IN FOCUS: Sampaguita,Mayohan, and The Leaving

By Francis Xavier Pasion
The New Breed Category: Finalist, Full Length Feature


SAMPAGUITA NATIONAL FLOWER is a film that chronicles the journey of the sampaguita flower from the time the buds are plucked in the province to the time they are sold in the city. The story is told by the children who are involved in the different stages of the journey.

By Dan Villegas and Paul Sta. Ana
The New Breed Category: Finalist, Full Length Feature


May is the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Christ.  In Infanta, Quezon, locals turn each of the 31 days of May into a charming honor not only to celebrate good harvest in their agricultural setting, but also to pay tribute to the virginal virtues of the Mayohan.  Every month of May, a padasal or series of novenas commences to mark the beginning of Mayohan.  This will culminate in a Pasayaw or Tapusan in every purok of each barangay.  A system of ambagan or donation ensues for the festivities to take place.  In the hopes of keeping a tradition alive, the elders support its continued celebration; through the years, however, decadence has long taken over the Tapusan.  Proud  beauty queens, town officials, curious participants and passersby, intoxicated men with carnal needs all play roles in the midst of a spiritual undertaking.  Some have unwittingly tarnished the event’s reputation and essence.  Underlying values and tokens are lost in the turning over of tradition.

Amidst the festivities, a 15-year old young outsider becomes the focal point in  the preparation that the Pasayaw entails.  As this grieving young man comes of age and deals with the recent loss of both parents,  his attention shifts to Lilibeth, a 19-year old provincial lass, the elected presidenta of the pasayaw’s pamunuan, who, herself gets lost in the hoopla and hullabaloo that transpire before May ends. As the event underscores gender lines, generation differences, and class issues, they become entangled in an unlikely partnership,  in their own search for growth and acceptance.

The Leaving
By Ian-Dean S. Loreños
The New Breed Category: Finalist, Full Length Feature


There is always a constant transcience in this world. This is the premise of “THE LEAVING (離別)”, sets in a neo-Chinatown in Manila where the “Tsinoys” (Filipino-Chinese) struggle with the diminishing of their morals and culture. We follow three intertwining stories (MARTIN, The LOVERS, WIFE) that leave elements on the other stories such that they are all connected.

MARTIN is living independently when he suddenly got laid off from his job, he’s  now caught up in a situation of uncertainty. MARTIN later decides to leave the country and work abroad.  He tries to visit the places as he collects memories of his past to find answers.   But the sudden strange encounters during the CHINESE HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL(中元節) gives him something more than what he’s asking for.

A TSINOY businessman, WILLIAM is already married but finds his happiness with JOAN, a charming, nomadic bachelorette office worker. But the uncertainty in their relationship causes JOAN to decide to leave the country to start a new life on her own. But as JOAN is about to leave, her departure is halted and results in an unexpected event.

A typical conservative Filipina-Chinese housewife, GRACE moves in the apartment building with her husband in same building where MARTIN lives. Neglected and unappreciated, GRACE finds comfort through his neighbor MARTIN but their relationship is fenced by their present circumstances. GRACE finds out her husband is cheating on her…then a sudden haunting later on unravels a horrifying secret.

All beings exist to find permanence in this world. But it seems to be the most grounded are the ones do not really exist at all…

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