Tuesday, December 2, 2008
(By Peter Sengson)
SALiGAN SA CSSP is a college- wide organization based on the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of the Philippines - Diliman. Throughout its years of existence, it has been one of the staunchest advocates of alternative education and the advancement of students’ rights and welfare. With its belief in collective action, it has successfully spearheaded activities that serve not only the students of the College but the entire University as well.
In light of this, we will be holding a forum entitled "Ing Kalam ning Amanung Sisuan," in cooperation with UP Aguman, UP Samahang Linggwistika, and STAND-UP. It will be held on the 9th of December, 2008 from 1pm to 4pm at Palma Hall 400.
Ing Kalam ning Amanung Sisuan
A Closer Look at Philippine Language Problems
At present, there are more than a hundred languages spoken in the Philippines. A number of these are in the brink of being wiped out and it is said that some of the languages of the country of the world are about to die without even being studied or documented. Just what are the conditions that cause language death?
In the Philippines, the Kapampangan language, which is one of the major languages of the archipelago, has been experiencing a decline in its number of speakers. Current speakers of the language are also gradually abandoning it and it is feared that death would be its fate. What are the internal problems that led to this situation? What is being done by the Kapampangans to salvage their mother tongue? What kind of Kapampangan are they trying to revitalize: purist or liberal?
According to some language advocacy groups, the appointment of Filipino as national language is a major cause in the hazard faced by other languages in the Philippines. How did the Filipino language affect the perception of Kapampangans in their own tongue? Is there really a conflict between Filipino and the languages of the regions? What is the possible future of the Philippine languages given the government's campaign for using English as medium of instruction?
These are the questions to be answered in this forum. It aims to introduce linguists, as well as scholars from other disciplines of social science, to the country's language predicaments. Professors in the field of linguistics, Filipino, and Kapampangan will share their analysis in this issue. Resource speakers from groups attempting to revitalize Kapampangan will also be invited to share their experiences.
The highlight of the program is the screening of the first Kapampanganovela, "Kalam." After the discussions, an open forum will follow. Linguistics students, especially those enlisted in Sociolinguistics, are expected to attend, as well as other students from the college, professors, and other organizations. The forum is open to everyone who is willing to take part.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In the second episode, the character of Rhodskie, played by Raco Del Rosario will be introduced. He is the ex-boyfriend of Dette -- played by Reachel Mucho and also making her first appearance in the show after her foreshadowing in the first episode -- in the story and is bound to add color to the Kapampanganovela.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Where Showbiz is Educational
Jason Paul Laxamana
Central Luzon Daily
Budget constraints, never-heard-of actors and staff, lack of equipment, and other nightmares an ambitious director could have… given all these conditions, what kind of TV drama could possibly come out?
This has been the regular question of the ‘Kalam’ team, with yours truly as the main speaker, to the student audiences before showing the pilot episode of ‘Kalam’ in their recent Pampanga Campus Tour, which has so far covered the University of the Philippines Diliman (with the aid of UP Aguman), University of the Philippines Extension Program in Pampanga (through Dr. Juliet Mallari), Angeles University Foundation (through the Institute of Kapampangan Studies), Asian College of Science and Technology (through Mr. Jim Jimenez), Chevalier School (through its Social Science Club), Pampanga High School (through Fe Cailao), and Holy Angel University (through Prof. Ed Sibug).
“Gúnútan, mipanampaling, drama,” some would answer. A few would say that they expect it to be unique because of its being Kapampangan. Some predict it to be funny, not because of the witty script, but because to them, speaking in Kapampangan is naturally hilarious.
‘Kalam’ and Language Issues
Last August, the ‘Kalam’ team—composed of Kalalangan Kamaru, a creative group of Kapampangan youth behind productions such as the RocKapampangan album and GVFM 99.1's weekly youth-oriented Kapampangan show Frequency K; and Infomax 8, the sole Kapampangan cable channel existing in the province, visited UP Diliman to deliver a lecture, in line with the school's occasional Alternative Classroom Learning Experience or ACLE, where regular classes are suspended in order to give way to various workshops and symposia.
UP Aguman, an organization of Kapampangans in UP, decided to invite the people behind the first Kapampanganovela (Kapampangan telenovela), to discuss about the emergence and challenges of regional broadcast media, particularly those of Kapampangan.
Knowing UP as a center of aggressive nationalism, I, writer and director of ‘Kalam,’ tried to speak about the ideology of uniting the Philippines through respect for its cultural diversity (not uniting the country by imposing one culture or language over another). I expected violent reactions from the typical nationalists of UP, who insinuate, in my opinion, that the regions are less important than the Philippine nation—which is more often than not, Tagalog-centric—these nationalists are trying to build.
On the other hand, Mau Aquino, General Manager of Infomax 8, together with Marketing Director Jomel Cruz, told the story of how and why their station decided to package themselves as a Kapampangan channel employing the use of the Kapampangan language.
Present also were Diego Marx Dobles, Asst. Director of Kalam; Nhoel Austria, Set Designer; Aries Yap, Reachel Mucho, and Peter Danganan, main actors; and the technical team of Infomax, who covered the lecture for its daily news program, ‘I-Max News.’ Approximately 60 members of the academe, Kapampangans and non-Kapampangans, attended the lecture, including fellow Kapampangan Prof. Nilo Ocampo, a Filipino teacher in UP Diliman.
The issue of language preservation and development versus nationalism through the Filipino language—which I, using the mutual intelligibility test of Linguistics, called just a mere dialect of Tagalog—was raised and the issue, as usual, like in language advocacy e-groups, was left unresolved.
As Ms. Aquino and I kept stressing, people should learn as much languages as they can. Kapampangans and non-Tagalogs alike are not asked to un-learn Tagalog (after all, trilingualism is their advantage over Tagalogs who are mostly only bilingual); they are asked to master their native languages—to love them with pride—and not feel inferior upon using them. What should be battled is the phenomenon of language shift, when people abandon their native languages in favor of the national language or the English language.
The Extra-Entertainment Magic of ‘Kalam’
In spite of the heat of the argument, after the English-subtitled screening of the first episode of ‘Kalam,’ which prides itself for being culturally rooted and for being in the Kapampangan language, not one person in the UP Diliman screening was left dissatisfied, to the point of some even claiming they prefer to patronize it over the mainstream Pinoy TV dramas.
’Kalam’ tackles the life and adventures of a new generation of witches and healers (gifted people, or in Kapampangan, ding ating kalam) born in urban Pampanga and how they struggle to fit in a skeptical, discriminating, and fearful society. It’s an exciting mix of urban fantasy, action, romantic comedy, drama, and social relevance, while using Kapampangan culture—both past and present, folk and modern, rural and urban—as canvass.
Prof. Nilo Ocampo said that the folk Kapampangan elements and modern culture were smartly fused, thereby creating a beautiful synthesis that makes the Kapampanganovela interesting. A Waray Mass Communication student, on the other hand, disclosed his wish that hopefully, someday, he could start something like ‘Kalam’ in his province. Kapampangan students were amazed, too, saying that ‘Kalam’ not only makes them prouder to be Kapampangan, but inspires them to love their Amanung Sisuan.
The audiences in other schools involved in the Pampanga Campus Tour have not been disappointed as well. While they admit that ‘Kalam’ has still a lot of flaws, especially on the technical side, they still see it as at par with what they see on national media.
To high school students, the character portrayed by Alex Tiotuico (Kulubasa Kularyut or Kool), is most entertaining. Not only could they relate with his punk-emo character, they also find his punchlines comical, such as when, amidst the seemingly folk, gegege Kapampangan he uses, he suddenly says, “Makanyan na ka man; ala kang… appreciation (in American accent).”
When we do a screening in one school, we always ask for feedbacks written on paper before adjournment. What melts my heart often is when I read reactions such as “Kapampangan ku, pagmaragul ku!”
Which is exactly one of our main reasons for creating ‘Kalam.’ To bring honor to our kabalen, especially the urban youth, who are beginning to think that Kapampangan is hopeless in contending in the savage realm of pop culture in a modern world.
[Some comments have been delivered to us anonymously]
“Masanting ya, lalu na patye pelage de king TV. Alben keng pasibayu at abangan ke iyan!” –email@example.com
“Ang galing nung emo [Kool], pati si Aries [Yubs], kaso parang bitin. Ituloy pa sana ang Kalam, ur the best!” –Lady Ann Vino
“Nuko, mebitin kami! Pero kesantingan ku, interesting ya ing patutungkulan na. Gamitan tamu ing kalam tamu king mayap!” –Evalyn Suarez, PHS
“Keep up the good work! Masanting ya. Keng sobrang santing, ala kung asabi nung ali ASTIG. Mebitin ku. Ante ing next episode!” –PHS student
“It is very creative and fun, at kailangan talagang mapanood ito sa buong Pampanga at sa buong Pilipinas.” –Angelita Juico
“Fantasy yet interesting. Great! I like the ambiance and the sense! Keep it up!.”
“Masanting ya ing kuentu. Para kaku, istung-istu ya at king lawe ku, pumatuk ya ini. Proud to be Kapampangan!”
“Wow, the best! Bitin ku! Galing! Bisa ku rin mika-Kalam, wahahahaha!” –Marvin
“Galing, sobra. Now I’m proud to be Kapampangan. Keep up the good work at sana mipalage ne king TV ing Kalam. Mebitin ku. Cute ya mu rin i Aries [Yubs].” –Jhane Lapira
“Kalam is a very interesting teleserye. I like the story (fantasy) and it proves that Kapampangans can produce a beautiful teleserye. The use of our language makes it interesting, too. Bitin ke pu! Ituluy ye pu, please!” –Chevalier School student
“OMG! Cool! Kagaling yu naman! Cute la ring cast yu lalu na i Yubs! Sana mibalik kayu kening school mi, agyang graduating na kami! Keep it up!” –Jerra Lee, CS
“Ing asabi ku mu, sana ayari yo ring 13 episodes… Masanting ya kasi para kekaming Kapampangan a maibug nang sumuku keng pamagtaguyud king Kapampangan.” –Mr. Sotto, UP Pampanga
“Kalam is a must-see TV show! Grabe! Ang ganda ng production kahit hindi pa masyadong kilala yung mga gumaganap. Bilib ako! Kung susuriing mabuti, tila mga professional na yung lumikha ng Kalam.”
“Masanting ya, dakal ku abalu tungkul keng kultura tamu. Pogi ya itang magkukulam.” –CS student
“Napakaganda ng theme song. Gwapo yung bida, hehe. Magaling silang umarte. May aral. Sana maging hit ang Kalam. Makatula ya! Migkasuelu kung menalbe, ike ngan mikakaklasi.”
“Makayagnan ya king agus ning biye/panlawe ring kayanakan. Ikua na ing ‘kirot ng damdamin’ da ring manalbe. Makasake ku king pulayi ning istorya. Masanting ya, promise.” –ACSAT student
“Masanting ya, kayi makapagpalaganap ya pang Kapampangan. Atin yang purpose.” –CS student
“Effect ya ing kuentu! Amazing! Makabitin! Wish namin mapanood namin lahat ng gawa ninyo! Mabiye ya ing Kapampangan! Ang ganda ng music video ninyo, yung Oras. Dian nang copy!” –Tanya, Teatro Artist, PHS
“Whoo! Astig ya itang emo! Comedian. Atin yang future. Yubs, atin yang talent. Nice one!” –Cecilia Therese Patawaran
“Regarding the opening music video [Alang Anggang Sugat], I didn’t expect that you guys can produce something that is outrageous! Closing [Oras], I like the song. Very catchy. Ayus ya ing episode 1, par! Abangan ke pa.” –Pea, UP Clark
“Cheers to the project and to the people behind it. Keep upholding the Kapampangan culture! Is the song ‘Oras’ in Imeem? I want it on my player. God bless sa mabuting hangarin!” –Charlotte Salunga, UP Clark
“Kudos! Sana mipalage ne. Good story. Galing ning idea na ayisip yu to capture the attention of the youth.” –UP Clark student
“Salamat a dakal king pamamunta yu keni, at ngeni, uli yu, melino kekami o kaku na dapat ipagmaragul ta ya ing salitang Kapampangan. Ing kanta, sobra ya santing, dakal ya kabaldugan. Sana maging successful ya ing project.” –Kath, ACSAT
“It was nice. Okay yung characters, hindi boring. Sana meron din madistribute sa Manila since okay naman ang show. I think ma-e-enjoy ng ibang mga tao, di lang mga Kapampangan.” –UP Clark student
“Very surprising kasi parang dun sa main topic, hindi akalain na maipapakita ang kalagayan ng kabataan ngayon sa ganoong ka-imaginative na context.”
“E ku isipang agawa yu ing makanyan agyang kapus king budget. The music is awesome, a-appreciate ke ing meaning na. Go go go!” –ACSAT student
“Para king 1st time a Kapampangan telenovela, masanting ya. Maghit ya ini kareng kayanakan. E ya karaniwang Pinoy telenovela. E ya heavy drama. E ya baduy!” –ACSAT student
“Meg-enjoy ku. E ya boring. I’m sure metung ya ini kareng apagmaragul tamu bilang Kapampangan.” –ACSAT student
If you wish to invite us for a forum/screening in your campus, please get in touch with me.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Keep visiting this blog for updates.
September 12 - University of the Philippines Pampanga
September 16 - Angeles University Foundation
September 18, 19 - Asian College of Science and Technology
September 24 - Chevalier School
September 29 - Pampanga High School
October 7 - Holy Angel University
More to come.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Dizon acts as Kenneth in Kalam, the mirage making (uple) sidekick of the powerful sorceress Albina.
Please support our kabalen by going to this link, registering, and voting for Jayvie:
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
A highlight of Aldo Ning Amanung Sisuan
By Jason Paul Laxamana
Central Luzon Daily
Last 27th of August, the public—including the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of San Fernando and Angeles City, Pampanga Mayors and Vice Mayors, the media, and civil society and business groups—became witness to the Grand Premiere of 'Kalam,' the first ever Kapampanganovela in the history of Philippine broadcasting. It was held at the Event Centre of SM City Pampanga.
The event, however, is more than a presentation of the pilot episode. Rather, it is Kalalangan Kamaru's and Infomax 8's way of celebrating the recently-appointed Aldo Ning Amanung Sisuan (Mother Language Day), the two entities being aggressive advocates in the promotion and development of the Kapampangan language through media arts.
The event begins with the University of the Assumption President's Choir singing the Lawiwing Pambansa (National Anthem) in the Kapampangan language, followed by our very own Imnu Ning Kapampangan and then Fr. Ronnie Cao's invocation. The kabalen energy begins when the performers from the Angeles University Foundation danced to well-known Kapampangan folk songs, then segueing to an enchanting trilingual (Tagalog, English, Kapampangan) choral version of the popular O Jo, Kaluguran Da Ka.
In between guest speeches, Kapampangan musical numbers of diverse genres were presented. The list includes the boy group K4ad (read 'Kapatad'), Tarlac-City based Kapampangan band Mernuts, ArtiSta. Rita, and the Kapampangan novelty sensation Ara Muna.
A surprise announcement, which garnered a loud, long applause from the audience, was made by hosts Rey Yumang and Mau Aquino of the Kapampangan talk show 'Personalan'—that 'Kalam' will also be aired through G-SAT in 40 Asian and Middle Eastern countries, including Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Korea, and Hong-Kong.
After the projector screening of the first episode of 'Kalam' titled Panyatang King Salapungan (Arriving at the Fork Road), the following people had these to say (interviews care of Jenna Lumbang of 'I-Max News'):
“Masanting ya talaga. In fact, me-inspire kung gamitan ya ing Amanung Sisuan tamu. But really, to me, it's really perfect. From the script to the camera shots, angles, values na pinalalabas niya at ini-impart niya. Napakagaling. Saludo ako. It's really something both the young and old should watch.” -Dalsa Montalban Hizon, TV personality / ArtiSta. Rita Foundation, Inc.
“Congratulations! This is a first for the Kapampangans. Ing 'Kalam' pu, atneng kasanting. Agkatan ko ring kayabe tamung Kapampangan, sana pu tangkilikan ye pu. The best ya pu.” -Chris Navarro, President, Pampanga Press Club
“Beyond expectation ya ing ikit kung primerung telenobelang Kapampangan. Ding eganaganang linage magaling la. Deng king behind-the-camera magaling la. Sana dakal la pang mag-sponsor bang kanita sumulung ya aliwa mu ing telenobela nune pati ing kulturang Kapampangan. Pagmaragul kung Kapampangan ku.” -Engr. Rosve Henson, Kambilan
“First ya pa mu ini at very interesting neng tambing.” -Oca Rodriguez, Mayor, City of San Fernando
“Masanting ya pu! Sabi ku pin, ati yu itang suporta tamu para karing kayanakan ampo para king kultura. Asahan yu pung ing PML sumuporta ya king 'Kalam'.” -Mayor Dennis Pineda, President, Pampanga Mayors' League
“Metung yang masanting a proyektu. Mai-inculcate ya ing kulturang Kapampangan, oneng ing metung pang achievement keni, ing identity ning Kapampangan siguradung lunto ya.” -Eduardo Guerrero, Mayor, Municipality of Floridablanca
“Aku, mesorpresa ku. E ku isipang makanyan ya kasanting. Mániwala kung maging yang launching pad ding future Kapampangan stars ing 'Kalam' uling papakit na ing gelingan ding Kapampangan. Atna kanyaman daramdaman ing sarili mung lengguayi king metung a telenobela. Sana lalu yang mamayagpag ing 'Kalam' at makapamiye yang oportunidad karing Kapampangan bang sumikat la king field ning arts.” -Alex Patio, Councilor, City of San Fernando
“Masaya ku bilang Kapampangan uling atin kalupa na nini. Atin tamu talagang talentu. Parati tamung mág-excel. Dian teng masanting a bukas ing Kapampangan at dian ulaga ing kekatamung Amanung Sisuan.” -Reden Halili, Councilor, City of San Fernando
“Dios ko, kasanting na! Sana aldo-aldo ne kanyan. Ngeni, once a week bang pantunan de pa mu ring tau. Pero king tutuki, dapat aldo-aldo ne. Masaya ku na meging kamin dálan bang mag-materialize ya ini anya suportan mi ya ini. Ipagmaragul ta ya pu.” -Catalina Bagasina, Board Member
“Pupugayan ku la kening proyektung ini. Sana dakal pa ing anti kanini bang milimbag ya ing kekatamung kaugalian at mapreserba in kekatamung pibatan.” -Atty. Zenaida Ducut, Chairwoman, Energy Regulatory Commission
“Very historical. Dapat iikot sa buong Pilipinas itong nagawa dito sa Pampanga to inspire other language communities to do the same. I've been talking to the director, willing kami na i-assist sila. Iikot natin ang experience na ito.” -Ricardo Nolasco, PhD, Head, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Also present were the main cast of the TV drama, namely Edith Chu, Raco Del Rosario, Jayvie Dizon, Nicolette Henson, Aries Yap, Reachel Mucho, Alex Tiotuico, and Peter Danganan; Kalalangan Kamaru members Diego Marx Dobles (Asst. Director) and yours truly (Writer-Director); the whole team of Infomax 8, including Joven Mallari as the director of the Grand Premiere; Andy Alviz of ArtiSta. Rita; Roland Quiambao, Ben and Deng Escasa, and Peter De Vera of ASLAG Kapampangan; Vice Mayor of Masantol Bajun Lacap; Vice Mayor of Angeles City Vicky Vega; Bicong Del Rosario of the Academy of Performing Arts (APA) and family; and Abong Tayag, President of the Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL), and some members.
'Kalam,' a Kapampangan word which means gift or blessing, is a co-production between Kalalangan Kamaru and Infomax 8. It bases its story from Kapampangan folklore, but situates folk elements in an urban setting. Consisting of 13 episodes (one season), it will air very soon. Keep visiting http://kalamtv.blogspot.com and reading this newspaper for updates.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Dr. Ricardo Nolasco, Head of the Komisyon Sa Wikang Filipino (KWF)
Asst. Dir. Diego Dobles, Jayvie Dizon (Kenneth), Reachel Mucho (Dette), Nicolette Henson (Albina), Alex Tiotuico (Kool), Peter Danganan (Joy)
The main cast minus Alex Tiotuico. L-R: Jayvie, Reachel, Nicolette, Peter, Aries Yap (Yubs), Raco Del Rosario (Rhodskie), Edith Chu (Puring)
Monday, August 25, 2008
Jason Paul Laxamana
Central Luzon Daily
This Wednesday, Infomax-8, a Kapampangan cable channel based in the City of San Fernando, and Kalalangan Kamaru, a creative team of multidisciplinary Kapampangan youth, will be presenting to the public the latest offering of Kapampangans to the rest of the world—Kalam, the first ever Kapampanganovela (Kapampangan television drama) in the history of Philippine broadcasting. It will take place at the Event Center of SM City Pampanga, 5 PM, and is bound to be a grand Kapampangan event as it will feature not only various Kapampangan performances, but also the public screening of the pilot episode.
Making the Kapampangan youth as its target audience, Kalam tackles the life and adventures of a new generation of witches and healers (gifted people, or in Kapampangan, ding ating kalam) born in urban Pampanga and how they struggle to fit in a skeptical, discriminating, and fearful society. It will be an exciting mix of urban fantasy, action, romantic comedy, drama, and social relevance, while using Kapampangan culture—both past and present, folk and modern, rural and urban—as canvass.
A clear history of the development of Kapampangan mass media is not yet available, albeit, inspired by the so-called Kapampangan cultural renaissance happening in the province, several mass communication students in and out of the province are beginning to take interest in outlining our media history as their thesis. Nevertheless, the production of Kalam is certainly a milestone.
Just what does having a Kapampangan TV drama imply?
Panyulung Pangkultura (Cultural Development)
First of all, we see a huge leap in what we call cultural development, as having a Kapampanganovela means that Kapampangans now officially know how to make a TV series, the process of which requires diverse skills from a well-coordinated team of people.
These skills include: research, story conceptualization, scriptwriting, directing, camera operation, cinematography, acting, talent management, production design, makeup and costume design, audio editing, and video editing. But television is more than a creative effort. Production management, location management, marketing, programming, publicity (which involves graphic design and large-scale printing, coordination with the press, and public relations), sales, advertising, financial management, budgeting, broadcasting, to name some more, are also involved, and Kalam boasts of an all-Kapampangan staff, cast, and crew. This means that all the skills I've mentioned and have failed to mention are now part of the growing Kapampangan culture.
Whether Kapampangans are bound to excel in the field of TV drama production and cause a “Kapampangan wave” (synonymous to the recent “Korean wave” phenomenon) is something to look forward to. Looking at our past achievements, however, we can conclude—not necessarily meaning we can be complacent—we can excel. Look at our lanterns compared to the rest of the Filipinos'.
Sagisag Kapampangan (Kapampangan Symbol)
Second implication is the growing awareness of Kapampangans that they, indeed, are a people who have their own identity apart from their Filipino and Asian brothers, and this road to cultural self-determination has extended to the field of TV drama production.
Kapampangans used to and still rely on the Tagalogs, the Koreans, the Taiwanese, the Mexicans, the Japanese, and the Americans when it comes to satisfying their television entertainment needs. If a Kapampangan wants to watch a TV drama, he tunes in to ABS-CBN, GMA-7, TV-5 or other channels. Or perhaps, he would run to the nearest bangketa to find the vast array of pirated DVDs of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese TV series. But what do we see in these foreign productions but foreign culture where Kapampangan is nowhere to be found, except probably in lousy cases like the Kapampangans in ABS-CBN's Kokey (where Kapampangans are exaggeratedly portrayed as letter H-deficient people) and the divine character Sinukuan in Dyosa (where Sinukuan is an Arabian-looking princess).
Such lack of Kapampangan symbols cause the alienation—inferiority complex, even—of the Kapampangans, particularly the youth who are heavy media consumers, to their own culture, including language, and identity. Now that we have a TV drama of our own, expect familiarity, as various symbols are bound to make Kapampangans see themselves more in the boob tube—not as “colored people,” but as diverse people who think, feel, face problems, come up with solutions, excel, fail, cook, eat, photograph, love, hate, philosophize, obey the law, break it, dream big, dream small, etc.
It's time to determine who we really are using television instead of relying on others to portray us, for if we remained in the level of dependence on Manila media, we will forever be H-deficient, gegege people who excel only in domestic work and pamagmais. We will never be portrayed as lawyers, philosophers, scientists, matinee idols, modern activists, political leaders, doctors, etc.
The presence of Kalam, however, is a symbol itself. It is an addition to the symbols that unify us as a separate ethnolinguistic community, which include the Kapampangan language, Kapampangan cuisine, Kapampangan literature, Kapampangan heroes, Kapampangan history, Kapampangan landmarks, Kapampangan icons, and Kapampangan songs and hymns.
I wonder when the time will come when Kapampangans cease importing entertainment from outsiders (including territories outside the Kapampangan region) and start making their own media products for export in other parts of the world.
Primerung Pasinag (Grand Premiere)
Given these two big implications, we hope you would support Kalam, as its success will be the success of Kapampangans. It's also a nice way to celebrate the Bulan Na Ning Amanung Sisuan (Language Month). Please review the first paragraph for the event details. Visit http://kalamtv.blogspot.com for more information about the series.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Inaasahang dadagsain ng mga Kapampangan ang naka-iskedyul na Engrandeng Pagbubukas ng Kalam, ang kauna-unahang Kapampanganobela na gaganapin sa SM City, Lungsod ng San Fernando, Pampanga sa darating na Agosto 27, 2008.
Binigyang-diin ng mga producer ng Kalam na ito’y higit pa sa isang palabas pantelebisyon lamang. Ito anila ay isang advocacy project na naghahangad na itaguyod ang kultura at wikang Kapampangan sa ibang panig ng mundo, habang ipinamamalas at pinagbubuti ang kaugnay na mga kasanayang pang-media ng mga Kapampangan. Pinapangarap nila ang araw na ang iba-ibang mga grupong etnolingguwistiko ay magsimulang magpalitan ng mga teleserye sa isa’t isa sa halip na umangkat pa ng mga palabas sa ibayong dagat. Ang gayong palitang kultural sa pamamagitan ng broadcast media ay mag-aambag sa malaon nang pagkaantala sa pagsasakatuparan ng pambansang pagkakaisa para sa mga Pilipino.
Ang lahat, mula sa mga artista hanggang sa mga producer, mula sa mga camera man hanggang sa mga production designer, mula sa mga production assistant hanggang sa mga technical director – na sangkot sa produksyon ng telenobelang Kalam ay pawang Kapampangan lahat mula sa pinakamataas hanggang sa pinakamababa. Ang Kalam ay isasahimpapawid gabi-gabi maliban sa araw ng linggo sa Infomax-8, isang cable channel sa Pampanga bagamat wala pang eksaktong araw at oras kung kailan ito isasahimpapawid.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The issue of language preservation and development versus nationalism through the Filipino language—which Laxamana, using the test of Linguistics, called just a mere dialect of Tagalog—was raised and the issue, as usual, was left unresolved.
As Aquino and Laxamana kept stressing, people should learn as much languages as they can. Kapampangans and non-Tagalogs alike are not asked to un-learn Tagalog (after all, trilingualism is their advantage over Tagalogs who are mostly only bilingual); they are asked to master their native languages—to love them with pride—and not feel inferior upon using it. What should be battled is the phenomenon of language shift, when people abandon their native languages in favor of the national language or the English language.
In spite of the heat of the argument, after the English-subtitled screening of the first episode of Kalam, which prides itself for being culturally rooted and for being in the Kapampangan language, not one person was left dissatisfied, to the point of some even claiming they prefer to patronize it over the mainstream Pinoy TV dramas.
Kalam tackles the life and adventures of a new generation of witches and healers (gifted people, or in Kapampangan, ding ating kalam) born in urban Pampanga and how they struggle to fit in a skeptical, discriminating, and fearful society. It will be an exciting mix of urban fantasy, action, romantic comedy, drama, and social relevance, while using Kapampangan culture—both past and present, folk and modern, rural and urban—as canvass.
UP Aguman members, Nhoel Austria, and three of the main actors
Friday, August 15, 2008
Infomax.8, a Kapampangan cable channel based in the City of San Fernando, and Kalalangan Kamaru, a group of multidisciplinary Kapampangan youth cultural workers, are seeking to revolutionize Kapampangan mass media by crafting the first ever Kapampanganovela (Kapampangan telenovela) in the history of Philippine broadcasting.
"Kalam" tackles the life and adventures of a new generation of witches and healers (gifted people, or in Kapampangan, ding ating kalam) born in urban Pampanga and how they struggle to fit in a skeptical, discriminating, and fearful society. It will be an exciting mix of urban fantasy, action, romantic comedy, drama, and social relevance, while using Kapampangan culture—both past and present, folk and modern, rural and urban—as canvass.
The dialogues in "Kalam" are in the Kapampangan language, except in special cases where English and Tagalog are realistically the fitting languages. With that mentioned, it will be a sin to not get Kapampangan songs to serve as as the opening and closing theme songs of "Kalam," which were recorded at Kid's Place Recording Studio in Salapungan, Angeles City.
Pamuklat a Dalit (Opening Song)
Ing likuan mu kanaku
E ne agyu ning nanu mang panulu
Four members of 2007 Angeles City San Miguel Beer Battle of the Bands champion 5 Against The Wall (Jon Tanganco, bass; Jaynard Bengo, drums; Nhoel Austria, guitar; Arnold Espino, vocals), the vocalist of Guagua-based Red Horse Muziklaban finalist rock band Nora Aunor Fans' Club (Ramcos Nulud), and a Mabalacat-residing teenage violinist John Canlas collaborate to create the opening theme song of "Kalam." 5 Against The Wall and Nora Aunor Fans' Club were both participating bands in Kalalangan Kamaru's and Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan Studies' RocKapampangan project, with the former doing a reggae version of 'Sibul Na Ning Arayat' and the latter composing a blues version of a hilarious Kapampangan children's song they titled 'Kaplas.'
The lyrics written by "Kalam" writer and director Jason Paul Laxamana, the title of the song is Alang Anggang Sugat (Eternal Wound) and it talks about the dark betrayal of a person whom one used to trust deeply. Such betrayal causes one a traumatic and deep wound bound to last for eternity. To give the song a spin, the genre of the song is metal—in spite of 5 Against The Wall known locally for its reggae sound—fused with a bit of classical, thanks to the violin of Canlas, who is a college senior from the Holy Angel University and a member of its Theater Guild.
To honor two of the great Kapampangan poets, the song used excerpts of poems by Jose Gallardo (one of his Malikwatas or 'Magic Poems' and 'Ing Biye Alang Bakas') and Mariano Sigua ('Aduang Curan') in its rap parts.
Panyarang Dalit (Closing Song)
Mibalik na ka kaku / uling e ku agyu
Ibalik ta ing oras / na ning pamiyabe tamu
Tarlac City-based Kapampangan band Mernuts—popular through YouTube for rendering Kapampangan translations of songs such as Rihanna's 'Umbrella' and Beyonce's 'Irreplaceable'—made their original composition 'Oras' to serve as the closing song of "Kalam."
The song, penned by vocalist Jhaye Arzaga, is their second original Kapampangan composition after 'Aliwa Kang Talaga,' their contribution in the RocKapampangan album released last February. 'Oras' is a love song of longing, inviting a loved one after a serious fight to turn back time, when love was still pure.
Music Videos: Fusion of pop and local culture
The Kapampangan youth, who have been part of the so-called MTV generation, will not be disappointed when they see the music videos created for the theme songs, which are regularly aired on the Infomax channel. They may also be viewed by checking out the YouTube account of 'sisigman.'
In spite of the pop culture theme of the music videos, Kapampangan culture enthusiasts will not be disappointed as well, as the creative team made it a point to fuse pop culture and local culture.
Shot in the City of San Fernando, the music video of 'Oras' features not only a number of the main cast of "Kalam," but also Roland Quiambao, Pampanga's giant lantern master, and some of his beautiful works.
Both videos were directed by Laxamana, with the aid of Kalalangan Kamaru members Diego Marx Dobles (Asst. Director), Jon Tanganco and Nhoel Austria (Set Designers), and the technical team of Infomax. 8 including Joven Mallari (Technical Director), Ashly Nunag (Camera Man), Martin Reyes (Asst. Camera Man), and Teri Dela Pena (Production Assistant). Editors: Laxamana and Dobles.
Catch the bands behind the theme songs, together with the public screening of their music videos, on the 27th of August at the Entertainment Plaza of SM City Pampanga. It will be the Primerung Pasinag or Grand Premiere of "Kalam," where the first full episode of "Kalam" will be screened in advance. Visit http://kalamtv.blogspot.com/ for more info and text 09186992459 for inquiries.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
There is a new Pinoy TV series that tackles the lives of kulam practitioners, gayuma makers, and people who casually contact with local horror characters like the kapri and the tikbalang. As children, we have often heard and imagined their adventures happen in the rural areas, in places where nightlife belongs to characters of horror and diseases are believed to be caused by bewitchment or elf-made magic. Not in the upcoming fantaserye (if you're a Kapamilya) or telefantasya (if you're a Kapuso) aptly titled Kalam.
Below, we present seven major catches why Kalam is something to watch out for.
It's set in the city
Even though its genre is fantasy, it's urban fantasy. Imagine the local witches, monsters, and elementals living with us in the city as seemingly normal people who dress up like us, listen to the same songs we patronize, watch the latest concerts, keep Friendster accounts, occupy seats in the government, and acquire jobs in call centers and malls. This is the universe of Kalam, where folkloric fantasy meets contemporary drama. Which brings us to the costumes and special effects. If you're a fan of the mascot-like characters you see in the primetime fantasy TV dramas, which range from mermaids to humanoid horses, Kalam could serve as an alternative, as the characters, in spite of holding magical abilities and some being innately supernatural like the aswang, do not sport out-of-this-world clothes. Witches come in school uniforms, corporate attires, tees, and jeans.
It's intellectual and entertaining
Gender, cultural, racial, moral, intellectual, and sociological sensitivity -- how much of these have you found in your local soap operas? In between the entertaining waves of action and fantasy, Kalam either subtly or aggressively tackles gender issues, cultural and philosophical issues, and social problems the youth most likely encounter everyday but fail to sense because they have been greatly institutionalized in the society to the point of blindly accepting them as "normal" already. Take for example the lead female character, Dette, who, aside from having an opened third eye (she is able to see ghostly images through the lenses of her cameras), is also a feminist. One of the main characters is the potions chemist John Joy, who is a single father proudly declaring his "greed" for money amidst the Filipino's bad (and hypocritical) attitude toward wealth. Them, and more.
It's weekly, it's one-hour
Unlike the mainstream Pinoy TV dramas, Kalam will be shown weekly in one full hour. Even though it is a series, every episode has its own subplot that generally ends within that episode as well. Each episode is distinct enough to leave the viewers something to remember, which is something not usually practiced by your favorite primetime TV dramas. If you are to be asked what happened in the sixteenth episode of Marimar, will you recall? How about the fifth episode of Kampanerang Kuba? Do you have a favorite episode, or just favorite scenes?
It's filled with new faces
If you're the typical person whose TV viewing is dictated by the popularity of the cast (e.g. "I shall watch Iisa Pa Lamang because Gabby Concepcion and Claudine Baretto are in it"), then Kalam could either disappoint you or serve as an alternative. It boasts of the appropriateness of the actors in and their ability to give life to the roles, as the story and characters were imagined first, and then the auditions. No role was created just to boost the career of a certain cast member. Aries Yap, Reachel Mucho, Alex Tiotuico, Nicolette Henson, Jayvie Dizon, Peter Danganan, Edith Chu, Raco Del Rosario -- do you know them? You might not, but we're sure you'll love their colorful characterizations. Watch out for a feature on the main cast of Kalam and the characters they animate.
It's set in Pampanga
Dyesebel and Asero shoot often in Pampanga, but you probably don't know that. Why? Because they don't mention that fact. They do not boast of it and it doesn't help the province when it comes to tourism. Kalam on the other hand is set in Pampanga and presents Pampanga proudly as a complex and developing province worth of interest. You'll see the Holy Rosary Church, the Holy Angel University, and other places in the episodes. And with the place comes the culture of the province itself with its customs and traditions -- both contemporary and folk -- Kapampangan dishes, crafts, etc. Remember: kimchi, along with other elements of Korean culture, was made popular by the Korean entertainment wave.
It's in the Kapampangan language
To the knowledge of most Filipinos, Tagalog and English are the sole languages of mass media in the Philippines. But did you know that in Cebu, they have a genre called the Cebuanovela or the Visayanovela which employs their native language (no, they're not dialects; they're languages)? With the cultural and linguistic fervor sweeping the regions, one could only be reminded that the Philippines is, indeed, a diverse country, and that its diversity is bound to extend even to the field of TV dramas. The news: Kalam, being set in Pampanga, will naturally be in the Kapampangan language. More than the me keni's and o jo, kaluguran da ka's, every episode will be in Kapampangan, some fluent, some balid, some gegege, and some in pidgin. Characters will be discussing, arguing, emoting, etc. in our Amanung Sisuan Kapampangan. As the lead antagonist, Albina, said in the first episode, Abayan mu ku at apalyari tamu ita! (Join me and we'll make it happen!)
It's a Kapampangan production
Infomax. 8, a Kapampangan cable channel based in San Fernando, and Kalalangan Kamaru, a multidisciplinary team of creative Kapampangan youth, are behind the production of Kalam, in line with their advocacy of revolutionizing Kapampangan media and living up with how we, Kapampangans, tag ourselves: excellent. The actors, if you were able to tell by their surnames, are all Kapampangan. The writer and director is Kapampangan. The producers are Kapampangan. The crew members are Kapampangan. The creative staff is Kapampangan.
What's still a lack is you, a fellow Kapampangan, who must have been used to patronizing Tagalog and foreign TV shows. Now that we have a teleserye of our own, we ask you to support this endeavor by being witness to the Primerung Pasinag or Grand Premiere of Kalam, the first ever "Kapampanganovela" in the history of Philippine broadcasting, where the first episode will be screened. It will take place at the 27th of August (the Language Month) at the Entertainment Plaza of SM Pampanga, 5 PM. Admission is free. For more information about Kalam, visit http://kalamtv.blogspot.com
Friday, August 1, 2008
You may also view them in YouTube:
Official music video of ALANG ANGGANG SUGAT by 5 Against the Wall featuring Ramcos Nulud (vocalist of Nora Aunor Fans' Club band) and violinist John Canlas of Mabalacat. Song written by Jason Paul Laxamana, with excerpts from poems of Jose Gallardo (Malikwatas, Biye Alang Bakas) and Mariano Sigua (Aduang Curan). DIRECTOR: Jason Laxamana, ASST. DIRECTOR: Diego Dobles, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Joven Mallari, EDITOR: Jason Laxamana, Diego Dobles, PRODUCTION DESIGNERS: Jon Tanganco, Nhoel Austria
Official music video of Mernuts' original Kapampangan composition, Oras. Used as closing theme song. DIRECTOR: Jason Laxamana, ASST. DIRECTOR: Diego Dobles, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Joven Mallari, EDITOR: Jason Laxamana, PRODUCTION DESIGN: Roland Quiambao, SET MAN: Jon Tanganco
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Alang Anggang Sugat was shot at the Henson-Hizon heritage house in the City of San Fernando. The video reveals a subplot in Kalam, where a rape victim (played by Kalam auditions semifinalist Frency Rodriquez) resorts to witchcraft to take revenge on the two boys who took away her virginity by force, which she considers to be an eternal slash in her soul. A special cameo appearance of Aries Yap as Yubs, his character in Kalam, is something to look forward to. The character of Kool is also present in the video, albeit played by Diego Dobles, Kalam Asst. Director.
Oras, on the other hand, was shot at the lantern workshop of parol master Roland Quiambao in the same city. While the characters in the story are in no way related to Kalam, they feature five of the main cast, namely Nicolette Henson, Raco Del Rosario, Peter Danganan, Reachel Mucho, and Aries Yap. Jhaye Arzaga and Chao Chua of the Mernuts band also take part in the acting part.
Wait for their airing at Infomax-8! We will also be posting the videos on YouTube. Keep visiting this blog for updates. If you haven't heard the opening and closing theme songs of Kalam, play them below.
Don't forget to attend the Grand Premiere of Kalam at SM City Pampanga on the 27th of August. It's totally libri.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
August 27, 2008
SM City Pampanga
Me keni and make way for the 1st Kapampanganovela!
To the knowledge of most Filipinos, only Manila has the capability of producing teleseryes in the country, while all other dramas must have been produced by Koreans, Americans, Japanese, Mexicans, or Chinese.
But did you know that in other regions, Pinoy TV dramas are also being produced and are even employing the use of non-Tagalog languages like Cebuano? With the cultural fervor sweeping the regions, one could only be reminded that the Philippines—amidst the institutionalized belief that this archipelago only speaks Tagalog as its language while the rest are mere “dialects”—is, indeed, a diverse country, and that its diversity is bound to extend even to the field of TV dramas.
Take for example the Kapampangans, the latest Filipino ethnolinguistic group to enter the field of teleserye production. This August, which is considered the Language Month, a Kapampangan cable channel (Infomax-8) and a creative pool of Kapampangan youth (Kalalangan Kamaru) will be launching Kálam, the first ever Kapampanganovela—the term introduced to refer to kabalen-produced TV dramas—in Philippine broadcasting history.
Combining the Contemporary and Folklore
Like other Philippine regional communities, Kapampangans possess a rich and colorful collection of folklore. Apart from the usual laman labuad (“laman lupa” for the Tagalogs), Kapampangans have a diverse world of folk healers and sorcerers.
Aside from the popular mangkukulam and mambabarang, there is the magkukusim, who can project his soul from his body to bewitch people across distances; the katulunan, who can channel the spirits of various living creatures; the uple, illusion makers; the ustuang, powerful witches that can make their bodies explode and incinerate the surroundings, and many other strange, magical characters that continuously add color to our local culture, but are sadly being forgotten and replaced by foreign monsters like the Bogeyman, Big Foot, and the Loch Ness Monster.
However, in ‘Kálam’ (a Kapampangan word for “grace” or “gift”) instead of portraying these magical characters in their conventional barrio setting, they will be portrayed in the modern, urban world, dissolving the gap between science and superstition, technology and magic, and the traditional and the modern. Imagine mangkukulam, ustuang, and mangguguna (potion chemist and charms maker) living with us in the city as seemingly normal people who dress up like us, listen to the same songs we patronize, watch the latest concerts, keep Friendster accounts, occupy seats in the government, and occupy jobs in call centers and malls.
This is the universe of ‘Kálam,’ where contemporary drama meets folkloric fantasy.
More than a TV show
The producers stress that ‘Kálam’ is more than a TV show. It is also an advocacy project seeking to promote Kapampangan culture and language to the rest of the world while showcasing and enhancing the Kapampangan’s media-related skills. They dream of the day when various ethnolinguistic groups start exchanging teleseryes with one another instead of importing shows from abroad. Such cultural exchange through broadcast media will contribute to the long overdue realization of national unity for the Filipinos.
Starring an all-Kapampangan cast and written, produced, and directed by an all-Kapampangan staff and crew, ‘Kálam’ will air weeknights at Infomax-8 in Pampanga. For people outside Pampanga, keep visiting this blog for updates.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Although it may not look like it at first glance, the production of the first episode is a spark of light in Kapampangan history, as it marks the very first day that Kapampangans -- from actors to producers, from camera men to production designers, from production assistants to technical directors -- engaged in the production of a TV drama that is equally kukuli king panga-Kapampangan (Kapampangan from top to bottom).
The staff and crew may have found the amount of work required in telenovela production surprising and a bit harder than usual, but in the long run, Kapampangans will get the hang of it, until we are able to perfect the craft. Then, knowing Kapampangans, once they have gotten the hang of this field, they will continually excel in it and even exceed what other peoples already deem satisfactory.
Can't get what we mean? Just look at how Kapampangans express their standard of beauty on giant lanterns. It does appear over the top to non-Kapampangans, but to us? That's just how lanterns should be.
Panyatang King Salapungan (Arriving at a Fork Road), the first episode of the Kapampanganovela, will give the viewers an idea of who Yubs, the main protagonist, is -- his being a secret magkukulam in Nursing school and how he deals with the rumors surrounding him among his peers.
Yubs will also encounter for the first time the enigmatic Albina, the mysterious ukluban who opens Yubs' eyes about his special ability and makes known to him the world of people with kalam, or gift.
Catch the premiere of Kalam on the 27th of August! Keep visiting this blog for updates! Watch this news clip (care of I-max News) about the first taping day:
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
In this episode, the creative production group Kalalangan Kamaru (creative producer of Kalam) was guested to send the message to fellow Kapampangan youth that denial of ethnicity, especially through rejection or concealment of mother language, is the most uncool thing in this period.
If you don't speak Kapampangan, you'll find that the videos have no subtitles but you may still want to watch to take a partial look at how Kapampangan mass media is progressing.
At the end of the show, Kalam became the topic of conversation. See the set of audition VTRs in the fifth video.