HUBO Productions

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Posts Tagged ‘Film Festivals’

In Nomine Matris premieres in Spain

In Nomine Matris - Official PosterIN NOMINE MATRIS is the Closing Film at the VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain

Filipino independent movie IN NOMINE MATRIS (In the Name of the Mother) by writer and director Will Fredo has been selected to be the closing film at this year’s VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain. The yearly celebration of Flamenco films at the heart and origins of the dance, Andalusia, Spain, will premiere the movie at its capital in Sevilla this July 4th as the festival’s closing film. Instituto Andaluz Del Flamenco, Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Government of Andalusia with the support of UNESCO and Centro de Iniciativas Culturales de la Universidad de Sevilla (CICUS) organize the festival.

As critic and columnist Mario Bautista declares, “In Nomine Matris is the first local [Filipino] movie to feature flamenco as part of the story. It could very well be our official introduction to this classical Spanish dance with its elaborate footwork, arm, hand and body movements, sometimes with castanets or a fan.” The movie, produced by HUBO Productions, is the first Filipino film to be presented in the Festival. In Nomine Matris stars 38th Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Best Actress Liza Diño (also a contender for the Best Actress plum of the forthcoming Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino URIAN Awards) together with Biboy Ramirez, Al Gatmaitan, Tami Monsod, and Clara Ramona (URIAN Best Supporting Actress nominee).

“Kinakabahan ako actually. To show the people of Andalusia (Spain) our movie is a big deal. The place is the heart of Flamenco, they can be really critical about the art form. But for the film festival to invite and appreciate what we tried to do in In Nomine Matris is very humbling,” expresses Fredo.  “It’s about time we highlight the thriving topnotch Flamenco artists we have here in the Philippines,” he added. As articulated by Tito Genova Valiente, Chairman of Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, “In Nomine Matris remains one of the most thematically daring and, ultimately, most visually compelling of films produced in this republic. Dance in this film is not merely an expression of a mood; dance in this film pushes the tale to a finish.”

Based on real life events, this heart-stomping and intense drama, In Nomine Matris (In the Name of the Mother) dares to capture the passion of women and their dance. At the same time the narrative pays homage to the Philippines’ Spanish heritage and culture.

In the heart of Metro Manila, Mara (Diño), a young dance protégé, seeks to land the principal part of a dance company that is helming a show named In Nomine Matris. On her quest to land the coveted break, a series of events turned her sense of meaning upside down and is faced with a life-changing decision. She turns to her mentor Mercedes (Ramona) and her mother Ava (Monsod) as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in.

The movie also features Jam Pérez, Maradee De Guzman, Bong Cabrera, Leo Rialp, and Joan Palisoc. Flamenco master Clara Ramona dance-choreographs and world jazz musician Bob Aves scores the film, fusing original Filipiniana and Flamenco movement and music.

In Nomine Matris closes VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco

In Nomine Matris closes VII Ciclo de Cine y Flamenco


IN NOMINE MATRIS opens MAY 8 in SM Mega Mall, SM North, SM Manila, SM Centerpoint, SM Marikina, SM Fairview, SM Southmall, Robinsons Galleria, Star Mall (Metropolis Alabang), Gaisano Cineplex (Cebu), Eden Cinema (Cebu City), and starting MAY 10 in GMALL (Gaisano Davao City). Additional theaters will be announced or check your local theater listings during the release date.  TRAILER and SYNOPSIS:

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LOVE vs PASSION, which one would you choose?

LOVE vs PASSION, which one would you choose?

IN NOMINE MATRIS (Sa Ngalan ng Ina), a film by HUBO Productions, premiered last December at the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). Its dramatic premise and visually stimulating dance sequences choreographed by world renowned Flamenco master, Clara Ramona, was the much talked about and biggest hit for the New Wave entries during the festival. The movie bagged in the Festival’s NEW WAVE category the Best Actress award for Liza Diño and the Most Gender SensitiveAward. Due to clamor and demand, the movie will be released in selected Philippine theaters nationwide starting May 8, 2013, right in time for the Mother’s Day week.

Supported by the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes/SPCC, and Trinity Hearts Media, IN NOMINE MATRIS is written and directed by Will Fredo. The movie revolves around Mara, portrayed by beauty queen/actress Liza Diño, a young dance protégé who seeks to land the principal part of a dance company that is about to embark on a tour. On her quest to land the coveted break, a series of events turned her sense of meaning upside down. She is then faced with a life changing decision. She turns to her mentor Mercedes (Clara Ramona) and her mother Ava (Tami Monsod) as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in. Within this premise, director Fredo fuses the sensitivities of the Spanish culture into the Philippine modern setting through a highly tense mix of drama, dance, singing, and poetry.

Dramatic actor Biboy Ramirez and Italy-trained opera singer Al Gatmaitan, who both played Mara’s lovers in the movie, adds the complexity in the movie. The love triangle between the two half-brothers and Diño’s character creates the breath of the story. “Kikiligin at maaawa ka sa pinagdaanan ng dalawang lalaki sa kamay ng character ni Liza, maski ikaw na nanunuod, iisipin mo kung ano ang dapat mong pilliin — passion ba or true love?” quips the director. The movie is not as simple as it appears to be, IN NOMINE MATRIS is not your typical Filipino love story. The filmmaker promises that a lot of people will be able to relate, “lahat naman tayo may mga passion sa buhay, kahit ano pa yan. Araw araw, may mga choices tayong ginagawa, no matter what the consequence diba.” A perfect date movie, IN NOMINE MATRIS might be a good alternative to the high testosterone Hollywood movies coming out this May.

“Not all independent movies get the opportunity to release in wide distribution. Honestly, it is a difficult task. We are encouraged though by the audience reaction and by the support of our partners,” explains Producer Ida Tiongson. Executive Producer Greg Macaraeg enthused, “It is seldom we see an audience cheer and clap in between scenes, especially after each dance or performance. It feels like you’re watching a live show, but it’s on screen.” Medwin Garcia, one of the producers, further shares, “I hear the audience getting involved, invested with the characters. Nakakatuwa panuorin!”

The movie also stars Nepal’s foremost Flamenco dancer, Maradee De Guzman, Flamenco dancer/openmic poet Jam Pérez, award-winning actors Bong Cabrera and actor/director Leo Rialp, first time comedienne theater/TV actress Joan Palisoc, and a group of dancers from various background who trained for more than 3 months to dance Flamenco. World jazz musician Bob Aves created the beautiful music score, a first in Philippine cinema wherein “Kundiman” and Flamenco rhythms were fused together.

IN NOMINE MATRIS will be shown MAY 8 – 14 in SM Mega Mall, SM North, SM Manila, SM Marikina, SM Fairview, SM South Mall, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Metroeast. Additional theaters will be announced or check your local theater listings during the release date.

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More information about IN NOMINE MATRIS, check movie official website:

HUBO Productions is an independent multi-media production company that is known for its core film ventures. The film group is headed by Will Fredo, Gregory Macaraeg, Ida Tiongson, Joan T. Manalang, Medwin Garcia, and George K. Sommerrock. HUBO has ventured its artistic reach in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. HUBO encourages artistry through practical means, and dedicates its art to stimulate the mind however unconventional and unfamiliar.

Love  Life  Passion

Love Life Passion

In Nomine Matris Director’s Notes

Director Will Fredo

Director Will Fredo

“What made this film worth making?” I asked myself.  It’s been a journey, and the journey was good.

Mining the dramatic Spanish-Filipino narrative, the idea of fusing Filipino dances with Flamenco, the possibility of collaborating with Bob Aves, Philippines’ foremost world-jazz musician, and showcasing the hustle and bustle of contemporary Manila are the elements that first and foremost got me really excited in developing this film. You see, I watched a lot of telenovelas with my mother growing up. And a lot of such influences somehow got channeled into this movie. But my goal from such dramatic elements was to show a level that would be relatable to a lot of people.

The script was inspired by my friend’s real-life personal story. I further interviewed a lot of Flamenco dancers, and saw an abundance of passion to the art form. I see it as a devoted lifestyle, not just a dance form. I wanted to capture that and I wanted to utilize a dramatic narrative technique that is embedded in the Spanish influence on Filipino culture. But I realized, I cannot claim that we’re doing a flamenco movie, for the story is beyond the dance form. I see this movie as a homage to the dance form, to our Spanish influence, and an appreciation to our unexplored heritage.

After writing the first draft, I was motivated to tap on the growing popularity of Clara Ramona’s Flamenco Dance Company in Manila.  Her dancers are already experienced in Flamenco dance. Clara Ramona, herself, is a passionate dancer and a fiery choreographer.  Perhaps one should see her perform live in order to understand what I am talking about. She is that good. And surprisingly, for a first time actor, her attack on Mercedes Lagdameo character, the unseemly cold Flamenco maestra in the movie, is something critics should take notice.

It is widely known that the Philippines was under the Spanish rule, and its influence abound. In spite of this, however, Flamenco remain a relatively new dance to the general populace.  In a way, it is still in its infancy, thus when the core crew was auditioning for more dancers we had to tap those who come from different dance backgrounds—modern, jazz, even hip-hop. We had them undergo a grueling three-month training designed by Clara Ramona. The best thing about Filipinos is that they are a quick study. They seem to be born to dance, born entertainers.

The music is a challenge. I approached Bob Aves early on in the project and bounced off with him about the idea of fusing Filipiniana with Flamenco rhythms. Fortuitously, he was developing Kundiman music for the enigmatic singer Grace Nono, so he was receptive to the innovation. He was intrigued by the idea of using Flamenco’s 12-beat “compas” in Filipino music.  The result is a glorious pieces of music. The dancers themselves were in awe, and could not believe they were dancing to some new music.

When it came to deciding as to who will play the main character, the award-winning actress Liza Diño was a natural choice. She’s a flamenco dancer herself. I have previously worked with her in the film Compound, where she was cited for her acting in an international film festival and earned her Harvest of Honor Award bestowed by the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts. I was excited to work with her and was not a bit disappointed by the performance she turned in. In fleshing out the main character, the inexperienced vulnerable yet driven Mara Advento Bonifacio, Diño’s characterization and performance can only be described as tour de force. Hopefully, it will engage the general audience and critics alike.

Aside from Diño, the rest of the principal casts were a bevy of talent and easy to fall in love with. Biboy Ramirez is a dramatic soap opera actor in the Philippines. Playing someone that is a bit of unsure of himself and lacks confidence about what he feels is outside of the screen characters he had been associated with.  His acting here cannot be ignored, it is beautifully understated. Al Gatmaitan is a trained classical singer schooled in Italy, and is relatively new to Philippine independent cinema. He gives off a nice opposition to what Biboy is giving in the movie.  They are quite a pair of young actors.

Rounding off the mother in the movie is Tami Monsod, a respected theatre thespian. She tackled the role of Mara Advento Bonifacio’s mother with such depth and subtlety, resulting in an unmatched performance caliber. Her take on the disabled and “laos na” (has-been) dancer is chilling at the minimum.

Mixing different mediums of performances is something I consciously wanted to do, there’s dancing, some singing, and even open-mic poetry. The much heralded open-mic poetry scene in the movie is my way of summarizing my personal take on the movie. I am surprised how audiences react to it — they laugh at the beginning and get tense at the end.  “Kuti-kuta”, a collaborative piece with poet Roldan Din, that Jam Perez recites in the middle part of the movie is my take on what we feel as artists— that gnawing itch.  The poem could mean a bunch of things but for me, as a filmmaker, it’s that ever-burning itch to do, to make, to create, to feel.

Perhaps it is that itch that prompted me to make this film. It is that itch which determines that choices we make in life. But in hindsight, I recognize the strong female, specifically mother, figures that bring out the best of me as a Filipino. From the story of a female friend who was on the brink of motherhood but tragically lost her baby, from the stories and memory of my mother, the choices she made as a mother, from the tales of all the mothers I have met, from the culture that I grew up in that is undeniably matriarchal. What I make of me as a Filipino, and perhaps every Filipino, is in the name of the mother.


In Nomine Matris at Fitness First

In Nomine Matris at Fitness First

In Nomine Matris at Fitness First
In Nomine Matris at Fitness First

An Actor’s Journey: Excerpts from In Nomine Matris

Liza Diño [photo by Ruben Domingo]

Liza Diño [photo by Ruben Domingo]

Actress LIZA DIÑO in the raw, as Mara Bonifacio Advento, the protagonist in the movie In Nomine Matris (In the Name of the Mother). She plays a young dance protégé in search for perfection, her real passion, and her true love.

Inspired by Bjork and Marina Abramovic work, transposing excerpts and creating a simplistic collage of lines from the movie In Nomine Matris as a performance piece, director Will Fredo together with long time collaborator Roldan Din, harnesses the rawness of Liza Diño by subjecting the actress in constrained body movements. At the same time, this piece showcases in a playful form the Spanish style monologue coming from the movie’s dramatic narrative. Accompanied by a heartfelt acoustic Flamenco-Filipiniana inspired musical score from Bob Aves, this performance piece will draw you closer to your own personal passion and desires.

“Sometimes, watching the journey of an actress go through cycles of emotion in constrained situations is simply breath taking,” Fredo explains.



Produced by HUBO Productions
Creative Directors: Roldan Din & Will Fredo
Cinematography: Kim Guanzon & Marden Blake
Music: Bob Aves (taken from the movie In Nomine Matris)
Make-Up: Laa Hernando-Guanzon
Production Assistants: Ferdz Din & Zaldy Ilagan
Post Engineer: Will Fredo


This piece is not in the movie. This is simply a creative play used by the artists.

Ganap na Babae (Garden of Eve) Breaking Hearts and Record









“Wow! Talo pa ang Twilight sa haba ng pila sa Active Vista sa SM CDO! Congrats Xavier University!” ~ Leni Velasco posted, Executive Director of DAKILA

“So, apparently, Active Vista is breaking records in SM Cagayan de Oro. SRO screening now and huge crowd still lined up to enter the cinema. Wohooo!” ~ Leni Velasco posted, Executive Director of DAKILA

“Kayo ang Totoong Paraan. The BEST FEATURE FESTIVAL of relevant films. Mahal namin kayo! :)” ~ Emmanuel Dela Cruz posted, Film Director

“Nakakataba ng puso! Directors Sarah Roxas and Ellen Ramos were missed but we’re glad Rica Arevalo went to do the film discussion! Her news brought us joy, ramdam namin ang saya sa Cagayan De Oro. Congratulations to Dakila, Active Vista Film Festival, Xavier University, and to everyone involved in this effort! Sa uulitin!” ~ Will Fredo, Ganap Na Babae Executive Producer















Fusing Worlds: A Glimpse at Art Collaboration

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

CLARA RAMONA, a world-renowned Flamenco master, shares her artistry in the movie In Nomine Matris. In this rare footage of deleted scenes from the movie, her character Mercedes Lagdameo pours out her soul, her passion, her frustration as an aging dancer, an embattled teacher, and above of all, as a loving mother.

Filipino music scholars agree that kundiman is uniquely Filipino musical form that taps deep into one’s heart and bring untold emotions.  Felipe M. de León Jr. once wrote that kundiman is a “unique musical form expressing intense longing, caring, devotion and oneness with a beloved…its music is soulful and lofty…”

Soleá is one of the foundational styles of flamenco that always incorporates the elements of romantic tragedy, desolation, and death. It affords the dancer both profound emotion and blazing footwork in the unique 12-beat cycle of flamenco music.

What WILL FREDO envisioned for the scene is to narrate the travails of being a mother from a Filipino perspective but express it in a form that is at once foreign and familiar. From this direction what BOB AVES has done is absorb the 12-beat cycle of soleá flamenco music into the lyrical triple time of kundiman. In this way the expressiveness that is distinctively Filipino is overlayed on the aggressiveness and passion that the dance required.  This has not been done before, and the result is simply astounding.

The Movie  |  The Music  |  The Cast

In Nomine Matris Dance Company

Behind the Scenes





The Reel Dance Company and their Real Persona

The Reel Dance Company and their Real Persona


Behind the Scene - Director Will Fredo with the Dance Company

Behind the Scene – Director Will Fredo with the Dance Company


Behind the Scene - Mercedes Lagdameo Flamenco-Filipiniana Dance Company

Behind the Scene – Mercedes Lagdameo Flamenco-Filipiniana Dance Company

The Movie  |  The Music  |  The Principal  |  The Ensemble

In Nomine Matris Ensemble Cast

MARADEE ARIELL T. DE GUZMAN (Valerie Espiritu) was a business entrepreneur and dabbled in commercial modelling appearing in various magazines, print and TV advertisements. De Guzman graduated  with a BS in Management Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. While in the university she involved herself in artistic pursuits like stage musicals, chorale singing, and dancing affording herself to develop as a performer. Her love for dance was rekindled by the fiery art of Flamenco and elegant style of Clasico Español; and is now flourishing under the training of world-renowned Clara Ramona. As a member of Clara Ramona & Co., she has gone on tour around the world including the U.S., Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. She teaches flamenco part-time at the Clara Ramona Centro de Danza Flamenca. Maradee is currently based in Kathmandu, Nepal where she is the spreading the passion of Flamenco by teaching workshops and classes. She is the first to introduce Flamenco Dance to Nepal.

Maradee de Guzman as Valerie Espiritu

Maradee de Guzman as Valerie Espiritu









JAM PÉREZ (Nikki Atienza) started dancing flamenco at age 11 under the tutelage of Guillermo Gomez, and later trained as a dance scholar of Sofia Zobel-Elizalde. She further trained from and mentored by Clara Ramona, Tatiana Balashova and Emma Estrada. Pérez graduated with a BA in European Languages from University of the Philippines, Diliman, and is currently undertaking law studies at the Ateneo de Manila University.  She has tried her hand in modelling and beauty pageant before pursuing acting. Her first audition landed her a part in In Nomine Matris, and in the same year clinched a role in Ganap na Babae. She continues to acting in independent films, and recently seen in PISILof UP Baguio’s Si(n)ing Sine Awards. Shortly after her foray in films, Pérez developed an interest in spoken word poetry and has been performing in several poetry events.

Jam Pérez as Nikki Atienza

Jam Pérez as Nikki Atienza









BONG CABRERA (Justin Trinidad) is an actor whose appearance in the film Sa Ilalim ng Tulay earned him the Best Actor award from the Cinema One Originals 2011 Film Festival and subsequently earned a nomination in the same category in the Gawad Urian 2012. He was a senior member of the Actors’ Company of Tanghalang Pilipino of CCP from 2004 until 2010 when he was awarded the Asian Cultural Council Fellow. The fellowship brought him to New York where he attended workshops from various theatre companies and studied various acting techniques. Among his exposures were with Suzuki, Viewpoints (SITI Company), Meisner Technique (The Acting Studio, Inc.), Alexander and Voice Technique (NYC Open Center), Contact Improv classes (Movement Research), and ensemble trainings from Universes and Pig Iron Theatre Company. Internationally, Cabrera performed in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Nagoya.  He was also among the local actors tapped to appear in the Hollywood film “Bourne Legacy” that was partly shot in Manila. He has also participated in a documentary for National Geographic which had a global airing.

Bong Cabrera as Justin Trinidad

Bong Cabrera as Justin Trinidad









LEO RIALP (Manuel Advento) directs, acts and set designs for stage, television and film. His stage performances as JUDGE BRACH in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, REVEREND BAINES in Henry David Huang’s Golden Child, SHYLOCK in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and GEORGE DILLINGHAM in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love have earned him citations from theater critics. In movies he has acted in In the Name of Love and Crazy for You (both for Star Cinema), in Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa (HUBO Productions) and many others. In television he was last seen in Channel 5’s telenovela, Sa Ngalan ng Ina. He is the sitting President of the Philippine Association of Theater Designers and Technicians (PATDAT). As a painter and printmaker he has participated in group exhibits and one-man shows in Brazil, Jordan, the United States and the Philippines.

Leo Rialp as Manuel Advento

Leo Rialp as Manuel Advento









JOAN PALISOC (Jillbert Sanchez) is an actress and has notably appeared in stage productions like Fuente OvejunaKanserKatipunan and Birhen ng Caysasay. She eventually began appearing in television productions before venturing into films where she debuted as Luisa in Will Fredo’s Compound. Her acting skills were honed under CCP’s Tanghalang Pilipino,  Repertory Philippines and New York’s  Stella Adler Studio.  She has been traditionally cast in serious and dramatic roles before landing a comic role in In Nomine Matris. Palisoc graduated with BA in Hotel and Restaurant Management from University of Sto. Tomas. Outside of acting, Palisoc is a fashion stylist, event organizer and a teacher. She loves travelling and mountain climbing in her spare time.

Joan Palisoc as Jillbert Sanchez

Joan Palisoc as Jillbert Sanchez











The Movie  |  The Music  |  The Principal  |  The Company

In Nomine Matris Music Score

Nana, that’s how lullabies are commonly called in Spanish language. In flamenco, it’s a quiet place for womanhood. The chant, the melody, the instrument recall all shades of walking, the rhythmic rocking of the cradle, the passion, the work, the love—all indisputable flamenco content. Bob Aves puts all these elements together and amalgamated them with distinctive Filipino undertones serving a heightened drama and poetic sense.

In Nomine Matris is a film set in Manila. It is about a dancer who wanted to be the principal dancer of a Flamenco dance company based in Manila that is about to embark on an international tour. A series of events, however, threw a wrench on her quest and must now face the question of what matters most in her life.

Flamenco is a form of music, song, and dance from Spain where it traces its origin in the Andalucian region in the southern part of the country. Flamenco has a certain soul, commonly referred to as duende, replete with intensity that is almost fiery in nature.  Flamenco music uses three basic counts: binary, ternary and, unique to flamenco, twelve-beat cycle.

Bob Aves

Bob Aves [photo by D. Buenaventura]

The drama unfolds in a flamenco beat, music is essential to the underlying structure of the film that is set in the Philippines. Though the Philippines was under the Spanish rule, flamenco never became part of the popular taste.  The Spanish influence is undeniable—it is in the food, the dance, the music, the language, in general sensibilities of Filipinos—yet flamenco, in its pure form, remains a foreign element. How does one present something foreign yet in many ways familiar to Filipinos? Faced with this predicament, Bob Aves, the musical scorer of the film, tackled the project to be a presentation of a “the fusion of traditional Philippine music and Flamenco music and bring it to a contemporary style.” Fusing different musical forms is not new to Aves.  In the 1990s, he embarked on a quest to rediscover Philippine indigenous music and re-conceived them with different instrumentation and rhythms. His experimentation became a distinctive element in his music, a unique blending that can only come from a deep understanding of the different forms and styles on their own.

In the film In Nomine Matris, the dance is not a simple case of showcasing the actors’ talent, nor is it indulgent. It becomes the rhythm by which the narrative is further told, music naturally become prominent.  Aves felt that it is “important to present Flamenco music from our Philippine perspective as our contribution to promote our traditional music in cinema. Since this fusion has never been done before, therefore leaving us with no reference at all, we have to develop the pieces from scratch. We also needed to present this fusion in a very contemporary style therefore incorporating electronic elements, while retaining the aggressiveness and passion that these dances required.”

The music is not used as a background, in which case it would serve to underline the atmosphere, accentuate grief, joy, or any other emotion. The music becomes a character in itself, a very important character. In Aves’s mind, “the music had to have such fluidity to flow in and out from dance to soundtrack mode … and even from dance music becoming the soundtrack and soundtrack becoming the dance music.”

Aves explains that the film has its particular challenges, primarily that it being a weaving of flamenco and a Filipino story, thus he “focused on the elements that were relevant to the Flamenco, like it’s specific steps and rhythmic counts and musical forms, while utilizing the traditional southern gong ensembles to play these rhythms. We also wanted to show the versatility of our gongs in adopting to new environments.” This accounts for the music not only being prominent but also recorded with great attention to detail. The music score contributes to the musical and visual quality and depth of the film. The music is not mere ornaments but rather closely connected with the plot. It functions as a narrative tool that is essential to the film. Some critical scenes were constructed in a highly effective cinematic terms that owes much to the music, an element that is normally considered least cinematic. The scenes would have not been half as effective.

The music in In Nomine Matris is a fine example of a cinematic technique through which complex ideas can be expressed entirely without words, a story is moved forward by aural intimacy. Usually cinematic film employs image rather than sound to achieve a narrative force, the application of music in In Nomine Matris makes it a remarkable cinematic feat.


BOB AVES [ photo by Lucky Booj ]

Roberto ‘Bob’ Aves is a composer, performing artist and a multi-award-winning arranger and producer. Born and raised in Bacolod, Negros Occidental, in central Philippines, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Composition (1979) from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In the 1990s, Bob embarked on a quest of rediscovery of Philippine indigenous music, fusing traditional instruments, rhythms and chants, with contemporary music genres. This unique blend of musical style ultimately became the hallmark of Bob’s work, ranging from his musical collaborations with Grace Nono, his Philippine-jazz, music scores for documentaries and independent films and music for theater and dance.

Together, Bob Aves and Grace Nono co-established Tao Music in the 90s, an all-Filipino record label that specializes in the production and publication of traditional and contemporary culture-based titles of Philippine music. Their collaboration in the filed of performance have brought their brand of Filipino world music to international music festivals world wide (2011 Penang World Music Festival, Archa Theater, Prague / “Phil. Sacred Chants”, HK University / Prince Albert Fundraiser for the Filipino Child, Monaco / Festival Asia, Barcelona-Madrid, Spain / Asean-China Summit, Nanning, China/ World Exposition, Aichi, Nagoya, Japan / House of World Culture, Berlin, Germany / Singapore Arts Festival / WOMAD, Yokohama, Japan / Music Village Festival, UK)

Today, Bob Aves continues to push the boundaries of his unique musical style in the development of Philippine Jazz, a groundbreaking integration of the gong culture of the southern Philippines and contemporary jazz. His jazz group has performed in various jazz festivals such as the Phil. International Jazz festival, Penang Int. Jazz festival (Malaysia), Zhujiajiao Water Village Music festival (Shanghai, China),  Jarasum Jazz festival (Korea), National Museum of Singapore, among others.

The Movie  |  The Cast


Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival 2012

in cooperation with

HUBO Productions, Inc.


GANAP NA BABAE (Garde of Eve)

November 24, 2012  |  10:30AM  |  SM CAGAYAN DE ORO CINEMA 2


[ click poster for larger image ]

In Nomine Matris Principal Cast

LIZA DIÑO (Mara Bonifacio Advento) is a film, tv and stage actress who has appeared in numerous films for both independent and commercial acting studios. Notably, she has appeared in commercial films like Two Timer, Pinay Pie, Xerex, and A Love Story. She landed one of the lead roles in the independent film Compound by HUBO Productions which ignited her lingering interest in indie projects. Her role in Compound earned her the lone acting recognition in the 2011 International Film Festival Manahattan NYC and eventually led to her receiving a Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Ani Ng Dangal (Harvest of Honor) Award in 2012.  Diño graduated with BA Speech Communication from the Univeristy of the Philippines, Diliman (UP). While at UP, she started venturing into stage acting and appeared in productions mounted by Dulaang UP like Passion of the Christ, Shakespeare’s Winter Tale, and Divinas Palabras. As a student, she joined the 2001 Mutya ng Pilipinas and was crowned as Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism and officially represented the country in the Miss Tourism International 2001. After which, she started appearing in television projects primarily as a member of GMA 7 Artist Center.  In 2005, a trip to Spain piqued her interest in flamenco, and made her decide to train under Clara Ramona. Together with Ramona, she has performed all over Asia and the US. She migrated to the US in 2008, where she currently divides her time between acting projects and as a line cook for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Liza Diño as Mara Bonifacio Advento

Liza Diño as Mara Bonifacio Advento









BIBOY RAMIREZ (Daniel Lagdameo) started as a commercial model doing television ads. He got noticed when he did work for Goldilocks bakeshop in 1998. An entertainment magazine columnist discovered him and eventually managed his showbusiness career. In 1999, German “Kuya Germs” Moreno gave him a regular stint in a variety show Bestfriends. From there Ramirez pursued acting by appearing in various television shows. In 2000, Ramirez became part of the original stable of actors of the pioneering teen drama show Clickin GMA Network.  Aside from acting in television and commercial advertising, Ramirez is involved in independent films both as a producer and as an actor, and has also appeared in stage productions. Outside of acting, Ramirez is into professional photography and events directing. Biboy just recently wrapped up the TV series “Enchanted Garden” for TV 5 and is now working as a regular at GMA Studio’s latest soap “Cielo de Angelina”.

Biboy Ramirez as Daniel Lagdameo

Biboy Ramirez as Daniel Lagdameo









AL GATMAITAN (Enrique Lagdameo Herrera) has distinguished himself in classical music and theater, having been involved with performing groups such as the Philippine Opera Company, PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association), Dulaang UP, UP Playwrights, Stages, Maskara, Trumpets, and Tanghalang Pilipino. His initial music training was at the UP College of Music, after which he proceeded to Italy for vocal and acting training as well as language studies. His coach was Italian soprano Maria Francavilla from the Conservatory of Torrefranca ‘Vibo Valentia’, while his language studies led to a diploma in ‘Teaching Italian Language Abroad’ from the Dante Alighieri University for Foreigners in Reggio Calabria. He also obtained a Certificate of Training in Acting and Performing from Spazio Teatro. He capped his stay in Italy with a second place distinction at the Filipino European Pop Song Festival in Reggio Calabria.

Al Gatmaitan as Enrique Lagdameo Herrera

Al Gatmaitan as Enrique Lagdameo Herrera










TAMI MONSOD (Ava Bonifacio) is a theatre actress whose credits include Angels in AmericaOur Country’s Good, All’s Well that Ends WellHow I Learned to DriveSacrilegeThe Vagina Monologues, and Equus. As a professional stage actress, Tami has worked primarily with New Voice Company under Monique Wilson but has also freelanced with other groups such as Repertory Philippines. Aside from acting, she has also been teaching theatre specializing in  writing and directing plays developed from student research and improvisation. This includes Remembering RezimaVery, Very Dangerous, The Book of Antigone, and, most recently, Indulto, a play about a woman bullfighter. In Nomine Matrismarks her return to acting after giving birth in 2005 and is her film debut. Tami began introductory lessons in flamenco during summer vacations in Spain.  She continued in Manila under Emma Estrada and, finally, under Clara Ramona who suggested that she audition for the role of Ava Bonifacio.

Tami Monsod as Ava Bonifacio










CLARA RAMONA (Mercedes Lagdameo) is an esteemed Spanish Filipina-American flamenco artist who has professionally gained recognition in the exclusive and cutthroat world of the complex art form. Despite being a “foreign” artist, for over 15 years she established herself in Madrid, the mecca of flamenco, founding her own dance company, Ballet Español de Clara Ramona, through which she has staged productions of critical acclaim the world over and gaining international recognition for her innovative choreographies. She has also collaborated with flamenco artists of stature such as La Tati, Tomas de Madrid, Miguel Angel and Antonio Alonso for over twenty years. Clara trained as professional ballet dancer and obtained a BFA at the Boston Conservatory of Music and Dance. She pursued further studies in Spanish classical dance and flamenco with masters such as Manolo Vargas and Antonio de Cordoba in Mexico and with Ciro, La Tati, Jose Granero, and Tomas de Madridamong others in Spain. Clara paved the way for flamenco’s blossoming in Asia, conducting workshops in Australia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Japan. She is currently based in Hong Kong but spends much time travelling to Manila, Beijing, and other parts of Asia.

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo

Clara Ramona as Mercedes Lagdameo









The Movie  |  The Music  |  The Ensemble  |  The Company

GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve) closes FACINE/19

FACINE/19 with Festival Director Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr (3rd from Left)

FACINE/19 Festival Director Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr (3rd from Left) with (l-r) independent film enthusiasts Marilyn Dugyawi, Will Fredo, Tina Maninang, Janine Castillo-Barrera, Robbie Herrara

In its 19th year, FACINE is alive and kicking in San Francisco.  For the first time, passionate and cineaste program director, Mauro Tumbocon, Jr., enthused that it is the first that the film festival had a venue Daly City—an American mid-size city famous for its highest concentration of Filipino residents.  He further explained that the 19th year is a step in the festival’s history to a bigger and loftier 20th celebration next year.

Held at the two-year old facilities of the re-opened War Memorial Center, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City, FACINE/19 closed with three award-winning films, Ganap na Babae (Garden of Eve), a feature length film about women by women directors helmed by Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Sarah Roxas,  Alvin Yapan’s Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of Two Left Feet), and Ka Oryang (Comrade Oryang) of Lawrence Sibug. The full length feature films were accompanied by short films: Victoria Donato’s Dognapper,  Adiran Alarilla’s Triptych and Lawrence Sibug’s Convoy. The films started showing at 12 noon. FACINE/19 was attended by Filipino film enthusiasts and had shown 34 films over three weekends. It is a celebration of Filipino Arts and Cinema that coincided with the Filipino-American history month.

HUBO Production’s resident director Will Fredo and producer Fernell Cruz attended the event for Ganap na Babae (Garden of Eve).  After the screening Fredo of HUBO and Donato, director of Dognapper, were welcomed with a Q&A.  Fredo explained that  Ganap na Babae was a result of a mentorship program for new women directors where he pointed out that in spite of being known as a matriarchal society, Filipino women directors remain a minority and a small voice in the Filipino film industry. With the help of Rica Arevalo and Ellen Ramos, they found this new and exciting talent, Sarah Roxas. He further paid homage to the late Marilou Diaz Abaya, who recently passed away, “ngayon nawalan pa tayo ng isang pang great female director, iilan na nga lang sila.”  He further championed the need for female voice to be heard, especially by the Filipino communities. Having festivals such as FACINE, it is a portal for Filipino films and should continue to promulgate within and outside the city.

When Doves Cry

Mike Portes (center) with Director Sarah Roxas (left) and Actress Mercedes Cabral

Mike Portes (center) with Director Sarah Roxas (left) and Actress Mercedes Cabral

“I took the risk, I know many will take offense but I had no other way to tell the truth that many had been so deluded to believe,” declares Mike Portes when asked about the Minsan May Isang Puta. It’s a short piece that uses a first-person narrative technique that speaks directly to its reader. The voice is even pedestrian that in its familiar tone the reader is simply drawn to it. The voice simply asks that you listen as if an old friend or relative is about to tell a story. It is a story that found thousands of listening ears since it first appeared in 2004.

The story is at once familiar yet enigmatic. In “re-telling the truth through the words of a loving mother and by using sex as an impulse zone” is perhaps what makes it fresh, intimate and endearing. Portes was already a mother of two when she worked on  Minsan May Isang Puta and would have added the realistic, not imagined or distantiated, tone of a mother’s lament in the story—a layer that was underscored in the 2007 version. It is a voice and a layer that resonates among many Filipinos, and reinvigorated the interest on the piece. Portes has always been passionate about writing, yet never neglecting her social and moral obligations. Portes wants the people who chance upon her work “to bring something with them each and every time.”

One of the uncalculated effects of writing a piece that takes up a familiar and much abused figure is how it would affect creativity in another person, in another medium. The story was already in circulation and received much following when Sarah Roxas chanced upon it through the internet.  The mother’s lament touched Sarah and felt the “pain and love for her children.” To her mind, “it would make a really good short film.”

One could say it was a fortuitous turn of events that brought Portes and Roxas together to turn Minsan May Isang Puta into a film. Portes was at a point where she was questioning the point of it all, while Roxas was determined to pick it up and try her hand on films. It was an opportunity to further seal the cultic, if not classic, status of the story.


The Dove Files

The Dove Files by Mike Portes with an entire chapter on the movie, GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve)
[ Photo by Maria Jose – click picture for a larger image ]

Film is an interesting medium. The elements that go into writing—the voice, the character, the breathing, the lighting, the sound, the language—all those are present physically. All that is tacit in the text and the choices made by the writer that affect a reader come to a visual reality, approximating life, as it were. For Portes, the visual stimulation that a film affords might have just been the rebound that she needed at that point of her writing life. She saw it as “a blatant sign that my life was precious and that I should make full use of my gifts.”

The film adaptation may have ruffled some feminists (example Three Eves, Philippine Daily Inquirer article)  but that only testifies to how effective the material is. Portes contends “that woman was never created to be subservient to the double standards of society. The lessons in the film are meant for spiritual introspection since society proliferates with dogma [sic] that serve perverted purposes.” Birds, as it were, fly low for differing reasons.

Minsan May Isang Puta is included in Portes’ recently published book The Dove Files, which collects her “popular and new writings in Filipino, Taglish and  English” The book takes up both the traditional symbolism of the dove—patience, peace, love, emancipation, hope—and the Filipino euphemism for prostitutes.  The book includes pieces “that endeavor to understand and honor the past and the present in order to face the future in full frontal. No sugar coating.  No delusions.”

The Dove Files is available in the United States through (  It endeavors to pay forward to a most deserving scholar of Project Malasakit (know more: and for the post ops recovery fund of Definitely Filipino’s baby Mark, who is due for a new liver (know more:

Ganap na Babae (Garden of Eve), a three-part feature movie about women by women directors, helmed by directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Sarah Roxas will be screened in the US this fall. In San Francisco Bay area, the film is part of FACINE/19 and will be shown on October 27, 12pm at the War Memorial Center, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City. The screening is open and free to the public.

In New York, a fundraising screening at the International Film Festival Manhattan will be held on November 9, 5pm at the Quad Cinemas, 13th Street, New York City. Proceeds will benefit The HAPPYness Project. Advance and discounted tickets are available at


IFFM NYC Official Selection Laurel Leaf 2012HUBO Productions’ The Caregiver is slated to compete in this year’s International Film Festival Manhattan New York City (IFFMNYC) in November.  It will be pit against movies from other countries in the narrative category.

The Caregiver is written and directed by HUBO’s CEO and Resident Director Will Fredo and tells the story of Carlito Mariposa (Joshua Deocareza) who is nursing Agustin Vergeire (Marcus Madrigal), a “sepaktakraw” (competitive hacky sack) player who was badly injured in one of his crucial games. Confined in a very limited and shrunken world, the two developed an unlikely attraction that had Carlito thread an unexpected journey of self-discovery, shedding layers of skin along the way like a deadly viper.

The festival runs from November 9 to 15 at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan. On its second year, IFFMNYC aims to offer quality selection of world-class films that will be showcased in downtown Manhattan and offer filmmakers the opportunity to promote their work in a uniquely New York setting. The programming, with a special focus on social relevance, encompasses different genres contributing to the diversity within the festival.

HUBO Productions is an independent multi-media production company with film ventures as its core. To date, HUBO has released three-full length films, with two that are in post-production work. It has ventured its artistic reach in music, theatre, dance, and painting. HUBO encourages artistry through practical means, and dedicates its art to stimulate the mind however unconventional and unfamiliar.



In Nomine Matris

IN NOMINE MATRIS Official Poster

IN NOMINE MATRIS Official Poster
[ click poster for larger image ]

Official Trailer

Liza Diño, Biboy Ramirez, Al Gatmaitan, with Jam Pérez, Maradee De Guzman, Bong Cabrera, Leo Rialp, Joan Palisoc, introducing Ms. Tami Monsod and Ms. Clara Ramona

Written and Directed by Will Fredo

HUBO Productions in cooperation with Trinity Hearts Media, The Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, Gobierno De España, Ministerio De Cultura, Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation, Instituto Cervantes Manila presents  IN NOMINE MATRIS (In the Name of the Mother).

LOG LINE:  A young dance protégé seeks to land the principal part of a dance company but soon found herself at a crossroad, forcing her to face her mentor and her mother as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in.

LONG SYNOPSIS:  In the heart of Metro Manila, Mara Bonifacio Advento, a young dance protégé seeks to land the principal part of a dance company about to embark on a tour. On her quest to land the coveted break, a series of events turned her sense of meaning upside down, and is faced with a life changing decision. She turns to her mentor Mercedes Lagdameo and her mother Ava Bonifacio as she searches for answers in the beautifully loud and endlessly moving world she lives in.

IN NOMINE MATRIS Official Symbol

Official Symbol
[ click symbol for larger image ]

Metro Manila, in its congested freeways and its busy streets, plays an integral part in creating the rhythm of the revolving lives of the people surrounding our protégé, Mara. Played by award winning actress Liza Diño who recently received an Harvest of Honor Award (Ani ng Dangal) from the Office of the Philippine President, Mara falls in love with Enrique (played by Italy trained opera singer Al Gatmaitan), the son of her mentor Mercedes (Clara Ramona) as she trains to be the principal dancer of the touring show ‘In Nomine Matris’.  In the midst of her blossoming desires for a man and her struggles to become the principal dancer, the unrequited love of Enrique’s brother Daniel (played by TV and movie star Biboy Ramirez) towards Mara complicates her dilemma. Forced to make a life changing decision as Mara prepares for the premiere of In Nomine Matris, her mentor challenges her to reach for the top while her mother (played by thespian actor Tami Monsod) inflicts her with a lesson she tries so hard not to follow. In the middle of EDSA, the famous transportation artery where the Philippine revolution transpired, Mara’s fate is handed to her by surprise, forever changes her.

In Nomine Matris (In the Name of the Mother) is a narrative close to the heart of filmmaker, Will Fredo. It is inspired by true events in the lives of real Flamenco performers and its growing popularity in the Philippines. The filmmaker aims to pay homage to the joys and failures of motherhood, to the beat of his matriarchal country, to the Spanish heritage ingrained in our Filipino culture by underscoring Philippine classics and the traces of intense passion of the Spanish sensibility.

The film fuses Philippine dances and Spanish Flamenco rhythms and steps, created and choreographed by world-renowned Flamenco master Miss Clara Ramona. Bob Aves, foremost Filipino world-jazz musician, composed a unique musical score combining Flamenco ‘compas’ and Filipino Kundiman. Aside from the dancing and the music, Fredo pushes the limit by adding Spanish verse opera singing by Al Gatmaitan and a gut wrenching original open-mic poetry performance by artist Jam Pérez. Filipino actors of diverse background lend their talents in giving life to a vision that is both familiar and challenging. These elements contribute to a rare viewing experience.

The Music  |  The Cast |  Director’s Notes