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American filmmaker wants to make Visayan movies

FAIRFAX, Va. American actor and filmmaker Joshua McLerran has become so enamored with the central Philippine region – the Visayas – that he’s moving to Iloilo to make movies.

He was born in Charlottesville, Va. but lived in Negros and Panay for nearly three years from 2003 to the early part of 2005. He has become fluent in Ilonggo and many of its sub-dialects, adding he counted Hiligaynon as his strong suit.

He’s played roles in various movies, the most popular perhaps “Daddy Day Camp” (2007) and perhaps for Filipino audiences, “Code of Honor” (2016) that stars Steven Seagal, a recent Manila visitor. McLerran is also the author of “The Book Bound for the Rubbish Bin” and the “Radio for the Blind” series.

Amazon says that by American standards he was “born and raised in something close to poverty. However, it was not until his time in the Philippines that he learned the world’s far grosser definitions of the term.”

“There, he saw men working in sugarcane fields for a dollar a day, eating a single plate of rice to sustain themselves, just once a day,” he brief biosketch said.

“While I was there, I fell in love with the Pilipino people,” he wrote to the Manila Mail.

“No, wala ko nakasal sa Pinay (no I didn’t marry a Filipina), despite the many offers halin sa kadamhan sang mga nanay didto (because they have strict parents),” he jests in Ilonggo.

“After coming home to America, I pursued a career in film and have since worked on several notable projects, including a co-starring role with Cuba Gooding, Jr in Sony’s Daddy Day Camp,” he explained.

“A few months ago, I decided to return to the Philippines for awhile and focus on making films there. It is my desire to take the knowledge, skills, assets, & connections I have & make films in the Philippines for the Pilipino people,” he averred, adding that by “Pilipino people” he intended to use the local dialects.

“A friend of mine in Manila, JM Rodriguez and I have already begun making plans in this regard and we have set up several meetings with filmmakers in Manila at the start of December before I head to Iloilo where I will have my base of operations,” McLerran said.

He reached out to the Manila Mail, saying he discovered Washington’s long-running Fil-Am newspaper while visiting a Filipino store. “I’d love to keep the DC community of Filipinos apprised as to the exciting things happening and to come,” he declared jubilantly.

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