‘Kumander Liway:’ Martial Law Told Through the Eyes of a Family

BY EUDEN VALDEZ

“MAYBE in the future, if I am able to develop a rich enough material on the subject,” said filmmaker Kip Oebanda when asked about creating a film about the life of “Kumander Liway,” a former New People’s Army (NPA) leader in Negros Occidental during Martial Law. (In detention, but independent, Inquirer.net)

The year was 2014. 

Oebanda did not want to rush because the story was “deeply personal and serious.” So in the years to come, he wrote and directed instead three independent films, “Tumbang Preso” (2014), “Bar Boys” and “Nay” (2017), which nevertheless showcased his capacity as a storyteller. In between, continuously researching and developing the biographical film–but always doubting.

“Ayoko talaga siyang gawin noong una, honestly. Why would I put myself in a dangerous position. ‘Liway’ will inevitably have a political slant,” Oebanda said. (The Reel Life of Kip Oebanda, Manila Bulletin)

But “the time is right,” so he said. 

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