fern and Sheron

Hanging out with Filmmakers , a night before the awarding

Playing around with Fern and Sheng

Musoy, me and the lovers... wahaahah!!!

Filmmakers before heading for Notre Dame University

Sheron, Sheng, Teng, Rhon and Fern at NDU

A post with our Director, McRobert Nacario and Editor, Fern Salinas... Congratulations Micromedia Prod and Kwentong May Kwenta Production!!!

Us at Notre Dame University

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Love Junkie... just for Today... :)

Well... just for today... may I be a love junkie? nyahaha... I don't know what's gotten into this head of mine that I just feel like talking about this kind a BIG word L-O-V-E. wahhh..

Okay... I just heard someone telling me that he was so hurt that he doesn't know if he is still capable of loving... Wow, does this really happen? How does one deal with hurt without having to forget how a good word love is?

With a person with that kind of disposition one would probably say... man, LOVE is a BULL... sad to say, I heard those lines... not just from one person... why do they look at love the way they do? HURT. They were badly hurt that they find it easy to just feel hate than continue loving and hurting at the same time... Wow, I can't believe i'm actually saying this... is this me? nyahaha...

Okay, lets get serious here... I'm not a love junkie but hell... who cares, I'm gonna speak my mind... what do I know about love? All I know is that love is a serious word... and am I capable of loving? I say yes... everyone is gifted with a capacity to love...

I have these lines that I wanna share... some of it really kinda cliche, I heard this from people I come accross with in my entire existence... expressions of loving and getting hurt at the same time...

1. I love him, I really do... but I can't seem to make him change.
  • maybe you don't love him that much... I mean for one... before you met him... he is his own person... so why do you have to change him? If you really do love him, why can't you accept the person that he is?... I learned from someone... If you can't change the person?... Change for the person. True enough... sometimes, we need to look at ourselves and reflect on the things we do... I mean for one... you might already be hurting that person for just wanting to change him... how about enjoying what you have?
2. He's the worst person I've ever met... and yet I still love him! Oh I hate him.
  • Yeah, we sometimes really act so weird when it comes to loving someone... isn't it ironic how we love someone despite of his or her flaws? Well it's what they call acceptance... accepting the person for whatever he is...

3. How can I love the person and hate him at the same time?
  • Is there really such a thing? well, based on experience, you don't really hate the person... it's what this person do that you hate. Confront the person on those things that you like... and compromise :)

4. You hurt me too many times... and yet I chose to forgive you... How can you afford to hurt me again?
  • If a person hurt you the nth times... don't you think this is something to think about? I mean It's okay to give a person another chance... but if forgiving the person seemed to be routinary... then you need to make a decision now and stand with that decision. remember: its okay to be fooled once... but being fooled over and over again by the same person? its foolishness.

5. He changed... he's not the same person I used to love.

  • I got this line just recently from a friend back in High School. People change... we all do... but this is really something to think about... what made him change? Sometimes we need to check ourselves as well... maybe they also see changes in us that made them change... Think about it.

6. I really tried to forget him.. but he keeps on popping my mind.

  • That's part of moving on... you can't really forget the person whatever you do. Why? because that person had been part of your life whether you like it or not. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting... its accepting that it's over and accepting that the person is already out of your life.

7. Yes, I still love her... but I had enough.

  • This happens when things has been so routinary that they feel they have nothing to give anymore... its like you still love that person... but things aren't working out for the both of you... SPACE... perhaps you need time to think things over and look at your relationship, what could be so wrong?

8. I love him, why can't he love me back?

  • This is one of the painful truth in love... because you can't force someone to love us back... don't squeeze love... let love flow at its own course... if it grows... it grows... and if it doesn't? You need to accept and believe that love would come your way in God's Time.

9. I gave everything to him... how can he afford to hurt me?

  • I always hear this line... and i'll say it again, Don't let someone be your everything... before going into any relationship... remember that a person only adds up to your life... he is not your life. Don't make him the center of your life.. so that when he goes... you still have something left to start your life all over again... Love is always accompanied by hurt. So you also need to use our head when it comes to loving someone.

10. I'm confused... I know I don't wanna love him anymore... but I still do.

  • It takes time to heal from all the hurt... and besides... wounds doesnt heal overnight... so is the heart. Ask yourself... why don't you wanna love him anymore? And do you really want to let go of him... love is a decision... you just don't feel love... you feel it because you want it to. You need to weigh it up... and decide.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Facing the World in Solace

Perhaps, when one has this moment for himself, and take time to be away from his usual busy days... he gets to see the things he rarely see in the usual days. He sees the lovely things that he normally overlooks.

Most importantly, he gets to search his heart and take time to reflect on things... one would discern an important lesson that being away from people sometimes doesn't equate with loneliness at all... being alone doesn't always mean being lonely.

A moment of solitude makes one look at the future with confidence that things will eventually fall to its place... it's like, filling in your energy tank to keep up with the vastness of the world.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Endless Battle

It was 25th of January of 2007, when my friend Karina and I went to Kidapawan City (a place somewhere in North Cotabato, Philippines) for a documentary about children affected by the conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). We actually traveled from different places trying to find those kids who were once a victim of the conflict in the year 2000 to 2003 with the help of the Provincial Government of North Cotabato. We went to Silik, Pikit (still in North Cotabato) in search for these children.

The road to Silik, Pikit is indeed arduous… It took us almost two hours to reach the place since the area is located at the very nook of Pikit, Cotabato. We passed by a very rough and bulky road, passed by the rice field, where one portion as pointed by our Driver, Kuya Roy, has been a battleground between the AFP and MILF last 2003. When I asked if there are still conflicts going on after 2003, he answered, "Ah, wala na, naundang na tungod sa peace process agreement." (Not anymore, it stopped because of the Peace Process Agreement). I was to ask Kuya Roy another question when a signage caught my eye, "YOU ARE ENTERING AN MILF COMMUNITY", I stared at Kuya Roy with a questioning look and he said, "Boundary ni sa MILF, diri nagpuyo ang mga pamilya sa mga MILF na sundalo"(This is an MILF boundary, the family of the MILF soldiers are residing here.) But where are the soldiers? What happened to them? Kuya Roy, wasn’t able to answer my question since we already arrived at the Silik National High School, where we are about to interview, a guy named, Sulman.

We waited for Sulman at the Principal’s Office, and while waiting, we learned that Sulman is actually one of the outstanding students of the School. And the teachers were really impressed by his attitude, "responsableng bata" (responsible kid). After a minute, I finally met Sulman. Seeing him? There was no sign of a person who has struggled during the MILF-AFP conflict. In fact, he is a picture of a person with cheerful disposition, a person with a positive perspective towards things. Who would have thought that the person we are interviewing were once a child warrior.
At a young age of ten, Sulman already knows how to use an M-16 rifle and has fought in the battlefield with the MILF soldiers against the AFP. I was intrigued with the idea that he actually fought at a very young age… when he should be enjoying his youth playing with kids his age… but it wasn’t like that for him.
In his environment, there is no room for play… for him he has to be in that battle to protect his family… and protecting his family means be in the battleground and fight for what they believed in.

And so I asked Sulman, what are they fighting for? And he simply answered, "Lupang Pangako" (Land of Promise). Somehow, I find him to be having a hard time answering… because of the fact that, it is so hard for him to go back to a certain point of his life when he was in battle and able to see fellow soldiers being killed right in front of him… indeed, a traumatic experience for a boy like him who was 10 years old at that time. And when asked, would he want to be in battle again… he firmly answered, "No, mas gusto kong mag-aral at tulungan ang pamilya ko" (No, I’d rather go to school and help my family.
Sulman came from a deprived family… and yet his disposition about things made him one of the richest people I know… and I know he’ll go a long way… for a boy like him whose right as a child were somehow violated, I admire his outlook in life… for him its time to look at the future with hope and strong determination to face life and be able to help the family. "Marami akong pangarap sa buhay… at gusto kong makatulong sa iba na nangangailangan ng tulong… sa tulad kong naranasan kung paano ang buhay sa isang lugar na laging may gyera. Simple lang ang gusto ko… ayoko maging doctor, abogado, o maging sundalo… gusto ko lang maging social worker… simple lang, dahil gusto kong tumulong…at ang pagiging social worker ang isang paraan ng pagtulong." (I have so many dreams in life… and I like to help others who needs help… those people like me who has experienced how it’s like to live in a place where there is war. All I want is simple… I don’t wanna be a doctor, lawyer, or even a soldier… I wanna be a social worker… so simple because I only want to help… and being a social worker is a simple move for being of help.
I was impressed by the character he showed me…though I was lucky to interview, a guy like him who has a positive outlook in life… there could be other child warriors out there whose outlook in life were completely changed because of the experience… a disposition that is completely different from Sulman simply because of a painful event in their lives…
I have seen how the local government units of North Cotabato was doing their part in helping these people by conducting seminars and workshops for the victims and offering scholarships to children like Sulman, in order to heal the wounds caused by the conflict between AFP and MILF. And yet based on the interviews I had… no matter, how much they work on helping these individuals who went through so much trauma … if they don’t do something in putting this conflict to an end? All the effort is useless.

January 27, 2007… a conflict between AFP and MILF erupt again, this time in Midayap, Cotabato. Right there we saw how hard life is for the Victims… the only thing these victims do is going to evacuation centers and wait ‘til the war is over… Life in the evacuation is hard; people suffer due to sanitary problem. Painful as it may seem… I saw how children got sick and eventually die because of the lack of supplies in terms of food, medicines.
Innocent children, who has no control over the situations… are the most oppressed in the conflict… we need to break the chain of the 3-year-cycle of war between MILF and AFP. Goods and other supplies are not enough… This is not just their battle… it’s ours… what should be done about it?

My interview with Sulman would not be possible without the help of kind people in the Province of North Cotabato.
To Gvernor Piñol and all his staff.. thank you so much... also to Sir Joey of the Children of Peace, my heartfelt gratitude sir... :)

To DSWD of Midsayap, to Hon. Mayor Araña , Hon. Vice Mayor Rabara, (now a mayor) thank you so much for the security and your hospitality :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Brood at the Nook…

I have been traveling from one place to another in search for what is there to know about life… and how things really are… and for those times that I travel to remote areas… Learning were always brought with me on my way back home… learning that cannot just be learned in school since I actually have experienced how life is in that nook of the country.

Part of the learning I have is seeing these children. Indeed, I have seen the difference between children in the cities and children in the rural areas where electricity isn’t even available.
What actually bothered me is that, children as young as 9month old suffers because of a non-ending cycle of war between AFP and Insurgents. As early as 10 years old, a kid already manages to fire a rifle against what they thought as enemies. A 4-5 year old kid is fascinated at the sight of Military and rebel group pointing guns at each other thinking that he/she is just watching a scene from a movie. Children along with their families were put to evacuation centers for quite a time, where kids usually end up getting sick and hungry… some even died because of limited supplies of food and medicines.

We look at children as innocent human beings… helpless… who do not have the capacity to take care of themselves… they look up on adults for protection… but how? When even their parents suffer because of the never-ending conflict between the AFP and rebel groups, we know that they are our responsibility. In those cases I presented… apparently, children’s rights were violated.

Somehow, thinking about these children made me ask… whatever happened to the ceasefire agreement between the AFP and the other rebel groups? Whatever happened to the peace process? What is the government’s stand regarding this conflict? Hmmmm… continue to give relief goods to the victims? Will this suffice? After a few weeks of a conflict, people from the government would say… everything is under control… everything is being taken care of… and yet… after 3 years another conflict erupts again… Perhaps they would do the same actions, say the same things…

Here’s the thing… conflict between the AFP and rebel groups has been a 3-year-cycle for decades now… can we afford another more discord 3 years from now… and relive the trauma to those people who are directly affected by it? How many more child warriors would risk their lives to battle? War has a great effect to the victims… though healing has took place… there will always be times when they are haunted by the experience. What’s most sad about this truth is that the most affected in this dispute are children… How are we going to help them?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dark? Look at the Stars...

image source:

The Famous Essayist, Poet and a Philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once quoted this line... "When its dark enough, men see the stars." Indeed, one would see the beauty of the night... get a full view of the sky with stars that shines so bright that it somehow give a little light in the night.

There are moments in our lives when we feel that darkness surrounds us... But it is in this moment when we are reminded to take heart that there are better learning... better opportunities comes even when the road were trudging seem so dark. It is a perfect moment to realize that we need God. It is in moments of challenge that we see greater qualities that we never thought we possess.

So when you seem to be bombarded with unfavorable circumstance in your life... remember the genius who quoted this line: "When it's dark enough, men see the stars..." Let me add this up: "And the stars will help you find your way." (All smiles.)

-rhon :)

Who Am I?

Image source:

Who am I? Is it enough to say my name? Or say that I am a woman? How about saying who my parents are? Or maybe the kind of job that I have? Or the usual things I do? Does all of these determines who I'm really am?

My name does not determine who I am. I am not just a woman, nor does my clothes reveal my real identity, not even with the occupation that I have, or the religion that I have. My body does not reveal who I am really.

In this world, we all play a role. I am an actor playing a role in the drama of the world... I am the master of my body, I am the power within my body just as you are with yours...

Am a Soul... that is my spiritual identity. My body is the instrument of my being. Who am I? I am a SOUL.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Taste of Delectable Turkish Cuisine

Last time, I posted about my commercial experience with Hof Gorei Beach Resort… This time, I’ll be posting about another commercial experience with the Turquoise Turkish Restaurant.

When you enter the restaurant, you would definitely notice the interior and some stuff that is brought all the way from Turkey such as the miniature of famous people and also some stuff that would remind you of the place.

As my VJ is getting ready for her outfit and make ups… My cameraman and I discussed about what shots I want to have… and as we agreed, we set up the cam and were ready for the shoot.

It actually took us 4 hours to actually finish the entire shoot… not to mention the bloopers on the set (lol). After the commercial, we had the chance to taste their specialty… and man? It is delectable…


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Learning to Stop and Reconsider

Sometimes, the problem with knowing so much keep you from listening to people through your heart... to the extent of even forgetting to trust anyone. Its like you live only for yourself... and that's all it is... A wrong notion... I know it is... Because it hardens a heart.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I was checking on friendster, when i happen to run over a friend's bulletin post, we hadnt seen each other for a time... my comment? what happened to you dude?

"i think there is a very strong need for me to clean my emotional house today. i need to toss out things that are keeping me from moving forward. If i am still nursing a heartache, that's one thing -- but if i am still wallowing in my self pity or pain, then that's quite another. maybe i should Let go the past and focus on my dreams for the future. i think i have been carrying this pain for too long. The fact is, i am the one who can decide to be happy or decide to be sad. Which will it be?"

Hmmm... just don't understand... you do know what to do...only you're stubborn. Move on if you really want to. You said it yourself, you have been carrying that load for a time... dont you think its about time that you unload it?

THE THING IS: No one can decide for you... no one can help you unless you help yourself. Accept the things that had happen and go on. Coz you know what? the only thing that can help you move on is your DECISION to ACCEPT what has been done. That's the only way you can start anew. STOP BROODING OVER THE PAST. You owe that t yourself.

I just hope you decide on to the better solution... its all up to you... all you have to do is to DECIDE... DECIDE NOW and DECIDE FAST.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cannibad: The Secret Paradise

photo by Coicoi Nacario

The Micromedia Productions finally found the time for a beach outing... kinda overdue outing that is. Were supposed to stay in Isla Reta, but due an unfavorable circumstance, we ended up in Cannibad Island instead.

Going to the place is such a challenge... 30minutes is spent on a boat... another 45minutes on a cab trudging on a rough and bulky road... and just when you thought you have arrived? You'd realize that you still need to trek down a kinda narrow trail to finally step into that white sand...(whew!)

At last, I finally witnessed, what my friends have been bragging about... its actually not well renovated kind of resort, as a matter of fact, it is not really well developed. But what brought the people to the place without having to think of the quite arduous travel? It's the simplicity itself. A perfect place for reflection and just feeling the moment... the simplicity of the place that makes a person feel at peace.

It is a good place to remember how its like to be content of what is in the moment, and still feel joyful even how simple things can be. A perfect moment to realize that beautiful things can be found in simple moments.

I call it the Virgin Island, because of its natural beauty really amazed me... there is no electricity in the place, so you need to make use of sulo (gas lamp) for a light. But what's so good about that moment is that you realize how bright stars shines that it can serve as a light in the night... so bright that its rays reflects on the body of water. Another thing that made me in so much awe is that there are still fireflies on the place, I don't normally see that in the city because of so much pollution... looking at them feels like I'm in Paradise.

And at the break of dawn? It seems like I'm staring at a big and beautiful painting... so lovely that I can't seem to take my eyes off that sky.

Ironic that I can feel scared and excited at the same time... I cant seem to keep my thoughts from wandering away... exploring ideas the place is feeding me... A place indeed so wonderful... so lovely... so peaceful.