Less time at the cemeteries

We went to Amadeo, Cavite for our departed paternal grandparents and other relatives last October 31, then to Sta. Maria, Bulacan for our maternal ones last November 1. We didn’t do much at the cemetery. It would seem to me that we’ve been spending less time at the cemeteries the past few years. It’s not like the way it used to when aunts, cousins and relatives from all over spend an entire afternoon together at the family mausoleums for Undas. The atmosphere around the cemetery, especially in Sta. Maria, is as festive as usual. Undas always feels like one big fiesta at the cemeteries, with food stalls and marching bands roving around playing religious music.

I killed time by reading a book and taking photos of Tisay, who at one point, just suddenly began posing in different manners, without coaching, much to our amusement.

Thesis Shoot Day 1

"Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day

January 28, 2008. First shooting day last Saturday, January 26, went okay. It’s been two days but there’s still a nagging feeling that suggests I am not entirely satisfied with the shots. I think we’re going to call for an additional shooting day to shoot more footage or re-shoot altogether. All our locations were outdoors and semi-guerilla. Our first location was at the Manila North Cemetery. Aside from the usual crowds who watch and make distracting noise, we didn’t encounter much problems.

"Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day

The day went by quite quickly. Since all our shots that day were outdoors, we didn’t have any artificial lighting, thus it was easy to shoot and move around. That proved to be quite an advantage when you’re not totally in control of your environment. For example, since we had a protest rally sequence, we coincided our first shooting day with an actual Mendiola rally (instead of staging/faking our own), which on that day was a commemoration of First Quarter Storm. We were, however, not able to schedule our shoot correctly so we had to rush and shoot everything we can before the protest action ended. We encountered some problems with the Manila Police, too, but everything was settled eventually. There’s an inconsistency with our actors’ police uniforms, I don’t know if people will notice.

"Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day

Thesis shoot at Quezon Boulevard

After having lunch with everyone in the production, we went shooting some footage along C.M. Recto. There were still a lot of cops around–good thing we didn’t get into trouble for having a bulky camera around. After waiting for some friends to join us and help, we proceeded to Quezon Boulevard and shot some police chase scene. I was trying to edit the sequence yesterday, and it really made me feel that we didn’t shoot enough. I’ve talked to my thesis partner and we decided to re-shoot this sequence. The stills look okay, though.

"Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day "Big Bro" First Shooting Day

Am I all set for Saturday?

Manila North Cemetery Manila North Cemetery

January 21, 2008. Last Saturday morning, together with my thesis partner and some of our production people, I went to do an ocular on some of our locations for our first shooting day this coming Saturday. The officers in charge of the Manila North Cemetery initially didn’t allow us to enter, which was odd since ordinary people, and informal settlers just freely moved in, out and around the cemetery. They even asked us for money to allow us to just look at the place. After visiting the cemetery, we had fastfood lunch, then we proceeded to a Quezon City police station along EDSA, then to UP Diliman. I’m quite apprehensive about the whole thing. I hope all things work out this Saturday.

Undas 2007

November 1, 2007. This year, we spent our annual pilgrimage to the cemetery in Sta. Maria in Bulacan where my maternal grandparents and great grandparents are buried. On the other hand, we went to my paternal relatives’ graves in Cavite the day after. Since the annual pilgrimage was set together with a weekend and a government-declared holiday, it would seem that people took advantage of the long vacation and avoided crowds by visiting the cemeteries before and after November 1. I do not know if many people share my small observation that the cemeteries were less crowded this year.

Or perhaps it comes with age. There used to be a time, when I was a much younger kid, that our extended family’s mausoleums were full of relatives, and the entire cemetery was brimming with people and it was like a fiesta. The childish amusement and fascination with spirits and all that is gone. It’s probably a good thing though, because it has made me feel more solemn about the memorial occasion.

Undas 2006

We spent Undas in Sta. Maria in Bulacan yesterday. We also had a trial opening of the restaurant.

Araw ng mga patay

As it has always been, it was like a fiesta at the cemetery. Thousands of people walking around, food stalls everywhere, brass bands doing their rounds in the cemetery. It is festive as it is supposed to be solemn.

We brought Tisay along to Sta. Maria. She has gotten more annoying, whinier as she is now cuter.

Araw ng mga patay

Mga anak ng kape

November 1, 2006. We went to visit the graves of my paternal relatives yesterday in Amadeo. Today, November 1, traditionally the day Filipinos flock to cemeteries, we will be in Sta. Maria in Bulacan to visit my maternal relatives. Our restaurant will also have its soft-opening today. I wish it does well. Our place is just a few blocks from the town church and the town cemetery–I hope traffic will spill-over to our street.

Of course, before leaving Amadeo yesterday, we stocked up on Amadeo coffee and fruits for the restaurant.