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$85.00 pledged of $15,000 goal
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By Pableo Semacio
$85.00 pledged of $15,000 goal
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About this project

“DEAR DAD”

(THE QUEST)

“Dear Dad” is a poignant video documentary of American children born to Filipina mothers known as American-Asian or otherwise known as Filipino-Amerasians or Fil-Amerasians. These are stories of real lives; devastated by painful separation, abandonment, identity crisis, discrimination and survival. These are stories of never ending quest for a missing member of a family – the father. The quest is painful, discouraging, bitter but hopeful - that maybe someday, somehow their lives will entwine together for that possibilities of making up for the lost time.

These are real stories of children longing for strong and comforting arms of a father, the same loving arms to shield them in times when they needed it most – but never were. These are real stories of adversities, discrimination, of being sick - emotionally and physically.

Some of them were ditched by their own mothers who found themselves in dire need to survive, too. They had no choice but to leave the children behind with relatives, friends or somebody whom they know who could take care of them. Majority of these children were raised in extreme hard life, in dire destitution, unknown hardships and abject poverty.

These are stories of how they survive, of how they cling to that proverbial strength of aspiration called hope, the hope of finally finding their long lost father, somewhere, somehow, someday.

In this video you will; cry, laugh, journey with them and share their angst, frustrations and hurts but most of all marvel with their aspirations.You will have the opportunity to meet:

  1. Darwin Breiham-27-year old aspiring athlete

  2. Jewel Hubbard-31-year old single mother

  3. RichardHiggins, Jr.-42-year old tricycle driver

Their names are American, their color is American, their looks are American but they are not Americans.

OUR CONNECTION - HOW THIS PROJECT GOT STARTED

“My dad is an American,” was Richard’s quick reply to my curiosity. I met him while conducting a livelihood seminar in one of the barangays in the Philippines.

“I don’t know sir,” he replied when asked where his father was. “I never had a change to know him since we lost contact when I was two years old.”

“Let’s look for your dad.” Was my quick lighthearted answer but with a tint of seriousness.

That was summer of 1992.

Upon my arrival in the United States on May 07, 2007, bound with my promise to Richard, I continued my quest to search for his father. I joined U.S. Veterans Groups. I visited paid websites to extract valuable addresses and telephone numbers. Indeed, I got a lot of his father’s namesake, about two hundred of them. With those at hand, I tried sending letters but were returned: “Addressee Unknown.”I tried calling the numbers but were never answered. Some numbers were disconnected and some voice mails were never replied.I was looking for a needle in an acre of a hay stack.

But on that fateful day of July 21, 2013 at 6:57 p.m. (EST), with the help of a Fil-Amerasian group, I received a life-changing call. A guarded woman’s voice sounded on the other line and said, “I am the sister of the father you are looking for.”

The rest was history.

OUR MISSION

When the United States Congress passed the Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982, the Filipino and Japanese Amerasians were alienated. Filipino and Japanese Amerasians can only become U.S. citizens if their fathers claim them.The law gave preferential immigration status only to those children born in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Our mission is to send the message to the world the plight of these alienated and marginalized “children”. We want to let the world know that we have these “children”, left and abandoned with unknown future of being able to complete the seemingly incomplete life.

When the last bastions of the American bases were turned over to the Philippine government, reports had it that there are an estimated 50,000 to 250,000 Amerasians in the Philippines. This covers the year 1903 to 1991. This video documentary barely uncovers the tip of an iceberg.

After being able to find Richard’s father for a long and arduous years, the search meant a lot to me. With this video documentation, it may ambitiously concretize the statement for the recognition status of the Fil-Amerasians in their quest for American citizenship. This may help convey to the whole world and let the whole world know that there are marginalized children of American blood who longed to be acknowledged and recognized as the proverbial chips of the block left behind by their fathers with unfavorable circumstances. This video hoped to serve as a healing process for all the hurts, disappointments and separation.

And most importantly, this video aims to abridge and shorten the search for the father and child.

THE TEAM

Leo Semacio – Producer/Director

A self-made photographer/videomaker, his passion for social justice and international affairs made this project its way to conception and unto a labor of love.An immigrant himself and a social entrepreneur, he is interested in immigration affairs and social welfare of the people involved. His interest and passion for equal opportunity and justice prevailed in pursuing this project to realization.

Reymark Maglonzo - Creative Director /Filmmaker/Editor/Video-Photographer

Reymark Maglonzo is the Creative Director/Editor of Remark Maglonzo Films. He has been in the film making business for almost five years.He founded Reymark Maglonzo Films and had done several videos to his credit. He is a member of the Pinoy Video Makers, group of top Filipino video makers in the Philippines.

http://vimeo.com/reymarkmaglonzofilms

THEIR STORIES

Jewel Hubbard

Figure 1

Jewel was still in her mother’s womb when her father left.She only knew a little information about her father, a navy Corporal of USS Denver LPD-9.She holds onto the last trace of her father’s address and tried to locate him but to no avail.Sadly, all the documents and pictures of her father that would lead her to him were destroyed by the recent flood and past calamities.

Darwin Lester Brieham

Figure 2

Darwin was born in 1986 without the opportunity of a glimpse of his father.He only knew the full name of his father and that he worked with the USNS (United States Naval
Ship) oil tanker support ship.He doubted his father did not know he existed, that he had a son left by him at the naval station.He tried looking for his father, equipped only by his father’s name but luck was not on his side.He longed to see his father and be with him in the United States but faith had it that only a twist will do him a favor.

Richard Lloyd Higgins, Jr.

Richard and wife Genora.

His father left him when he was two years old with the promise of seeing each other again.But due to abject poverty, he and his mother had to move to different places to eke a living. In the process, they lost contact from each other.Richard, Jr. ended up in the southern most city of Zamboanga, Philippines where he drives a rented tricycle (a three-wheeled motorcycle used like a taxi cab) to raise and send his six children to school. With the last atrocities of war in September 2013, he and his family were forced to evacuate.He was left jobless.Although, he finally was able to locate his father living in Texas, USA after a long search, he realized that meeting his father in person will remain a dream.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

We want to make it to the minimum goal of $15,000.00 on the designated fund raising period, if not, we will lose all the pledges and along with it - the opportunity to bring this quest to reality. Therefore, we solicit for your benevolent heart to support behind this project. Majority of the Fil-Amerasians are still searching for their fathers, likewise some fathers are also in the same predicament. Some American fathers by now must be old, sick and dying or they might have been gone forever without being able to see the child they sired. With emphasis on the urgency of this project, we dearly solicit your support to help connect their lives before it is too late.

We have heard how they lived, how they survived, how they went on with their lives but we never knew how they felt, what they aspired, hoped and desired. By way of in-depth and intimate interviews with these randomly chosen Fil-Amerasians, we will have the opportunity to know them individually, see them, feel them, and touch them. These young Fil-Amerasians are to represent the group so their messages will carry the burden of their lot and for all Fil-Amerasians for that matter.

We seek assistance through Kickstarter, a funding platform for projects of great importance and urgency.As a platform, you will not be charged if we don’t reach the desired goal, therefore we thank you for your support for making this a reality by sponsoring our project so we may be able to reach our goal.

If by any chance you cannot help and support this project financially, we urge you to please help spread the word “Dear Dad” by posting on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe us on Youtube, send emails to your family and friends, and to your colleagues.This will be a great help to spread the word “Dear Dad” and be able to reach our goal. Please see the links at the bottom of this page.

WHAT WILL THE FUNDS FOR?

The documentary video will be filmed entirely in the Philippines. This requires travel to Manila, Philippines for two or three months of filming, editing and finalizing the video. We want this video done with love and compassion. We want an intimate touch of the finish product, thus your intimate support is highly esteemed to be able to realize this dream.

If funds of $15,00.00 will be reached, it will be for the following:

  1. Professional Filming & Editing

  2. Music Rights, composition and scoring/soundtrack

  3. Sound mix/dubbing/sub-titling

  4. Storyboards/Color correction

  5. Lights/Audio Equipment

  6. DVD release and prints

  7. Copyright protection and licensing

  8. Marketing & Promotion & distribution

  9. Kickstarter and Paypal Fees

  10. E&O Insurance

  11. Legal documentation & registration

  12. Festival submission fees

  13. Envelopes, packing materials, postage

  14. Airfare/Travel/Transportation Expenses

  15. Food/Accommodation

  16. Other miscellaneous needs

We cannot do it without you. Let this be your legacy.

WHAT ARE THE PLANS IF THE PROPOSAL IS FUNDED?

Once the proposal is funded, the following lines of activities are immediately implemented:

ActivityTime Allotment

  1. Procure appropriate equipments/schedule trips-two months

  2. Shoot the documentary in various Philippine locations-one to two months

  3. Video Editing/dubbing/sub-titling/storyboards-one month

  4. Burn copies-one week

  5. Market the product-longer period of time

  6. Send the rewards-one to two months

  7. Submit to enter festivals-early of 2015

Every event, development and updates will be reported to all sponsors via the feedback platform of Kickstarter.You can also contact us thru these links:

Facebook:Families Unitedfor Progress

Twitter:FamiliesUnited

Youtube:Familiesunited143@gmail.com

Vimeo:FamiliesUnited

Risks and challenges

We will be travelling to a foreign land where language, culture, values, customs and traditions are different. We have to respect their individualities, privacies and beliefs. But the most challenging part of this project is the language. Although our participants are educated and can speak and write good English, we want them to feel relax and comfortable. We will allow them to speak in Tagalog, their native tongue. In this manner, they can articulately verbalize their emotions, feelings and ideas well. There is that big challenge in translating the language to English, too. We need professional help to do the subtitle captioning and copy editing.
Our travel to the Philippines is a risk. We will be exposed to elements like weather, natural calamities and man-made obstacles like insurgency.
We are also being challenged by time. Time element is against us. Most of the fathers of Fil-Amerasians are on their 70’s and 80’s, old, sick and maybe dying. We want to catch the glimpse of hope before it would be late, much less gone - forever.
We are also challenged by the mothers of the Fil-Amerasians. Some mothers are hesitant to participate for some personal reasons or maybe of the stigma that goes with being mothers of Fil-Amerasians. Some mothers still bears the emotional stress and hurts of being left behind, abandoned and neglected.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Help us make the dream a reality; we will be thankful to you forever. You have made this quest known to the whole world. If we meet our goals, we will keep you updated about their lives and stories by email.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    An updated report on their lives and stories and our everlasting “thank you” will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. You have made this quest known to the whole world. We will send you by email production stills as an exclusive project update.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    You will receive an updated report on their lives and stories and an everlasting “thank you” bookmark from Richard, Darwin and Jewel. You have made this quest known to the whole world. We will send by email production stills as an exclusive project update.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You will get a “Dear Dad” bookmark and a postcard with handwritten “thank you” from Richard, Darwin and jewel. You have made this quest known to the whole world. We will send by email production stills as an exclusive project update.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A “Special Thanks” credit in the feature video documentary, a “thank you” post on Facebook and Twitter, “Dear Dad” bookmark and postcard with “thank you” notes from Richard, Darwin and Jewel. You have made this quest known to the whole world. We will send by email production stills as an exclusive project update.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A “Special Thanks” credit in the video documentary, a “thank you” post on Facebook and Twitter, “Dear Dad” bookmark and postcard with “thank you” notes from Richard, Darwin and Jewel. You have made this quest known to the whole world. We will send by email production stills as an exclusive project update.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    You will get a signed copy of the DVD and you will be featured as “Associate Producer” in the feature video and all the rewards mentioned above.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will be featured as “Executive Producer” in the feature video and all the rewards mentioned above plus 1 DVD of the signed feature video. Limited Edition. Printed T-shirt “Dear Dad”.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will be featured as “Keystone Producer” in the feature video and all the rewards mentioned above plus 2 DVDs of the signed feature video. Limited Edition: printed T-Shirt “Dear Dad”.

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Funding period

- (30 days)