Art

Hindi Kita Malimot [I Can't Forget You] (Trio Cover)

HINDI KITA MALIMOT (I CAN'T FORGET YOU)

by Josefino Cenizal

Arranged for two voices by Alfredo S. Buenaventura

Violin/Guitar: Phil Delrosario (@phildelrosario)

It's been a little over three years since I last made a classic Filipino love song cover, so I'm happy to share another one with the world. :)

I adore the sound and lyricism of this and many songs written in this period of Philippine music. The minor intros melting into major soaring tunes, the danza beats swaying and pulsing between beautiful lines of poetry. Ostensibly presenting as courtship or serenading songs to be sung for or with potential lovers, they also seem to speak to an unshakable love of country -- a land whose well-being and existence has been challenged and threatened for centuries. If I had been living in my grandparents' or great-grandparents' time, I would surely be wandering the provincial roads helping suitors serenade their romantic interests, or perhaps serenading my own.

It was fun making my own serenade squad and using a bit of cinema magic to make it all happen. Recently, I've been inspired by the cinematography of Lav Diaz and Alfonso Cuarón with their long takes replete with simple, yet textured staging.

Dedicated to the communities I love, my fam, and future partner. Happy Valentines' ;)

More from my Filipino Cover series:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF_hFXbYS-q9M2ISGFcFhzizYwRuq6fDF


Tagalog Lyrics:

Sa pangarap ko lamang, lagi kang nakikita

Dahil sa nawawalay, ka sa akin sinta.

Ako'y dumadalangin, lalo na kay Bathala

upang huag kang lumimot, mahala kita.


Hindi kita malimot, ala-ala kita.

Hindi kita malimot, minamahal kita.

Isinusumpa ko, sa yong kagandahan,

na ikaw lamang, ang tangi kong paraluman.

Hindi kita malimot, huwag kang manimdiman.

Hindi kita malimot, manalig ka sinta

At kung ikaw man ay lumimot

iyong alalahanin, mahal pa rin kita.

English Lyrics:

Only in my dreams do I see you,

since you've been away from me, my love.

I pray, especially to Bathala,

that you'll never forget me, because I love you so.

I can't forget you, you're always on my mind.

I will never forget you, for you are my love.

I swear, my enchantress, that you alone are my muse.

I'll never forget you, don't ever doubt.

I will never forget, trust me my love.

But if somehow you do forget your memories: I will still love you.

inspired to create

Don’t wait for others to shine a light on you, just be your own damn light.

As an M1, I’ve often been a fly-on-the-wall photographer, snapping candid shots at events, parties, gatherings, and outings. I find this kind of documentation enjoyable; there’s an intrinsic joy to capturing spontaneous moments and collective memories. But when the bulk of my output are candids, I start to feel my creative edge dull; like I’m always capturing, but never creating; like I’m warming up my voice but never speaking up; like practicing to play a concerto but never performing.

Thankfully, this photoshoot and recent narrative medicine related writing and projects have re-energized my fire and got me excited to continue creating.

To be honest, medical school can be an isolating, devaluing place for an artist like me. I experience such joy from conversations exploring the spectrum of our human experience and condition through cinematography, prose, and photography. And specifically, how these forms can be used to uplift, educate, and advocate for folks who are seldom heard or acknowledged. However, the opportunities, spaces, interest, and friends to do that in and with are preciously rare.

But that’s a topic for another time.

All I really wanted to say is that this shoot reminded me that when I make space and time to truly speak with my craft, not only do I have a voice, I have a damn strong one. And I’m damn excited to connect and ally it with the issues and communities I struggle and fight for.

Side note: DM me if you’re interested in a photoshoot or want some professional (not artsy) headshots!

Check out some more of the photos from the shoot to the right. This session focused on light, and the many ways it falls upon a human form. We both wanted to experiment and see what works! Fun fact, this was both our first time doing studio portraits.

Photoshoot w/ Lisa Zhai

Shoplifters/Roma (Reviews)

I’m going to start posting my reviews here! Find more of them on my Letterboxd, which you should sign up for if you’re any kind of film lover.


Shoplifters

"All children need their mothers"
"That's something that mothers would say."

Quiet, kind, and warm, Shoplifters follows a group of individuals sharing a home, with many of them using shoplifting as a main supplement to their livelihoods. The film feels like a spiritual cousin to the Florida Project, offering a slice of life of a family living on the fringes of society. Yet where Florida Project is about poverty and the dichotomy of the worlds of children and adults, Shoplifters is about love and celebrating who we choose to be our family. A rare film that wonderfully renders an honest depiction of poverty without stooping to pity. In many ways, the shoplifter 'family' demonstrates more compassion, love, and grace than the rule abiding society that surrounds them. Like some of Kore-eda's other films, Shoplifters is warm until it isn't, and the crushing sterility of reality makes my heart ache.


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Roma

I'm warm, and I'm in love.

Cuaron's staging is top of class. He creates incredibly orchestrated dances between his subjects and camera. I can't comprehend how he gets his shots to be so damn organic, despite prominent 180 degree camera moves that move so delicately and precisely, never pushing or lagging behind the action. In parts, his film reminds me of Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz, who often shoots in long-take black and white wides and mediums, compositions replete with static and moving elements that combine in ways that look simultaneously spontaneous and crafted. Mexico City and its environs are rendered with such care and energy.

Technical craft aside, the women are the true heart of the film. Cleo and Sofia both shine as humans who strive to hold their families together despite the mess and trauma dealt by life and the men around them. Cuaron paints loving portraits of his characters without rendering them subjects of pity, but rather as pillars of resilience.

1 Second Everyday: 2017

cw: mental health, ideation
---
金継ぎ/"kintsugi"

This year was my most challenging one. For months, I descended almost irretrievably into a dark spiral of depression. There were times in which I questioned my own humanity, convinced I was some horrid creature merely masking as human. Paranoia attacked my sanity and safety, even in the brightest of days and in the company of friends. And in my deepest spirals, I contemplated whether the next day was worth living.

But I'm here. And there have been triumphs. This year, for the first time, I printed personal photography prints for a benefit auction, and raised over $200. I have the beginnings of an original musical. I've collaborated even more in film and photography. I finished a masters in Community Health and started studying medicine, pursuing a program in Narrative Medicine. I've seen more of the world, including the Galapagos and Cuba, inspiring me even more to fight against imperialism, colonialism, and rampant capitalism in all its forms. I've met new colleagues and friends who inspire me tremendously. I've laughed more than I can remember. I've discovered the amazingness of a show that is Terrace House. I've picked up painting and sketching. I have grown.

I stand today, still here, with an eternal, unquenchable gratitude for the people to who, through no small effort, I owe my life. Many of those know who they are and have already been thanked. I will carry a bit of them with me, always. But at the end of 2017, I cannot help but, thank the many masses of you who, knowingly or not, are also reasons I am here today, whether it was through dancing, coffee chats, social media interactions, or a simple, smiling hello.

Part of doing 1SE's for five years (compilation pending) is the sobering recognition that our days, despite our careful curation of our public selves, are filled with both the mundane and interesting, the exuberant and the sorrowful. Even when life sucks, those days exist, and I still film them. This realization grinds against our societal conditioning to always 'have our shit together,' but in a way, it is also liberating. The candid acknowledgement, even appreciation, of the spectrum of experience is, after all, what makes us human.

I have found that healing is not always short, nor is it linear. At times, our healing may even injure others. It often resembles that Japanese game show where contestants race up a staircase greased with soap. We're in such a rush to get 'better,' that we lose our footing and slip back down to the bottom. Even if we take our time, we can still fall flat on our faces and slide back into the darkness, dragging others with us. But we can, and will reach the top, one aching step at a time.

Reach out in times of struggle, collective healing is powerful. There are psychiatrists, social workers, mentors, professors, friends, even strangers. Despite the crushing isolation that one might feel, there are always those who will help, even when it is most difficult to do so.
-- those are also the ones, I've learned, that you should hold on to dearly. For those are a rare breed of friend that are irreplaceable in this world.

I originally set out to write more to accompany this video, but I've decided to reserve those thoughts for another time. In any case, my thoughts invariably distilled themselves into the same, simple thoughts:

Be kind to those around you. Listen - critically, but always compassionately. Apologize, then change. Acknowledge anger, but forgive generously. Accept, then let go. Recognize imperfection, but strive for improvement. It is okay to be broken. It is okay to cry.

Thank you to all who have been a part of my 2017.

I move forward, driven even more passionately to educate myself, dismantle oppressive systems, alleviate suffering, serve the people, tell great stories, and to build communities of love, creativity, and healing.

I live on, a bit more broken, 
but ever more loving, ever more kind, 
ever more human.

Hello 2018.

Photography Challenge Week 5: Ten Shots

Photography Challenge Week 5: Ten Shots

The Philadelphia Magic Gardens is indeed a magical, chimera of a location. Nestled in a tiny lot in the Philadelphia, the garden is a remarkable feat of public art, filled with debris, art, and other knick knacks combined together in what I can only describe as a 3D-mosaic playground. It was a joy to wander in this space with my friend, Nikita, who graciously let me fit this week's challenge into our city explorations as a subject for my 10 shots.

Photography Challenge Week 4: Mirror

Prompt (Story): Tell a story using a mirror.

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I imagined this mirror as a 'looking glass' into the past. For me, the photo evokes the memories of once great river rushing through a now water-less hill.

Technically speaking, I shot this by putting a waterfall behind my back and using the mirror to create the illusion that the water is in front of me.


Learn more about the Dogwood Challenge and my progress completing it.

 

 

Photography Challenge Weeks 1-3: Rule of Thirds, SOOC, Land

Week 1 Prompt (Story): The rule of thirds is the first compositional rule most photographers learn; but most don't know why they learn it. The rule of thirds is amazing for telling a story. Tell a story using rule of thirds.

Horizontally, I've broken the rule of thirds, and instead created thirds with the sea, land, and sky to create equal weight between them, suggesting that nature is in balance. Vertically, the shelter is on the guide line but the man is walking away from the guideline, suggesting that he's on a journey, which, results from a step away from balance, or the status quo.


Week 2 Prompt (Technical): Straight out of the Camera. No Photoshop. Shoot a compelling image and post it without edits. No cheating! (Be sure and save the image file for the end of the challenge!)

Lighting and color theory are aspects of filmmaking that I've largely underrated and am still trying to master. In most of my work, I've relied on post-production to create the look that I need, but it's often time-consuming, and ultimately, can't make up for poor direction. One of the struggles I had starting out in film is that I kept asking myself, "what else do I need to start making great visuals? What lens, what camera, what dolly, what slider, what else, what more?" The trap, of course, is that I ended up making nothing - and paying a lot. In this week's photo, I took some time to give some love to basic lighting techniques: separation of subject and background, key light, fill light, rim light, color. If I couldn't "fix it in post," then the challenge was being intentional enough to get it right in-camera. 

In creating this image, I've found that the path to visual storytelling just requires a bit more confidence in the creativity that already exists in my brain (it's also free). Also self-portraits are hard.


Week 3 Prompt (Artistic): Your inspiration this week is land. This could be a landscape, or an image inspired by the land in some way.

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I'm late. The week this was due was so tough, that I'm resorting to going back into the catalogues to find a picture inspired by land. So here's a picture of me simba-ing a piece of ice in triumph of still being here, alive and hustling.