Wednesday, November 25, 2009



The Bay Area is really giving a lot of love to Sounds of a New Hope! But this time it's playing on the east side of the Bay Bridge to celebrate Andres Bonifacio's birthday and the anniversary AnakBayan-East Bay.

AB-East Bay is an organization that engages, organizes, and mobilizes youth and students in the East Bay around the collective interests of poor and working-class Filipino communities living in the United States and links these struggles to the popular campaigns for jobs, land, education, civil, and political rights, and social services waged by youth in the Philippines.

Bay Area youth!! Y'all should check out this dope event and get involved with AB! Live performances by POWER STRUGGLE and more.. with DJ PSANI (Something Fresh x Mass Movement) spinning jams all night!

WHAT: "I Hella Love the People" AnakBayan East Bay's Anniversary
WHEN: Saturday, Dec 5th, 2009 (7-10pm)
WHERE: East Side Cultural Center, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland, CA

Rebolusyon ni Bonifacio! Isulong Mo! Isulong Mo!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SNH @ FACINE in the SFC!!

For those in the Bay Area who haven't had a chance to catch it yet, Sounds of a New Hope will be playing once again in The City this Friday for FREE at the 16th Annual Filipino American Cine Festival.  It's part of the "Our Stories from the 'Hood" program.

WHERE:  San Francisco Main Library, Lower Level,
Koret Auditorium
WHEN:  Friday, November 20, 2009, 1pm

For more info, check out the Facebook event page HERE.

The FACINE festival is the longest-running festival of its kind in North America that features films by and/or about Filipino/a and Filipino/a Americans. Now on its 16th year, the festival runs for two days, November 20-21, 2009 at the San Francisco Main Library.

Artistic Director/Film programmer: Mauro Feria Tumbocon, Jr.

Schedule of screenings:

Friday, November 20, 1-5 pm

Our stories from the 'hood
1:00-2:00 p.m.

Legend (Mark Villegas, dir & prod; 5 min, 2009)

Got Book? Auntie Helen’s Gift of Books (Florante Pete Ibanez, dir; UCLA Department of World Arts & Culture/Center for EthnoCommunications, prod; 8:45 min, 2005) - short documentary on Helen Brown, the founder of Pilipino American Reading Room & Library

Sounds of a New Hope (Eric Tandoc, dir; Mass Movement & Sine Patriyotiko, prods; 41 min, 2009) - Tandoc follows Filipino American rap artist, Kiwi, through his work with youth both in the US and the Philippines where he uses music to raise political consciousness.

In a weird, crazy world of my neighbors:
Hilarity ensues when Filipinos celebrate reunion;
imagination soars through moments of craziness and mayhem.
2:00-3:00 p.m.

The Reunion (Pio Candelaria, dir/prod; 3 min, 2009)
The San Miguel Family Reunion (Theophilus Jamal & Joel Rosal, dirs; MojaStudio & PhlipFLIX Productions, prods; 14:23 min, 2008)
Alice, Interrupted (Theophilus Jamal, dir; MojaStudio LLC, prod; 10 min, 2009) – A special preview screening
Bunot/Husk (Ivy Universe Baldoza, dir/prod; 7:08 min, 2008)
Nekro (Crisostomo Juan Andaluz, dir; Carl and Carl Productions, prod; 19:01 min, 2008)

Special Premiere US screening
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Handumanan/Remembrance (Seymour Barros-Sanchez, dir; Red Room Productions, prod; 85 min, 2009)
Filipina model/actress ChinChin Gutierrez stars as romance novelist faces the difficult changes in her career and life.

All films are either in English or in different Filipino languages (Tagalog, Bisaya, Pangasinan, etc.) with English subtitles.
A short Q&A with filmmakers in attendance follows after all screenings.
All screenings are FREE to public.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Calling all Chicago Bulls fans!  Sounds of a New Hope has officially been selected for the Chicago Filipino American Film Festival

It will be screened alongside Manilatown is in the Heart, Curtis Choy's documentary on the late legendary community activist Al Robles.

Chicago Filipino American Film Festival
Saturday, November 7, 2009, 11am
Portage Theater

for more info:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sounds of a New Hope will be screening at UC Santa Barbara's Multi-Cultural Center Theater this Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 6pm.

The event will feature a live performance by the up-and-coming hip-hop group from Eastside Long Beach, SHINING SONS.

Come thru and peep the future!  For more event info click HERE


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Sounds of a New Hope begins its run at the San Diego Asian Film Festival this weekend!!

You can catch it on:
Friday, October 16th, 2009 - 7:20pm (w/ filmmaker Q&A)
Saturday, October 24th, 2009 - 10:10pm

It will be part of a program called

Director: Karen Lin | 5 min | Video | 2009
A young boy’s imaginary journey to the music of the Electric Kulintang.

Director: Shawn Lee | 9 min | Video | 2009
Vincent comes to terms with painful memories of heartbreak one autumn evening.

Director: Geoffrey Quan | 14 min | Video | 2008
Tomorrow morning, Lucia Grace Buenaflor will be deported from the only country she has ever known.

Director: Jean Paolo “Nico” Hernandez | 17 min | Video | 2009
A homeless thief trains his granddaughter to steal in order to survive their impoverished life.

Director: Eric Tandoc | 40 min | Video |2008
Sharing life experiences, beats, and rhymes, Kiwi makes connections in the Philippines, inspiring the next generation to continue the ongoing struggle for freedom.

The program is sponsored by ANAKBAYAN-San Diego, Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS) San Diego, and Kamalayan Alliance - CSU San Marcos

Tickets are available at the Hazard Center UltraStar Cinemas box office.  Discounted tickets available through contacting ANAKBAYAN-San Diego.

**If you live in SD and want to get more involved in making positive change for the Filipino community in the US as well as back home in the Philippines, holla at ANAKBAYAN-San Diego!


Saturday, October 10, 2009


Sounds of a New Hope plays at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on Sunday, October 11th, 2009 at 1pm alongside the homie Tadashi Nakamura's A Song For Ourselves.

Mass Movement representin' to the fullest in Philly y'all!


Friday, October 2, 2009


For all the Bay Area fam, Sounds of a New Hope is playing this Sunday, October 4th, 2009, at 5pm in San Francisco at the PeliKULa! Pin@y Film Series organized by Kularts!

Come thru!

1010 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(corner of Mission & 6th St)


PeliKULa! Pin@y Film Series 
First Sundays of the Month 
Dim the lights, silence your cell phones, butter your popcorn, sit back and relax as Kularts presents its first Pin@y Film series featuring works by today's leaders in cutting-edge Pin@y cinema.

5pm, Sun OCT 4
Art for Social Change (Documentaries)
Admission: $7

*Add $3 to your admission at the door, and we will donate that $3 directly to relief efforts in the Philippines*


Hip Hip Mestizaje: Racialization,
Resonance, and Filipino American
Knowledge of Self

Director: Mark Villegas
Why Filipinos, why hip hop? A coast-to-coast exploration of Filipinos immersion into the hip hop movement, highlighting the cultural and racial impact of colonization on Filipino artists.

Sounds of a New Hope
Director: Eric Tandoc
Co-presented by ALAY
Growing up around LAs neighborhood gangs in the 90s, a young Filipino-American named Kiwi (Jack DeJesus) became an MC and community organizer, using hip-hop to raise consciousness 
for genuine democracy. Through sharing life experiences, beats, and rhymes, youth from San Mateo to Metro Manila make connections across oceans that inspire the next generation to continue the ongoing struggle for freedom.

Showman Shaman
Director: Egay Navarro
Free-thinking independent artists catapulted Baguio into a vital art center of the Philippines in the late 80s such as Roberto Villanueva's art installation of his own cremation - outdoors, in the middle of Baguio City, mourners circled his funeral pyre, chanting and dancing to the beat of gangsa gongs.

Huna Huna
Director: Wilfred Galila
A haunting art film calling for environmental awareness and action in response to the largest oil spill in Philippine history.

Q&A Panel: Eric Tandoc, Suzanne Llamado (Baguio Arts Guild), Wilfred Galila, and Kiwi
Moderated by Irene Faye Duller

Monday, September 21, 2009


Sounds of a New Hope will be screening at the 2009 San Diego Asian Film Festival on:

Friday, October 16, 2009 - 7:20pm
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 10:10pm


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Be sure to catch Sounds of a New Hope coming to a town near you:

Bayanihan Community Center, San Francisco
Sunday, October 4, 2009

San Diego Asian Film Festival
October 16 & 24, 2009

UC Santa Cruz
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

San Francisco State University
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

more to come...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


SOUNDS OF A NEW HOPE will be playing at Visual Communications' "Best of the Fest: Global Groove" program this Saturday, July 25th at 8pm, followed by a performance by some of the youth who are part of the weekly SAMA SAMA hip-hop workshops we're holding this summer in Carson.

**FYI: We recently changed the title from SOUNDS OF THE NEW HOPE because the original intent was to reference the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and all this time I had mistaken the title for "The New Hope".

Also, "A New Hope" more accurately reflects our intentions for the meaning of the film and it also flows a little bit better off the tongue. 

Come thru this Saturday and see the film with its new titles!

for more info, check VC's website


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Interview with Eric Tandoc in UCLA Asia Pacific Arts Magazine

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009: an interview with Sounds of the New Hope director Eric Tandoc

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009: an interview with Sounds of a New Hope director Eric Tandoc

By Clifford Hilo

Eric Tandoc's short film Sounds of a New Hope draws connections between music and politics, the Philippines and Filipino America. APA talks to the director about striking the right balance to strike the most provocative chord.

Documentary filmmakers are the underdogs of cinema. They live in poverty, struggling between intermittent stretches of grant funding. They shoot their footage in completely wild and unforeseeable conditions, and are often prone to the most cruel and unhappy kinds of accidents. Yet, for all the hard-fought footage, the countless hours of tedious editing, and of course, the lack of funding, the documentarian must always ask himself, "What is the end result of this work?"

For Eric Tandoc, all of this work and labor in documentary has an eventual point -- the creation of community and of relations between people. It is the hope that documentary as an art will have the ability to share and empower viewers, and give a voice to the unheard. With his new film Sounds of the New Hope, Tandoc wants to put the microphone to the mouths of storytellers who have not been able to tell their story before. In the film, he follows the Filipino American MC, Kiwi, as the young rapper grows from his brash youth as a gangbanger on the streets of Koreatown to radical political activism promoted throughout the slum-dwellings of the Philippines. But what makes this film so fresh, exciting, and relevant is that Kiwi wants to translate the rough material of real politics and class struggle through the word and rhyme of hip-hop. Like an improvement on Aristotle's notion that what makes a human political is his ability for speech, Kiwi transforms the flow of his rap into a tool that constructs a unity and kinship. Kiwi uses rap as a bridge for the impoverished Filipino to communicate. Rapping, it seems, is a much more immediate mechanism for saying what's on your mind. And much like Kiwi, Tandoc wants to use the tools of documentary to create these same bridges and to tell stories that are much more than stories. For Tandoc, the end result of a documentary should be action: to turn back, reflect, and serve a community.

Asia Pacific Arts: Could you tell us a little about yourself and the short film that you have playing at this year's festival? 

Eric Tandoc:
 My name is Eric Tandoc, and I'm a 29 year-old second-generation Filipino American who was born in San Diego and grew up in Long Beach. Aside from filmmaking, I'm a community organizer and member of a youth and student organization called AnakBayan and a progressive arts organization called Habi-Arts. Both of these organizations are part of a national alliance called Bayan USA, which consists of 14 organizations across the country that support the struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines, as well as the struggles of Filipinos living here in the United States. In addition to that, I'm a DJ in a hip-hop crew called Mass Movement and an emcee in a live hip-hop band called The Committee.

My latest documentary, 
Sounds of a New Hope, chronicles the life and music of Filipino American emcee and community organizer, Kiwi, as well as the growth of hip-hop as an organizing tool in the movement for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines. It was created as my thesis film for the UC Santa Cruz Social Documentation M.A. program.

The film documents Kiwi's life growing up around youth gangs in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles and how he later became involved in hip-hop and community organizing in the Filipino community. Then the film fast forwards to his current organizing work through hip-hop workshops with youth in San Francisco at the Filipino Community Center. The second half of the film follows him on his political exposure trip to the Philippines in 2007, where he is hosted by AnakBayan and integrates in urban shanty communities. There, he meets youth gangsters who rap and connects with their experiences through the common language of hip-hop.

APA: Do you have any good anecdotes of working on this documentary while following Kiwi around the Philippines? 

ET: Although the film focuses on Kiwi's experiences rapping with urban youth in the shanty communities of Caloocan, we were also able to connect with some of hip-hop's elite in the Philippines -- Francis M and Gloc 9. Francis M is considered the "King of Philippine Rap," since he was the first Filipino to ever release a hip-hop album back in 1990. What's great is that his songs are also very nationalistic, rapping about positivity and believing in ourselves as Filipinos. When we first met him, he told Kiwi how he'd been following his music with Native Guns since 2005 and frequently played their songs on the radio show that he hosted. Kiwi got to build a friendship with him and when Francis suddenly passed away from leukemia earlier this year, he took it really hard. We are all saddened by the loss of a legendary figure in Philippine hip-hop.


Gloc 9 is one of his talented protégés and had several songs on the radio while we were there. He's known for super-fast rhyming and talking about the struggles of growing up poor. But the ironic thing is, even though he's well known and has songs on the radio, he recently enrolled into nursing school and has aspirations of going abroad to work. I remember him saying how if he were able to financially support himself and his family through nursing, then he could be free to fully pursue rapping. I think it's a reflection of the Philippines' semi-colonial and semi-feudal economy that even a big-name rapper like Gloc 9 isn't able to make a living off his art and is forced to follow the thousands of Filipinos who leave the country every day just to survive and support their families.

APA: This is a piece about the mixture of music and politics, of hip-hop and massive political movements in the Philippines in a very literal way. Tell us more about the relation of music and politics? 

ET: Kiwi and I both identify as cultural workers, meaning we create our art for the purpose of educating our communities in order to raise people's political consciousness and hopefully inspire them to take action and work towards creating systemic change.

Music, and hip-hop in particular, is a powerful and direct way of conveying messages through personal expression. Often times, it's more effective than speeches or forums as a way of sparking interest in political or social issues. Music, like other forms of cultural work, connects with people's emotions in such a way that one can really feel the humanity and beauty found in the struggle for a better world.  

Music can reflect the realities of people and society, but it also shapes reality. A song can be highly influential and infectious, as it can inspire you to memorize lyrics and even cause you to behave in ways that manifest the values in those lyrics.  

APA:  You studied documentary here at UCLA.  How has that influenced your growth as a young filmmaker and documentarian? 

ET: As an undergrad at UCLA, I was introduced to documentary filmmaking through the History of Documentary Film course taught by Marina Goldovskaya. Through her Documentary Production Workshop, I made my first visual life history documentary about my grandmother, called Nanay.

Subsequently, I took the year-long UCLA EthnoCommunications course taught by Robert Nakamura and John Esaki and became grounded in the principle of creating documentaries to give a voice to underrepresented communities. Through this course, I created 810LOGY, a short documentary about the history and growth of my multi-ethnic skateboard crew from Long Beach and our struggles with gangs, discrimination, and police harassment.

Through studying documentary at UCLA, in addition to having wonderful professors as mentors, I was exposed to amazing films such as Beats, Rhymes, & Resistance: Pilipinos and Hip Hop In Los Angeles by Dawn Mabalon, Lakandiwa de Leon, and Jonathan Ramos; Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio and Ron Fricke; Style Wars by Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant; and A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution by Nettie Wild. All of these had profound influences on the style and approach of the documentary films that I make. Before then, I had only associated documentaries with boring history channel "Voice of God"-style films. But these films showed me the diverse creative possibilities of the documentary medium.



APA:  What's next in store for you in terms of your documentary work in the Philippines and here in America, and also with regard to your musical interests? 

ET: We plan on taking Sounds of a New Hope on a concert tour around the US later this year and intend to hold the LA community premiere at UCLA. As for future projects, this summer I plan to work with AnakBayan and Habi-Arts to conduct documentary workshops with youth and educate them on how to produce visual life history documentaries about their parents and their experiences as immigrants from the Philippines. I'm also working on an ongoing video documentary about my cousin Mark Canto, who is an artist and first-generation immigrant, called Mass Movement: Roots.

In the future, I hope to continue making films raising awareness about the people's struggle in the Philippines as well as the culture of Filipino Americans here in the United States. I'm interested in documenting the contributions of Filipino Americans to youth culture, music, and American society as a whole. One day, I also hope to be able to make a feature narrative about critical events in Philippine history.

Regarding music, I'll always continue to DJ, make mix tapes, make beats, and develop my skills as an emcee. Currently, an album is in the works and will hopefully be released by next year. All the while, I'm continuing to perform and create songs with my band, The Committee.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


last week at the VC film festival, i ran into one of my biggest inspirations in the documentary field, Lakandiwa de Leon.

back in Spring 1999 when i was a freshman at UCLA, i went with my big homies Ray Ribaya and Rich Bis to the community premiere of his collaborative film with Dawn Mabalon and Jonathan Ramos,  Beats, Rhymes & Resistance: Pilipinos and Hip Hop in Los Angeles, at SIPA in P-Town (now known as the Historic Filipinotown community of LA). it was made through the UCLA EthnoCommunications program, taught by Robert Nakamura and John Esaki.

peep this groundbreaking film that was
an early inspiration for Sounds of the New Hope:

it was the first time i was ever exposed to the amazing talent of Filipino American community folks. i remember being blown away by Faith Santilla, DJ Kid Wik, and Kiwi.

Kiwi was the first Filipino American rapper who made me realize that Filipinos can do this shit.  (Before that, I only knew about Francis M)

thank you all for changing my world..


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


May 2nd | DGA 2 | 6:30pm

Sounds of the New Hope is playing alongside
a new documentary about the life of Al Robles.

Directors Guild of America
7920 Sunset Blvd | Los Angeles

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on May 2nd!

SATURDAY, MAY 2nd at 6:30pm
Directors Guild of America (DGA 2)
7290 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90046

Sounds of the New Hope will be the opening film of the program titled "Manilatown Is In The Heart". It will be screened alongside the newest film by Curtis Choy, director of the award-winning documentary, The Fall of the I-Hotel. His documentary, Manilatown Is In The Heart, follows the life of legendary Filipino-American poet and activist, Al Robles.

For tickets and more information on the program please go to:

Saturday, March 28, 2009


the L.A. sneak preview is tonight at the Bayan USA 3rd Congress Cultural Solidarity Night from 6:30-10:30pm.

show starts exactly at 6:30. don't be late!! come and meet kasamas from all around the country!!

Performances by:
Geologic of Blue Scholars
T-Know of The CounterParts
Power Struggle
FiRE Kultural Kollective
Pinay Choir
El Dia of 1st Quarter Storm
and more..

UCLA Downtown Labor Center
675 S. Park View Street
Los Angeles, CA 90057

$10, but nobody turned away for lack of funds
(proceeds go to fund human rights campaigns for the Philippines)

see you there!!


Monday, March 9, 2009

The Man From Manila

Dear Francis,

I'm still in disbelief, man. You know, I was thinking about you recently too. Wondering how you were holding up, how your music was going, how your family was doing. I remember shooting you that text when the news of your diagnosis was first announced. I could tell you didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I kinda wish I didn't listen to you.

It's funny, I wasn't sure what to expect when I first met you, that Summer in '07. I had heard how big you were, the impact of your music as far as hip hop in the Philippines. But honestly, probably like many Filipino-Americans, I didn't really take hip hop from the Philippines that seriously. I was totally ignorant with my perception of y'all. With my arrogant American viewpoint, I didn't think hip hop from the P.I was quite up to par with what we were doing in the states.

And you proved me wrong.

There you were, this slim, handsome Pinoy in a bright pink t-shirt. I immediately knew it was you. Not that you were loud or anything, but you just had this presence. That "glow." And you were just amazingly cool and totally approachable. And when I finally got to see you hit the stage, man, I was blown away. You were the first and only rapper I've ever seen go from rapping to singing a straight-up rock song, then switching to a blues joint while playing the harmonica. You were articulate, you cracked jokes, you told your story. I remember turning to my friends who were with me like, "Okay, THIS is my new favorite rapper."

After that night, I remember going back and borrowing (okay, stealing) all of my homie's Francis M songs. It took me a minute to figure out the tagalog, but I understood. These songs were about the people. The kababayan. Our struggle. And not just on one or two songs neither. And the youth I work with, who grew up to your music, when they speak of you with reverence and respect, I understand why. I would probably speak of Chuck D or 2pac in the same way. I would probably speak of some of our local elder activists in the same way. Your stuff was not just music for music's sake. You spoke fiercely in your criticisms of the system, with real pain over our people's suffering. You sang love songs. You were a prophet, and the whole nation loved you because you spoke the truth.

There are many artists and rappers I meet that come and go, but I truly considered you my friend for life. You didn't give me that industry vibe I get from many hip hop artists; you embraced who I was, and allowed me to be a part of what you had started. You let me rock a stage with you. You hardly knew me, but you treated me like a brother, even offering your crib the next time I visited the P.I. And so, I light a candle for you, as my brother, the Man from Manila, the Master Rapper, Kiko...aka Francis Magalona. Thank you for living, for your gift of music, for your voice of reality. Your legacy will live on through your music, and the inspiration you've given to countless young people in the Philippines and beyond. Mabuhay!

Your friend always,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Awww yeah...

(Chillin after the show w/ Philippine rap legends Gloc 9 and Francis M)

It's been almost 2 years since that trip to the P.I, and I'm itching with excitement about the completion of the film. It was such a personal journey for me, and at the same time, it's so much bigger than any one person. Eric and I have been going back and forth as far as the direction of the film, aesthetics, promotion, and so forth. And I believe what we have lined up is going to serve an unprecedented purpose as far as 1) raising the awareness among Fil-Ams of the Philippine situation (thru hip hop), 2) identifying hip hop as useful tool for organizers in the Philippines, and 3) getting folks to relate to the struggles of Filipinos in America to re-discover their roots and see their homeland as the catalyst for their political involvement. In addition, the film is dope!

So keep checking back for updates as we edge closer to the project's completion. Definitely more to come!!!

- Kiwi

Monday, March 2, 2009


SNH smaller

what up everybody!

we're going to hold a special sneak preview of scenes from the upcoming film in LA on Saturday, March 28th.. with live performances by Kiwi and progressive Filipino artists from all over the country!

check back for more details soon!

but for now, let's take a trip back to 1998, around the time Kiwi came back from the Philippines after going on his first ever exposure trip with our folks back home who are struggling for freedom..

off the classic Vice Versa tape, here's "Take A Look"



(photo courtesy of Jay Davis)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


what up y'all!

welcome to the new blog for Sounds of the New Hope! we'll be posting up-to-date info, exclusive video clips, photos, and music from the film.

Kiwi and I are planning to embark on a concert tour to premiere the film in major cities across the U.S. later this year, so check back soon for further details..

2009, here we go!