18th April 2012
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Beauty in Darkness is a movie showcasing difficult situations that the people in Gumaca, Philippines are suffering from, an epitome of a dark reality that is occurring in different parts of the world.
Never in my wildest dreams that I would be able to produce a movie, because I have never studied filming, except from few tutorials on youtube about how to use a camera. I have a regular day job and typical lifestyle, work, home, work, out on weekends, work, supporting my family, work, however questioning life and the universe all the time.
I have set out on a journey to film the people in my homeland believing I could maybe help them. My parents have a small copra business that deals mostly with the mountain people. I would hear stories of lack, famine, illnesses, tragedy, hunger and other heartbreaking stories. They have always been at the back of my mind but couldn’t do anything when I was small. Now, working and have some budget to make a film, I purchased a consumer grade camcorder and started my little project during my 45 days of vacation.
Little did I know that I would be embarking on a journey of discovering the essential ingredients in the human existence – the Beauty of the human spirit.
By society’s standards, these set of people are considered poor. Poor in material things, intellect, class, and breeding. Many of them are accused as irresponsible and ignorant as a reason for their poverty. However I am not in a position to blame anyone. The cause of their suffering whether they should be blamed for their fate or be pitied as victims of a corrupt system is not tackled for it requires superhuman understanding in order to justify the present condition of mankind. There is an intelligent force running this whole show of Life in which man could only theorize, if not come close to the absolute truth.
I went up the mountains and realized that they must have been the luckiest people on earth because their bodies are embraced by the lush greens, rivers, and mountains. The volunteer teachers who are receiving about 15 dollars per month sacrifice their time, money and effort to teach the children who can barely afford a piece of paper. I wonder what level of compassion these people have.
As I started mingling with the garbage people, I have observed the joy and laughter while they sift the garbage, while the big flies and horrid smell lingers in the air. I wonder where they get the spontaneous happiness from.
Then there is grandmother who takes care of three disabled children, two of them are abandoned by parents. One is mentally ill, the other is in a wheelchair, and the last one is a deaf/mute boy. Grandmother fears that when she passed away, no one will take care of the children. I wonder where she acquires the strength to face everyday struggle without giving herself sometime to rest.
Jerick who was a bright student in his high school class showed the spirit of hope and determination to continue his education despite of the financial challenges when his father had a stroke while his mother earns 3 dollars a day for the family.
It is in the most challenging situations that the intangible is hardest to spot or recognize. However, the people in the movie demonstrate that the beautiful qualities are truly inherent in people despite of darkness. Compassion, Innocence, Strength, Hope and Life itself are the beautiful qualities that I, someone who had been a long time pessimist discovered in them.
Darkness is essential to our growth. But it is also through it that we cultivate our beauty.
The movie does not only give those who are socially invisible a voice, but serves as a reminder to focus on the positive as an advantage to recreate a beautiful world, rather than to focus on negativity that could create more problems in our reality.
We can recreate a whole new world knowing our light and strength is there to never shrink our experiences into fear but expand ourselves with the beauty that is within us.
Video: Watch Chapter 1 of “Beauty in Darkness” 10:54mins
To watch “Beauty in Darkness” in full and for free, please click on one of the below links.
Fast internet connection – beautyindarkness.org/Watch_HQfullmovie
Slow internet connection – beautyindarkness.org/Watch_LQfullmovie
About the Author
Aileen Collo Amparo is working as an architect with passion for filmmaking, entrepreneurship, environmentalism, humanity, health and fitness, alternative healing and spirituality. She is starting a recycling project and an organic garden in her homeland, a raw food enthusiast, a healer and a practicing card reader. She would like to connect with like-minded people to re-create a beautiful reality in this dimension. Aileen can be contacted via her site beautyindarkness.org, via Facebook & Twitter