I wish this issue didn’t have to exist.
It’s been a year since our good friends Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc were murdered in their home. Up until now, there has been no movement on the case and none of us know why they were killed. All I know is that it wasn’t a robbery and that the authorities have not done a proper investigation. I should know. Along with the Tioseco family, I’ve met too many police officials, bureaucrats, investigators, lawyers, politicians, psychics, and inept people named Agnes to say otherwise.
Alexis, in particular, meant a lot to those of us here in UNO. He’d even sit in during our editorial meetings. (See picture.) He was very much a part of what this magazine was all about, why we all chose to take on the challenge of doing it. But our friendship with him went well beyond working together. At least for me, he was no less than a brother. And I’m lucky that I was able to tell him that I loved him before he died. I told it to him quite often actually and he never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself.
It’s also with heavy hearts that we mark the recent death of another friend, cinematographer Miguel Fabie III. Miguel wrote to me last year, shortly after Alexis died. The letter is excerpted below:
I met [Alexis] after one of the first screenings of Batang West Side—he approached me, introduced himself, commended me, then slowly… in editing lingo—“dissolved to black.” That was my first feature film and though he sounded like he knew what he was talking about, I was taken aback by this young punk who seemed so sincere and passionate that my selective-memoried brain decided to keep him in its archives.
Anyway, in his case praise came across not as something to feed my ego but actually inspired me to better my craft. The same way Eddie Romero did on our first introduction when he commented about the same flick (Batang W.S.)—“Young man, either you’re extremely stupid and just plain lucky, or a genius”… To this day, I am trying to prove it’s not the former. The latter is something I believe is a DNA thing; you can’t work to be a genius, but you CAN work to be a better cinematographer/writer/musician/doctor ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
In [his famous letter], Alexis hoped that he and Nika would be together in/’till “the end.” Maybe they’re just beginning, but if this is the first step toward that direction or a major leap to the eternal we have yet to find out for ourselves in OUR own time, willingly or otherwise. Wake up call: get ready to be willing.
May we ALL rest in peace, in WHATEVER stage or phase in life.
I couldn’t agree with Miguel more though it’s tough for those of us they left behind.
In that Alexis-written piece reprinted in this issue in its definitive form, he says that “There’s a line in Aguila where a Moro secessionist is told his cause is lost. He replies that winning doesn’t matter, it’s doing what one feels one should do. That’s wisdom for you.”
With this issue we mourn, we mark, we reminisce, we remind. Let not another year pass before justice is done. We fight, not just against forgetfulness and the apathy that follows, but because it is what we feel we should do.
Here’s to Alexis, Nika and Miguel. And, yes, we’ll keep on going no matter what. ‘Till we hopefully meet again.
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