More Baler Movie Links

from by Rito Asilo:

Alas, noble intentions don’t a great film make. Meily’s latest production isn’t the seamless movie it’s touted to be—though the filmmaker’s valiant effort to tell the Baler siege’s unique story deserves moviegoers’ support.

After all, the public needs to realize there’s more to the annual “family-oriented” film festival than loud and livid rib-ticklers and freaky monsters that continually get resurrected in various shapes and sizes year after year—after year.

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from clickthecity – Epic Fail by Philbert Ortiz Dy

Baler is a tremendous disappointment for me. It’s almost inconceivable that a cast like that combined with director Mark Meily and a proper budget could produce such a subpar picture, but there you go. In the end, the money couldn’t make this horrible script any better, giving us a picture that looks good, but just sounds and feels terrible. The ambition is admirable, but the final product is decidedly less so.

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Continue reading More Baler Movie Links

Sasaran International Art Workshop

an invitation from our kababayan Jeho Bitancor:

Soka Gakkai Malaysia, Sasaran Arts Association Ad. Hoc
& Gerakan Belia Bersatu Malaysia Cawangan Sasaran
cordially invite you to the exhibition of


featuring the works of contemporary artists from the Philippines;
Jeho Bitancor
Norman Dreo
Salvador “Buddy” Ching
Dennis Gonzales
& Noel Pama

exhibition runs until 28 December, 2008
11am to 6pm daily

Soka Gakkai Malaysia

Wisma Kebudayaan SGM
243 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2141 2003




'Baler’ wins big in 2008 MMFF awards


A period film that depicts the last stand of Spanish forces amid the fall of colonization by the end of the 19th century bagged the most number of creative, acting and technical awards in the Metro Manila Film Festival awards night on Saturday.

Viva Films’ “Baler,” which aims to retell a contentious event of the Philippine revolution that happened in the church of San Luis de Tolosa in Baler, Aurora from July 1998 to June 1899, won ten awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Anne Curtis, Best Director for Mark Meily, Best Screenplay for Roy Iglesias, Best Supporting Actor for Phillip Salvador, Best Cinematography for Lee Meily, Best Production Design for Aped Santos, Best Editing for Danny Anonuevo, the Gender-Sensitive Award and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award.

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Aurora News

Some Aurora-related news from different websites:

Army denies Infanta church statement – from by tonette Orejas:

The military in Aurora has described its relations with priests in the province as “vibrant and intimate.”

The Army’s 48th Infantry Battalion said this in a statement to deny the report of the Prelature of Infanta that the military’s counterinsurgency campaign has sown fear among the residents and discredited the Catholic Church and its clergy there.

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CL top cop eyes probe of Aurora police director – from Philippine Star by Manny Galvez (December 7):

The regional director of the Philippine National Police in Central Luzon has vowed to look into the allegations of arrogance and incompetence against the controversial provincial police director in the province.

Chief Superintendent Leon Nilo de la Cruz said that he would look into the controversy involving Senior Superintendent Romeo Teope amid claims he was ignoring established laws and was helpless in the campaign against the illegal numbers game in the province.

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CHR asked to order army camp closure – from December 23:

The Commission on Human Rights here has concluded the collation of reports and conduct of dialogues on the requests of the Multi-Sectoral Action Group of Aurora (MSAG) to help order the closure of an Army camp in Baler and the pullout of troops in Dipaculao following alleged human rights violations by soldiers.

CHR Central Luzon director Jasmin Regino said her office was expected to submit its findings and recommendations to CHR Chair Leila de Lima by early January 2009.

Read the Complete news

DENR to dispatch legal team to stop illegal logging in Aurora – from

A combined team of legal and law enforcement agents will be dispatched by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Aurora province to check on reports of fresh illegal logging activities in Dingalan town.

The order came after Environment Secretary Lito Atienza learned of the illegal logging activities in the said town through “independent sources in the area.”

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Aurora rated X again by MTRCB – from This is not really about Aurora the Province. I was just surprised that asides from Baler the movie there is also an Aurora, the movie.

Government abolishing three DENR offices in Region 3 – from Philippine Star by Manny Galvez (December 23)

A controversial rationalization plan of the national government seeking to streamline government agencies through mergers, abolitions and downsizing of personnel and employees will result in the abolition of three community offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Luzon.

Regidor de Leon, DENR regional executive director for Central Luzon told The STAR that the community environment and natural resources offices or CENROs in Talavera, Nueva Ecija; Baler in Aurora; and Cabanggan in Zambales, will be abolished under the Rationalization Plan for the DENR in line with EO 366 issued by President Arroyo.

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Baler – Now Showing

Baler - Viva Films

Baler, the movie is showing today in the theaters near you. In case of Baler (or Aurora), the nearest theater would be in Cabanatuan due to the absence of any “sinehan” in town. I heard that there were hundreds of free tickets with free bus rides given to Balerenos (I was told that this is the right term for locals of Baler) so that they can watch the movie in Manila or any other places with movie houses. I wonder how those tickets looked like.

The reviews of the movie are coming in:

Commendable Film by Mario Bautista (Journal Online)

BALER, MMFF ’08 BEST PICTURE? by Joey  Aquino (Journal Online)

from Philippine Entertainment Portal – Watching Viva Films’ Baler is like watching a majestic eagle fly with huge stones attached to its feet—the eagle’s innate grace and splendor are dragged down by the unnecessary baggage. (by Israel David)


What I like to read is a review of the film by a Balereno. So if you’re a genuine Akaw and have seen the movie, send us your thoughts via the comments or email me at [email protected]