art & design, filmmaking, food trip, laundry therapy, movies, musings

i was once a filmmaker

before all these pd work on tv commercials, before regal films and centerstage, revolver and abracadabra, before doing design for brillante mendoza and jerrold tarog and chito rono and tikoy aguiluz, before getting the urian and a ycc, before graduating and all the bills, i was once a filmmaker. i wouldnt go as far as say i was great, but i was a friggin filmmaker.

and i got reminded of that by eating my instant pancit canton.

and watching the trailer of amorres perros.

in high school and college i got interested in a lot of movies. i read about some highly-praised films that i would never get my hands on. being in the province with no access to obscure movies and art house films, plus technology would not be pirate friendly for another 10 years, i was cinema-starved.

in 2000 i transferred to the college of fine arts and met kindred spirits who were also hungry for good movies. we fed on films by fincher, lynch, inarritu, mike de leon, lav diaz, tornatorre and of course on lucky me pancit canton and red horse beer. after a few years, pirated dvds and players started popping up in quiapo and it was the motherload. we continued feeding on more world cinema along with our unsatiated appetite for pancit canton and moud halal’s roasted chicken and kabsa rice.

back then we dreamed of films, ate films, breathed films. ive been lucky to have shot, produced and directed a few short films. we were living the dream, quite frankly.

before i graduated, my choices of meals were cheap or cheaper. when i started working (with then PD dante mendoza), i could afford to watch more movies on the wide screen and eat in a variety of restaurants. more when i started to do my own PD work in tv commercials and films. now it was a choice of whether we’d eat japanese, italian, pinoy or whatnot, no matter the price.

today i stayed home and waited for the rain. by the time the roofs started their staccato beat, i got hungry and cooked a batch of pancit canton. who’d have thought this bowl got me reminiscing and find enlightenment?

before all these pd work on tv commercials, before regal films and centerstage, revolver and abracadabra, before doing design for brillante mendoza and jerrold tarog and chito rono and tikoy aguiluz, before getting the urian and a ycc, before graduating and all the bills, i was once a filmmaker. i wouldnt go as far as say i was great, but i was a friggin filmmaker.

and i got reminded of that by eating my instant pancit canton.  and now maybe it’s time to go back and make my own films.

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7 thoughts on “i was once a filmmaker

  1. bianca dadivas says:

    ohh my darling ben. you are one hell of a fighter! i remember you back then. so soft spoken n shy but very resourseful. i’m soo very proud of you & your achievements. look at you now!!! keeep it up my luv!!
    dahan dahan lang sa lucky me pancit canton though. try kowloon siopao- its our 80’s filmaker’s panawid gutom version. hahaha

    • thanks mami biancs, i will never forget the times we battled out fatigue and lowbudget dramas on the set with yas, roan and mike. ive been forever changed by “ARTDEP!!!” 🙂 and i carry all lessons learned and discipline to this day. cheers to us and to this love-hate relationship with the industry, knowing we’d probably still stick around for the next 30-40 years.

    • btw jerrold tarog, naka-level ka sa mga pangalan nila brillante mendoza, chito rono at tikoy aguiluz. isama mo na si joel lamangan at erik matti sa mga few directors that ive worked with. ang taray diba? pero meron ikaw na wala sila: best actor nomination sa urian. double tarush!

  2. Odie says:

    Ben you’re such a free spirit and love you for it! Continue doing the work that you love. More power! 🙂 Miss ko na pancit canton…

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