Monday, June 3, 2013
to see the film online inside the USA: http://www.amazon.com/Independent-Lens-Left-Ship/dp/B008621M0G
or itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/left-by-the-ship/id524886719
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Here is the website http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/left-by-the-ship/
And also, the feature length version of the film can be seen on itunes from May 25th. Here is the link to that http://bit.ly/Kvv3d
Friday, July 29, 2011
upcoming festivals for the film:
Official Selection, Artivist film Festival 2011 (august)
Official Selection, I've Seen Films Festival 2011 (september)
Official Selection, Kansas International Film Festival 2011 (september)
Official Selection, Cinema Italien Annency 2011 (OCtober)
Official Selection, San Diego Asian American Film Festival (October)
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Childhood is supposed to be a time of innocence, but for this little
Amerasian girl, whatever is left of it is slowly being peeled away
every day that passes by.
I met Marge only briefly - but I immediately knew the kind of life she
lead and the extraordinary danger that she faces every minute of her
There was a time when I spent more hours in the street than in the
small room that my mom rented for us. I was a few years younger than
her then, but then I was a boy - and so was shielded from some of the
dangers that waited for her around corners.
The tragedy in her situation is that, having lived in the streets for
so long, she no longer knows how to live what we would call ' an
ordinary life', spent around the house among family.
She has become like the wind, breezing through the streets of
Olongapo, as wild and free as the elements itself. Sleeping under the
roof of buildings, looking for food whatver way she could manage, and
doing what she wills - when she wants to - has become a way of life
But when I look at her, I see her encased in a prison - made possible
by long habit - encased between walls of air. It doesn't take a lot of
imagination to see what life has in store for her down the road, if
she can't do something to get her out of there - or find people who
will help her.
One of the most positive scenarios for her, sad to say, is to become
her like father - an Amerasian who prowls the city streets, with no
real place to call home, only managing by a hair's breadth to overcome
hunger, thirst, and the dangers that lurk nearby by dint of luck.
Trying to fit in and overcome
I met a young girl - a black Amerasian - who told me that some of the
most indelible memories she had were of those times when others jeered
her, teased her, and ridiculed her for the color of her skin.
She told me of painful memories when others called her names - and
these labels, hurled without any thought by callous people, lodged
deep in her heart. It was so bad that she would sometimes break down
That is, until found it within herself to be strong. Some of us has a
way of finding aplace inside our own minds to shield ourselves from
the harshness of others. It would take her some time, she said, but as
she grew up she also developed the necessary toughness one needs to
survive experiences like hers.
Today, even as she still feels the stares, the sting of jokes at her
expense, or the laughter aimed at her - she has deliberately exerted
effort to fight back - but on her own terms.
She will not be the butt of jokes - not anymore. Instead, she will
face whatever they throw at her and shine - no matter what.
And she does this everyday - trying to be normal, when everything
about her screams of her inherent difference - if only in appearance -
from those around her, can still be a difficult challenge. But it is
one that she is only happy to face head on.
JR seemed in perpetual search for a place that he could call home and
people to count him as one of their own. At the time, he was out of a
job – but he supplemented his meager income with odd jobs, eking out
an income for his brother and himself.
When I met him, I thought to myself – here is a vital young man – sure
he has invisible crutches, but he seemed capable of standing on his
own two feet if he set his mind to it.
In this young man I saw a strong yearning– which alternately moved me
and frustrated me. Because I recognized it for what it was – somewhere
deep within him, like in all of us, there is a reservoir of feelings
that has almost gone dry from not being filled by others.
In a sense, he is thirsting for love – but, like the man who is lost
in the middle of the desert, he is going to die of it unless he finds
an oasis in a vast land of despair. Or wakes up from his delirium and
stops chasing mirages.
Charismatic and fiercely loyal, Jr was always in trouble – or headed
for one. He surrounded himself with friends – his gang – who were
there, I felt, to make up for what he lacked – a family of his own.
He still believes in a concept called " Father", something I learned a
long time ago to cast away – like the belief in Santa Claus, which did
not survive my childhood.
I learned early on that ' Father ' will always remain just a word to
me. And so I set it all aside – together with whatever desire I had
for one. For me, there was no use trying to crave what you could never
have. That is, until I became one.
And realized what I lost a long time ago when you turned your back on
me and walked away. Forever.
In spending with Jr and being around someone so open about his
feelings, I came face to face with the reality of what I – and others
like us - confront in their everyday lives. In my case, I had
squashed those feelings that grips him now, until they no longer
exerted any influence on me. But seeing it in him provoked me to think
about our situation.
How can you pin your hopes on someone who abandoned you? How can you
love someone who loved himself more than you? And, finally, how can
you hold on to this desire to be with someone who may not show the
What Jr has been through – and what is going on in his life now – at
least, in my mind, is still potentially alterable if he first accepts
the reality of his situation.
He is searching for something that others seem incapable of giving him
– unconditional love – from people who impose conditions on their love
for him. Once he gets past that, then he will be within sight of the
road to recovery and eventually find the will to stand on his own.
More than anything, he spends time with his gang. In each other, they
find solace, even as their own preoccupations veer toward the
dangerous or the absurd.
JR I always on the brink of one disaster or another – and usually,
the source of the trouble often comes from the people who are supposed
to love and take care of him – his friends and adoptive family—this is
the tragic place where fate has placed him.
But beneath the tough exterior is something tender – a yearning to be
cared for and be loved, mixed in with a great capacity for giving of
himself to others. In the end, that could also be what saves him –
if he can lay his demons to rest.