“BUSAL,” an I-Witness documentary
In poor, crowded neighborhoods in the Philippines, nights are pierced by the cries of the survivors.
They wail while fathers, sons, and lovers are carried out of their homes lifeless or after they’re found on the street as the handiwork of masked assassins.
For many TV viewers these days, the screaming and weeping are the voices of the poor that they most commonly hear.
To produce “Busal”, Howie Severino and his documentary team seek out the normal voices of the poor – the storytellers and explainers, and even stage actors.
They meet Lilian, an artistic grandmother who is raising her grandchild in Manila North Cemetery, while eking out a living among the dead.
They chill with Christian, an enterprising 20-year-old who grew up under a bridge and put himself through school. He now teaches at-risk youth.
They shadow Waldo, an unusually articulate homeless man who drives a tricycle by day and sleeps in it by night wherever the cops won’t drive him away.
The three converge in a play that they help stage for a VIP audience. Through song, humor and dialogue, they voice the daily humiliations and dangers that mark the lives of the urban poor.
Together they push back against the tide of dehumanization of the destitute that has made killing them increasingly acceptable.
*Busal: the Filipino word for muzzle
I-WITNESS: B U S A L
(Busal* first airs in the Philippines on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2016. 11 P.M. on GMA-7)
Executive Producer: ISEL CARINGAL
Director: JAZEL KRISTIN VILLAMARIN
Writers: JANUS VICTORIA, ISEL CARINGAL, HOWIE SEVERINO
Researcher: ICIA DE GUZMAN
Camera: CHRISTIAN CARREON
Video editors: TIN MACATULAD-CHUA, ISABELLE ESTEIN, FREDIE ABRIL
CLICK TO WATCH FULL EPISODE: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/388249/iwitness/i-witness-busal-dokumentaryo-ni-howie-severino–full-episode