I first read about Liliosa Hilao a couple of years ago. I cannot really remember how did I actually stumble upon her story then. I was in Tokyo, I was binge-reading the colourful history of Philippines on Wikipedia, and like a labyrinth, it led me to unexpected places, namely the sad story of Liliosa Hilao. The atrocities that happened to her during Martial Law were painful to read, and after I was done, I remained haunted by it.
A few years later, when I finally started making my film RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, I decided to incorporate scenes of a high school class reenacting forgotten ASEAN history, because I was hoping to preserve these in cinema. The truth is, our education system, our history books, just like those in this region, are rather insular and limited, many things weren't allowed for discussion. How then, can we grow if we were kept constantly in a bubble?
One of the scenes in RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS is a reenactment of Liliosa Hilao's story. I decided to upload it a few days ago when I heard of the ongoing political situation in Philippines, where Bongbong Marcos, son of Ferninand Marcos, was running for vice president. A subject of great consternation for many, especially those who had to endure Martial Law. Since many were discussing about how the atrocities were being forgotten, I realized I had to share Liliosa's story to the public.
It took 2 days before it caught on, and to my surprise, the feedback and responses since then had been overwhelming. It's something I've never experienced before. What moved me most was to actually hear from the family of Liliosa Hilao. When I was reading about Liliosa Hilao's story all those years ago, I would never expect to do something that could reach her family. Life is full of surprises. I'm very humbled by this experience.
Instead of working on my script, I ended up procrastinating and checking out my long dormant Youtube page.
I then realized that I've actually been a Youtube user since 2006. That's 10 years. That's a really long time!
I remember a couple of these video-sharing sites coming out around the same time during my final year in Perth, and I was trying a few time. All of them didn't last, except for Youtube.
Many of my really old videos are still there, stuff I shot when I just got to Perth. Learning how to operate a camcorder, teaching myself how to edit with an editing software (I was using Sony Vegas).
I have often wondered whether I should just delete these damn videos since I've already moved on. What I made then were embarrassingly personal (they are video diaries anyway), and not exactly the type of thing I would want people to associate myself. I want people to stumble upon trailers of River of Exploding Durians, Kingyo, Inhalation, Last Fragments of Winter etc. (ahem, basically the stuff from this playlist) And not my Murdoch University student projects in 2006! Not the little "short films" I did with friends in 2005 and 2004 when I didn't even know what filmmaking was!!!
But then, they are part of the journey, and they lead to what I am now, so I'll just keep them... for the time being.
Most of them are snippets that seem more fitting for Facebook video. But Facebook hasn't existed when I shot them. So there.
These stuff were actually shot and edited in 2004, when I just got to Perth. They were literally the first ever videos I've ever done.