February 23, 2024


His debut film Anac ti Pating (Son of Shark) won the Best Picture or  Grand Jury Prize in the 2nd National Film Festival of the Film Development Council of the Philippines held  in Davao City eight years ago. The film also wonthe Best Actor award for Deuel Raynon Ladia, who was barely in his teens then as  Sixto Mangaoang.  

I wonder where Deuel is now? Other Baguio cast members were Luchie Maranan, Prill Calinao, Nonnette Bennett, Franck Cimatu, Kawayan de Guia, and Karlo Altomonte.Added to Martin’s laurels is his love and talent for knitting. This is his innovative way of raising funds for outreach programs called “Threads for Life”and for his present and future film endeavors. He knits and recycles yarns for cowls, shawls, vest, mufflers, scarves, bags and what have you. Nice gifts for this Christmas, don’t you think?

Anac Ti Pating” has been screened in various festivals in different regions in the country and has also been exhibited  in numerous film festivals abroad thru the efforts of the FDCP, “ says Direk Martin.

The last one was in Calgary, Canada (June 2019), The Intl Children’s Film Festival in Kolkata, India (2017), Vientiane, Laos (2018), Chongqing, China (2016), Shanxi, China (2014),and Hong Kong (2013).

The veteran journalist Cimatu said Anac ti Pating was inspired by an article read by Masadao in Time Magazine about the remains of a shark found in the forest of New Hampshire, which is far from the ocean.

The story is set in Baguio with its unique weather during the Christmas season. The season  when we are sometimes afflicted with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or sadness, especially now with the pandemic. The story also tells of the struggles and the coming of age of a young boy in his elementary grades with bullying, his dreams of life outside of Baguio and his cross-cultural friendship with a young Korean boy which inspired him to write and develop an environmentally themed story about a shark stranded in the Cordillera forest, which was well appreciated by his English teacher that he was told to read it in front of his classmates.

The VERA filesand Elizabeth Lolarga describe  Masadao’s style as working with an outline first. He proceeds to plot the story and meticulously breaks it up into sequences. Masadao said that judges like to read scripts, because it is the writer’s vision or how one sees the movie.  The Baguio Writers Group trains newbie screen writers in formatting their scripts for those who are interested.

“I have worked in television, film, and advertising since 1988,” says Direk Martin. “ I rose from the ranks,  from production assistant to production designer and have  written and directed a full-length and short films,” added Masadao, who also won the Best Production Design in Tanabata’s Wife, another multi-awarded independent film.

Direk Martin is the youngest brother of my oncologist, Dr. Felina Masadao-Adefuin, and former SPED classmate of my nephew, Dr. Homer Abiad.