‘Fields of Hope’ at Manhattan Film Festival 2016

The wrath of Yolanda (Haiyan) did not only destroy millions of properties and took thousands of lives. It also shattered the dreams of many families and children of Eastern Visayas. It stole from them the hope that life will get better and progress is possible. If not for the help of both international and local organizations, things would have been harder for many of the survivors. Recovery and moving forward would remain to be an idea or a concept on paper and not a reality that they have to live on. 

One of these organizations is Mission Tacloban of the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Medical Foundation (RTRMF). 

In May 2014, Mission Tacloban created a football program that would help young children overcome their trauma and depression. By actively participating in the sport and interacting with other survivors, these kids picked up the pieces of their broken dreams and looked forward to a better tomorrow. 

 “The program began with 96 children, ages 6 to 13. The Team from Barangay San Jose (one of the badly hit areas of Tacloban) had 15 members. Today, the football program has reached over a hundred children, the team from Barangay San Jose alone, which we now call the RTR Leyte All Stars, has 44 members.” said Mission Tacloban Director, Ginggay Hontiveros. 

In December last year, armed with courage and hope, the RTR Leyte All Star boys conquered Alaska Cup. It is known to be one of the most competitive football arenas in the Philippines. It was no easy feat though, even if they have beaten a handful of privileged boys from various schools in Metro Manila. 

Yesterday, it was Alaska Cup, today, the world.

Fields of Hope, the documentary film featuring three of the players of the Team was chosen to become part of the official selection for the Manhattan Film Festival 2016 in New York City. Extra Mile Productions, an independent Philippine production house that produces documentaries created and produced the film directed by Troy Bernardo.

The story of Jaryd, Julius, and Kenneth shall be shared to everyone in what MovieMaker Magazine calls the coolest film festival in the world.

Local, national, and international media including television, newspaper, magazine, and web outlets like New York Times, Good Morning America, Good Day New York, and Vogue are covering the festival.  

This will open doors for more opportunities for the boys. Their story of hope, courage and strength will be showcased for the world to see. 

These players will show how the mastery of living one day at a time is done. They have been through the worst at a young age, yet, they remain to be optimistic. They didn’t falter when the world tried stopping them from realizing their dreams. They got bruised but they didn’t allow the pain and the fear to get the best of them.       

Through their experience, the viewers will understand what it’s like to be a resilient Waray. They will get a good perspective on why amidst all the adversities going around us, one shouldn’t give up but instead, toughen up. 

Fields of Hope isn’t just about football nor is it just about the boys and their struggle for survival. It’s the story of every Waray child who has dreams, who works hard to achieve it and uses passion to fuel his ambition.  It is a representation of a survivor’s life. The life of hope and courage, of gloomy days and bright mornings, of losing grip and holding on, and of believing in oneself and not giving up on his dreams. 

It isn’t your regular go-to movie; it’s a slice of each of our lives.   

To learn more about the film, you may access:


Manzano vows to focus on education, jobs

Actor and Partido Galing at Puso senatorial candidate Edu Manzano

Senatorial candidate Edu Manzano vows to give priority to creating more educational and job opportunities to all Filipinos so that they can be equipped with the needed skills and competencies to boost their competitive edge over their global rivals.

Edu, who is running under the coalition Partido Galing at Puso in the May 9 elections, said he wants to push for creating the opportunities that would free the majority of the Filipino people from the shackles of ignorance and poverty.

 “Education is the greatest equalizer and the best way to improve one’s lot. It is also the best shield against abuse and exploitation among our young people nowadays,” he said during a radio interview.

 “Our children should not just have free access to quality education, but also, most importantly, in this age of globalization, they should be given the opportunity to pursue higher studies if they want to,” he added.

Manzano recalled when he asked his eldest son, Luis, to get a college degree first as a condition before pursuing a promising career in Philippine showbiz.

Luis, who is turning 35 next month, graduated from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. Like his father, Luis is considered as one of the country’s best game show hosts.

 “Magandang ehemplo si Luis.  Nung bata pa siya, maraming nang-eengganyo na mag-showbiz na siya.  Usapan namin ay magtapos muna sya, magpakita ng diploma, at tapos nun ay bahala na sya,” Manzano quipped.

The former Makati vice mayor also said he will push for massive investment on teacher training and education, especially those in the pre-school levels and beyond, stressing that all school teachers should be given a chance to pursue higher studies.

 “Some studies suggest that effective learning comes from a teacher’s mastery of the subject matter.  All teachers, whether in public and private schools, should be given a shot at further studies,” he said.

Manzano also said he will also push for aligning the curricula to competencies or skills required by industries here and abroad to address the country’s labor requirements, including addressing the widening skills-job mismatch.  

Topics: Fields of hope , Manhattan film festival 2016
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