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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Deltaforce 2, The Columbian Connection

Deltaforce 2
April 1989, Chuck Norris is shooting one movie after the other, after his Missing in Action series of witch I joined #1 and 3, he returned to Manila to go for more action. As before Maria Metcalfe was taking care of the casting and it was crowded at Filmore Ave when I arrived. There were a lot of Filipino people I worked with before and about a dozen western looking guys who passed the pre selections already. We were about to be casted by Chuck Norris and his brother Aaron who was doing the production of this new film with the working title Operation Stranglehold later: Deltaforce 2, The Columbian Connection. 

They both entered the room and it was pleasant to notice that Aaron recognized me at first glimpse (it had been exactly two years since I fixed the shoulder of his 1st cameraman Joao Fernandes on the MIA 3 set, when we shook hands last time.) I was lined up somewhere in the middle but he came to me first to shake hands, with a big smile while he said: “You got a job...!” Several other guys were selected as well and paperwork/contracts were to be signed in Maria's office. She had asked me before if I was willing to play an aggressive Skinhead. Rather naive I asked her if I had to shave my scull, she smiled at me and said: “That would be more convincing, Berto...!” I didn't feel much for it, but hé it didn't want to miss the fun.. It was about my turn to sign the contract when Joao Fernandes himself walked in and we hugged each other. He was obviously glad to see me and asked me what part I was going to play. He smiled when I told him Maria wanted me bald and he noticed my grin.. “I got something better for you”, he said and he entered the Metcalfe's office. Within minutes he showed up again and said: “You are a Delta soldier..”. Well, that made a difference, instead of 3 or 4 shooting days I was going to do so for a couple of weeks...

We, the Delta soldiers arrived in this plane.

There was a lot of work to do, no shootings yet but rehearsals. We had to practice fighting routines without hitting each other, we had to learn to always remember the camera angle that films the illusion each hit has an impact. Fighting sounds would be added later. Believe me, this way of fighting is as intense as a real fight, you have to swing your head backwards like you were hit on the chin or get the full load in the stomach. It needs a lot of reactions and fast moves. The location for this training was Luneta park, a favorite place to Tai chi practitioners and other martial artists. I think we counted some 2 dozen guys all together. Chuck and Rick Prieto were our instructors while we practiced for hours sweating it out at 35C. Fighting and jumping and tumbling, all of it. Oh, I loved it..! 

I had some T-shirts printed with my own design.

But these moves we made were not really the normal daily routines for most of us. I still did my workouts those days but believe me I felt all muscles for the next couple of days.. so imagine the untrained guys. 

Cota's (Billy) private jet in which he arrives in San Carlos.

All these efforts were done to go after one guy: Billy Drago, who kept some hostages we had to free. A major action scene would be our descend (abseilen) from 3 Sikorsky helicopters, a mass fighting operation. 
I was excited. The production had some problems though to get their hands on the 3 choppers, due to an earlier helicopter accident in '87 on the Missing in Action set, the government wasn't eager to get them available. It had consequences for our group, half of the guys were dismissed, about a dozen were left over, I was still one of them. I felt lucky.....It took about a week when it became clear there wouldn't be any chopper available at all.. another 4 or 5 guys were fired. The rest of us continued to do the fighting routines and several shots were taken while we were doing our 'thing' camouflaged in war colors, ready for the big event. Some of the action was taped on video so it could be watched instandly. I was pleasantly surprised when Chuck invited some of us to his hotel room to watch the edited results, he wanted our comments and opinions. It was my 3rd movie with Chuck and I had the chance to get to know him a little better. He really was a nice guy, no big star attitude and always willing to answer a question. And how many can say they sat next to Chuck Norris on his bed...:-) He pointed us the things that could be done better or differently. We couldn't do the chopper scenes yet but we continued shooting the story beyond that action. (that's why some of the boys who were killed in the accident still show up later). It turned out to be impossible to get any Sikorsky so an alternative was found in a small French Dauphine, not big enough to board all of us.... I was disappointed to the bones when I learned I couldn't join the chopper scenes, so I was on leave for a couple of days.

SA 360 Dauphin

 May 16, I'm home, news on the radio tells about a helicopter accident on the Chuck Norris' movie set, killing 5 from the 8 inside. Imagine how I felt that moment when I realize I just lost 5 colleagues, 4 of them close friends and how close my escape comes in to it. It could have been me involved in that terrible accident near Tagaytay, Laguna. The pilot, not used to flying this kind of heli's, also experienced an unwilling plane that didn't had a full check up and had been grounded for several years... he couldn't control the chopper and wasn't able to avoid the tail rotor to hit a mountain...
This incident meant more to me than I thought, I freaked out and wanted to quit that dangerous life. Not much later I got a letter from my dad, telling me he suffered a major surgery and was in poor health. I went home....

Geoff Brewer....dedicatee: in memory of
Gadi Danzig....dedicatee: in memory of
Mike Graham....dedicatee: in memory of
Jojo Imperiale....dedicatee: in memory of
Don Marshall....dedicatee: in memory of

The full Movie

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cock soccer.

Cock soccer.

Or did you mean:  'Chicken football'...?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Believe it or not..

The martial artists and the religious among us will not be too surprised when the unexplained occurs to them. The mind, the mental power is not yet understood very well, sometimes people are able to perform beyond their capability and that marks them as special, weird, possessed, crazy, religious, insane, genius, abnormal, out of the ordinary or other.... I never ever heard anybody say: hé, that's normal!!.

I have never been a follower of any religion and I probably never will, does this make me an unbeliever, a satan's friend, an enemy or a bad guy ? If you think so stop reading right now you're most likely too normal or too perfect, ...

I believe, but not all of it..

A lot of people believe everything. (ex)friends of mine were convinced that the bible was written by God himself.......

This bible was written, composed and edited by people, historians, religious people, followers or disciples. Not much later the Vatican corrupted and censored the epistles.... History was changed and manipulated to cover-up events that didn't fit a christian view (dead-sea scrolls and testimonies of Maria Magdalena and Judas, and other facts. More actual are the abuse-accusations ). How can I believe a book that doesn't tell the truth, or hides it ? Oh my God, I'm stepping on toes right now...

Read the 'bloody' history books. Go back as far as you want to, but it's all war that's written. The Egyptians against the jews, christians against the muslims, the protestants against the catholics. And when there's no religion involved, capitalism will fight communism, the rich will squeeze the poor. 'Civilization' was given to the indians, priests blessed the ships that transported the slaves.

Oh ya, 'love' was given as well, look at all those half-breed children walking around all over the world, but then left unattended cos they didn't fit any culture, they were different. What the hack, aren't we all God's creatures ??????

I believe.
Yes, there must be something out there, give it a name: God, Jehova, Allah, holy Father or whatever. I keep it to neutral mother Nature. I love the nature, it's incredible, it's a wonder, an unexplained miracle and we are all part of it. And I love animals as a part of this creation, oh yes I do. I can get along with animals a lot better than I can deal with the human race. Sometimes I feel ashamed I'm human as I see what's done to Nature and how badly people and animals are treated.

I was never baptized, my parents wanted me to decide myself were to go and what to do. I'm still grateful for that. There will be a day when I wake up I can see and understand. But for the time being I'm blind, I don't understand yet.

Things happen all the time, good and bad. We change our opinion as easy as the weather changes. When are we sure??

Once I had a strong power to heal the ill, this power sometimes got weaker cos I didn't believe in myself anymore.

 I've been to many seances where contact was made with the dead.... Unexplained knowledge from a medium, answers from the spirits, oh yes I believe there is something up (down) there.
Well it gives me something to think about.

Is God black or white, is he circumsized, how old was Adam when he was 'born' and who did the surgery on him to create Eva ?? How can dead people speak without a mouth. And many, many more questions like these...