An unpublished article of FEU Advocate that is meant for Refreshments, a feature-based review section of the publication. The writer took the liberty to publish this movie (documentary) review here.
Old Jun, The Cart and His Guards
(Si Mang Jun, Ang Kariton at Ang Kanyang mga Bantay)
2009 i-Witness Student Documentary Contest Grand Prize winner
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
-Roger Caras, Wildlife Preservationist
When a person is jailed by depression, he usually seeks out companionship from family members or pals; but surprisingly, Mang Jun, a 63-year-old man, finds great enthusiasm from dogs—the vogue that made Far Eastern University (FEU) Mass Communication students win the 2009 i-Witness Student Documentary Contest Grand Prize winner.
The metaphoric representation of dogs as man’s best pal fills out the feeling of strong yearning and supplies the desire of letting out tenderness and sympathy.
Behind the film
The stage of filmmakers in the country devised from the contact of realism to packing in cultures and arts.
With seriousness and critical discern, the docu-piece floated up with i-Witness’ finest pieces to tackle social issues in a broader interest. Representing dismals of the country, filmmakers define their pieces as muckrakers, disapprover or attacker.
Competing with over a hundred of entries nationwide, FEU students and their film surfaced as the grand prize winner of the 2009 i-Witness Student Documentary Contest last October 10, 2009.
“i-Witness opens the heart and eyes of the government,” host Kara David expressed during the docufest, remarking filmmakers as the eye openers who resolve Philippines’ problems.
Documentary team was composed of second year students Ma. Veronica Santiago, Bryan Mangahas, Maribeth San Miguel, John Philip Aricheta, Bell Mirato and Rejean Dauplo with Professor Michael de Vera as team adviser and Jet Leyco as consultant.
The 13-minute film was brought into a whole as the team embossed sensibility of artistic forms through the report in a way of producing foremost and premiere quality films.
What’s the fuss?
Mang Jun resides in an abandoned gasoline station with his cart and six dogs. After praying for a shelter, a group of citizens from Tarlac showed generosity by helping him build his own cart.
Despite the clamorous sound the dogs make during sleeping time and the demanding need of food, Mang Jun still withstands the responsibility of being accompanied by dogs.
Mang Jun’s life narrates a classic Filipino tragedy: the death of his mother was caused by the death of his father.
However, the major incident that led him to great depression was when his wife died.
Due to financial suffering, his sister, who can give better future, adopted his son.
As he opted to continue life alone with his six dogs, he fulfills his obligation as someone who is a part of a family, not to his son but to the company of his buddies.
The documentary piece focused on Mang Jun’s story after the team postulated how broad the topic about home for the aged was.
Adopting dogs made his life with practicality as they serve as his potential shock absorber. Suffered from being single-handed unaided, Mang Jun is still mentally capable.
Worn out by constant use, the trite expression “dog as man’s best friend,” indeed, rings true.
The loss of his parents and wife were somehow diverted as the dogs maintain and stabilize the feeling of family bond.
i-witness host Howie Severino thought that the documentary displayed its own heart as it sought a good character through Mang Jun’s story.
“Nakahanap ito ng magandang karakter. Nabigyang buhay ang istorya ni Mang Jun (The story sought a good character. The documentary gave life to the story of Mang Jun),” Severino said.
Like any i-Witness documentaries, the story of Mang Jun spreads out open-faced realization to the government, becoming an eye opener to resolve social problems.
Along with i-Witness’ best documentaries, the winning entry was screened during the fest last October 10, 2009 at the Gateway Cineplex 10. The film can be viewed on www.youtube.com.