MAC: Mines and Communities

2 docu films tell of Mindoro fight for environment

Published by MAC on 2006-08-21

2 docu films tell of Mindoro fight for environment

Philippine Daily Inquier -

21st August 2006

CITY OF CALAPAN -- People residing in and outside Oriental Mindoro province will find two documentary films about the island a source of pride, belongingness and inspiration, according to its supporters and viewers.

One of the films, “Wailing of Paradise,” is a production about the care of the environment, culture and life of Mindoreños.

Directed by Fr. Romeo Villavicencio of the Communication for Evangelization and Development Center of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan and written by Fr. Edu Gariguez of the Alyansa Laban sa Mina (Alamin), “Wailing in Paradise” shows the strong opposition of the Mindoreños against mining activities by Crew Minerals and their united campaign in the face of the national government’s insistence to allow mining in the province.

The second film, “Sa Dulo ng Paraiso,” shows the richness and beauty of Bulalacao, one of the poorest towns of Oriental Mindoro.

Located in the southernmost tip of the province, Bulalacao is considered a paradise by its inhabitants.

Also directed by Villavicencio, it has three segments. One is on the remains of an old church recently discovered by archeologists, written by Sharon Isla.

Another is on the traditional farm practices of farmers, written by Jon Sarmiento, and the third is on the Hanunuo Mangyan, written by Donna Virola.

The films were shown on the opening day of the Moonrise Film Festival 2006, a festival of environment films, which ran on Aug. 19-20 at the Gateway Mall Cineplex in Cubao, Quezon City.

Villavicencio noted the huge turnout, mostly by those who came from Mindoro who learned about the film showing through text messages.

“Our hope is that they would go back to Mindoro and help in the development of Bulalacao, for example,” Villavicencio said.

“Wailing in Paradise” was shown at the first Moonrise Film Festival last year, where it was given a citation for mining.

Bulalacao Mayor Neil Villas called on Mindoreños to remain vigilant and strong in their advocacy against mining and pledged the strong commitment of the League of Mayors to fight mining in the province.

“Please help us also develop the municipality of Bulalacao, which is still a fourth class municipality. It is a hidden treasure that is no longer hidden,” said Villas.

In a short program that followed the film showing, Gariguez reminded the audience that the paradise being alluded to in the films was in real danger because of the mining threat.

He claimed that despite the strong opposition of the Mindoreños, Crew Minerals still insisted on entering the province.

“Just a few months before the last presidential election, it was again granted a mineral production and sharing agreement,” said Gariguez. Marciano T. Virola Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon

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