Some seekers of the proverbial greener pastures in the United States leave the country with the spirit of a warrior to virtually embrace white hegemony in exchange of the illusive American Dream however inconvenient and discomforting.
The other seekers do otherwise. They go on negotiating their Filipino identity in any subterfuge and positive way they can in a host country they will eventually discover is not exactly friendly or accommodating.
Caveat is referring to Dr. Mauro F. Tumbocon, who, back then was known more popularly among his coterie of artist-friends in the country simply as Mike Feria.
By profession, Mike Feria is a Doctor of Medicine graduate from the University of Santo Tomas.
A multidisciplinary arts critic, back then he used to write regular columns on arts and culture, lifestyle and entertainment in several Philippine broadsheets and magazines.
A former member of a group of committed art critics called Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP), Mike also put up the short-lived Kritika, an organization of art critics which he later renamed Young Critics Circle (YCC), an academe-based film critics with fresh ideas on multidisciplinary criticism.
Upon setting foot in the States in 1993, Mike organized the first-ever Filipino Arts and Cinema International (FACINE) based in California, USA which promotes Philippine arts and culture in diaspora.
Just recently FACINE held its 26th year edition’s full-length film competition in different categories.
The Outstanding Film (Gold Category) went to two full-length films, namely, “Jino To Mari,” co-produced by Solar Entertainment, Center Stage Productions and Beyond the Box; and “Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus” co-produced by Cine Filipino, Cignal Entertainment, Epic Media, Quiapo Collective, Monoxide Works, Unitel Straightshooters and IdeaFirst Company.
Two other competing films bagged the Silver Category, namely “Alimuom” co-produced by ToFarm Festival and KinoArts; and “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” co-produced by QCinema International Film Festival and Kamias Overground.
The Bronze Award went to “A Short History of A Few Bad Things” co-produced by Binisaya, ABS-CBN Films and Cinema One Originals.
Mike Feria recalled the strength and reputation earned by FACINE now owed its roots to the 1st Filipino-American Film and Video Festival called “Sine! Sine!” — organized in August 1993 as part of the first-ever Filipino-American Arts Exposition (FAAE) in San Francisco.
Held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room, the one-month exhibition of independent work showcased a total of some 60 short and feature-length films and videos from the Philippines, the United States and elsewhere.
This also included a set of nine Filipino feature film classics like Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala” and Eddie Romero’s “Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon.”
Mike added there were attempts from Filipino film artists to organize Filipino film festivals abroad but sadly these did not last as long as his FACINE that is now acknowledged the largest and most prestigious of its kind ever annually held in North America.
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GUESS WHO? The camp supporting the zooming career of the hottest star of the hour has realized they are being exploited by the think-tank of the other lesser camp whose recent film release featuring the rival hotter young star (HYS) was both dismal at the box-office and a critical flop as well.
Clue: Popularity of HYS is allegedly being pulled down by her uncooperative boyfriend.