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Julius Reyes: CineMATHLaya- A Fusion of Cinema, Mathematics and Freedom

Image 1: By Rachel Wang on

By Julius Reyes
Expert Educator Columnist, Philippines


…. “Who cares?:”

…. “Not that, it’s so difficult.”

….”Not my type!”

…..”Can I have something else?”

These were the few thoughts I’ve heard even when I was in elementary. Mathematics became a nightmare to almost school children and even adults too during their schooling years.

But how can we live a life without loving it and embracing it. There is nothing to fear about learning Mathematics.

But, how we can break the stigma about it?

Over the years , for 10 years, I am used to make school events’ documentation, education technology tools’ tutorial lessons, or teaching Mathematics lessons covered inside of the classroom enhanced by the power of technology then uploading these videos to YouTube or Facebook.

Then came my AHA MOMENT! What if my students will make films that integrate Mathematics? Hmmm, it drew me a smile on my face and felt my heart beat so fast of excitement. Why Not?

Next, as if I’m already rolling a camera, thinking how to ignite the students’ drive to appreciate and understand Mathematics. They seldom and even often not, had seen the impact of mathematics to real world application.

My mindset was very positive to create video materials through adopting these skills that could benefit students about how the concepts of Mathematics play in the real world applications to be executed through film making.

It took me a year before I decided to pursue the project. I couldn’t even decide what was the best title for my project whether “math in movies”, or “movies in math” which were really common, then suddenly a news on television came across.

It was about Cinemalaya film fest well-known in the Philippines where first-time film makers are competing with their entries of high-quality indie films to stir the sensibilities of Filipino audience. It popped-up in that very moment, that the title of my project would be Cinemathlaya where our future audiences are students or teachers as well.


Image 2: Logo Created by Jan Rico Garcia, Grade 8-1, Student of Mr. Reyes

Why “Cinemathlaya”? It’s a combination of the words Cinema (movie), Mathematics and Malaya (freedom). It was an independent short film making which delivers mathematical content and projects its value to real life scenario.

And for this reason, CINEMATHLAYA was created to discover the potentials of students as aspiring film makers in incorporating mathematics in their films and to arouse the interest of their student audiences in valuing this sophisticated project.

Before its implementation, it turned out a Project-Based Learning, complete with a tagline, “Cinemathlaya: Making Films. Incorporating Mathematics”. The project was timely where most of my students’ time was hard-pressed to 2 – 3 months of making the film.

Actually, students hated the subject, especially if it is done in a usual practices inside the classroom. Computation, recitation, board works and more. Why not put some twists in that day to day experiences with Mathematics?

Bringing them outside those walls, outdoor activities became a haven for them . We are now dealing with a new generation of students, they are more into gadgets, where technology is their ally. Why not just take advantage using these gadgets in learning mathematics through making an authentic film with a taste like drama, comedy, horror, documentary, action, sci-fi or fairytale that benefits every learner to experience real world applications of Mathematics played on a the big screen?

Image 3: Digital Poster Created by Ashley Cabotaje, Grade 8-B, Student of Mr. Reyes

Image 3: Digital Poster Created by Ashley Cabotaje, Grade 8-B, Student of Mr. Reyes

This activity entails though really a long-term activity which includes activities like movie review on existing movies or shows which incorporates Mathematics, making plots, scripts and blogs, posters, translations, cinematography or video editing, but it is worth trying to enhance the love for mathematics to work.

To add more, students were able to maximize most of the ICT skills they’ve learned. They were able to use various ICT tools such as Windows Live Movie Maker, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Microsoft Office Word, Windows Media Video format for PPT and other enhancement tools.

A lot of learning experiences happened while creating the film. They undergo a process of how a team works. To be successful in this endeavor, everyone must strike balance in all their activities, do sacrifices such as their sharing time, sustain energy and focus on maintaining grades. Many were exhausted and had some misunderstandings but top of it all, they just enjoyed creating the film.

The film making became an avenue where they were able to developed and nurture camaraderie, unity and most especially, creativity and imaginative minds.

In the end, it was a heart-fulfilling for my students as they see learners of the school changing perceptions about their misconceptions of Mathematics while watching their films.

Image 4: Digital Poster Created by Ashley Cabotaje, Grade 8-B, Student of Mr. Reyes

Image 4: Digital Poster Created by Ashley Cabotaje, Grade 8-B, Student of Mr. Reyes

This project was pioneered, and became a blockbuster for the Film Showing at Pangasinan National High School.

The project really hooked young film makers, conceptualized the learning of Mathematics in real world, unfolded the challenge of the 21st century skills and wrapped-up with bundled objectives such as to develop their skills in ICT, management and marketing.

Now, it is officially becomes an annual event of the school for all grade levels’ aspiring film makers in incorporating Mathematics in their films.

To know more about this project, come and journey with me with our CineMATHLaya. Go to for behind the scenes and blogs,  for film trailers and full videos, marketing strategies through film showing and updated blogs and  on how my learning activity plays at Microsoft site.

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