It’s no secret that Cebu is a hotbed for creative talent. The scene is constantly growing to include new and exciting names that breathe new life into their respective industries. From film and art to fine jewelry, Zee Lifestyle sits down with a few the city should watch out for—if it isn’t already.
Surprisingly, nobody has harassed me for making a stoner film. I hear the word “brave” a lot and definitely expected far worse. If there was a downside, it’s probably that people keep trying to score weed from us. We have a film, not a dispensary.
What’s the best part about the local film industry?
Being able to prove that Bisaya is not baduy. In fact, our international festival performance would tell you otherwise. I believe language is very important. Before you can be conscious of something you’d have to have a word for it. If we’re ashamed of our dialect, how can take pride in ourselves?
What’s up next for you? Any other film projects in the works?
I’m casting for a film about a coven of witches. I’m also developing a horror movie about engkantos and a play about infidelity. We’ll see which one ripens first.
ON JEWELRY MAKING:
I’m a naturally curious person and always enjoyed learning. It astounded me how gems and diamonds came to be. I delved deeper and deeper, even learning about the complexities of crystallography and the metaphysical properties of gems, which helped me understand the science and magic of it.
What’s the biggest challenge that comes from creating your pieces?
When certain materials I envision on a design are not readily available. I always keep up to date with the latest changes and trends of the trade to be able to serve my clients holistically.
What’s up next for you and your creations?
This might be an unpopular answer but perhaps another diploma somewhere. I, for one, enjoy going to school. I’ll keep traveling to source the finest gems to create inspirational pieces. So far, I’m open to where this will take me.
Architecture is a very broad field with both the pragmatic and creative aspects to it almost naturally conflicting. However, my career in architecture does not affect—if by affect you mean stifle—my creative pursuits. Completing my architectural projects gives me the same amount of fulfillment as when I complete an art piece
What design aesthetic do you most identify with?
I am a strong advocate of progressive design and the perpetual strive in merging functionality and beauty. That is the aesthetic identity that my work has spoken and will speak of me through time.
What’s up next for you?
PONT Studio. I am very grateful for the continuous opportunities to express and share our creativity through arts, architecture, interior/industrial design and furniture design this year. This year will definitely be bigger and more exciting for us. Art exhibits and architectural projects are lined up. I will be venturing on collaborative works with other fellow creatives, this time, hoping to influence and inspire more people to share their creativity in whatever ways they feel.
Chai Fonacier, Samantha Solidum, Maria Gigante and Ted Paraiso
ON THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
Pasmo and alcohol bring the comedy in. When you’ve less than a thousand pesos and don’t know when the next source of income arrives, your brain goes on overdrive. As for the work, we’re as meticulous as our limited resources and energy reserves can allow. But mostly it’s just loose screws in the head. We don’t really take ourselves too seriously. Our production process depends on the concept. It dictates whether we need a script or improv acting. Group dynamics is a bigger factor. We can replicate other people’s processes but what gives a group its flavor is the kind of combined insanity it can have. And a tip: if anyone wants to lose weight, they might wanna try that diet called freelancing—specifically, the art department.
What do you feel are the advantages and challenges that come with producing videos for this specific medium?
PERKS: Relative to other media it is less complicated compared with going on TV, for instance. We get to work with the people we like, and then live as a recluse for at least two days to edit the material, click, click, upload, share. All factors considered—e.g. internet’s good, it’s not holiday season, it’s peak hours, and no one’s burying any dictator on sacred ground for the people (including us) to get riled up—if the material is good enough, it’ll fly.
UNPERKS: You can get drowned in the feed. You may not reach your target audience, especially if you don’t boost your posts (we have never tried that yet so far, all our interactions have been organic). There’s also the misconception that just because it’s online and made by a bunch of people just starting out means these videos must be easy to make. Those motion graphics can take hours. Also: Philippine. Internet. Monopoly. Slow. AF. Service.
What’s up next for you guys?
CHAI: I think I have to scavenge for food. I’m malnourished.
TED: I have an exhibit.
MARIA: I gotta clean the house and model.
photography Dan Douglas Ong hair and makeup Nikko dela Pena and Janice Barillo