Days in exile: Short docu provides glimpse into Carlos Celdran’s life in Spain


Posted at Oct 08 2019 11:24 PM | Updated as of Oct 09 2019 07:22 AM

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"It's amazing how much I gave up just to feel safe," said activist and performance artist Carlos Celdran, who went to Madrid after he was found guilty of "offending religious feelings." 

Celdran, whose death was confirmed this Tuesday, was the focus of a short documentary "Damaso" --the title inspired by what he did in 2010 when he staged a protest against the Catholic Church and its stance against the then Reproductive Health Bill, now passed into law.

Wearing a black suit and holding a placard with "Damaso" written in bold letters --the name of the abusive priest in Jose Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere"-- he walked inside the Manila Cathedral and told church leaders to not get involved in politics. 

He talked about his stunt in the 7-minute documentary: how it helped propel the bill into "national consciousness"; its sentence of more than a year in prison; and why he decided to exile himself in Spain. 

The film was directed by Alexandra Gordon, Katharine Lo Scalzo, and Sienna Hagedorn and was uploaded on YouTube last May. 

Celdran died of natural causes, his family said.