Ida del Mundo: Filmmaker Helps Keep an Ancient Culture Alive
With that goal in mind, the 28-year-old Ida added “director and filmmaker” to her credentials which already included journalist and violinist for the Manila Symphony Orchestra.
Ida del Mundo wrote and directed “K’na the Dreamweaver,” an independent Filipino film that launched in the US. It recently won “Best of Show” at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto 2015 and the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Cinemalaya awards in Manila. The movie tells the story of K’na, a T’boli princess and cloth weaver, caught in a century-old clan war of her tribe, torn between her true love and family duty.
Ida has a BA in literature and a master’s in creative writing. She is the daughter of Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, a respected scriptwriter and filmmaker. But Ida is her own person, with strong insights about Philippine cinema.
“I wish there was support for Philippine indie films in Manila. I’m reaching out to the audience, to bring the film to them, make it available in different platforms and venues. “
Ida was born in the US, but has lived in the Philippines since age eight. She has been around the world. “From traveling to remote places, I’ve come to value different cultural identities.”
She knows being Filipino gives her the advantage of showing the world something they haven’t seen before. But just like any work of art, she is aware that for every good review there are bad ones. “Bad reviews hurt. It’s important to take both rants and raves with a grain of salt.”
“To overcome my hurt feelings on negative reviews, I go back to why I did this film. I remind myself this is important. Never apologize for something you put your heart into.”
Her proudest moment was showing the film “K’na” to the T’bolis and seeing their reactions. The younger T’boli generation is less in touch with their indigenous culture. “It was heartening to hear them say this film made them proud of their heritage.” And that was when Ida knew her work went beyond making a film; it contributed to keeping an ancient culture alive.
“I travel, I teach, I am a journalist and a violinist. More important, I acknowledge my own weaknesses, but I trust in my strengths.”
Gino Barrica Esq.: A Compassion for Immigrants
In the Philippines, he saw real hardship and poverty. “My mom runs the Filipino branch of Help International. The kids she helps have difficult lives -- street kids, orphans, recovering addicts. Gino saw people come from nothing and achieve great things.
Today, Gino Barrica, is a lawyer in San Francisco, California with his own firm, Barrica Law. He graduated from Temple University James Beardsley School of Law, with an undergrad degree from Millersville University, magna cum laude.
Barrica wanted to make a difference and raise awareness for immigrants – both documented and undocumented. At the same time, he is aware that much is needed for real change. Gino believes that as a Filipino he has a unique perspective.
“It’s different when you’ve lived through the process. It took me nine years to get my green card here in the USA. I couldn’t afford college because I didn’t qualify for financial aid.”
Even after obtaining a law degree, the challenges continued. “I failed the California bar exam the first time. I lost my job since I was hired contingent on passing the bar. There’s a difference when you fail to pass an exam that your livelihood depends on. I was devastated.”
Determined, he studied morning, noon and night. The next time, he passed the California bar and became a licensed attorney.
Barrica was also a legal volunteer for “The Alipato Project,” a personal injury program that provides legal representation to survivors of domestic violence.
Now in his early 30s and newly married to Kishwer Vikass, Barrica is like other young Filipinos who want to help shape the world. “I try to raise awareness about immigration issues. You can’t change the system alone, but you can change a few minds. That’s the first step.”
He adds, “Sometimes I stop to think about how I got here. I was born in Manila and was by no means, wealthy. I worked my way through college and law school. Now here I am in the States, thousands of miles away and fortunate to be an attorney so I can help others who went through what I did. Anything is possible.”
Elizabeth Ann Quirino is an award-winning journalist, food writer, blogger, columnist, social media influencer and former college instructor. She is also the creator of www.AsianInAmericamag.com, a Filipino food blog.
Currently, she is writing her Philippine cookbook which will publish soon. And together with husband, Elpi Quirino, is writing a book of historical quotes from the late Elpidio Quirino (former President of the Philippines).
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