My Filipino Movie Making Experience – Something I’d Like To Call FUN!

My Filipino Movie Making Experience and The Many Things I Learned From This

As we reach the midway point of this week, it is very satisfying to be finished with all the assessments and only have the Quarterly Tests to worry about. It was especially fulfilling to close the book to two of the more memorable assessments that I had in this year, my English Research Paper and our Filipino Movie.

Although Filipino isn’t considered part of the Big 3 Subjects (English, Math and Science), it has always been one of my favorite subjects and my forte ever since high school started. This year was no different and my Filipino Class experience this year was the most memorable one so far. From the start of the year when we tackled Noli Me Tangere, a must read classical, to the very last assessment, our Filipino Movie.

Poster of our movie, "Anong Gagawin Mo"

Poster of our movie, “Anong Gagawin Mo”

Making this Filipino Movie was such a surreal experience and was truly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in Junior Year. In the process of creating this movie, I learned so many different things and at the same time, I also got to know some of my classmates better. I am really thankful that the Filipino Department decided to give this project to us instead of having the mundane and routinely Quarterly Test that happens every year. They probably understood the fact that making a Filipino Movie would teach us so much more and would be a whole different learning experience compared to a test where we sit down for one hour and answer lackluster questions. If we had our Quarterly Tests, we would have probably taken the test then forget about everything we reviewed and what we just took, but with this Filipino Movie, we will most probably forever remember the experience of making this movie and everything we learned from it.

When I first heard about this project of ours from our Filipino Teacher, I was really excited and filled with exuberance especially since just recently I’ve become an avid fan of movies, and at the same time, I’ve always loved projects, especially major projects, where we need to apply several different skills and really put time and effort into it.

In creating a movie, one must first start with the formulation of a story and the writing of the script and sequence treatment. To be honest with you, this seems like an easy task, but it was actually very difficult and challenging to write an original story that would also fit all the guidelines that were given to us for this project. At the start, I really had no idea what my story was going to be, but as I dug deeper and looked around me, I came up with the basis of my story. I chose to base my story on a recent and unconventional experience of my friend.

Once I had the basis of my story, I had to add something that would make the story deeper and even more unique. As the days passed, different twists and ideas quickly came pouring into my head that I was able to put together my story and script. Looking back though, I think that I overdid it and my story turned out to be too complicated for a short film which ended up biting us in the back later on not only in creating the movie but also in the Film Festival, where we weren’t able to achieve our goal of first place, but then again, nobody’s perfect and life is about making mistakes and learning from them

The creation and filming of the movie was a whole different experience, where I was truly able to bond with classmates who I never really talked to throughout the school year. This is what I love about group works, where the you chose your group mates randomly. You’re forced to work with them and most of the time, you end up with at least one group mate who you never really talked to, but since you’re group mates, you are able to get to know each other better.

I’ll be frank with you, filming the movie was no cakewalk. We literally had to pour our blood, sweat, and tears during the four or five days we filmed. We offered two of our saturdays, one of our school holidays and several other breaks and hours in filming and editing this movie and trying to make it the best possible movie not for the grade but for what a Junior Year it has been and how we want to end the year with a bang. Because of this, we were sort of perfectionists and had to re-take different scenes several times, but seeing what we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time was truly awe-inspiring.

The only dismal and melancholic part was that we actually had to cut our film short because it was way above the time limit and our teacher told us that we would be disqualified if we didn’t. This was really painful because of the fact that we really worked hard in filming the parts and I really place a lot of thought in writing the story and making the script. To add insult to injury, during awarding ceremonies we didn’t place in the best movie category probably because the flow of our movie was not so smooth because first of all, we had to shorten it and cut some parts, and second, because of the already rigid time limit, we had no choice but make our ending an open ended one. Nonetheless, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if the judges didn’t choose our work, because deep down, I honestly know that if we were given a chance to show our full movie, it would have been the best, hands down.

Best Actor Award - I didn't win it, my GROUP did!

Best Actor Award – I didn’t win it, my GROUP did!

As a consolation, I was awarded best actor but it didn’t really feel so fulfilling, I actually felt quite dejected and apathetic especially after I found out our movie didn’t place in the top 3. I would have honestly preferred that our movie placed than me receiving an individual award. Nonetheless, I’m still grateful for this award and I’d really like to offer my award to all my group mates who made this Filipino Project a crazy, fun-filled, surreal and memorable experience like no other.

Group picture during one of many tiring but at the same time fun-filled filming days.

Group picture during one of many tiring but at the same time fun-filled filming days.

No matter what the results were, this movie making project will always be part of my favorite memories in my stay in Xavier. It ranks right up there with all the other memorable projects and experiences I’ve had. All the saturdays spent filming, all the sabaw moments, all the laugh trips in filming, all the lunches together with my group mates, all the retakes and bloopers, all the days staying after dismissal to work on this movie made this project something more than the grade, something bigger than school, something I’d like to call FUN!

To sum up everything I’ve learned from this experience and to sort of sum up this last academic week of Junior year, I’d like to quote a statement that I said during my English Oral Defense speech, “School is not just about the grades and the numbers; it’s a whole lot more than that! School is about learning. Learning not just facts, terms, names, equations, formulas, but learning VALUES and SKILLS that you can use in the future.” Projects like these really do give us students a chance to bring out our creativity and talents in ways that we could never fulfill inside a classroom.

To add to that statement, school is most importantly about the people we are able to meet and the FRIENDS we are able to make. This is something that I truly realized in making this project, the importance of working with others, getting to know people and building FRIENDSHIPS that lasts forever. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better way (assessment) to end my Filipino Junior Year experience.


PS. In writing this post, I’ve pondered upon what I would answer to our movie teaser, “Kapag lahat na lang ay nawawala sa iyo…..Anong Gagawin Mo?” or in English, “When you’re losing everything already……what will you do?” As I end this blog post, I think I’ve finally found the answer to that question, but then again, maybe I haven’t, but that’s why I live LIFE…….the DOitChoco way! 🙂


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