art & design, filmmaking

shooting just below the clouds 2

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the second leg of shooting above the clouds brought us to sagada, a quiet little town in the mountain province. we’ve spent about a week here shooting exterior scenes of the forest, burial sites, and caves. after having stayed for about a week in baguio, we eventually got used to 17 deg centigrade weather, thank God! i did come prepared with multiple layers of thermal wear and bubble jackets as i freeze easily even in the malls in manila. pleasantly surprised how my body adjusted to the cold weather so i can say, i may just be able to survive the temperate countries.

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on set a chilly morning, ms tonee acejo had the gall to be in short shorts while we were all covered up.

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pepe smith on his guitar in-between setups.

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closeup of the pine trees covered with moss in sagada

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sketching the location

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me with pepe smith against the beautiful lake danum (danum means lake so that means it’s “lake lake”)

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carlo and i hit the backwoods while a shot was taking place in another part of the forest

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showing the immense cavern of sumaging cave, an ancient and protected burial site to the residents of the area. we had to build mockup coffins for the shoot so we wouldnt disturb the actual coffins on location.

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the crew raises hands for a photo

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shooting late in the night and deep in the cave to finish this scene with ruru madrid

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art & design, filmmaking, movies, save the earth, sketch

surviving mount pulag

still shooting pepe diokno’s above the clouds in the mountain province with a trek up mount pulag to culminate the shoot. i cant post most of the photos yet as we are still shooting a few more scenes down in baguio but here’s a shot of the art department at the peak with a view of the sea of clouds. it pays to not work a day in your life with projects like this.

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clockwise from left: arman montallana, mikee supetran, carlo tabije, ramon recana, docdoc, russel amis, randy, and me

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food trip, interior design, travel

the yoghurt house

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one of the charming places we’ve gone to in sagada is the yoghurt house. famous for the quaint interiors and their home-made yoghurt, this resto is included in trip advisory’s roster of go-to places in the area. the banana strawberry jam and granola yoghurt is a winner but their pasta selections were also worth the trip. they do use ordinary cheese instead of parmesan, something that is very hard to have in the area so generally it’s forgivable. also try the beef dishes and their open-faced sandwiches.

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the room temp yoghurt with their ginger and lemongrass pandan teas make an interesting combination

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the mushroom and cheese pasta 😉 awesome!

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the interiors on the ground floor. you can see nanay on the lower left making yoghurt early that morning.

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the interiors at the 2nd floor at night

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a lot of foreign tourists were dining and drinking at yoghurt on the few times we were there. definitely one of our favorites in sagada. and the dogs there are gorgeous 😉

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art & design, filmmaking, movies, set design

shooting just below the clouds

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it’s day 9 for our shoot of pepe diokno’s above the clouds with protegé’s ruru madrid and philippine rock legend pepe smith. we started with about 5 days of shoot in baguio before moving to sagada, also in the mountain province. altitude in baguio is about 1600 meters and attitude is ubber cool. temperature during the day is about 22 deg celsius and evenings drop to 14 although it felt more like 10 degrees.

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One thing i love about pd work with locations is that we get to go ahead of the team and sometimes make stops when we like, like taking a photo at the famous Lion head along the highway. With carlo and me is ramon recana, art director.

One of our main sets in baguio was pepe smith’s character’s house. It had to look rundown and textured and his emotions are boxed up in storage for a later reveal. It was challenging not to go overboard with the clutter and it was fun shooting in that location in camp allen, not to mention it wasnt as cold as shooting the exterior scenes at night.

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Photos from home used as a prop. At the upper left corner is a photo of my sister, tina, when she was about 3 years old.

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Me standing in so i could have this shot

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Director Pepe Diokno takes a break on our set

first time for us to work with Pepe Diokno, who directed his first film Enkwentro that got him the Lion of the future award in 2009 at the venice film festival. This would only be his second film and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Producer bianca balbuena was the one who brought us into the project along with the motley crew from jerrold tarog’s other films: ben tolentino (script con), nicholas varela (sound recordist), cris aquino (ad), and on-set mascot oniel parker (pm). First time to also work with dop carlo mendoza, tonee acejo (lp), mark locsin (sound recordist and engineer), and a slew of others.

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This man is a revelation. Pepe Smith on his guitar between takes.

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Me doing a pepe smith while playing the chords to a nirvana song (the only two guitar chords i know how to play)

currently we are now in sagada prior to climbing mt pulag. really enjoying the shoot. I thought id freeze to death in the mountains but i slowly adjusted to the weather and im enjoying the company of friends. It’s true you’ll never have to work a day in your life if you enjoy what you’re doing, like art directing the forest and designing for a film about a boy orphaned and finding where his home now lies above the clouds.

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mapforsaturday

this is A MAP FOR SATURDAY, a 2007 documentary written and directed by Brook Silva-Braga, about backpacking solo around the world and living an unending weekend for 365 days. unlike most of us who would only dream of doing such things, Braga decides to quit his day job and go see the world. this movie comes at a critical time in my life when i just came from a trip in siem reap, cambodia and am already itching to pack my bags again and travel.

this is feeding on my current state of unrest (and a bit of insomnia) and further aggravating my need to fly away. this, despite im actually on my way back to baguio and sagada this month and climbing mt pulag all for a film shoot. after this “work project”, im already dreaming and planning a trip to boracay with co-workers in may, and a pre-scheduled trip to cagayan de oro and camiguin in june. ive currently semi-recruited two other people to join Carlo and me to backpack to batanes towards the 2nd half of the year. next year, we’re hoping to be trekking down southeast asia again. or maybe paris, who knows? these ideas are keeping me awake longer, you know?

i need to sleep already.