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‘Kuwento ng mga Peregrino’ wins Best TV Special at the 31st CMMA

My documentary “Kuwento ng mga Peregrino” (Tales of Pilgrims) produced by JesCom last year won Best TV Special at the 31st CMMA, besting our most formidable competitors yet: “Beyond Conspiracy: 25 Years After the Aquino Assissination” (ABS-CBN), “World View” (GMA7) and “Mindanao: The Way Forward” (ANC).

This is not JesCom’s first CMMA nor its first award. In fact, this is a back-to-back win for us as we won in the same category last year for “Habilin”. But it is the sweetest, nonetheless. With all my years as a producer/director, this has been the most difficult project I’ve ever worked on. You cannot imagine all the hurdles we had to overcome just to be able to produce this documentary– what with organizing a pilgrimage for the first time…

all aboard!

…shooting in four countries with a skeleton crew and minimal equipment…


filming around Assisi, Italy


drenched in Lourdes, France
drenched in Lourdes, France




…my creativity cramped by very limited time and an even more limited budget…

unprepared for Italian rain
unprepared for Italian rain


…and all the while trying our best to keep 20+ pilgrims happy while dealing with inexcusable problems with the tour operator.


hanging out with some of the pilgrims
hanging out with some of the pilgrims


Don’t get me wrong, though. I also had the grandest time. I tried to enjoy every minute of it, knowing that I was very blessed to have had the opportunity to go there again (my first European trip was in 1998).


With Jesuit Father General Nicolas and Bishop Chito Tagle in Rome
With Jesuit Father General Nicolas and Bishop Chito Tagle in Rome


having a late night gelato with Bishop Chito
having a late night gelato with Bishop Chito


I have also learned many lessons during that trip– things that I will keep in mind should another opportunity to film in Europe arise.

In the meantime, I will sit here and relish this moment. Nothing beats the feeling of good work rewarded.

(Tales of Pilgrims, JesCom 2008)

A young and single ovarian cancer patient, a black sheep, a devoted wife afflicted with lung cancer, and a retired couple travel together halfway around the world to commune with God and seek His will for their lives. Will they get what they pray for?

“Kuwento ng mga Peregrino” (“Tales of Pilgrims”) unfolds the voyage of six Filipino pilgrims to Holy Places around Europe – Assisi and Rome, Italy; Fatima in Portugal; Avila, Spain; and Lourdes in France. With the guidance of Bishop Chito Tagle and Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ, each destination brings about revelations on their spiritual struggles and journeys as well as God’s love for them.

Gems Pasimio is battling with ovarian cancer for the second time. When diagnosed with the disease at the prime of her singlehood, she took every step toward healing, even if it meant taking out one of her ovaries. But with the recurrence of her cancer, Gems has simply decided to seal her fate, accepting and waiting for her death. Her long bucket list, now almost fulfilled, includes a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Will Gem’s pilgrimage be her moment of truth?

Raffy Calma is a picture of success. He has everything – the looks, the brains, the money, the influence, and the girls – but nothing made sense. He has lived in the Philippines and USA, and had also traveled around the world in pursuit of the absolute truth. Will Raffy’s pilgrimage be the end of his search?

Rod and Anna Castelo face the reality of death everyday. Anna, wife of Rod and mother of four young children, is afflicted with lung cancer. Both husband and wife are Marian devotees and not a moment goes by that they do not plead for Anna’s healing. Will Rod and Anna’s pilgrimage be the prayer that gets a positive answer?

Jess and Beth have been married for more than forty years. They proudly claim that they are at the “departure area” of their lives. Joking aside, the couple is seriously finding purpose in their twilight years and is still learning to live with each other. Will Jess and Beth’s pilgrimage revive and rekindle the vigor and romance of their yesteryears?

Follow the pilgrims’ quest for healing and miracles with host Bernadette Sembrano. “Kuwento ng mga Peregrino” (“Tales of Pilgrims”) is a special TV documentary produced by the Jesuit Communications Foundation.

KUWENTO NG MGA PEREGRINO (“Tales of Pilgrims”)
A Jesuit Communications Production

Director / Producer: Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin
Production Manager: Ernestine Tamana
Writer / Producer, Manila Leg: Lolita Lachica
Associate Producer: CJ Ledesma
Production Coordinators: John Michael Cardoz and Dex Ravana
Cameraman: Chito Ramento
Soundman: Lito Cruz
Lighting Director: Rey Sabilao




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