HUBO Productions

Raw Artistry Exposed


Developed as a mentorship program for freshmen women directors, this small film from HUBO Productions called GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve) has gone from a humble worthy cause to a noteworthy film about women. National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Office of the Philippine President announced that the women and men behind the movie are among this year’s ANI NG DANGAL (Harvest of Honor) awardees.

Directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Sarah Roxas together with Cinematographers Gym Lumbera and Michael Manalastas are thrilled to receive the recognition. “I know that this does not come often as it is a very prestigious award. When the other directors and I started on this film, we did not expect to receive any recognition. To be granted this highest honor by the NCCA and by the Office of the President is extremely gratifying. I could not be prouder to be part of this film,” Roxas exclaims. Manalastas expresses upon hearing the news, “I felt happy and proud that our film that we worked so hard on is getting the appreciation it deserved. It was an honor to be given the chance to be a part of the film. The cold beer after the grueling 48-hour shoot I thought was my reward. This recognition definitely tops that.”

Directors Sarah Roxas, Rica Arevalo and Ellen Ramos

The movie spearheaded by HUBO Chief Executive Officer/Resident Director Will Fredo with Arevalo started out as a vision to bring more women directors to the forefront of Philippine cinema. Arevalo says, on receiving such an honor from the Office of the President, “It was a happy surprise! Making the movie was a blessing to everyone. The ANI NG DANGAL recognition simply is an affirmation that we have to keep on making meaningful and substantial films. We worked together with the best people with a very sincere vision. GANAP NA BABAE has gone places and God has been generous to us from opening the prestigious CINEMALAYA 2010 Festival, garnering a trophy at The SoHo International Film Festival 2011, being named as one of MEGA’S Filipino International Achievers, and now, the precious ANI NG DANGAL. We are truly grateful and humbled for all the recognition on the film. We are raring to do more films!” The movie stars Mercedes Cabral, Sue Prado, Jam Pérez, Rome Mallari, and the legendary Ms. Boots Anson-Roa in which she comments to her director, Arevalo upon hearing the news, “Proud to have been a part of the film.”

Award-winning director Ramos explains, “An acknowledgment of a personal work encourages an independent filmmaker to bravely pursue a soul-wrenching, financially-draining, and unpredictable craft.” One of her most memorable experiences in making the movie reiterates that encouragement, “During location-hunting, I met women whose circumstances parallel the characters in “Two Sisters”, my segment in the trilogy – women who till the land, bearing their sorrows with grace and resilience. One woman allowed us to use her home and another to cast her children in the film.” Such production headaches are always memorable to Ellen, “but being able to hurdle the challenges is a rewarding experience.”

Cinematographers Gym Lumbera and Michael Manalastas

Receiving this award means so much to Manalastas,  “I hope that I will continue to grow as a Filipino filmmaker and that the Filipino film industry would also continue to grow.” Arevalo expounded on the message by saying, “Government support for artists is a good agenda for every administration. Creating art reflects the society’s ills and dreams. Taking care of artists means also protecting the voices of the people.”

As the mentorship program recipient new director for the project, Roxas shares, “This entire movie has been filled with nothing but good experiences and fond memories. Through this film, I was able to work with seasoned directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Will Fredo as well as the very talented actress Mercedes Cabral.  I met a wonderful writer named, Mike Portes, who gave me inspiration about my segment of the movie. I was able to direct my first independent movie and gain new friends. The cast and crew now have a special place in my heart.”

HUBO Productions President Greg Macaraeg is delighted that the objective of the movie has been met through the directors, especially with the young Roxas. “For the film to achieve this recognition is definitely icing on the cake for all the people involved. We applaud the awardees and we wish them continued success in their respective careers.”

“Be true to your sensibility,” shares Ramos to all the young filmmakers. “Do not box yourself in perceived notions of womanhood and cinema, your point of view will emerge with experience and maturity. There are still many uncomfortable and daunting issues that women filmmakers must confront without blinking and articulate without flinching. Success may never come in the box-office or the awards, but the creative experience and the finished film in itself is the success.” Her thoughts, simply put, summarize the experience of finishing a film like GANAP NA BABAE.

“Philippines Arts Festival is a month-long and nationwide activity that aims to promote Philippine culture and the arts, highlighting the empowerment of the Filipino creativity and imagination. This 2012 celebration will be a call to hope, a challenge to act, an invitation to commit, a celebration of creativity and an affirmation of the Filipinos’ inner strength that can be a catalyst for social transformation,” NCCA/PAT Festival Manager, Vanessa Nicolas explains. The festival culminates on February 28, 2012 during the ‘Ani ng Sining Awards and Recognition Night’ at The Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace. Honorees also include highly celebrated Filipino artists such as Olivier and Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga, Director Jeffrey Jeturian, and the world renowned BAYANIHAN Philippines National Folk Dance Company.

Related Link: GANAP NA BABAE