Cine Europa Tacloban Bound

Nearly a year later, people still live in tents in Tacloban. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nearly a year later, people still live in tents in Tacloban. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Nearly a year after the strongest typhoon in recorded history pounded Tacloban and Visayas, these areas are still struggling to put their lives back together. Portions of population in Tacloban are still living in tents, residential homes still lie in ruins.

Cultural exchange through a film festival like Cine Europa may not be the infrastructure of roads, bridges and schools that they need. But it may give them a much-needed breather from the day-to-day struggles they face. From the Visayas State University in Leyte, special screenings for families affected by Yolanda will be held from October 21-26 in Tacloban.

Kids play between ships that were tossed on shore during storm surge nearly a year ago. Photo by Jude Bautista

Kids play between ships that were tossed on shore during storm surge nearly a year ago. Photo by Jude Bautista

Now on its 17th year the Cine Europa film fest has screened the best films from Europe in its home at the Shang Cineplex in Shangri La Plaza Mall. It will run from September 11-21, 2014. The fest has always had long lines watching films from as far as Czechoslovakia to Bulgaria to the more familiar Italian and English cinema.

Cine Europa will then move to other cities: Baguio Cinematheque from September 23-28, Ilo-ilo Cinematheque from September 30 to October 5, Ayala Center Cinema in Cebu from October 10-12. Davao will host the screenings from October 28-November 2, Zamboanga Cinematheque from November 4-9 and concluding screenings in Liceo De Cagayan University in Cagayan De Oro from November 13-16.

foreground from left: French Emb Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal, FDCP, Austrian Emb Consular Affairs Lisbeth Strohmeier, Spanish Emb First Sec. Meritxell Parayre-Sabés, Danish Emb Charge d’Affaires Pia Salma, Emb of Netherlands rep Fleur Edens, Swiss Emb Sr. Proj Officer & Asst Head of Mission Diana Chan, EU Public Affairs Officer Thelma Gecolea, Shangri-La Plaza Mktg Div Head Marline Dualan, EU Info Officer Robert Leon and Phil Italian Association officer Cristina Moricca. Background from left: Inst Cervantes MLA Dir. Dr. Carlos Madrid, Goethe Inst Dir. Dr. Petra Raymond and EU Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo. Cine Europa will screen the best European movies for free at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza from September 11-21, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: French Emb Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal, FDCP Exec Mike Dela Rosa, Austrian Emb Consular Affairs Lisbeth Strohmeier, Spanish Emb First Sec. Meritxell Parayre-Sabés, Danish Emb Charge d’Affaires Pia Salma, Emb of Netherlands rep Fleur Edens, Swiss Emb Sr. Proj Officer & Asst Head of Mission Diana Chan, EU Public Affairs Officer Thelma Gecolea, Shangri-La Plaza Mktg Div Head Marline Dualan, EU Info Officer Robert Leon and Phil Italian Association officer Cristina Moricca. Background from left: Inst Cervantes MLA Dir. Dr. Carlos Madrid, Goethe Inst Dir. Dr. Petra Raymond and EU Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo. Cine Europa will screen the best European movies for free at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza from September 11-21, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Admission is free to all screenings at all locations for the two-month festival.

The line up this year has a total of 23 movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy The Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland.

EU Delegation Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo. Cine Europa will screen the best European movies for free at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza from September 11-21, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

EU Delegation Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo. Cine Europa will screen the best European movies for free at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza from September 11-21, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

EU Delegation Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo said, “Yes we’re very keen to make this leg in Tacloban happen for obvious reasons. There are many European aid agencies working on the ground in Tacloban and we hope to rope them in to help us secure participation. We’re looking at different options for the location of the screening. There are challenges as you can imagine.”

Vehicles were tossed by floods during Yolanda, this one just a few meters away from the airport. Photo by Jude Bautista

Vehicles were tossed by floods during Yolanda, this one just a few meters away from the airport. Photo by Jude Bautista

There are logistical difficulties stemming from recent problems with infrastructure, “We have a new challenge that turned up today. You may have heard that the airport of Tacloban is now closed and will only be open to turbo prop aircraft for the foreseeable future. We’re looking at venues that can accommodate people who have been most affected by what happened. One possibility is to use the astrodome. We’re also looking at other possibilities if that does not work out. That is something that we are very keen to see realized.”

Trees that produced coconut water and meat were totally devastated in Tacloban, Leyte. They have NOT recovered from the loss even after a year. Photo by Jude Bautista

Trees that produced coconut water and meat were totally devastated in Tacloban, Leyte. They have NOT recovered from the loss even after a year. Photo by Jude Bautista

Goethe Institut Philipinen, the cultural center of Germany here in our country is one of the more active participants in Cine Europa. Goethe Institut was also part of the recently concluded International Silent Film Festival also held at the Shang Cineplex.

Ships that were tossed on shore during storm surge nearly a year ago are still there blocking streets and a burden to the people in Tacloban, Leyte. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ships that were tossed on shore during storm surge nearly a year ago are still there blocking streets and a burden to the people in Tacloban, Leyte. Photo by Jude Bautista

Goethe Institut Philipinen Director Petra Raymond was recently able to visit Tacloban to see first hand the current situation. That’s why for her having the fest there is vital. She said, “Its very important to send a signal there. I was there in June, 7 months after Yolanda, a lot of people are still struggling. You have brand new Petrol stations and supermarkets. Which is necessary that you provide these goods. But to see how much money went in there and next door is just broken construction. People don’t know what to do. Its good they have basketball courts. Its good they have an opportunity, they have a hard day living to see some films, which are, entertaining as well. They need to have that. We would like to be visible as Europe in the Philippines and Europe as a big variety. A film festival is a good way to show that.”

from left: K’NA THE DREAMWEAVER director Ida Anita Del Mundo, EU Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo and FDCP Exec Dir Mike Dela Rosa. Cine Europa will screen the best European movies for free at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza from September 11-21, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: K’NA THE DREAMWEAVER director Ida Anita Del Mundo, EU Political Counselor Dr. Julian Vassallo and FDCP Exec Dir Mike Dela Rosa. Cine Europa will screen the best European movies for free at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza from September 11-21, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Graffiti on ship that was tossed on shore during storm surge says it all. Photo by Jude Bautista

Graffiti on ship that was tossed on shore during storm surge says it all. Photo by Jude Bautista

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