Google Dennis Rito | Blog: November 2007

23 November 2007

Candle Lighting in Support for Sumilao Farmers

Various groups - students, religious, concerned citizens, headed by Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) have expressed their support to Sumilao Farmers through a candle-lighting ceremony held along Katipunan Avenue. Yesterday, the farmers are on their 44th day of 1,700-km "Walk for Land and Justice" to Manila. They are expected to arrive in NCR on the 3rd day of December.

Related links:
Backgrounder on the case of the Sumilao Farmers
A Position Paper on the Sumilao Farmers’ Struggle for Access to their Land
Sumilao Farmers' Online Petition
Walk for Justice videos on YouTube

20 November 2007

Portfolio Review at Silverlens

Portfolio Reviews are seldom held in the Philippines except for the critiquing sessions in some photography workshops around Manila. It's a great opportunity every photographer should attend. It is where your work is evaluated in terms of your logical 'next step.'

As part of '5 Photographers: A Tribute to 5 Pioneering Masters of Photojournalism', Silverlens is inviting photographers to sign up for a FREE one-on-one review with the remaining of the 5 Photographers (RSVP required: 816-0044). This will be on December 8, 2007, 3-5PM.

15 November 2007


I went to Benguet recently to continue my work on a photodocumentary on coffee farming community where organic Arabica are being grown and processed in the old traditional way. While at work with one of my subjects, this young girl grabbed my attention. She looks curious to what am I doing. Though she only speak in Ibaloi, one of the native tongue in the Cordillera, I tried to establish rapport by way of body language and gesture. And while a bit shy, she had managed to flash a beautiful innocent smile.

14 November 2007


If there's one positive effect the NPC-Neo Angono issue has brought, it is the heightened awareness of artists over their copyright. Obviously, Neo-Angono Art Collective, has enjoyed enough clout and support from journalists, concerned individuals, various groups and most of all, from art community. So strong was the outcry from artist groups that NPC decided to remove the mural from its walls. Things that seem impossible if it concerns an individual artist versus a big, 'moneyed' and influential organization.

I wonder - what if NPC had hired only one artist to do the mural? And prior to its unveiling, it was retouched by unknown artist as the case of Neo-Angono Artist Collective. I doubt if the artist who drew the mural had the guts to file a complaint, single handedly, against an institution as influential as the NPC. Neither the artist can generate enough clout for his case to be heard and his complaint be heeded, like Neo-Angono can.

Maybe, the artist can summon his guts and complain or blog about it in the hope that his case can be heard. Or perhaps, as in the case of many artists who's work had been infringed, wait in vain - like Anton Sheker, Bobby Timonera and many other photographers and artists out there. Indeed, pursuing copyright infringement on an individual capacity remains to be difficult and costly. But this can be addressed through a collective society, a privilege that is being enjoyed by fellow Filipino artists in the music industry (which took them 20+ years to organize).

In the Photojournalism eGroup where I was a listmember, a friend asked me if the IPO has some police power and if they can prosecute an infringer. "IPO has no police power. IPO can mediate, but a case for IP violation must first be filed with our Bureau of Legal Affairs. Pwede rin i-mediate directly if it involves dispute relating to the terms of license involving author's right to public performance of other communication of his work" said Atty. Louie Andrew C. Calvario, Chief-Dispute Settlement Division, Documentation, Information & Technology Transfer Bureau, IPO Philippines. For questions and queries on Intellectual Property Rights, you may call IPO Philippines at Tel: 752-5450

06 November 2007

Freedom Mural Alterations

I bought a copy of last Sunday's issue (November 4th) of Philippine Daily Inquirer but I'm so busy and was not able to read it, except scanning a few pages. Though vividly, I can recall its front page photo and headline - "Freedom Mural Defiled: Artists outraged by NPC Censorship" which now is the talk of the town.

Much as I want to delve into the deeper issues, I'd like instead to focus on the issue of copyright. RA 8293 define's artists rights - both economic (right to earn or obtain financial benefit from their original creative work) and moral rights (right to the integrity of the creative work).

This means that the art work, even sold to another party cannot be altered, defaced or destroyed without permission from its creator. Moral rights include the rights to - require that the authorship of the works be attributed to him, To make any alterations of his work prior to, or to withhold it from publication; to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, his work which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation; and to restrain the use of his name with respect to any work not of his own creation or in a distorted version of his work. Ref: RA 8293 Sec. 193

It cannot be denied that Neo-Angono Collective who was commissioned by the NPC has moral rights over their work and even though the physical work (mural) belongs to the NPC, the intellectual property remains with the artists. Copyright, of course, has its own limitations. Unless the work was not done under a work-for-hire agreement, and unless there is a written stipulation where author's copyright is being transferred or or waived, the artists retains ownership of copyright.

What complicated the matter was that the artists who made the alterations are not the original creators.

You may view the original mural and its alterations here.

See related stories (updated):
Truth In Art
NPC offers ‘bastardized’ mural to Inquirer
International press body condemns mural alteration
NPC mulls sale of ‘edited’ press freedom mural
More artists bewail altered press freedom mural
The National Press Club’s Political Censorship
The NPC's Clubbing of Freedom of Expression
National Press Club embroiled in censorship row
Ingrates, NPC execs call Angono artists
Bastardized mural reflects dark side of journalism
Akbayan solon seeks probe of mural censorship
A Question of Truth
NUJP hits NPC move to censor press freedom mural
A Camel of a Mural
Mural Rights
Burgos slams NPC over retouch of mural
Media group bewails NPC mural ‘censorship’
NPC exec threatens to declare artists ‘persona non grata’
Old NPC mural ‘stolen’; new one censored
Scandalous Art
Drawing the Line
Kiko decries desecration of NPC Mural...
Prominent artist agrees changes in press club’s mural wrong
Mural on Philippine press freedom gets censored
What Press Freedom?
Freedom Mural Defiled
Artists decry defilement of commissioned mural at press club

Photo of original mural from the Neo-Angono Artists Collective website. The altered mural may be viewed at the Headline Restaurant on the fourth floor of the NPC building.

05 November 2007


Oarhouse is an old Manila bar and restaurant, founded in the mid-seventies by a retired U.S. Navy pilot by the name of Charles 'Chuck' Monroe, in the city's bohemian district of Malate.

See rest of the photos here.

Photographed for Mabuhay Magazine.

02 November 2007

In Memoriam

Care to know how the world celebrates the day of the dead? Read here.