DP Reel Jan 2015

Here are films I’ve worked on a a cinematographer.  I enjoyed doing each film here and I’m grateful for the directors I collaborated with. Being a cinematographer is something I enjoy tremendously.  And it is always what I look forward to each year–to be able to light for a feature film for a director and help them tell their story.

Note: Please watch on highest setting (HD)



Emilio Sr.


He would have been 109 yrs old today. Ambassador Emilio Abello Sr.  I remember him as a smoker. I remember him always gathering people together, especially our family.  We were always together because of him. And you notice it because when we passed away, the gatherings were always a way to honor him. And they faded away. The gatherer was gone.

I believe I’ve never seen him in shorts or in jeans. He was always dapper in his suits or in his pajamas with leather slippers.  I will never forget how my Dad explained his growing up years when I asked him how Lolo was. He explained it this way:  you could do what you want, stay up all night, he didn’t care…as long as you were there for lunch.


People always ask me why my name is Emilio VI but my nickname is Jay.  Well, this is the first time I will publish this.  My mom’s chosen name for me was Jaime Jose. And my nickname was going to be Jay.  On the day I was born, the rapists of Maggie Dela Riva were either convicted or sentenced…on that same day and it was big news at that time. And one of them had the same name as what my mom chose for me. So she dropped those names and hung on to my nickname.  And my mom picked my 2 grandfathers names–Emilio and Edgardo.

I’ve never introduced myself as Emilio my whole life up until 2006 when I lived in Chicago. And I actually loved it. People were calling me Emilio there.  But here in the Philipines, people call me Jay.

I have very clear memories of my lolo. And it was only always in the periphery because he was always surrounded by people..family or other big men. Yes, they were all giants as I was a little boy from the province in Manila.  He was what I would call a bigshot.  He had 2 bodyguards and I remember them. And I would interview them about their gun. That to me was fascinating. Why would he have a bodyguard when he was a kind kind man was very intriguing for a child? He and my grandmother loved going to church and the grocery.

I actually got that habit from him. I love going to Unimart because of my lolo. It’s a me-time I always trace back to him.

My lolo was a great man may sound cliche but not this one. He was a great man. I only understand the word statesman because of him. They are a dying breed nowadays.  I think I’ve always wanted to do great things because of him.



There she stands majestic against the ominous clouds…

IMG_5366I’ve seen Kanlaon volcano so many times and in so many different ways. I’ve spent so much time in this place. But this is my favorite. I’ve never seen the cone so sharp and so featured, framed  and surrounded by the clouds.

The chicken print.

Interesting enough– growing up, I remember 4 artworks in the house– 4 paintings. 2 small ones and 2 big ones.  The other 3 were ordinary landscape impressionistic paintings. they were nice and easy to understand. A very Filipino seascape and sunset silhouette and 2 European cities by the water, small ones, they looked like watercolor but they were not, they were paint. The 4th one was always a super weird almost Picasso type– especially when you were a kid.  But that was a long time ago when were were growing up in the farm town of Isabela.

When I worked the farm after college back in 1995, the 3 paintings were still there except for this 4th one. I haven’t seen it since I was a kid.

Then just this Christmas, I saw it. It was hanging in my Dad’s house. The frame was already dilapidated but the painting held on. It was a weird cockfighting painting.

And this would probably be the artwork that has influenced me the most–if I were to recall, that painting always made me curious because of the style.


Note:  So I asked my father where he got this and he just replied that this was in fact a print (19/25) by the father of printed media before. His name was Tolentino. And this was in the late 1960’s.



The Sport of Kings (documentary film)

It is the documentary I’ve been dying to make and have been trying to get off the ground for many years.  And now we’re in production and it’s very exciting.  I grew up around gamefowl breeders all my life but I’m not a chicken man. I am going inside this world with the eyes of an amateur, I know very little about this world. And so far, it’s fascinating to say the least.

Formerly known as Blood in the Gallera, this documentary is slated to be released end of 2015.



The World Slasher Cup 2015 at the Araneta Coliseum. This is the 3rd World Slasher Cup we’ve shot since we started with this film. It it just gets more exciting and bigger each time.


Candelaria 2015.  From the way the 2 most prestigious derbies have been desrcibed to me, in my own words, the Worls Slasher Cup is the Academy Awards and the Candelaria is the Cannes of cockfighting.

RED wins best screenplay award in Cinemaone!


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