(from left to right) Mike Escote of PIA, PPC SK Federation President Myka Mabelle Magbanua, and Friedrich Naumann Foundation Program Manager Danika Sarion during the Kapihan sa PIA on Wednesday
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A few full-length and short films from Cinemalaya 18 will be shown in Puerto Princesa on September 16 and 17 in an effort to raise awareness of the value of human rights among residents, especially young people.

Two full-length films and two short films from Cinemalaya will be shown in the city as part of a program called Cinemalaya x Freedom Mov_E, which is a collaboration between the SK Federation of Puerto Princesa, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF).

Myka Mabelle Magbanua, President of the SK Federation of Puerto Princesa, said Thursday in Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency) that the films will be screened for free, and that it is the first time she can recall that Cinemalaya films have been brought to the city. Workshops and talkback sessions will follow the film screening.

“The idea of having these films we brought in the province of Palawan is to really open ang films na ito to the public. That’s why we have two, one inside the school para school-based ang ating screening at inside the public area para sa general public na maka-access sa ating film screening,” Magbanua said.

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Baseball Player by Carlos Obispo and Bakit ‘Di Mo Sabihin by Real S. Florido are the feature-length films, while Dikit by Gabriela Serrano, Black Rainbow by Zig Dulay, and a FNF-produced mini-documentary Pounding the Rock: The Legacy of CHR Chairman Chito Gascon are the short films.

The Baseball Player was named Best Full-Length Film, Best Editing, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor. The short film The Black Rainbow won Best Screenplay.

According to FNF Project Manager Danika Sarison, they aim to employ motion pictures as an effective medium to reach out to the public and highlight the importance of human rights.

“This project is really using visual storytelling to bring human rights and issues in the big screen. So we have to be creative kasi. Human rights has been contentious topic and we have to be creative on how we engage people and promote human rights awareness sa Pilipinas, especially amongst the youth,” she said.

The films will focus on stories of youth, women, people with disabilities (PWD), and children from various genres. The films shown during the two-day screening are guaranteed to be appropriate for youths of all ages.

“It is more on encouraging the youth to reflect with their values and privileges natin,” Sarison said.

Magbanua and Sarison both stressed that the discussion of human rights must not be perceived as politically associated or rebellious against the government. They are hoping that the movies may break stereotypes and help locals see the importance of appreciating human rights.

“Dapat napag-uusapan natin siya in a mainstream at dapat pinag-uusapan natin siya. Dahil lahat tayo ay may karapatang pantao at karapatan na ‘yan ay vested sa atin ng konstitusyon– Importante na alam ng bawat Pilipino ang kani-kanilang karapatan. Iyong streotype na kapag pinag-usapan natin ‘yan ay pinag-uusapan natin politika agad, gusto natin maalis ‘yon,” Magbanua explained.

Sarison pointed out that human rights are for all and not just for those who are rich. The realization of human rights will help to boost self-confidence.

“It’s really focusing on the individual na ma-maximize niya ‘yong potentials niya, alam niya ‘yong karapatan niya at alam niya na may avenues for him or her to pursue his or her aspirations,” she added.

The movies will be screened for free at Palawan National School on September 16 (Friday) and at NCCC Mall Convention Center on September 17 (Saturday) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.