First Outdoor Mobile Cinema on Siquijor Island in the Philippines has been launched! Below you can read a synopsis of how it came about.
Two months ago we wrote here that most children in the Philippine countryside have never seen a cinema screen with their own eyes. The statement was met with widespread disbelief which provided hell of a motivation. We set on a mission to change that and so decided to organize a mobile outdoor cinema on Siquijor, the island that became our home a while ago, and possibly beyond. The project is a joint venture with a fellow blogger and a friend of ours equally in love with Asia in general and the Philippines in particular.
Why? Because we’ve lived here a few years now and the country as a temporary home has offered us so much that it is only natural to reciprocate and this is yet another initiative in this spirit. Previously, we were involved in disaster relief and assistance efforts directed at victims of Typhoon Yolanda which devastated the Philippines in November 2013, participated in initiatives aiming at environmental education and during the school year regularly take part in beach clean ups with the kids from a nearby school. The cinema will provide a nice touch in the field of entertainment.
We knew from the beginning that our cinema will eventually come to life but could not be sure of its final shape as a lot of course depended on finances. We decided to advertise the project on a Polish crowd funding site which proved to be a hit idea. Although we were aware that the appeal will reach a certain number of our blog readers, the response immensely exceeded expectations.
The engagement was overwhelming. Not only through generous donations but, which proved to be equally important, by way of active assistance in sharing information about the collection, online promotion and spreading the idea by word of mouth.
Thanks to these massive and wide-ranging activities we smashed minimum threshold after just a few days only to press on to reach well over 150 percent of the amount requested. Indeed huge is power of the Internet. Part of the collected funds have been allocated for the purchase of equipment – a branded projector and decent quality sound system with all necessary accessories.
Additional gear is being shipped. A small street stand for popcorn production and portable soft drinks dispenser cost about a tenth of the expense of ordering such modest catering from an external vendor so we found the purchase economically justified. A means of transport – a pickup truck capable of reaching even isolated villages has been for the time being provided free of charge by a local entrepreneur.
Further plans involve boat rentals and trips to neighboring islands where electricity is scarce and so a power generator needed. We are in the process of market research so ideas on this topic are welcome. Other than that we are generally looking forward to day to day operation of the Cinema in the long term.
Touring the island with a projector and audio equipment apart from entertainment is meant to provide educational features as well, mostly in the field of environmental protection, road and water safety and animal welfare. We believe there is quite a lot to do in these topics. Fortunately, at the stage of selecting content we find genius and clever insight of creators in this respect. Some cartoons are simply brilliant.
We are pleased to announce that the Mobile Cinema on Siquijor has been successfully launched. For the inaugural screening we chose Barangay Napo, a village located a few miles away from the town of San Juan where we live. After confirming free admission and making sure we don’t intend to disseminate political or religious propaganda Ma’am Edith, the incumbent Barangay Captain, made the village multipurpose hall available to us for purposes of our presentation.
Bills posted a few days ahead did the job. When we arrived in Napo on Saturday afternoon we were greeted by a happy bunch of most impatient young viewers. By sunset there was over sixty of them (with plenty others hung over surrounding fences) and so the magic began.
The opening evening we spent alongside joyful youngsters among vivid laughter, applause and general amusement. Energy of the place left no doubt – it was all well worth the effort and pure fun not only for the spectators. The kids were delighted. Unless of course the parents tried to take them home prematurely – then a small drama would erupt. Those that followed through enthusiastically expressed gratitude, extended invitation for another visit and eagerly took to clearing away the chairs. From our perspective it was an unforgettable evening.
Last but not least: we would like to thank all those who contributed to the implementation of this wonderful project – particularly all Supporters, Contributors and Patrons, including those who wished to remain anonymous. Salamat Kaayo from the Philippines.
We would also like to ask all our Filipino friends and expat supporters to help share this post and spread information about the project. Wider exposure will help us reach out to authors, creators and labels here in the Philippines in our constant search for quality content. If you yourself are or know someone who could assist in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us here. Suggestions and comments are most welcome.
Finally, we are accessible and open to suggestions. If you would like to invite Kids Movie Night to your barangay, feel free to give us a shout. We will be delighted to accept your invitation. All we need is a power outlet and a few rows of chairs. See you soon!