Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad: A Filmmaker's Tribute to Davao City's Resilience #MMFF2016 #ShortFilmEntry #RoxasNightMarketBombing #GawangDabawenyo

I was privileged to watch the special screening of, "Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad" ( Stars in the City)  - one of the Official Selection for SHORT FILM of Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 and to meet in person the film writer, director and producer of the movie, Mr. Jarell Mahinay Serencio.

Mr. Jarell Serencio is a DABAWENYO, a graduate of Holy Cross of Davao College and a former head researcher of ABS CBN's "Maalaala Mo Kaya." Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad is his second short film in a festival. His first was VICTOR (a short story of a native in San Fernando, Pampanga, religiously offers himself to be crucified (literally nailed) every Holy Week and won as the Best Film in Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival in 2012 at Cultural Center of the Philippines.

It's my first time to watch a short movie, it is shown for only 5 minutes and honestly I was a bit of curious on what's next.

Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad

Staying true to the story in something as brief as 5 minutes is extremely difficult. And I congrats Mr. Serencio and his staff to finished the film and it's perfect calling card!

MGA BITOON SA SIYUDAD (Stars in the City), a short film depicting the life of two boys, Mac-Mac and Oliver during the Roxas Night Market Bombing. A tribute to those people who just wanted to survive day-to-day but have now become victims of terror attacks. A tribute to their families who were left behind.

A personal touching story on love, family and friends. It may sounds problematic to some, but beyond that, this movie possesses a captivating charm of the two boys that makes it entertaining to watch. 

As we celebrate Christmas this year - 2016 - we need to be thankful for all the blessings that many of us still have and continue to enjoy: having our family especially our kids, nieces and nephews to receive our gifts of love and generosity.

Christmas reminds us how precious our children are because this is also the time when the child Jesus Christ was born. 

Therefore, it is but fitting to remember that not all families are in a celebratory mood this time of the year. Just a few short months ago, Davao City's famous Roxas Night Market was rocked by a bombing that left 15 people dead and many more injured. 

Below is Davao Fillmmaker Jarell Serencio's statement on why he made a film about this sad incident:

       "As a human being I feel so much pain for all the innocent victims of all the terrorist attacks around the world most especially to all children who died and suffered from trauma. Countless families lost a loved one, mother who lost a child, a child who lost a parent and brothers who lost a brother. I can empathize with their loss and suffering as I myself lost my Dad recently due to a prolonged illness.  
       So, when it happened here in my beloved hometown, Davao City, I could not contain the terrible emotion I felt on that day after hearing the news about the Roxas Night Market bombing. I feel that I should do something to contribute in condemning terrorism. As a filmmaker, I was inspired to tell the story of innocent victims that focuses on the lives of kids serenading the people in Roxas Night Market.
       This act of terrorism in my city has never shaken the faith of Davaoenos to stand again and go on with their lives. We remain strong and optimistic amidst the continuing threat to the city. That alone is something I can be proud of as a Davaoeno.
        To my fellow Davaoenos, I urge all of us to stand strong as a community, let us remain vigilant and steadfast in helping one another especially during times of tragedies.  We need to move forward but we need not forget the people whose lives and life stories have been cut short prematurely."

Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad is going to be shown together with ORO, a full length film directed by Alvin Yapan and starring Joem Bascon, Irma Adlawan and Mercedes Cabral.

There are officially 8 shorts and 8 full length films at this year's Metro Manila Film Festival which are in cinemas starting DEC 25, 2016 to January 3, 2017.

Here is a sneak peek of the film.

Dabawenyos let's support our very own Davao Film Makers!!!