Surviving Covid-19 : Musings and Silver Linings

Covid-19 changed the world and with it changed how we make movies. It created covid free bubble sets that put the artists and crew numbering to around 80 to 120  in isolation for 20 to 30 days.  An industry that requires a large group of people to do a creative endeavor and a larger group […]

Four Sisters and A Pandemic

How do you shoot a prequel of an iconic movie?  Or better yet, how do you shoot a prequel of an iconic movie during a pandemic?  Five months ago, I got a message from Star Cinema if I would be interested to shoot a movie for them in early October. Sixteen shooting days and 1 […]

Of The Female Gaze, Vacuum Cleaners and FAN GIRL

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” -Robert Capa, documentary photographer “Kamusta schedule mo these days?” When I got this message from Neil Daza I knew something interesting was brewing. I had already worked as his camera operator for a few projects with Chito Roño, including one with a very memorable leg […]

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Documenting Despair : A Pandemic Lockdown Journal

It is a 50mm lens so I’m constantly checking my manual focus since I am always moving and shifting composition.  My watch says it’s 8:30 am and I’m beginning to feel the sun’s heat on my nape. The morning sun is also blinding the lens while I am framing this frail man in front of […]

CULION : The Politics of Color

CULION AND FALCON July 15 Day 1 Heavy rains welcoming us at Culion pier. Low pressure area in the Visayas and has potential to become a tropical storm. July 16 Day 2 Bad weather. Tropical storm Falcon will hit landfall in the Babuyan Islands within 24 hrs. Even as rain continue we checked the cave […]


There are quite a few reasons why I wanted to shoot Crisanto Aquino’s Write About Love. First, it essentially takes me out of my comfort zone having shot a lot of drama and horrors. The romcom genre is not necessarily my territory. There is excitement when panic and confidence mix. You learn something new when […]

Filmmaking, Revolution and Rock n’ Roll

14th February 2017. The wind was going wild as the moon was rising over the Magasang rock formation in the South of East. I could see the movement of the waves lighted by the moonlight coming from the open sea, rampaging below the rocks as high tide started to descend. From a distance the gigantic […]


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Alternate Cinemalaya Portraits 2019

Filmmakers : Arden Rod Condez, Thop Nazareno, Kim Zuniga & Sandro del Rosario, Joji Alonzo, Eduardo Roy J r., Theodore Boborol, Maricel Cariaga, Sheryl Rose Andes, Leilani  Chavez & Danica Sta.Lucia, Xian Lim, Francis Guillermo, Don Senoc, Gilb Baldoza, Norvin De Los Santos, Julius Renomeron Jr., Josef Gacutan, Glen Averia, Harold Pialda, Shai Advincula, Sheron […]

Oda Sa Wala : Finding Humanity in the Macabre

There is never a dull moment when you’re shooting a Dwein Baltazar film, on set or behind the camera. We share the same attitude in making films – experiment, improvise, and learn something new along the way. Oda Sa Wala is my third collaboration with Dwein; the first one was Mamay Umeng (2012) which was […]

Shooting from the Heart : Creating the World of ULAN

I. Si Maya, Ang Ulan at ang mga Tikbalang Back in 2011, Irene Villamor sent me a script which she first wrote in 2008 about a young girl who loves watching the rain and talks to tikbalangs getting married. It was a charming concept for a movie, something I would like to see on the […]

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Muses from the Masters : Realism and Alone/Together

As a young cinematographer I had learned early on that I need to hear words and ideas from my director, process and translate them to an image/s which I would use as my visual anchor while making the film. That image becomes my guiding light so I won’t get lost in the midst of chaos in making […]


As part of the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2018, nine cinematographers gathered to discuss their work on the nine competing films. The forum was created as another approach to educating the audience in the role of the cinematographer in creating what the audience see and feel on screen and to also better understand the film medium. […]

Conversation #2 : Pinoy Movieland In the Eyes of Neil Daza

This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of Rogue Magazine. Chito Roño’s go-to cinematographer is staging his first exhibit of photographs from the movie set at the CCP. As he sheds light on the making of the images, Rogue reflects on the impact of his work. BY PHILBERT DY For over 25 […]

Cinematography Notes

These notes were written out of boredom in between scene setups on the set. The first post in my Facebook page was three years ago. It started out as thoughts on cinematography and later on became random observations of people making movies and the system’s imperfection all from the point of view of a cinematographer.   […]


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