UNCENSORED – Highspeed’s always been saying that a book on Ishmael Bernal, great director and National Artist, ought to be written. Oh, there were several attempts to write one, including that of the late Mario Hernando.
But now, at long last, there’s one: “Pro Bernal, Anti Bio,” an uncensored memoir based on the director’s own writings as well as accounts of his lifelong friend, the late Jorge Arago, Editing and collating the book is Ms. Angela Stuart-Santiago, herself a friend of the director, familiarly addressed as “Ishma” or “Bernie.”
But why “Pro” and “Anti” in the book’s tittle?
One must read the book to know or guess or speculate why.
Ms. Stuart-Santiago write in the “pretext.”
“It’s a tell-all of a life lived to the hilt, fiercely forthright and critical but also gay and subversive, ironic and irreverent, sparing neither self nor nation, mothers nor lovers, art nor culture nor language, Marcos nor Cory.”
FRIENDS AND – Bernie’s showbiz friends included the late Marilou Diaz Abaya, Bibsy Carballo, Rolando Tinio, and Mario Hernando. Friends who are still around are Doy del Mundo, Ricky Lee, Bernardo Bernardo, Elizabeth Oropesa, Vilma Santos, Nestor Torre, Nora Aunor, among others.
Nora starred in Bernal’s “Himala,” voted by CNN viewers as the greatest Asia-Pacific film…of all times.
How about foes?
Lino Brocka , his rival, is offscreen a good friend. Another good friend is Regal producer Mother Lily Monteverde.
Also the late Douglas Quijano.
Tito Manoling Morato? Yes a foe… and all those who tampered with his masterpieces.
“Pro-Bernal, Anti Bernal” is published by ABS-CBN.
OTHER BOOKS – After Ishmael Bernal, who else deserve books?
Well, Lino Brocka and Manuel Conde already have books, peened by Mario Hernando and Nic Tiongson, respectively.
Then three other National Artists: Gerry de Leon, Bert Avellana, and Eddie Romero.
Perhaps, Nestor Torre could write the book on Romero, in tandem with the director’s son, Joey.
The families of De Leon and Avellana could handpick the authors.