Liwasan ng Bayan : A Documentary about Plaza Miranda
Seven years ago around this time, armed with the energy and idealism of a graduating fine arts student from the University of the Philippines, I made a thesis and documentary about Plaza Miranda, the historical square in front of Quiapo Church in Manila. It was first shown at Podium in Ortigas, where our batch had our thesis exhibit.
I found it recently upon looking through files in my old laptop, and while I now cringe a little bit with all the amateurish things I did while making this film (bad sound quality, terrible grading, among others), I am still quite fulfilled to have done this, mostly because of all the things I learned from the people I spoke to — Conrado de Quiros, Jovito Salonga, Carlos Celdran, Pete Lacaba, Butch Zialcita, Norma Alarcon, Ate Carmen, Aling Rosa and Kristong Hari.
In a way, I also feel a bit nostalgic of the determination my twenty-one year old self had while making this, heading to Quiapo almost every weekend to shoot (at one point, my dad said I was graduating as Bachelor in Quiapo), turning all the networks in Manila upside down for footage, and climbing over dilapidated platforms to capture the Nazareno coming out of the church on January 9. I pray that one day, I’ll find the same drive again, to create something that could be potentially interesting or useful for others, especially those in the academe.
And so, while this film is far from perfect, allow me to share it with you, in case you’d like to take a fifteen minute break to watch a bit of Quiapo today. I hope it’ll be as enjoyable for you to watch as it was for me to make.
Best Thesis, UPCFA 2005
Finalist for Best Editing, Moonrise Film Festival 2005