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‘Carousel’ takes old-fashioned values into the present day

Nearly 80 years since Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Carousel” was first performed on Broadway, the main challenge of restaging this classic musical has become less about creating great performances or doing justice to its score, and more about providing insight into the subject of domestic violence.  Handled poorly, this dark love story between poor carnival barker Billy Bigelow (Gian Magdangal) and innocent mill...


Into the forest, across streams and rivers, and up and down hills

I went back to the remote Barangay Villa Espina in Lopez, Quezon, one Tuesday morning. At 6:30 a.m. after insufficient sleep the night before, I jumped into a decrepit jeepney—only one unit plies the route twice daily if the weather is fine—bound for the barangay (village). It was sunny, unlike the first time I embarked...


Filming in the boondocks on a shoestring budget

The short documentary was supposed to be about the indigenous language of the Aeta in the remote, hilly village of Villa Espina in Lopez, Quezon (boondocks). It was my intended entry to the 2022 Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival (KKIFF) in Sabah, Malaysia, on Sept. 17-25. But a tight production schedule and a looming deadline...