By Jezza A. Nepomoceno & Nicho Carlo P. Salazar
ILOILO – A short film that advocates for the prevention of depression leading to suicide was adjudged as this year’s winner in the recently concluded inspirational short film making contest of the Provincial Population Office.
Besting 29 other entries, the winning short film entitled “Pang-agda sa Kadulom” (Invitation to Darkness) was directed and produced by peer helpers of Guimbal National High School (NHS) Teen Center.
The peer helpers received the trophy and P10,000 cash prize during the Oscar-like awarding ceremony of the 2nd Information Education Campaign (IEC) sa Sine in Zarraga Covered Gym on November 22.
The short film also won minor awards for Best Director (John Christian Frajilo), Best in Editing, and Best Actress (Niahnah Garalda).
“Making our school on top of this competition was an awesome experience,” said Guimbal NHS Head Teacher Dr. Rodrigo Basco Jr. in an interview while encouraging other schools to join the next contest in 2019. Basco explained that they chose depression as topic for their entry since their school had previous cases of attempted suicide and they wanted to awaken depressed students of the value of life.
“The concept of the film is more on experiential learning. We asked students how they experienced depression and how did they react on it. We then came up with a very simple silent short film with one actress, no script only expressions, and symbolism to convey our message,” he said.
The second and third best films were “Marasmas” of Dumangas NHS Teen Center and “Sa Tuwid na Daan” of Oton NHS Teen Center. Their peer helpers brought home trophies and cash prize of P7,000 and P5,000, respectively.
The finalists, on the other hand, were “Rampa” of Janiuay NCHS, “Semicolon” of Granada NHS-Ballesteros Extension in Carles, “Panikasog” of Calinog NHS, “Ang Hugot sang Sapatos” of Zarraga NHS, “Tabang” of Pavia NHS, “Binagtong” of Barotac Viejo NHS, “Sarig” of Pototan NHS, “Pagmata” of Leonora S. Salapantan NHS in San Miguel, “Hanot” of Banate NHS, “Type Ko” of Tubungan NHS, “Dungog” of Mina NHS and “Huwaran” of Milan NHS in Lemery.
“Ang Hugot sang Sapatos” garnered the People’s Choice Award and Best Screenplay, “Hanot” won Best Poster, “Sa Tuwid na Daan” got the Best Cinematography and Ralph Gian Gabolonzo of “Marasmas” was awarded as Best Actor.
IEC sa Sine is held every two years by the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Team of the Provincial Population Office to open opportunities for the creative minds of the youth to produce short films that can be used as IEC material in the operation of school-based multipurpose teen center.
PPO Chief Ramon Yee believed that film is the best tool to capture the attention and hearts of the adolescents, especially those suffering from depression and other problems brought about by risky sexual and non-sexual activities.
In the case of depressed students, Yee said that they can always seek help and guidance in the teen center which Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. established in 48 public secondary high schools in the province. The teen center is a safe venue where students, including out-of-school-youth, can freely share their aspirations and problems in growing up.