Dexter Macaraeg is representing the Cordillera Administrative Region at the Sinag Maynila 2018 through his film “Am-Amma” (Heirloom), a tribute to his home province Abra. It is one of the six finalists in the documentary category of this year’s edition of the film festival.
Am-amma is the cloth that explains the different works and things you find only in Abra, Macaraeg explained. The director said it is a piece of cloth from an indigenous plant that was handsewn by Norma Agaid-Mina, a 74-year-old Tingguian weaver from Peñarrubia, Abra.
“According to Norma, she made the am-amma to remember during those times, a bodong or peace pact,” the “Am-amma” director stated. “It’s like dayaw, which means to present with pride, to show one’s best with dignity for friendship and celebration.”
Macaraeg explained further that am-amma is the heirloom of Abra Province. He said, “Throughout Abra’s long history, it is the weavers that have defined the fabrics of their lives from the clothes they wear. Down centuries, their skills have described the detail story of Abra Province leaving them with a priceless legacy.”
For Macaraeg, his fellow Cordillerans should watch “Am-amma” “to help save the weave and save the culture of Abra’s loom weaving industry.” As for the non-Cordillerans, this documentary will “open their eyes” and help them “appreciate these indigenous peoples that they have a voice to tell that could inspire them,” he noted.
As a filmmaker, Macaraeg trained under the tutelage of 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza in 2016. The latter is the festival director of Sinag Maynila, which was founded by Solar Entertainment Inc. Chairman Wilson Tieng.
Along with “Am-amma,” the other Sinag Maynila 2018 finalists in the documentary category are “Halaga” by Vandam Arambulo, “Journeyman Finds Home: The Simone Rota Story” by Albert P. Almendralejo and Maricel C. Cariaga, “Mahal” by Janine Santos, “Tsuper” by Rina Abary and “Voltaire” by Jaimee Bernardo. These films will be shown at SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM Fairview, SM Southmall, SM Bacoor, SM Manila, and SM Sta. Mesa from March 7-15, 2018.
Watch the trailer of “Am-amma” here: