Jacqueline Estrella, Arnold Jumpay, and their Account Officer, Allyssa Mae Concepcion (3rd to 5th from left) from CARD Bank Vibe-10 Center in Camarines Sur, bagged the Best Film Award for their film “Hibla” during the Sinemaya Film Fest Gabi ng Parangal. The award was presented by CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip (2nd from left) together with CARD MRI Senior Advisers and CARD Bank management.

The 2022 Sinemaya: CARD MRI Community Short Film Festival named its winners in its Gabi ng Parangal at Maharlika Square, San Pablo City, Laguna on December 9, 2022, capping the first-ever film fest in the Philippine microfinance industry.

For its first edition, nine short films from the clients of CARD MRI financial institutions were shown on December 3 and 10, 2022 at San Pablo City SM Cinema. The competing entries from CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) include Na’ng Nagkatagpo, Nagsandigang Mangarap of SK Ankileng Center from Mountain Province, Tinig ng Tahimik of SK Baclig 2 from Ilocos Sur, and Tulay of Poblacion 7 Center from Davao Oriental; CARD Bank includes Hibla of Vibe-10 Center from Camarines Sur, Salunga sa Alon of Arawan 16 Center from Batangas, and Ngiti sa Likod ng Lente of Waling-waling Center from Davao City; CARD SME Bank includes Pangarap of Patag 1 from Cagayan de Oro and Puhon of Salvacion 3P from Davao del Norte; and CARD MRI Rizal Bank includes Kaagapay of Commonwealth 2 Center from NCR.   

About SineMaya

SineMaya was derived from the words “SINE” which means cinema house and “MAYA”, a national bird (MAYA PULA) until 1995 that symbolized the Filipino people who are humble, frugal, generous, and survivors. It also symbolizes creativity, community, simplicity, and empowerment similar to CARD MRI’s mission and core values.

The program aims to tap the creativity and artistry of CARD clients and their families in the field of filmmaking. They attended trainings in scriptwriting and video editing in support of the production of their short films and to make them more compelling to their viewers.

The theme for this year’s film fest is Magkaugnay ang Lahat (All is connected), let the participating entries produce short movies inspired by their real-life scenarios and the ugnayan (connection) they built within their families, communities, and with CARD MRI.

“CARD MRI and its clients and communities are all interconnected in weaving stories of success. We are building each other in creating wonderful narratives in the fight against poverty. We always acknowledge that the success of every family we are serving is the success of the whole organization,” said CARD MRI Managing Director Aristeo A. Dequito. 

In selecting the winners, the nine film entries were deliberated by eleven judges composed of CARD MRI Senior Advisers, CARD MRI Board of Directors, and award-winning directors and photographers namely: Aniceta Alip, Dr. Dolores M. Torres, Raul Dizon, Lorenza dT. Banez, Flordeliza L. Sarmiento, Lourdes Dijan, Mylin Chosaz, Adundia Manabes, Pascuala Genoso, Al Benavente, and Hugo Yunzon III.

After a series of deliberation, here is the full list of winners of the SineMaya: CARD MRI Community Short Film Festival.

The winners

Jacqueline Estrella’s Hibla emerged as the Night’s Best Film, which also won four special awards: Best Cinematography by Arnold Jumpay, Best Editing by Jene Vie Estrella, and Best Director by Jacqueline Estrella. Justin Mark Estrella, who portrayed a son wishing for a complete family, was judged as the Best Supporting Actor in a Male Role.

“CARD MRI’s Sinemaya proved that regardless of age or social status, we can aim to do bigger things. We are grateful that clients like us were given the chance to showcase our talents and skills aside from being microentrepreneurs,” said Jacqueline O. Estrella, the CARD Bank client who wrote and directed the Best Film Awardee.

Flordeliza Taña’s Ngiti sa Likod ng Lente won the Founder’s Excellence Award and the 2nd Best Film. Taña and Juel Morales, the film’s lead characters also bagged the Best Actors in Male and Female Roles.

Meanwhile, Venezza Gonzales’ Tulay grabbed the Managing Director’s Choice and the 3rd Best Film. The film also won the Best Screenplay by Venezza Gonzales. Depicting the core values of CARD MRI, the film also won the CFISHES Award. Joneth Enriquez who acted as a granddaughter who supported the journey of her lola towards recovery won the Best Supporting Actor in a Female Role. With the support of CARD staff and officers in the production of their center’s film, CARD, Inc. Lupon 2 Unit bagged the award as the Most Supportive Unit.

In addition, CARD MRI is also known for its holistic approach to development by providing various programs needed by the CARD MRI community to improve their quality of living. This effort of CARD MRI was shown in several participating entries, thus, recognizing these short films as the community development awardees. Below is the full list of winners for the Community Development Award:

  • Community Development Award for Disaster Resiliency: Salunga sa Alon by Arawan 16 from CARD Bank San Antonio Unit
  • Community Development Award for Business Development: Puhon by Salvacion 3P from CARD SME Bank Panabo 2 Unit
  • Community Development Award for Agriculture: Na’ng Nagkatagpo, Nagsandigang Mangarap by SK Ankileng from CARD, Inc. Bontoc Unit
  • Community Development Award for Digital Innovation: Pangarap Patag 1 from CARD SME Bank CDO 2 Unit
  • Community Development Award for Education: Kaagapay by Silangan 2B from CARD RBI Commonwealth Unit

After the film showing at SM Cinema, the viewers voted for Tinig ng Tahimik by SK Baclig as the People’s Choice Award.

“For us at CARD MRI, we view the film fest as more than a platform to showcase our clients’ talents. It’s about tapping their endless potentials so that they can escape the cycle of poverty. Their films depict the reality of their lives and how they journeyed towards empowerment,” said CARD MRI Founder and Chair Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip.

Meanwhile, CARD MRI Publishing House President Marilyn M. Manila promises a bigger film fest in 2023, “With the impact of this program, we are looking forward to enjoining other MFIs in this initiative. By next year, we will be opening SineMaya to clients of other MFIs so we can collectively communicate our advocacies to a wider audience.”

SineMaya aims to share in its next editions the stories of not only the communities of CARD MRI but also the impact of the microfinance industry on other Filipino families. This is to share the impact of the industry on nation-building. SineMaya is organized by CARD MRI Publishing House, a publishing company under the CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions. CARD Publishing was established in 2017 with the goal of creating stories that inspire communities to join CARD MRI’s mission of poverty eradication.