By Bryan Edulzura
It’s tentative title by the film writer is “Ang Babae’ng Nibiya sa Natulog na Suba (The Maiden Who Left the Sleeping River).”
I got to learn this story when it was shared to us in the outdoor poetry reading session last week. It is actually a movie script in progress by creative writer RJS, who longed to turn it to a full-length independent Butuan movie if there are individuals or a group willing to produce it.
The movie idea is set in 15th century Butuan’s Agusan river. It tells of a young woman living along the river village who meet and eloped an ordinary sailor from a strange land who turns out to be a prince in the Kingdom of Brunei in the island of Borneo.
The woman’s story was included in one history book on Mindanao’s past. Her name was Twanbaloka. RJS, who’s both a playwright and scriptwriter has once done a stage play before, mounted by Actors Quarter (AQ), a local theater company many years ago.
Now, he wants to do an independent movie version for the sake of sharing our local and even national heritage.
“I shared this dream to some Butuanons hoping they be interested,” says him who also convenes the city’s oldest poetry reading session and interactions every first Saturdays of the month.
How did Twanbaloka story’s inspiration come to his creative mind?
“It was my good friend, the historian Greg Hontiveros who told me about the book by a Mindanaoan professor. It was mentioned in only one line but I imagined it makes a beautiful movie on ancient Butuan with a universal twist.”
Today, having written many stories for adults and children and features he is open to any interested takers for this particular indie movie project provided he knows them and serious with the endeavor. For him, it is inspiring the Butuan’s maiden story be told on screen as a look-back and a source of history in various colors and voices.
Incidentally, he has other stories he hope to be mounted. One is the life and troubles of the ancient villagers confronting the arrival of Father Saturnino Urios along the river villages. It is an untold and sort of an unauthorized story with a progressive and critical line.
Another story in his mind is about the effects of mining activities by multinational companies in Surigao and its small villages in particular on the untold prostitution of the place. It is a recent story taken from reality.
We hope conscientious individuals willing to help or be part of these screen projects to come forward. It is the time to tell the world who are and what we stand for.
Artwork courtesy of Pixels