Who is this Christopher Gozum I keep raving about? Why do call him a hero? What did he do to deserve such accolade from me? As my first article in the Philippine Online Chronicles, I have chosen to feature him perhaps as a tribute to what he has done and what he continues to do for Pangasinan.
Here are few paragraphs of the feature article...
Heroes are characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice – that is, heroism – for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.
The Philippines is a country of heroes. Heroism, however, shouldn’t be stereotyped or limited to the likes of Lapu Lapu, Rizal, Bonifacio, Melchora Aquino, Sultan Muhammad Kudarat, and Ninoy Aquino. We have many unsung heroes who deserve praise for their acts of sacrifice and heroism -- saving lives, fighting for freedom, morality, principles, and Filipino ideals, overcoming poverty, physical handicaps, and other barriers, reaching out to help others. We can also draw inspiration from them -- simple folks who made a difference in their own and other people's lives.
We should not forget the heroism of Sajid Bulig, Emilio Advincula, Rona Mahilum, Ma. Fe Sotelo, and just recently Efren Peñaflorida, Jr. There are countless other little known heroes (most of whom remain nameless and faceless). Filipinos all. Heroes all!
As a Pangasinense and an advocate for the preservation of culture and arts, I was delighted to discover a different kind of hero right in my province.
This hero of the arts is Christopher Gozum, a diasporic independent Filipino filmmaker who uses filmmaking to do his share in preserving and saving the Pangasinan language, literature and culture. Most notable among his works is Anacbanua (Child of the Sun), the first full-length movie in Pangasinan. Anacbanua was shot entirely in Pangasinan and based on the Pangasinan anlong (poems) of Santiago Villafania, Melchor Orpilla, and Erwin Fernandez. The movie had its Philippine premiere at the 11th Cinemanila International Film Festival (2009) where it received the Digital Lokal Lino Brocka Grand Prize (Best Film) and Digital Lokal Best Director Award. The movie has also been screened at the 16th Filipino American Cine Festival 2009 in San Francisco and the Stranger Than Cinema section of the 2010 Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea.
Read the full article: C. Gozum: Bagong bayani ng salitang Pangasinan