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“Biyolin”in I-WITNESS, A Howie Severino documentary


Like many in this caroling season, Lola Lydia performs in crowded streets in Manila where listeners may be willing to part with some change. But she is an unusual sight for one reason -- she plays the violin, a lonely musician in a city where many do not recognize, much less appreciate, the sweet-sounding classical instrument.

Howie Severino and his documentary team encounter Lola Lydia in Baclaran where she is trying to earn enough from street performing so she can go home to Pangasinan for Undas to visit the grave of her mother, who taught her to play. Lola Lydia still plays the broken violin that she inherited from her mother.

The I-Witness team accompanies Lola Lydia home. But on the way they stop in Zambales where they visit the famous concert violinist Coke Bolipata, who has taught dozens of local children how to play the instrument. Lola and Coke amaze each other, and together with the community's young virtuosi perform on the beach as the sun sets. In that precious moment, Lola Lydia is no longer a lonely violinist.

Arriving in Lola Lydia's home village in Pangasinan, Howie Severino and his team discover that she has a legacy that the community treasures and which she was too modest to reveal herself.

Biyolin is a documentary about the simple joys of music and what it gives to its most passionate performers no matter their station in life.  I-Witness airs Monday, October 31 after Saksi on GMA 7. (GMA 7 Press Release)