Chihayafuru Part 3 Film Thoughts

It’s time for the 21st Eigasai Japanese Film Festival in the Philippines! Eigasai is one of the biggest international film festivals in the country and the fangirl in me is personally extra excited for this year’s run because the three-part live-action film adaptation of a popular Yuki Suetsugu manga, “Chihayafuru,” is headlining the festival!

The Chihayafuru films are mainly about these high school students passionately playing the ancient Japanese card game printed with poetry called Karuta.

Two years after Chihayafuru Part 1 and 2 opened to blockbuster success in Japan, Chihayafuru Part 3 has been released this year and is now reaching the Philippines! I honestly waited for this final installment after watching Part 1 and 2 in last year’s Eigasai. It’s amazing to see how these films have grown a bigger Filipino following in just a year with more people talking about it and coming to this year’s screenings.

Last Friday, I went to the Ateneo De Manila screening of Chihayafuru Part 3, which was followed by a question and answer segment with Chihayafuru film trilogy director Nori Koizumi. Koizumi flew all the way from Japan to promote not only his films but the rich Japanese culture as well to a wider audience here in the Philippines. It was an hour before the screening when he arrived in Ateneo and came across these university students playing Karuta. He then played with them and I could see in his eyes how fascinated he was with the fact that non-Japanese youth have been practicing the game. I, myself, was amazed with the power of a film to connect different kinds of people and culture.

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The screening started with a short message from Japan Foundation Manila Director Hiroaki Uesugi and an introduction about the film from Director Koizumi. During the entire time, I can’t help but notice how the audience reacted to the film. There were a lot of collective gasps, laughs, cries and other reactions from the audience and I’m not just saying this as an exaggeration or a cliche way to describe a film. It’s rare to see that number of collective audience reaction in a film showing like that. That may be due to the fact that a lot of us in that room have already watched the first two films which was actually a surprise to the Japanese visitors.

It’s really difficult to give an unbiased review of the film especially after finding a new appreciation of how it was made straight from the director’s mouth. Chihayafuru: Musubi is certainly not as groundbreaking as the first film, but I must say it successfully wrapped up the story of the saga. What I like most about the Chihayafuru trilogy is that it avoided the common mistake of manga-based films, the emotionless storytelling. Koizumi recalled that he accepted this project because he thought a lot of people often view manga film adaptations negatively, and so he wants to change that with Chihayafuru. He considers its story as a great mix of entertainment and art. It has love, friendship and dreams but at the same time promotes Japanese literature and culture. It’s noteworthy how Koizumi subtly incorporated the poems used in Karuta to express the emotions of the characters like in one scene where the female lead, Chihaya, finds a hidden Cuckoo card and suddenly thought she saw her friend, Taichi, near her but it was only her imagination and longing for him. To give you a background, the Cuckoo card is about the poet hearing a cuckoo call but when he looks for it, he sees nothing but the moon of early dawn.

You can’t deny how adept Koizumi is at capturing emotions in every scene of his films. For people new to the game, it can come off as boring and uninteresting, but because of Koizumi’s masterful way of compressing all information, and instead, translating it to an exciting visual action, moviegoers easily get hooked to it. He isn’t in the business of making people know everything about Karuta, but instead making them feel everything they’re supposed to with the game. The film doesn’t want to say too much and has let the viewers wonder about what’s underneath. One favorite line in there is when Taichi suddenly talked to his junior about Chihaya not growing her nails since she was young because of Karuta. It’s a simple dialogue but it meant a lot about his feelings, Chihaya’s character and their relationship.

Koizumi said that he tried to stay true to the manga as much as possible to avoid disappointing fans but I specifically approve at how he centered the film around delving into the relationships of the characters and not on their individual goals of winning. This is evident when he chose the Nationals game between the childhood friends, Chihaya, Taichi and Arata, as the climax of the film and not the Master and Queen’s game which would have focused on the individual success of the protagonists.

Sadly, it seems like Koizumi is all done with this story. The manga is still far from finished but the director said he’s now giving the chance to other directors should they want to further tell the story through film in the future.

The Chihayafuru trilogy has certainly raised the bar high for future manga-based films. Now, we can only hope that more filmmakers will follow this lead and or go beyond it for the better.

Eigasai 2018 is happening from July 4 to August 26. Please do catch all the films within that run!

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The Top 20 Most Underrated Taylor Swift Songs

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If I haven’t said it here yet, well I will, I’ve been a dedicated Taylor Swift fan for like 10 years now and I’m not ashamed of it because she’s one of the most incredible persons in the whole wide world. That statement is for another article but right now, we’re going to talk about the 20 best Taylor Swift songs that you’re probably unfamiliar with if you’re not that kind of a fan like me. It’s undeniable that she has a lot of catchy and famous songs but she also has other equally beautiful songs that should be given more recognition. That’s only my opinion, and here I am trying to share it with you and probably convince you as well.

Getting on with the list, first on it is:

1. I’D LIE

One of the best unreleased Taylor Swift songs, I’d Lie remains a favourite among die-hard Swifties. This song is all of us at times when we lie about liking someone. But the best thing about it is how it’s cleverly written. It’s actually like a sweet movie flick with twists. I won’t give justice describing it so go check it out for yourself.

Favourite line: “He’ll never fall in love he swears, as he runs his fingers through his hair, I’m laughing ’cause I hope he’s wrong.”

2. SWEET TEA AND GOD’S GRACES

This unreleased song takes you back to that beautiful summer where you met your first love. That’s the vibe you get from here. But more than that, the song screams of maturity as Swift sings how this love was like a sweet lesson that gave her heartbreak and taught her how to get back up as a better person. It’s amazing how Swift can articulate feelings we sometimes can’t express.

Favourite line: “You can love like a sinner and lose like a winner, nothing’s shatterproof. You can crash and burn and come back someone new and that’s what I learned from you.”

3. TIED TOGETHER WITH A SMILE

From her self-titled first album, this song is about Swift’s friend who suffered from anorexia. The song talks about this girl who everyone thinks is doing great but is actually dying inside. Everyone thinks that Taylor just writes about her love life but there she was writing for a friend to assure her and let the whole world know that she’s beautiful and should be loved no matter what. Every time I hear this, I get a lump in my throat because the weight of this song is just too much you just can’t dismiss it.

Favourite line: “Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty, is the face in the mirror looking back at you.”

4. STAY BEAUTIFUL

Another one from her first album, this four-minute heartfelt song is about a guy Taylor had a crush on in high school. Note that she only had a crush on him and didn’t date him. Taylor said back then that most of her songs come from observation than actual experience. This song may sound just another cutesy tune but I really like the maturity in it. She sings in it that she likes this guy and she wants him to stay beautiful and have a good life even if she’s not part of it. Nice to think of you, girl!

Favourite line: “And when you find everything you looked for, I hope your life will lead you back to my door, oh, but if it don’t, stay beautiful.”

5. THE OUTSIDE

This song depicts an unwanted Swift struggling to get hold of opportunities to make her dreams come true. Anyone struggling to reach their dreams could have this song as an anthem for sad hopeless nights. It actually helps me get by from time to time knowing that someone as rich, famous and talented as Swift once became an outsider.

Favourite line: “So how can I ever try to be better? Nobody ever lets me in.”

6. I’M ONLY ME WHEN I’M WITH YOU

This country pop track has a laid-back setting and shows a more friend and family-oriented side of Swift. The music video features her friends including her well-known best friend, Abigail Anderson, and her family. Taylor sings here how she feels free and true to herself when she’s with these people. We definitely need songs like this in our life once in a while.

Favourite line: “I’m only up when you’re not down, don’t wanna fly if you’re still on the ground.”

7. SUPERSTAR

This gentle sweet song off of the Fearless Platinum Edition is one of Taylor’s most relatable as she channels here her inner wide-eyed fangirl who’s desperately in love with a superstar. That’s all of us, aren’t we? We’ve all been dreaming about someone out of our reach whether we like to admit it or not and Taylor is no different even if she’s a superstar herself.

Favourite line: “And I knew from the first note played, I’d be breaking all my roles to see you.”

8. HEY STEPHEN

I know this Fearless album song is somewhat like the other upbeat Swiftie songs such as You Belong With Me in which she’s wishing a guy would like her back, but hey, who wouldn’t like how catchy this song is! Taylor isn’t famous for songs that would make you feel in love but this one will definitely make you feel like getting hit by Cupid and I completely do not understand why this isn’t as loved as Love Story! Taylor in love is indulging!

Favourite line: “Hey Stephen, I could give you fifty reasons why I should be the one you choose. All those other girls, well they’re beautiful, but would they write a song for you?”

9. BREATHE

Breathe is a country pop song co-written with singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat and was included in Swift’s second album. This song is calm and beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. It talks about having to say goodbye to a friend without blaming anyone for the fallout. Sometimes that’s the most tragic part, when it’s no one’s fault. It’s one of my favourite collaborations ever. Two angelic voices singing together feels like heaven in this one.

Favourite line: “People are people and sometimes we change our minds, but it’s killing me to see you go after all this time.”

10. TELL ME WHY

Another Fearless album track, Tell Me Why kicks some ass with its biting lyrics expressing frustration over someone’s attitude. We all come to a point where we ask why someone treats us the way he or she does and in times like that, this song is a perfect way to bring out all the frustrations. When I’m so confused about a lot of things I just play this tune out loud and sing and shout, then I feel much better afterwards. Try it out for yourself.

Favourite line: “And here’s to you and your temper, yes I remember what you said last night, and I know that you see what you’re doing to me, tell me why.”

11. THE BEST DAY

The Best Day is Taylor’s loveliest song ever as it is one she wrote for her beloved mother. Mama Andrea Swift has always been supportive of Taylor and her passion for singing and composing songs. She’s Taylor’s first fan and as a fan myself, I kind of feel a motherly connection with Andrea as well. This song proves how loving Taylor is as a daughter and you can’t help but feel connected with it as we ourselves also have parents dear to us. Sing this to your parents and for sure they will appreciate it.

Favourite line: “I know you were on my side even when I was wrong,
And I love you for giving me your eyes, for staying back and watching me shine.”

12. UNTOUCHABLE

This is technically not an original Taylor Swift song because it was actually first written and produced by Luna Halo. Taylor just covered it but changed it quite significantly. It’s pretty unrecognizable from the original version that Luna Halo gave co-writing credit to Taylor. This song shows how good she is at reinventing old songs and making it feel like her own. I respect artists who can do that.

Favourite line: “Untouchable burning brighter than the sun, and when you’re close I feel like coming undone.”

13. LAST KISS

It’s so captivating how intimate this song sounds. It actually feels like you’re reading a personal letter full of desperate and hopeless feelings while listening to this six-minute song from Swift’s third album, Speak Now. It translates anger, frustration and confusion in a very calm way. Like how was that possible? Well, it’s Taylor Swift and she’s a genius.

Favourite line: “So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep and I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe.”

14. LONG LIVE

Long Live is the last track in Speak Now but definitely not the least. This song can make you feel like a champion. It may seem like an over-the-top prom anthem to other people but the lyrics somehow make you believe that impossible things are possible and you’re going to make it someday. Taylor’s life has had a lot of these winning moments and it’s nice to see her translate these to a song. Let’s celebrate each other’s success!

Favourite line: “If you have children someday
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine.”

15. HOLY GROUND

Holy Ground is the eleventh track in Swift’s fourth studio album, Red. I swear it’s difficult not to get dancing with the song’s storming drum beat. The lyrics is a classic Swift talking about a relationship that ended but you can’t help but feel rejoiceful with the groove that naturally comes out when you hear the driving rhythm of the song. It’s weird and I can’t stop dancing to it.

Favourite line: “Tonight I’m gonna dance like you were in this room. But I don’t wanna dance if I’m not dancing with you.”

16. STARLIGHT

I always imagine a movie scene in which the two main leads are dancing on the dance floor and forgetting about the world whenever I hear this song. It’s that fists-in-the-air love anthem you’d always go back to when you reminisce good memories. Starlight is actually about the ‘romantic adventures of Ethel and Bobby Kennedy after Swift came across a photo of the pair dancing when they were teenagers.’ I forget my worries and genuinely feel happy under the influence of this addictive sound. I badly want this song to become a well-loved classic!

Favourite line: “Like oh my, what a marvellous tune, it was the best night, never would forget how he moved.”

17. YOU ARE IN LOVE

I feel like this bonus track from Taylor’s most acclaimed album, 1989, is the most romantic love song she has ever written. Funny thing is, it’s not actually about her love life, but about her friends Jack Antonoff and Lena Dunham’s relationship. The sincerity, trust, happiness and love in the song are overflowing. It’s the perfect background for a chill Sunday night drinking wine with your loved one.

Favourite line: “You can hear it in the silence, the silence
You can feel it on the way home, way home
You can see it with the lights out, lights out
You are in love, true love.”

18. CLEAN

Swift collaborated with British folktronica singer-songwriter, Imogen Heap, for this haunting electronic tune in her album, 1989. The lyrics of the song is heavily metaphoric and talks about getting out of an addicting love. I adore a poetic Swift that’s why this song is a must hear!

Favourite line: “Rain came pouring down when I was drowning that’s when I could finally breathe.”

19. I WISH YOU WOULD

I’ve always thought this song is like a background to a lot of flashback scenes in my life. It’s sweet, romantic, tragic, badass and lonely all at the same time. The general sound of the song is an ecstasy for me thanks to the thoroughfare synth-pop style of Jack Antonoff. I can’t describe how cool this song is, you gotta hear for yourself.

Favourite line: “You always knew how to push my buttons, you give me everything and nothing.”

20. DON’T BLAME ME

One of the songs from Swift’s latest album, Reputation, Don’t Blame Me is as unapologetic as Swift can be. Fierce Swift is the new trend and this track channels this perfectly with its religious-sounding choruses and stripped back verses. What makes this song different is the drug metaphor that you wouldn’t expect from Swift if this was two years ago. She talks about this generic guy as somewhat like a drug and I swear to God she’s kicking it! Smart choice of words for this song by the way.

Favourite line: “Don’t blame me, your love made me crazy, if it doesn’t, you ain’t doing it right.”

That’s it folks. What do you think about the list? Let me know in the comments section!

Let’s Talk About Why We Travel

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Travel. That’s a word that always comes up when you ask people about the things they want to do in life. But why do we really want to travel?

These days on my social media feeds, specifically on my Instagram feed, I realize how I just gloss through the contents as everything seems to look the same already including my posts! Everyone is so excited about posting something of themselves in a well-known place to prove that they’ve been there and hoping to get a number of hearts and thumbs-up from people. I must admit, I’m guilty of what I call, Me Tourism.

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to visit the wonderful Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake and see its blue water twinkling under the sun and in between fascinatingly formed green hills. It was the beauty created by the second-largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century and I thought it would be a great place to end my year with a bang! While hiking, I took lots of photos and videos thinking about sharing it immediately once I get home. I did share an album, an edited video montage of the whole adventure and some Instagram photos. I didn’t only get hearts, or thumbs-up, I got shocked emojis from people as well. Mission accomplished I thought.

But then a few days after, I listened to a radio interview and there’s this woman talking about how young people these days go to places just to take pictures of themselves with famous landmarks and share it online. She pointed out that most of us travel with the desire to show it off to people instead of just being in a place and experiencing it, getting to know its people and knowing its culture better.

Damn! That hit me.

Yes I did hike the mountain, I did talk to some locals (our tour guide and some playful Aeta kids), but I asked myself, did I really experience it enough? I did what a normal tourist would have done in the limited time of a tour but something in me says I could have used a lot of that short time talking to more people, knowing more about the place personally and just really feeling the moment rather than capturing every bit of it. I’ve always been that girl with the camera capturing the beauty of things, people and moments around me. There’s no terribly wrong about that, but for some reasons, I regret not being the one experiencing some of those moments for a change. Now I am wondering, what would it be like to do the adventure all over again without any gadgets with me. I bet it would be free of social concerns.

I am not telling anyone to stop posting about their travels, just pointing out that it would be nice for a change for travels to be less about letting people know about it and more about making the most out of the experience.

When you go to places, eat the food there and put down the camera. Appreciate the people and not only the view. Smell it. Feel it. Dig deep into its wonders. Then if you fail to take any photos and videos, you could just write about it if you really want others to know about the place and potentially encourage them to visit it as well. I think writing is still a powerful way of encouraging people to do things. Anyway, driving tourism, in most cases, is a nice way to give back to a place and its people for a good time you had there.

I guess what I’m really doing here is making you think about what’s more important to you, is it to truly live in the moment of your travel or to share how everything went by? If you’re one of the people who could balance the two, then good for you. But if you’re just in for the Me Tourism, then maybe your travel was not everything how it should have been.

In the end, Me Tourism is not a crime or a sin. But when you think about it, what does it really serves for? Why do you have to do so much of it? This is where I let you answer for yourself.

A Letter to Fans from Another Fan

You are a fan and you don’t own your idols.

I am not addressing this to the entirety of the population of fans out there, but just to those who seem to be confused about what being a true fan really means.

The Cambridge Dictionary says a fan is someone who admires and supports a person, sport, sports team, etc. The Oxford Dictionaries defines it as a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing. None of these definitions says a fan can dictate what his or her idol should do and who that idol should be.

You don’t have the right to because you don’t own them; like how you don’t own Taylor Swift, the favourite love-and-hate talk of the town. If you’re a real fan, you’re not one of those people telling her to stop dating men she likes, stop writing what she feels and what she thinks and just stay being America’s sweetheart when clearly she’s done being your good little girl. Recently, Swift released her long-anticipated and most biting album yet, Reputation, and along with it is a note to the fans talking about how it has been being in the public eye and mentioning how ‘her mistakes have been used against her, her heartbreaks have been used as entertainment, and her songwriting has been trivialised as oversharing.’ She has been in our lives since she was 15 that some of us may feel like we own part of hers. But then again, we don’t. No one can control any other people’s lives but themselves; like how Finn Wolfhard has the control over his life on his own and his alone. The 14-year-old Stranger Things actor was recently called out by fans for not greeting them outside his hotel. As Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner puts it, it does not matter if he’s an actor, he’s a kid first before that and he should be able to ‘grow without feeling like he owes anyone anything for living his childhood dreams.’ Meanwhile locally, actress Maine Mendoza wrote an open letter to fans in November 2017 asking for freedom.

Every one of us, whether you are an actor or not, feel like we need space at some point and we should all be understanding enough if that’s what the person wants. We all have our own selfishness and actors are not an exemption to that. They would want to be away from the screaming and flashing cameras from time to time and no one should ever criticize them for wanting that just because they are public figures. Yes, fans put them to where they are right now and are the reason why they are able to do what they want and earn money at the same time. We as fans buy their albums, concert tickets, stream their shows online and or pay for other merchandises that they put out. However, we should be reminded that it is their art/work, which they have invested in so much, that we are buying and not them nor their lives. We should not act like we can demand to interfere in their personal lives, and if not allowed, we criticize them until they are emotionally drained and are in ruins. If you want some of their time, then go to their fan meetings, shows, and or other official guestings instead of waiting in front of their hotels to invade their privacy. If you are arguing that you don’t have money to buy tickets to shows, matches or what, then that’s your problem. That’s reality and you should work hard to earn some money and see them in their official public appearances if you really want to.

It is time for fans to stop caring too much about the personal lives of their idols. I understand that it is unavoidable for their personal lives to be before the public eye but fans should start it in themselves to realize it should be something we can muse about but not interfere with. We do not know them personally and so we should not bash them for things we may be ill-informed about. Sometimes, I even think it is much better for fans to just care about nothing more than their idols’ work or art. It will be better not only for your idol’s peace of mind but for yours as well. Think before you say or do something that could eventually affect these public figures and most especially do not start a fight and hurt other fans. Before being celebrities and fans, we all are humans first, and as humans, we should always try not to hurt one another.

We should shatter the idea that these are the consequences of being famous and that it comes with their jobs because it isn’t and it shouldn’t. This issue has been around for a long time already and this is definitely not the fault of the advent of the internet, but this problem has obviously been magnified by the social media age. This is bullying and you are not a bully, you are a fan, and that should be enough reason for you to use the power of the internet in reverse to call for a change.

In my own definition, being a fan means supporting your idol in their public endeavours. The key word is support and not bring them down. The word public draws the line between your relationship with your idols. If you want to be beyond that line, then go earn yourself a spot as their friend or what. But if not, then again for those people in the back I will repeat, these public figures’ private lives are something you can muse and be happy or sad about as a fan, but it should never be something you can interfere with. If you still cannot understand this boundary, then maybe you should reassess yourself as a fan and or eventually stop calling yourself as one, if you aren’t really one in the first place.

Chapter Two: Ready, Set, Cut

35mm movie reel and scissors for the final cut

Sometime early August 2017, I decided to shell out money for something I knew I wanted but I was scared of. I don’t know how that mix of feelings exists or why it does. But I just did it. I faced this because at a certain point I know I will regret not doing so, and regret is something I hate more than fear.

This made me basically stop buying fries, burgers, pizzas, shakes and other comfort food just to cut on my spending and make up for the money I spent paying the registration fee for the first Rebelde Non-linear Editing Class. Because you see, I’m an adult who doesn’t want to ask money from my parents and who insists on relying solely on my humble entry-level job pay. But hey guess what, I don’t care about it. All I can think about that time was my love for film. Film was taking over my life and I don’t care whatever it takes just to get to know it better. I was in love.

That sounds foolish, right? Just like any other love, it’s hard. But it’s beautiful.

I’ve been making short films since college and the part of it that I like so much but didn’t have the courage to take on yet was film editing. I love everything about it; the way it looks like a puzzle, the quiet environment while you work on it, the way music complements it and many more aspects of it. Sometimes I even think I love it more than writing because the fulfilment of seeing its end product is different from just reading a finished script.

I do direct, write, shoot, but when it comes to editing, I always pass it on to others because I always thought I’m not good at it. But I figured out that learning film editing is something that will complete me as a filmmaker. So why not step up my game now?

It was a month-long getting to know stage with film editing and with the people who love it as much as I do. There was Angela, Carlo, Rolls, Alyanna, the Rebelde peeps and most especially Direc Thop Nazareno, who was our instructor for the class. Thop has been an editor and director for indie films such as the 2013 Cinemalaya short film Eyeball and the 2017 Cinemalaya full-length feature Kiko Boksingero.

I think it was especially easy and comfortable for me to learn film editing because it was Thop who taught me. He was this small dude sitting quietly at the end of the table when I first entered the lecture room and it was difficult to read him. We were sitting far from him and the first thing he told us was to come closer because he said he was this ‘shy person,’ and just with that, I identified with him already which then continued on throughout the course. I especially saw a great deal of his love for filmmaking which was totally cool. He knows the struggles of an aspiring filmmaker and it felt like he really understands someone like me and so it was especially interesting to learn from someone like him.

I hope he knows he’s a great teacher. I wish someone told him.

Because I didn’t, so….yeah

But nevertheless, everything he imparted to us will stay with me.

The first thing he taught us was that every cut should have a meaning behind it. The Kuleshov effect shows the movie magic in which partnering a shot with different other shots can create many different meanings. I firmly believe that films should be created not just for the sake of creating one and making money. Every part of it should tell a story and should give out a message one way or the other.

He also said that time and tempo are important. You should know when to go fast, normal, and or when to take it slow. You can’t always be too fast. Give the story time to breathe. You can take it slow but be sure you know when to peak. But whatever it is, let the story and feeling guide your pace.

He stressed out that an editor should cut and put pieces together based on logic. Even if you don’t have the script as a guide, or maybe you don’t know the whole story yet or the director hasn’t given any directions, you as an editor should tell the story in your own way first, in the way you perceive it. You may not know, the director may like your take on it. If he doesn’t, then that’s when you change it the way he wants. Anyway, directors always have the last say. But at least you tried to have your own input. You have a vision of your own. Remember, you are an editor, not a clicker or a robot who just follows everything the director says without contributing any creative ideas.

The last part of Thop’s editing lecture was about continuity. An edit should be fluid. Every cut should connect well with the next one. It is advisable to cut on action to avoid awkward or very eye-stealing cuts or transitions. But really, there are many ways to connect one shot or scene from another and some of them are like magic to me.

I really believe that film editing is like magic. It gives life to the story. It can make you see impossible things happen. It can show you wonders you’ve never imagined.

I’m glad to have learned how to make this magic and I want to be a master of it.

Thop made me want to be a master of it and stop hesitating doing things I want to do. I have always waited for things to happen to me because I always thought I’m still not ready. But I remember him telling me I will never be ready and so all there’s left to do is to keep going no matter what. Just shoot. Just make more films. Just do it. That’s the best thing I learned from him and from this wonderful class.

My First Baby

Hi there! This is a short film I made with my college friends for fun three years ago. I never got the chance to put this out and now I figured out I should just post it on YouTube for people to see. This film is my very first baby in college and so I’ve been very protective of it for years. But now I’m ready to let it go. I hope you like it.

Synopsis: A struggling writer overhears a conversation in a cafe that would eventually inspire her to write something.

Directed by: Kimberly Ilaya and Joanna Reyes
Written by: Kimberly Ilaya
Edited by: Angelica Fae Redita
Starring: Ralyn Belay, Cholo Damian, RM Miclat and Trisha Perez
Music: Rosie by Janica De Castro, Taste by Cholo Damian, and Ragtime by Paul Casiano
Cinematographers: Angelica Fae Redita, Louise Litonjua, Pam Asis and Ann Margaret Miguel
Production Manager: Adele Oqueriza
Special thanks to: Macky Macarayan and Florence Rosini

My First Music Video

Sharing to you the first music video I directed and edited. Hope you like it. If you do, please like and follow Janica De Castro on all of her social media pages. Here’s to more good music!

Director: Kimberly Ilaya
Editor: Kimberly Ilaya
Camera Operators: Kimberly Ilaya and Adele Oqueriza
Production Designer: Adele Oqueriza