Sapac Miracle – a Documentary that Didn’t Matter

fr non sapac farm cebu

Sapac Miracle – a Documentary that Didn’t Matter

Around August 2013, in one my earlier films, I shot one of the most beautiful documentary stories I ever had about a religious orphanage for them to get more funding – but the opposite happened.

Months before that, I happen to edit a fund-raising video by April Mae Valencia-Carrillo, of the now famous wedding and events stylist, First of April . A self organized event asking her friends to share whatever they have to this small orphanage run by Fr. Emmanuel Non, S.J., the Sapac Farm School in Compostela, Cebu.

Inspired by the dedication of this Fr. Non, to bring boys to school, feed them, clothe them, guide them not just physically but also spiritually, Gail and I did our best to find him more donors to support them.

His story got the eye of a Canada-based film producer and businessman who is looking for ways to also build sustaianable enterprises here in Cebu. He was stoked and tasked me to go and make a short documentary about this one of a kind farm.

Gail and I rushed to Sapac and made friends with Fr. Non, did the interview, inspired by his story of having to manage the entire facility on his own with the support of teachers volunteers, started filmming. I was still a newb at that time, but hey, I was filming really good stuff.

I edited the video, uploaded and gave the link.

I was really stoked of the possibilities of the partnership that could go. The boys will now have proper schooling and facilities. And Fr. Non, at the age of 93 at that time, would have more time for himself already.

Weeks passed, I got on to other projects and forgot about it.

Opposite to what I expected, this producer/businessman declined the partnership for some totally absurd reason – that the community is too religious. Yes! Too religious. Knowing the background of the person, we dare not continue to ask.

I was really frustrated, not because my video was made for nothing, but because other blessed people are just so selfish!

Well then, I moved on, and years pass by with more video productions here in Cebu.

I grew… grew more handsome.

Out of the blue, Tony Mendoza, a friend of mine who was also a good benefactor for the Sapac Farm of Fr. Non, sent me a message on facebook. Asking me for a copy of that documentary video I made for Sapac years ago. I exactly didn’t know why, but gave him a link.

A few months after that, I just received a message from Tony that this video was able to raise a donation of Php90,000 from the community church where his sister, Liz Mendoza-Rupp, is at in the United States.

I was speechless. It was a very gratifying experience. After all the drama we had the past years, finally, the story made it to people who deserve to see this.

Up to this day, it is always in stories like this that I get to remind myself why in the first place I found myself doing this, making films, telling stories. Because this things matter.

This was the video I made – the Sapac Miracle.

PS. If you want to help out, and is touched in any way or the other, please go visit Fr. Non at the Sapac Farm School. I just heard a few months ago that he is not able to walk anymore. He needs us more at this time. Visit their site –

And look who just posted a few minutes after I published this post!?

documentary filmmaker cebu

And here’s more from April, who apparently brought me in this journey!

documentary filmmaker cebu 2








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hanzstHanz Florentino is the founder of Studio Inspiro, a filmmaker, a story teller, a lover and a student of life.View all posts by hanzst →

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