“Harana” at CAAMFest

The line to get in stretched all the way around the building.

Too bad The Man feigned illness at the last minute.

Berkeley is not the Berkeley that scared her so much when she was young.

Florante is so lucky:  he got to be the focus of a five-star movie.

Self discovered that one of the movie’s executive producers was an ex-Assumption yearmate:  IQ (Really!  That really IS her name!) de Vera.

“Anak” was in this movie.  Sung by schoolchildren.

Self feels she should explain:  It was the 1970s.  And Mike Hanopol and Sampaguita and Freddie Aguilar were just starting out.  She doesn’t think “Anak” was strictly harana, but one of the best scenes of the movie was that scene with the schoolchildren.

This was the first time self got a full translation of the lyrics to “Anak.”  Thank God for subtitles.

Self, you are lucky.  You are lucky because:  a) You made it to Berkeley and found parking right across the street (One of the few times you were in Berkeley, you attempted to park in this same public garage, hit a bicyclist, went on to visit the class whose professor was teaching you, and then after going home, began the story “Bad Thing.” You still remember the name of the professor:  Sau Ling Wong.  There was another writer visiting the class that day:  Fae Myenne Ng, the author of Bone.  Fae nominated you for a Pushcart that year, your first nomination.)  b) You were still in Manila and remembered exactly when you first heard “Anak” on the radio.  You didn’t know it at the time, but that was the start of the song’s long life as a Filipino classic.  Even though Freddie Aguilar never made another song worth remembering, you will always be grateful to him for “Anak.” c) You saw the Bay Bridge all decked out in lights.  With one hand on the steering wheel, another on your camera’s shutter release, you were able to fire off two (extremely blurry) shots.

Bay Bridge, at 60 mph

Bay Bridge, at 60 mph

Tomorrow she watches Lisa Yuchengco’s documentary on the late Marilou Diaz Abaya.  The woman sitting next to self at the screening for “Harana” (who was not Filipino) said she had caught the previous day’s screening.  Self asked her what she thought of it, and she said she found it very interesting because the technique was almost straight interview.  Wow, fascinating!  Self can hardly wait to see it.

At the “Harana” screening, she saw:  a) Manny Yulo; b) IQ, her aforementioned Assumption classmate; c) Rashaan (who is off to Hawthornden this June —  Aaaach, jealousy burns, jealousy burns)

The cinematography was by Peggy Peralta.  Self would have said something to Ms. Peralta, but was totally intimidated because she looked like a saucy Japanese schoolgirl, in her mod attire and hat.  Self is blanking out:  only a few seconds ago, she had a name for this hat.  Now, all she can think of is:  It’s the hat worn by Dick Tracy.  Ah!  That’s it:  the hat is called a fedora.

Wow, The Harana Kings.  The closing credits said they played at the Hollywood Bowl to an audience of 13,000.

There was someone who kept up an almost continuous sniffling (weeping?) from one of the rows just behind self.  Well, this movie certainly erases the bad taste left in her mouth by “Corazon, Ang Unang Aswang.”

P.S.  Yosef Halper, owner of Halper’s Books in Tel Aviv, told her that he knows Mike Hanopol.  Of all things, Mike Hanopol now lives in Tel Aviv!

More P.S.  Michael Dadap, classical guitarist, who self knew long ago in her New York period, was in this movie, performing with The Harana Kings in the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Five Stars.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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