UC Berkeley’s ACE Program
Binitay (Teaser Video)
By: James Beni Wilson
“Binitay” will be a documentary film about James Beni Wilson, a Filipino adoptee, who was born in the Philippines. It’ll highlight his journey through his struggles of culture identity, healing, and reconciliation with his past.
This is only a tentative opener for the video documentary. Filming progress will be an approximate eight month or longer process and its final release will be in the late summer or early fall of 2013.
Opening The Bird Cage
This is an experimental short documentary about my adoption and reunion in the Philippines. I made a lot of it poetic, as I use my mixed media as a metaphor of a “cathedral” I built inside myself when I felt broken in the past, with a placement of facts of my adoption, photos of my baby files/photo albums, and personal comments before and after the reunion.
Pao’s Adoption Story (I): The Colonel
It was a dusty Fall morning in 2010 in the Philippines. The streets of Manila were already tightly packed with street vendors, impatient taxis, and jaywalking pedestrians. The retired Colonel, a reserved man, quietly observed his fellow countrymen with pride and a certain regard. The traffic light was red, and he patiently waited for it to turn green. He surveyed the tightly packed neighborhood. It was the same neighborhood he lived and raised two children in for the past two decades. Trash decorated the streets, the buildings needed repainting, and chicken darted in between cars. It wasn’t Tokyo, for certain, but it was his home. He took pride in it. He was a decorated Filipino Colonel. He was proud to be Filipino.
The light had yet to turn green. He patiently waited as traffic started to pile up. A motorcycle pulled up next to him. The two men sitting on the motorcycle seemed to acknowledge the Colonel. They waved to him. The Colonel waved back. The Colonel was known to value his privacy, so it would have been rather unlikely for him to wave back to complete strangers.
The friendly exchange would turn deadly for the Colonel. Within a matter of seconds, the two strangers on the motorcycle pulled out their guns and shot the Colonel.
They revved up their motorcycle and disappeared into coagulation of Manila’s infamous traffic.
The streets were left in panic and confusion. The Colonel was dead. That day is always going to haunt my family. The Colonel was my uncle. The mystery behind his murder has not been solved. However, in retrospect, through this tragedy lies a blessing.
It opened the door to my past: my adoption.
Kadtong dili molingi sa gigikanan, dili makaabot sa gipadulongan. (Cebuano Version)
“He who does not look back from where he came will never reach his destination.” -Jose Rizal
Here is my interpretation of looking back at where I came from. I edited in and faded my passport picture. This is the earliest picture of me before my adoption. Thank you everyone who has wished me birthday wishes. Love you all. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Gihigugma kaninyo tanan.
Habang may buhay, may pag-asa.
“While there is life, there is hope.”
Made in the Philippines 1.24.90
Hi there. My name is Princess Daniele Claveria. As far as my adopted parents know, I am 100% Filipino and this is my story.
According to my adopted parents, and grandmother, my biological mother was poor and obviously couldn’t take care of me. Biologically I have about four or five other siblings, but again as far as my parents know I was the only one to be given away. Sometimes I wonder why was I the only one, but at the same time I’m glad that my life is the way it is.
I was adopted straight out of the hospital, I don’t think there were any adoption papers though. My biological mother gave me to my grandmother. At the time my parents were in the United States and then returned to the Philippines to come see me. I don’t know how long it took, they never said anything to me. My parents are Filipino and as far as they know they too are full Filipino. (: Less then a year later I head off to the United States with my grandmother and my cousin.
My family treats me as if I really was their own blood. I was with them you could almost say since the day I was born. Actually in my family, there are three of us who are adopted, including me as well. As for my friends I say majority of my closest friends know I’m adopted and don’t treat me any differently.
Sometimes though I do wonder who would I be if I wasn’t me? Then I’d stop and think that it doesn’t matter who I WOULD of been. All that matters is who I am now and what I could become.
This is me and my story (:
Left on Lockett Lane
I would like to announce that “Left on Lockett Lane” documentary by fellow Filipino adoptee, Jonathan Reinert is now available for you on line.
Congratulations Jonathan and thank you for finally offering an intimate look into the journey, your journey, of the adopted Filipino person.