FILIPINO thespians Marife Necesito and Martin de los Santos join Gael Garcia Be rnal, the star of such acclaimed films as "Babel," "The Motorcycle Diaries," "Y tu Mama Tambien" and "Amores Perros," and Michelle Williams ("Brokeback Mounta in") in a movie being filmed in Subic and Morong. In the film titled "Mammoth," Marife plays the nanny of Gael and Michelleâs chi ld. The story involves Gael's character, a successful New Yorker, who decides t o radically alter his life while he is on vacation in Asia with his family. Mar ife Necesito's credits include a memorable performance in Lav Diaz's "Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino." Martin de los Santos was in the movie, "Mga Mata ni Anghelita." Other Pinoys working in the Philippine segment of the shoot are Oli Laperal Jr. , line producer; Awel Galang, production manager; Julie Ysla, casting manager; Criz Soriano and Elmer Santos, location managers; and Tess Marin, production co ordinator. "Mammoth" is the first English language film of Swedish director Lukas Moodysso n, who has several noteworthy films to his credit. Gael, who started acting in his native Mexico, has become an internationally recognized actor. Michelle, wh o split with her "Brokeback Mountain" co-star Heath Ledger this year, earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance in the film.
November 2007 Archives
WE sought the comments of two leading feminists, lawyer Katrina Legarda and Inq uirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David, on our recent post deploring the discrimina tory ads in the Philippine newspapersâ Classified Ads sections (âAge and sex discrimination in hiring policies in RPâ). Katrina wrote: âI have been asking senators and congressmen (since 1986 ha) why it is they have not outlawed this kind of gender and age discrimination. Answe r? No one has filed a billâ¦ OK ba? It's like divorce, and the difference betwe en adultery and concubinageâ¦ no one supports these issues when they get to the floor, then when victimized spouses come to see me, they ask why the law is so unfair against womenâ¦ they look at me blankly when I ask them where they were when I was trying to fight for them on these issues. They didn't know daw. Wel l, ignorance of the law excuses no one. "I choose my battles. Men and women who have been discriminated against should get their acts together. Hay naku.â Rina posted her reaction in her âAt Largeâ column: âBecause he asked for my tho ughts on the issue, and in light of Tuesdayâs column on a proposed âMagna Carta of Women,â Iâm discussing in this space something that the Inquirerâs âman in Hollywood,â Ruben Nepales, recently wrote about in his blog. Whenever he gets t o read the copies of this paper that are shipped to him by friends in Manila, s aid Nepales, he canât help but notice âads that reflect the discriminatory poli cies of some human resources departments in Philippine companies.â These person nel notices, he said, ânot only showed age and sex bias but also discrimination based on height, looks and marital status.â If such ads appeared in US papers, âdiscrimination lawsuits would immediately be filed against these employers.â "He then cites examples of copy in employment ads that typically appear in loca l papers, not just the Inquirer: âFemale, single, not more than 28 yrs; at leas t 5â1â -- this was a line from an employment ad for a telemarketer. Why this em ployer would discriminate based on height, among other things, is beyond me. Af ter all, a telemarketer is defined as a salesperson who uses the telephone to s olicit prospective customers to buy products or services. Are the telephones ha nging way up in the ceiling or the walls of this telemarketing office? "âSingle, not more than 25 years old, must be computer literate, good lookingâ ¦â -- from an ad searching for a female private secretary. Enough said. "âSingle, femaleâ¦â -- a couple of requirements for a preschool teacher. "An ad announcing vacancies for electrical engineer and mechanical engineers an d a sales representative demands that applicants must be âmale, not more than 3 0 years oldâ¦â but for an internal auditor, the applicant not only has to be fe male, she must be âsingle, not more than 27 years old.â "Comments Nepales: âI am appalled. Hello, itâs the 21st century. Canât women ap ply as electrical and mechanical engineers and men aspire to be internal audito rs in this company in the Philippines? And why the age restrictions? They are d eplorable requirements to begin with -- but to set different age requirements f or male and female job applicants? "âDiscrimination against job applicants based on sex, age, marital status, heig ht and looks, among other qualifications, should stop. If there is no law yet a gainst this type of discrimination, Philippine lawmakers should immediately ena ct one.â * * * "Well, Iâve got news for you, Ruben. There already is a law, known as the Shaha ni Law, that prohibits gender-based discrimination in the âhiring, training and promotionâ of employees. Once the âMagna Carta of Womenâ is passed, even broad er sanctions against discrimination will be in place. But I donât know if these laws apply as well to discrimination based on age, height, looks or âpersonali ty.â "The trouble is that with no enforcement or oversight agency designated, nobody it seems bothers to enforce the Shahani Law or complain about its routine viol ation. Letâs hope the Magna Carta, which is quite specific about the oversight agency (the proposed Commission on Women) and an ombud agency (the Commission o n Human Rights), fares better.â
EVERY now and then, I receive copies of the Inquirer from friends in Manila so I can see my column in print. I do see my column online but call me old-fashion ed (and obsessive) -- I still like to hold an actual print copy of PDI, with th e scent of ink and all. A few years ago, I received a complete set of a PDI issue, including the Classi fied Ads section named âJob Market.â I was surprised that in this day and age, many of the want ads blatantly showed the age and sex bias of the prospective e mployers. I hoped that this hiring discrimination based on sex and age would so on be a thing of the past in the Philippines. I recently received another package of PDI issues collected by a friend since M ay. When I browsed a copy of the Job Market, I still saw ads that reflect the d iscriminatory policies of some Human Resources departments in Philippine compan ies. These ads not only showed age and sex bias but also discrimination based o n height, looks and marital status. If these ads appeared in the US, discrimination lawsuits would immediately be f iled against these employers. But I see that even the Philippine franchise hold er of a popular US shoe brand practices sex and age discrimination, based on it s job ad for various positions: concessions manager (âfemale, 25-30 years oldâ ¦â), concession supervisor/coordinators (â21-28 years oldâ¦â) and accounting su pervisor (âfemale, 25-35 years oldâ¦â). The following are examples of the copy in employment ads that typically appear in Philippine newspapers, not just PDI: âFemale, single, not more than 28 yrs; at least 5â1â -- this was a line from an employment ad for a telemarketer. Why this employer would discriminate based o n height, among other things, is beyond me. After all, a telemarketer is define d as a salesperson who uses the telephone to solicit prospective customers to b uy products or services. Are the telephones hanging way up in the ceiling or th e walls of this telemarketing office? âSingle, not more than 25 years old, must be computer literate, good lookingâ¦ â -- from an ad searching for a female private secretary. Enough said. âSingle, femaleâ¦â -- a couple of requirements for a pre-school teacher. An ad announcing vacancies for electrical engineer and mechanical engineers and a sales representative demands that applicants must be âmale, not more than 30 years oldâ¦â but for an internal auditor, the applicant not only has to be fem ale; she must be âsingle, not more than 27 years old.â I am appalled. Hello, itâs the 21st century -- canât women apply as electrical and mechanical engineers and men aspire to be internal auditors in this company in the Philipp ines? And why the age restrictions? They are deplorable requirements to begin w ith -- but to set different age requirements for male and female job applicants ? Discrimination against job applicants based on sex, age, marital status, height and looks, among other qualifications, should stop. If there is no law yet aga inst this type of discrimination, Philippine lawmakers should immediately enact one.
MY recent two-part column about our interview with director Francis Coppola elicited a reaction from a reader , specifically on this quote from the filmmaker about making "Apocalypse Now," his landmark Vietnam War film in the Philippines: "I'm thrilled that we did all that in the Philippines. I'm grateful that we did nât lose lives because, as I think back, what we did was far more dangerous: We were up in helicopters flying around. The Filipino people were generous and wo rked so hard for us! We did that dangerous production with honor, so I'm gratef ul. Salamat po!" Rene Ontal, whose e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and who describes himself as a "writer and fi lmmaker" with a day job as a "media specialist for the City University of New Y ork," wrote: "Mr. Coppola evidently purged the deaths of several Ifugao extras from his consciousness. Playing Montagnard tribesmen, they were crushed to deat h when the Kurtz temple set collapsed during a typhoon. They went unlamented as well in 'Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse,' his wife Eleanor's doc umentary on the making of the film. "As 'apocalyptic' as the shoot was for the filmmaker, I suspect he wouldn't wan t to trade places with the communities affected by his film. Pagsanjan is home to a thriving child prostitution trade which some of his crew members are alleg ed to have engendered. Please see Greta Aiyu Niu's study below in Continuum, a media studies journal at UH (University of Hawaii): Easy_Money_in _Male_Prostitution__An_Imperialist_ Apocalypse_Now_in_the_Philippines.pdf "The Luzon villagers and townspeople were affected by the Philippine military's counterinsurgency campaign in the '70s; did Mr. Coppola consider the dismal an d well-publicized human rights record of the Philippine military before funding and maintaining its helicopters? "When Mr. Coppola proclaimed 'This (film) is not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam,' I doubt he had any idea how tragically accurate that statement was. As a film buff, I will always be enthralled by 'Apocalypse Now.' But as a Filipino-Americ an, the poisonous legacy his film left behind has always struck me as metaphor for the obliterated narratives, such as the Philippine-American War, which haun ts US-Philippine relations. "In the US film school of my dreams, a history of the film's creation would anc hor an ethics class on location shooting in the developing world. It should sta nd as an object lesson on how one Western filmmaker's artistic struggle trigger ed a literal, moral and still-reverberating apocalypse in his host country. I w ould be interested to hear if others have their own perspectives on the 'Apocal ypse' shoot."