Friday, April 19, 2019

DAGSIN Opening Nationwide Today

DAGSIN is opening NATIONWIDE today, APRIL 20 (Sat.) in the Philippines.
Here is a behind the scenes interview of DAGSIN's main cast, talking about their roles in the movie.
--The video is the exclusive property of Atom & Anne Mediaworks. Any reproduction must have the explicit permission of the owner.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

DAGSIN'S 2019 Theatrical Trailer is Out

DAGSIN's new 2019 Theatrical Trailer can be seen in theaters nationwide by next week!

Please support our humble little film as it finally makes its debut in theaters nationwide. Anne and I, as Co-Writers and the Producer, and Director respectively, treat this movie like it was our child. After years of conceptualizing/planning, giving birth (shooting and editing), then bringing it to school and winning awards (going to Film Festivals), DAGSIN is now finally ready to graduate by being shown in regular theaters!
Please help us to keep DAGSIN in theaters long enough for people to be able to watch it, by telling your friends and family all about it! PLEASE SHARE THIS POST  for support. Small Filipino Indie Films like DAGSIN will not succeed without your help and support!
--You can view or download this Trailer directly from YouTube.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Dagsin in Theaters April 20 Nationwide

Dagsin will finally be shown in theaters NATIONWIDE starting APRIL 20, Black Saturday!!!! Many of you asked for it, so we have done are best to make it happen. Our UNIQUE HOLY WEEK inspired LOVE STORY will be available all over the PHILIPPINES at last!
Please support quality Pinoy Indie movies. PASS THIS NEWS to all your friends and family, and PERSUADE THEM TO WATCH to keep Dagsin in theaters-- still the best way to see movies that were intended to be shown on a theater screen! This might be your last chance to see our internationally multi-awarded movie on the big screen locally, so don't miss this chance!

We will announce the list of theaters as soon as it becomes available...


Thursday, February 14, 2019

"Harana Ni Justino" Music Video

At long last, "Harana Ni Justino," Dagsin's main theme song is now available online for viewing and download in YouTube @ I wrote the lyrics of the song, based on a letter I wrote for Anne years ago, and my friend Bob (Robert) Yulo  wrote the music exclusively for the movie.

It premiered on February 14, 2019, Valentine's Eve, in the Philippines!


--This video is the exclusive property of Atom & Anne Mediaworks. Any duplication and distribution must have the expressed consent of the copyright owner.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Creating Dagsin's Screenplay

!!!! SPOILER WARNING !!!! **Do not read if you have not seen the movie**

"Dagsin" ("Gravity" in English) took twenty years to evolve into a movie. I originally came up with the prototype of the story when I was still a film student at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angles in the mid-1990s. The original short-film screenplay was then titled, "This Mortal Coil," and it was submitted as an exercise/assignment for my Screenplay Writing Class. It was just eight pages long, and it only contained what eventually ended up as the "climactic scene" in the finished movie.

Tommy Abuel as Justino Razon, with Lotlot De Leon
as his adopted daughter Mercy and Sue Prado as his
Private Nurse Grace.
The original short script told the story of an old paraplegic resident of an American Retirement Home-- a wheelchair bound man (originally Caucasian) who recently lost his wife of fifty years. Wandering into their apartment after her Interment, he feels the weight of his sorrow so strongly that he decides to hang himself from the ceiling rafters of their bedroom.

I was going through a rough phase in my love life at that time that the Romantic in me chose to write about an ideal relationship, where someone was so in love that he would be completely devastated at the lost of his beloved-- a storybook type of Love Story. Besides, the idea of a wheelchair bound paraplegic man hanging himself with his feet still touching the ground yet powerless to escape his chosen fate (self-pity can soar with imagination), was such a strong poetic image, indelibly cinematic and memorable that it would guarantee me a good grade for the class!   
Years later, the original seed concept for "Dagsin" resurfaces. After writing half a dozen full-length feature spec. scripts, I was looking for a short-film project to jump start my filmmaking career and "This Mortal Coil" was the prime candidate. So I began rewriting the original script, since I thought that the suicide sequence was not strong enough to stand by itself. But as I added simple flashback sequences, it started to get longer and longer. Soon, it was twenty pages long and that was just the backgrounder to the love story, I haven't even begun to say, what I really wanted to say.

By definition, a short-film is just about eight minutes long (or an 8-page script). Anything longer than that, and your chances of entering it in a major international competition gets slimmer and slimmer. Cannes for example only accepts 15 mins. maximum for their Short Film entries. Knowing that my story has potential beyond being just a short movie, and understanding that short films do not have a commercial market, I then committed to writing the story I really want to tell no matter how long the screenplay ended up becoming. During that time, I was already married for more than ten years (found a partner I want to spend my life with), had kids and recently suffered a Stroke. I wanted the story to reflect everything I have learned and have gone through in my life up to that point. Thankfully the first draft I wrote totaled just one hundred twenty pages in Movie Magic (Hollywood standard Screenplay Software) - which counts each page to be roughly equivalent to a minute of screen time.

Benjamin Alves as Young Justino Razon, Janine Gutierrez as Young
Corazon Bishop (Mrs. Razon) and Alex Diaz as John Bishop, Jr.
in the flashback sequences.
The first thing I incorporated to my original story was the flashback sequences. I knew by instinct that I had to make my viewers fall in love with my main characters first, for them to empathize with the loss they will be experiencing as the story unfolds. Making the audience spectators of the romance between Justino and Corazon from the beginning and making them experience the love that develops between the couple through the years, was my main goal. It was a deliberate decision on my part to make the film essentially a "Love Story" in terms of classification and genre, since the main theme of the movie even then was "only Love can save us from the pain and tragedies of life."

The historical breath and timeline of the story came naturally when I plotted Justino's life in reverse. By his present age, he would have been born in the 1920's and would have gone through World War II and the Martial Law era in the 1970's. The decision to place him at the front row of these major events as they unfolded was elementary. Since he was an action oriented man (idealistic, heroic and strong-willed) who would eventually be crippled by the very nature of human existence, making him an active participant in the critical periods of our country's history would effectively magnify the tragedy and irony of his fate. It was at this point of writing when I realized that Justino was a classic "Sisyphean" character.

The Camusian and the Keirkegaardian motifs were accidental at the beginning-- suicide was already a major element in my original short story; an existential thread will always be present in any form of tragic tale; and the euthanasia theme was already incorporated in the plot, even before I started reexamining the story for any philosophical framework. But once I saw the parallelisms I consciously aligned my story to reflect the popular theses of both Existential Philosophers, believing that they will give my ideas readily comprehensible thematic universality and easily accessible depth.

The first thing I did was to change the title. "Love's Bitter Fruit" was the working title when I began writing the full-length screenplay. As a matter of fact, it was still the title when we shot the video above before the script was completed. As soon as I started incorporating the philosophical and existential threads of Kierkegaard and Camus, I decided to retitle the movie "Gravity." But when I proposed this change to Anne, she immediately objected, since Sandra Bullock's recent Oscar award-winning movie had the same exact title. I thought long and hard for an alternative, until it dawned on me that since we are making a Filipino movie it should have a Filipino title. I looked for the Pilipino/Tagalog term for Gravity and I ended up with "Dagsin."

After the title change, I started renaming my characters: Justino (the Judge or the judgmental part of our character/our mind), Corazon (the emotional part of our character/our heart), Mercy, Grace, Severino, etc. to enhance their symbolic significance and to add literary, psychological and philosophical resonance. Knowing that there are two types of Existential adherents, one Theist and the other Atheist, I made my two main characters one or the other-- essentially making the two theological leanings engage in a dialogue throughout the story (backed up by the dialectic ideas of Kierkegaard and Camus respectively). In spite of this, the last thing I wanted was an intellectual movie so I decided not pepper the script with philosophical and academic exposition, but the opposing themes are readily present in the individual perspectives and motivations of my main characters.
The characters of Mercy and Nurse Grace were added to support the main themes of the story. 
To drive these themes forward, I created sub-plots for the supporting characters of Mercy and Grace, who also turn out to be victims of Martial Law or of fate in general. I never intended the movie to have a strong political stand, other than its advocacy for personal freedom in all its forms as a means to "Self-Actualization." I tried my best to be objective politically, utilizing commonly known facts like the wartime atrocities of the Japanese and the human-right abuses during Martial Law that have been widely documented. This is very deliberate, because I never want any type of partisan politics or popular sentiment to cloud my main philosophical perspective-- that human beings are directly responsible for creating the major problems we have been suffering from and would continue to suffer from, until we all realize that the only lasting solution to the tragedies we have been continually experiencing over and over since the dawn of civilization lies in our turning away (or evolution) from our still dominant beastly tendencies of violence, selfishness and greed.

I believe I ended the story satisfactorily, since a lot of people who have seen the movie usually comes up with their own personal conclusions regarding the ending-- the Religious (Catholics and Christians) commonly see a Kierkegaardian subjective compromise and the Atheists an acceptable solution to Camus' thesis to the Absurd. I wanted to answer the questions I posted in the beginning of the story in my own way. An abstracted ending was the only way I could satisfactorily address the paradox. The key to understanding both alternative realities lies in the way I eventually Directed Dagsin-- the whole movie is shot and told from the subjective perspective of Justino, so everything you experience is what he sees in his own mind!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Smoking Cigars for 30 Years

Smoking a stogie in a Café in Paris.

I've been a cigar smoker for 30 years! That's right, this year marks my 30th anniversary for smoking "Stogies." Including of course, the 7 year cold-turkey gap after my Stroke (which I blame my doctor for... LOL), I have been technically a Cigar lover for three decades.
A lot of people might be appalled by my pride at being a smoker, but I am unapologetic. Like everything else in life (be it liquor, sex or even food), smoking must be tempered and never abused. Enjoyed in moderation, it can be a great way to relax and enjoy life! In Native American culture for example, tobacco is officially smoked to pray to God (the Great Creator) or when people need to be at peace with each other (hence the Peace Pipe or the Chanumpa)-- the point being, that one person's medicine can be misused and become another person's drug. We just have to treat tobacco and our bodies with respect, by never abusing either.
The best place to enjoy a cigar is outside in a garden with a book!
As an Asian (Chinese/Malay stock) with Spanish ancestry from both sides of my family, I take pride in my eclectic mix of cultures. Tobacco use has been a part of my cultural heritage from all three races. My Asian Ancestors smoked long before tobacco was even introduced, and no self-respecting Spanish Don (of which, both my maternal Great Grandfathers were) would be caught without a smoldering Cigar or Cigarillo stuck in their mouth!
Premium hand-made cigars from the Philippines.
The Spaniards brought tobacco to the Philippines from Cuba in 1592, and they used our islands for centuries as a major supplier of quality tobacco products-- one of the colonial government's main source of revenue. It made the Philippines a financially profitable colony from the very beginning and its populace de facto smokers. In fact, Tabacalera, the direct corporate descendant of the original Spanish Tobacco Monopoly in our country, was once regarded as the largest and most sophisticated Tobacco Manufacturing Facility in the World; and its Cigars were favorably regarded as equal in quality to its Havana cousins.

It was in the summer of 1988 when I started smoking Cigars. I turned 21 the year before, which of course meant that it was then already legal for me to smoke anywhere in the world. But I have been smoking cigarettes socially ever since I was in High School, so the real catalyst for my ongoing Cigar infatuation was the Trip I took to Europe with a bunch of fellow Trojans from the University of Southern California's Business School.
1988 Summer Trip to Europe, with fellow USC Business School students.
Numbering almost 30 with our Professor's family and his Teaching Assistant, our motley group was tasked to do scholarly Thesis Papers on European Multi-National Corporations. We visited major Corporations in 7 countries-- among them were Royal Dutch Shell, the London Stock Exchange, BMW, Heineken, Nestle and a dozen others.

Being with a group of people my age of course included partying all night, binge drinking and lot of other things best not mentioned. I can never forget the craziness of it all-- almost being thrown out of several hotels, narrowly escaping brawls in the local pubs, then barely keeping our eyes open for our early morning meetings with corporate brass after coming home almost at dawn from these escapades. My best memories were when we got to party with Prince Albert of Monaco all night, then ended up (my roommate and myself) hanging on to the roll-bar of an open-topped Jeep, speeding around the empty streets of Monaco at dawn with a bunch of French Girls we could barely converse with nor whose names we could not remember; and the time I drove a rental car from Paris with two buddies to watch a Pink Floyd Concert in Versailles, then ended up partying and drinking with a bunch of Scottish fans who drove all the way from Scotland. It was an eye-opening trip for me and one of the wildest experiences of my life!
Enjoying a smoke in streets of Madrid, Spain.

The bug stuck up my ass ever since I was born was finally gone, and for the first time in my life I learned how to be carefree and spontaneous! I had so much fun on that trip that I forgot to buy something to take home as a souvenir. At the airport in Paris on my way back to the US, I scrambled in the Duty Free looking for something to commemorate my life-changing adventure. As I contemplated the wider horizon of possibilities that just opened before me, I thought it appropriate to buy something different and totally off the wall. Since I am already well-acquainted with liquor and cigarettes, I decided to purchased the next best thing, my first pack of cigars. Technically Davidoff Cigarillos (small cigars) are not full-fledged cigars by definition, but since I was not accustomed to smoking anything filterless, I thought it best not to jump the gun.
It was a smart decision. Unfamiliar with the potency of pure high-grade tobacco, I smoked my first stick inside the bathroom. Within a couple of minutes, I was lying on the floor knocked out from its fumes, barely conscious. When I finally found the strength to stand up, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw that I had a slightly green pallor. Not having a window or any form of exhaust in the bathroom, made me sick. I learned my first lesson in Cigar smoking-- don't inhale deeply and make sure that there is enough air. Good thing that Cigarillo was small and thin!

Lighting a Cigar is ritualistic, an art in itself! 
It has been a long journey since that first smoke, thirty odd years ago! I never considered myself a Cigar Connoisseur more an Aficionado, since I enjoy smoking both exquisite Havanas as well as cheaper brands. By character, I hate limitations or being "boxed" in any way shape or form, and I abhor finicky people. Instead, I savor variety and choice in everything I do. Depending on my mood and on how much I am willing to spend (or what is readily available), you will see me enjoying a Cohiba one day and a 99 cent 7-11 Cigar the next.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

DAGSIN's Artistic Statement Published for the 1st Time

Souvenir Program for the 4th Danish Film Festival
An excerpt of my Artistic Statement/Director's Notes for DAGSIN was published publicly for the first time in the 4th Danish Film Festival's (Manila) Souvenir Program. The article outlining my artistic considerations and directorial approach in constructing the movie was originally a part of the dossier we submitted to the Cinemalaya Selection Committee in 2015.  
Sponsored by the Royal Embassy of Demark, the yearly Danish film festival gives Filipinos a chance to sample the newest crop of award-winning Danish movies. This year, aside from 8 Danish films, the Embassy decided to include the first Filipino Movie in its line-up-- DAGSIN. Unknown to most Filipinos, DAGSIN was directly inspired by the ideas of Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and French Existentialist Albert Camus. A fan of Kierkegaard, Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen thought that DAGSIN would be a perfect fit to illustrate the goodwill and healthy relations that has existed between our two countries for more than a century.
Knowing that the audience might get confused at the inclusion of DAGSIN in their festival, Danish Cultural Officer Angelo Cruz made it a point to include an excerpt of my Notes in their Program. We never openly advertised these ties to Kierkegaard and to Camus thinking that they are not particularly relevant to the overall public perception and enjoyment of our film; but now that it is out there, we hope that you now watch DAGSIN with the added appreciation for the thought and meticulous craft we invested in making this movie.

"Dagsin" or "Gravity", alludes to the “heaviness” of life, the trials and tribulations we experience as human beings. It refers to the heaviness we feel when we are burdened by life and all its tragedies— the weight of emotion that assails us, when someone we love dearly passes away or when we are weighted down by unresolved guilt. Gravity also metaphorically describes the force that attracts and binds us to one another… Love.
Inspired by the ideas of Danish Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and French Existentialist Albert Camus, the movie's main plot is simple but we have richly layered the movie with sub-plots (World-War II and Martial Law), characters, symbolisms and metaphors to illustrate how Love can shelter us from the tragedies of life. The most obvious examples are the names of the characters: Justino (for Justice or conscience/the conscious mind), Corazon (heart/the unconscious), Mercy (God's Mercy), Nurse Grace (God's Grace), etc.; and of course the story’s timeline, which exactly coincides with Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday).
The whole movie is shot, paced and edited from Justino’s subjective perspective, reflecting both his mental as well as physical states— the memories of his youth are deliberately more vivid and idyllic (mimicking the sentimentality of old Filipino Romantic films from the 1940s and 50s), in contrast to his present which is more slow, somber and funereal in feel. The camera is static most of the time to emphasize Justino’s paraplegic immobility, except when we are objectively observing him from another character’s point of view.

I used the location itself, an old mansion, to magnify Justino's predicament. Grand but now nearly abandoned and falling apart, the house mirrors its owner, who is now old, worn-out and nearing his end. Like a ghost, Justino wanders within the shadows of his past entombed in this mausoleum of memories.
Although the movie can be classified in a number of ways: Drama, Romance, Arthouse, etc., I personally categorize it under "Noir," because "Dagsin" is actually a crime, suspense drama of sorts, where the perpetrator, the victim and the executioner are one and the same person. A respected and venerated Judge during Martial Law who compromised his integrity in exchange for the safety of his wife, Justino's conscience now haunts him and insists on passing judgment on his past sins.
In the end, “Dagsin” is one man's "soliloquy" of desperation for his departed love, his soul and his God.

*This statement was a part of the dossier submitted to the Cinemalaya Selection Committee in 2015 and its excerpt (highlighted in yellow) was first published in the souvenir program of the 4th Danish Film Festival in Manila hosted by the Royal Embassy of Denmark.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Elevate Your Selfies Into Self-Portraits

(Click on Photos for better viewing)

A phenomenon of the Social-Networking Age we live in, "Selfies" have become as common place as ID photos in the albums of our digital lives. Most people use it to show the places they have been to, the memorable events they have participated in or the times they spent with friends or loved ones, but a big number of people (particularly women) use it more as mirrors to take snaps shots of their faces or bodies (maybe to see how other people see them), to assess their physical appearance-- as personal data to be used either as negative evidence (to determine what can be improved upon) or positive feedback (to proudly display what they have and others do not). Psychologists have been alarmed by this growing "Selfie" trend, which they have diagnosed to be symptoms indicating Narcissistic Disorder.

The "Self-Portrait" is a time honored artistic endeavor practiced by most Western Painters and Photographers for centuries. Rembrant and Van Gogh, as well as Avedon and Cartier-Bresson often used themselves as subjects for their own work. Like them, I believe in using my image as an element in my photos, drawings, paintings and maybe even in my films (in the future). Like them, my Art flows from my sense of Self-- my history, my experiences, my perspective, my psyche, my thoughts, my spirituality-- in other words, my soul!

The Buddha says, "that the Self is an illusion... Life itself is an illusion!" Since wholly I agree with this premise and believe that our sense of "Self" is a reflection of our mind, "Self-Portraits" for me are visual reminders of my very existence, my physical presence. I think most artists, particularly the more sensitive and philosophical ones, are perpetually aware of the impermanence of all life. It is this sense of impending doom that propels Creatives to value beauty and the majesty of life, and drives them to express themselves through Art. What is Art anyway but an individual's recreation (or reconfiguration) of one's personal experiences, one's perspective of life/reality-- our ultimate validation of our own existence.

Painting or photographing ourselves keeps us in touch with our core... our Selves... the Being that consciously contemplates life and living. Sometimes we have to see ourselves from the outside to understand what is happening inside (our minds). "Self-Portraiture" for me, is a form of meditation or self-reflection/contemplation that can make us understand ourselves better, both in form and in substance. It is narcissistic in a way, but it can be profound if it ventures beyond the physical into the psychological.

"Selfies" are actually just a level away from becoming serious "Self-Portraits." The only difference I can see between the two is "artistic intent." "Selfies" are mostly snap-shots taken without much thought. "Center yourself (or at least see some part of yourself), then shoot" is the only instruction anyone has to follow. "Self-Portraits" are more deliberate. Framing, Focus and light (or the lack thereof) must be considered before the shot is taken, resulting in a more contemplated and conceptual photograph.

Monday, March 6, 2017

My New Instagram Account

Portrait taken in the Camera Museum at the Galleria Taal
Visit my Instagram page:

Movie Making is hard work. More than a year ago, after I finished shooting and editing my first feature film "Dagsin," I thought that I would be able to come back and regularly write on this blog, but I was wrong. Making and finishing a movie was just the first part of a long drawn process that also includes Marketing, Promoting and Selling the project. At this point, we are just beginning to submit "Dagsin" to Foreign Festivals, and are in talks with various distributors for possible Domestic and International Commercial Exhibition.
After the initial salvo of releasing our Trailers, I was caught up in the Cinemalaya Film Festival proper-- a 3 months long cycle of Press Releases, Press Conferences, TV/Radio interviews and appearances, print articles, Premieres and Gala events. On top of these, since Atom & Anne Mediaworks is an Indie Production Outfit, Anne and I also had to personally supervise the project's Social Media campaigns. We were literally swamped and we were drowning in work. When Cinemalaya ended, both of us have been working none stop 24/7 for a year and a half, and we were both burned-out! It was also time for us to work on the other projects we have placed on hold to concentrate on "Dagsin."

"Camera Obscura" effect at the Camera Museum in Taal.
Among those responsibilities I have neglected are this Blog and my Photography. I recently decided to open an Instagram account to simplify my process. Writing articles for this Blog takes quite a bit of time and deliberation. With Instagram, I am hoping to post pictures on the fly; on whatever catches my eye! Finally, Photography (maybe a few videos too) for the sake of Photography, with as little or no captions at all. Right now, if you visit my Instagram page, you will notice that most of the photos I have posted there were actually shot on my IPhone. Spontaneity in my life (and work) has been sorely lacking in the past year and a half. I miss it terribly and I am hoping to rectify it!
I will continue to post articles on this blog about my work and musings on Photography, Cinema and Visual Art, but if you just want to see my images without the thought and stories that go with them, then subscribe to my Instagram account. There, you will be able to see not only examples of my formal work (both still and motion), but also view my random doodles, experimental photos/video, family pics and casual sketches.

--Photos shot by Aria Magadia

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dagsin Write-up by Cinemalaya

The Cinemalaya Film Festival posted this write-up on their fan page...
--Image courtesy of Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dagsin Cinemalaya Movie Trailers

Cinemalaya is two months away and everybody is gearing up for the Festival.
Atom & Anne Mediaworks was required to come up with two shorter Trailers (aside from tons of other requirements) to be used exclusively by the Film Fest, aside from the full-length version we released a month ago and the possible foreign version.  Here they are...
Dagsin's Official 30 second trailer:

Dagsin's Official 15 second trailer:

--Both videos are the exclusive property of Atom & Anne Mediaworks, Corp.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dagsin Official Movie Trailer

Good news! I finally finished Post on my first full-length feature film "Dagsin," so I can now go back to blogging:))
Although principal photography only took ten days (seriously, we can shoot Philippine Indies faster than American Indies due to desperation and lack of funds; of course, with several 20+ hour days), actual shooting stretched for three months due to Murphy's undeniable Law-- actors pulling out last minute, actors getting sick, scheduling problems, transportation problems, you name it... Post Production took about the same length of time, again due to unexpected problems I am trying my best to forget. Reflecting on my experience this past eight months, making "Dagsin" was a virtual struggle against cosmic GRAVITY! The adage "no pain, no gain" should be the personal motto of every filmmaker!
But that is now all in the past. We made it, and making the next ones should be easier from now on (right????). Despite the struggle and hardship, it was fun and fulfilling most of the time. Anne and I learned a lot, and we have decided to do this as often as fate and financing would permit...
Here is the first proof of our labor, the full trailer of "Dagsin" (Philippine Version):

Watch it in YouTube:

 --The Video is the exclusive property of Atom & Anne Mediaworks, Corp.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas

As you all know by now, Christmas came early to me in the form of my first Feature Film "Dagsin." Please forgive me if I have not been updating this blog as often as I should these past few months, but I have been really busy...
Me with my new toy.
It has been a wild roller-coaster ride so far, but Anne (Producer) and I have somehow managed to keep our ship afloat. "Dagsin" has been plagued with all kinds of problems from the onset of Preproduction and each shooting day has been challenging-- Two of our actors have been ill and hospitalized, another decided to drop out in the middle of filming, the local government threatened to shut our production down more than once, we had to iron out a land ownership dispute situation for another location, and on top of all that, we had to fire someone from our team for gross misconduct and anomalies regarding the budget-- these are just the major ones! Talk about Murphy's Law... We are taking this all in stride because it has always been our goal to deliver the best work we can, once we set out to execute a project!
I am very grateful that I have finally been given the opportunity to finally make my movie and I thank God everyday for this blessing. I love making movies and I plan to keep doing it for as long as I can! 
I have not forgotten that this is also a photography blog, despite my other interests. So I am posting some of my still-photo work in the movie. I just realized recently that it is hard to be a director, cinematographer and photographer all at the same time, so I have recruited a second DP as well as a BTS photographer in "Dagsin" to complement my work.
Here are two promotional photographs I shot for "Dagsin," which I am giving to the actors as Christmas gifts:
Tommy Abuel, Lotlot De Leon and Sue Prado for Dagsin
Alex Diaz, Janine Gutierrez and Benjamin Alves for Dagsin

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Veteran Actor Cast in Dagsin

...with veteran stage and screen actor Tommy Abuel

(reprinted from
The Dagsin family is very proud and happy to welcome multi-award winning veteran stage and screen actor Tommy Abuel in the lead role of Justino.
An actor with a long and illustrious career in both Theater and Cinema, Mr. Abuel is known as an "actor's actor," a consummate artist who internalizes his characters and brings them to life in the most creative way. He has been nominated for his work consistently since he began working in 1973 (has won for both stage and screen), and has worked with some of the country's most singularly artistic Film Directors including Lino Brocka, Ismael Bernal and Mike De Leon.

--Photo by Anne Prado-Magadia