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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 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.

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

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

Five Independent New Wave Opens the 38th MMFF

As first seen on COMMUTER EXPRESS (Entertainment Express section by Arsenio ‘Archie’ Liao)

Shout-out to the Creative Artists behind the In Nomine Matris poster:
Kim Guanzon (photography), Laa-Hernando Guanzon (make-up), and Roldan Din (stylist/art direction)

In Nomine Matris Official Poster in Commuter Express

In Nomine Matris Official Poster in Commuter Express
[ Click picture for a larger image ]


2012 International Film Festival Manhattan Awards Night

The 2nd Annual International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) held its Opening Night and Awards Ceremony last November 8 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate in Manhattan, New York a day after a strong Nor’easter hit the city that is still recovering from the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy.

The festival is scheduled to run from November 9th till the 15th with all film screenings at the Quad Cinemas in Manhattan.

IFFM founders Luis Pedron and Gerry Balasta expressed their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped them achieve their goal of showcasing and entertaining the diverse films in all genres and scope to equal the diversity of New York.

Here’s a complete list and snapshots from the Opening/Awards Night courtesy of Rex Romero, Fernell Cruz, and blogger Felix Manuel.

International Film Festival Manhattan Awards Night

International Film Festival Manhattan Awards Night


International Film Festival Manhattan 2012 Award Categories and Winners

2012 Mount Hope Project Awardees:

-“21 and a WakeUp”

– “ABC Nunca Mas”

-“Ganap Na Babae”


Best Director
-Will Fredo, “The Caregiver”

Best Cinematographer
-“I’ve Only Just Begun.”

Best Actress
-Tara Samuel, “Ruby Booby”

Best Actor
– Jacky Woo, “Haruo”

Independent Achievement Award (Short)
-Crystal Diane Stevens, “Organized Criminal”

Global Achievement in Acting/Independent Achievement Award (Feature)
– Jacky Woo, “Haruo”


Film Winners and Nominees:

*Best Short:
“Organized Criminal”
“Just a Joke”

Winner: “Just a Joke”

*Best Music Video:
“Living – Arrested Development”
“The Magic Rabbit 2”

Winner: “”Living – Arrested Development”

*Best US Documentary:
“Oxygen for the Ears Living Jazz”
“The YES Movie”

Winner: “Oxygen for the Ears Living Jazz”

*Best Global Documentary:
“Inori-Prayer Conversation with Something Great”
“ABC Nunca Mas”

Winner: “Inori – Prayer Conversation with Something Great”

*Best US Narrative:
“Theresa is a Mother”
“Musical Chairs”

Winner: “Theresa is a Mother”

*Best Global Narrative:
“The Foreigner”
“Misterioso Asasenito en el Aulas”

Winner: “The Foreigner”

*Most Popular Competition on Facebook Awarded Thurs Nov 15, 2012.

Runner Up:
Counting Happiness

Winner: “Counting Happiness”


2012 IFFM Best Director Will Fredo with Actress Liza Diño

2012 IFFM Best Director Will Fredo with Actress Liza Diño


2012 IFFM Best Actress Tara Samuel and her family

2012 IFFM Best Actress Tara Samuel and her family


2012 IFFM Best Global Narrative "The Foreigner"

2012 IFFM Best Global Narrative “The Foreigner”


2012 IFFM Best Short "Just a Joke" (Italy)

2012 IFFM Best Short “Just a Joke” (Italy)


As seen first Nov. 08, 2012 from columnist/blogger Felix Manuel: [more photos in blog site]

Photo Credits: Rex Romero

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