Inspiring stories banner Independence Day film fest

MANILA, Philippines – Those in need of a break from toxic conversations especially on social media can watch inspiring real-life stories from young filmmakers during the Istorya ng Pag-Asa (Stories of Hope) Film Festival on June 12, Independence Day.

Istorya ng Pag-Asa will feature 15 films – a cut from the 73 entries that the Office of the Vice President has received since the competition opened in November 2017. The film festival is an offshoot of the Istorya ng Pag-Asa traveling photo exhibit.

"Naisipan natin na parang idala siya one step further – hindi na lang siya photo gallery, pero mga films, short films noong mga kuwento nila. Kasi parang pakiramdam namin, mas maa-appreciate iyong mga kuwento kapag napapanood kaysa binabasa," Vice President Leni Robredo said in an interview over radio DZRH on Saturday, June 9.

(We thought of taking it a step further – not just a photo gallery but films, short films of their stories. We feel like the stories would be better appreciated if they are watched and not just read.)

Robredo said one of the stories that left a lasting effect on her was the life of Judge Ave Alba of Daraga, Albay, who worked as a maid and janitress to put herself through school.

Alba finished high school as a valedictorian with the help of teachers who she worked for as a maid. Alba then became a scholar in college, but worked as a janitress to sustain her daily expenses. A Suma Cum Laude, she became a court stenographer during which she put herself through law school. 

"Kapag nagbukas kasi tayo ng Facebook, ang daming negative, ang daming nag-aaway. Hindi lang Facebook, pati Twitter, nagsasagutan iyong iba't ibang mga kampo. Sabi namin, siguro kung i-flood natin iyong social media ng mga positive stories...Pakiramdam namin, mas mapi-pick up iyong positive stories kaysa negative, kaya gusto sana namin na i-promote ito nang mas lalo, para ito na iyong pinag-uusapan, hindi iyong mga away-away," Robredo said.

(If we open Facebook, it's full of negativity and quarelling. Not only on Facebook, but also on Twitter, all camps are hitting at each other. We thought that if we flood social media with positive stories, they would be picked up over the negative stories. We want to promote these so we can instead talk about these stories, instead of of the quarrels.)

The Istorya ng Pag-Asa films will be uploaded on Facebook on June 13. Entry to the gala night on June 12 at Glorietta 4 is on an invite-only basis. –