Guimaras: Short films on the oil spill (WATCH IT THIS SUNDAY!)

October 7, 2006

IN an effort to inspire action to help heal Guimaras and its local communities, ABC Public Affairs in cooperation with Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of the Philippines launches Guimaras: Short Films on The Oil Spill, a special one-hour collection of short films about the largest oil spill in Philippine history, shot and directed by 16 of the country’s most reputable and critically acclaimed independent filmmakers. This ABC special airs on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 10 p.m.

“Much has been written and produced about the oil spill, but nothing quite like this. Each filmmaker presented his own artistic impression on the tragedy and the viewers will surely be moved and be left in awe,” says ABC Public Affairs Head Jim Libiran, who recently won a Palanca for his screenplay Tribu.

Shorts, ABC’s groundbreaking show which champions Pinoy Independent Cinema by showcasing indie short films, captures on film the whole process of production from Manila to Iloilo, and to Guimaras, producing a documentary within a documentary and stringing fact and fiction all together in one poignant episode.

The filmmakers are Eric de Guia a.k.a. Kidlat Tahimik and son Kidlat de Guia, Milo Paz, Emmanuel de la Cruz, Emmanuel Cogama, Jose Paolo Villaluna, Wilfred Allen Galila, Seymour Sanchez, Raya Martin, Khavn de la Cruz, Ann Shy, Victor Louie Villanueva, Andrew Rei Roxas Boquiren, Roxlee and Jan Phillip Carpio. Chits Jimenez, vice chairman of IFCP, helped organized the filmmakers.

Noble feat

Last Sept. 9, 16 independent filmmakers set out to Guimaras to shoot a 10-minute short film each on the oil spill that ravaged what used to be pristine waters and islands of the western Visayas. They spent four days in Guimaras, digital cameras in hand, and some reportedly stayed longer shouldering all expenses to finish their films. Guerrilla style, each filmmaker was then given one week to edit and finalize their films which will also be shown in full from Oct 13-15 at the Robinsons Galleria.

“The project aims not to put the directors in the limelight but to motivate each individual to do their share to help save Guimaras,” Shorts executive producer Bing Maano says.

From Iloilo where they are based, the filmmakers traveled 15-20 minutes via pump boat and a local transport called “pas pas” to the different islands of Guimaras. At daytime they spread out on different locations to shoot but at night, the filmmakers bonded in their shared experiences and common purpose.

The short films

One of the earliest to finish his work is acclaimed filmmaker and former UP Collegian editor in chief Seymour Sanchez. His film titled Pagbugtaw (Waking Up) tells the story of a city-bred man who remembered his father, a native of Guimaras, amid the prevalent water pollution, oil-driven US war against Iraq, series of oil price hikes, and the largest oil spill in Philippine history. He wakes up from his apathy and decides to take action for good.

Says Libiran on the breadth of films produced in the project, “Some are literal, some are social, others ironic. But most of them are the filmmakers’ personal interpretations of the tragedy. They see that the devastation brought by the oil spill reaches beyond the physical environment and pierces each Filipino’s consciousness and the nation as a whole.”


Jim also stresses that rehabilitation of Guimaras requires contributions from individuals and groups alike.

“It is one thing to invest in Indie cinema for the purpose of boosting the industry, or for profit. But projects for a cause like Shorts and Project Guimaras bring good Karma. It’s more than corporate social responsibility, it is individual social responsibility—us responding to our problem as a nation.”

He adds that Project Guimaras addresses the need to save the soul of the nation by cultivating healing of one Pinoy spirit at a time.

“Some people have the talent, and they should contribute. Some people have the means or money, and they also have to contribute to put all these together.” (Manila Standard Today, Oct. 7, 2006)



  1. The short films about Guimaras was supposed to be shown last September 30 pa (from inq7.net), not this Sunday, Oct. 8. Tsk tsk, I was looking forward to it pa naman. Can I still get copies of the indie films? Do they distribute it? I need it sana before Wednesday this week.

  2. Paola, this blog and other web sites on the oil spill had been announcing all throughout the weeks that the showing of the short films on Guimaras had been moved to Oct. 8. But I guess you missed the announcements. I suggest you call Ihna Figueroa of ABC 5 and see if you can ask for copies of the films. Sorry, I don’t have her number but the station’s trunkline will probably be in the Yellow Pages.


  3. i waited last night for it, but it was not shown…the program, “shall we dance” was scheduled at that timeslot. i looked at the tv guide in clickthecity.com and it said that “shorts” is aired every thursday so i suppose it was already shown last october 5. oh well, i’ll try to call ms. figueroa to ask if she can give me a copy of the films…well, thanks!

  4. The program was shown after the inane dance show of Lucy Torres. I and many others watched it. During amateur hour’s commercial gaps, announcements were made that the Guimaras shorts were going to be shown at 10:30 pm. Of course, ABC 5 was probably on Filipino time as the program actually played past 11 pm.

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