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Reservist kicks movie making process into high gear

Staff Sgt. Ronald Lagman set to premier short film in November

Staff Sgt. Ronald Lagman, a Reservist with the 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at McChord Field, will screen his first short film, entitled Lolo, in Tacoma in November. /Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle

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Air Force Reservist Ronald Lagman has a great amount of pride for his Filipino heritage.

In a matter of months, the rest of the Puget Sound will get a chance to see that pride played out on the big screen.

Lagman, a staff sergeant with the 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at McChord Field, is in the pre-production stage of making Lolo, a short film about a 77-year-old Filipino World War II veteran who lives with his family. The title translated means "grandfather," and the film is a narrative and will focus on the veteran's life living with his younger nephew in Tacoma.

Lagman has made plans to screen Lolo on Nov. 10 (Veteran's Day weekend) at 4 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum's auditorium.

"It's an incentive for me to keep the ball rolling on the project," Lagman said this week.

The 39-year-old Reservist hosted a public screening of Tapat Sa Pangako (Committed), a silent film, this past weekend in Tacoma. Committed recently received acceptance into its first film fest, Seattle's Post Alley Film Festival, and will play there next month. Lagman has also sent Committed to festivals in Tacoma, Los Angeles, Boston, and even France's Cannes. The recent screening also served as a fundraiser for Lolo.

"I think it went pretty well," said Lagman, a Tacoma resident. "I had lots of military folks come to the screening."

Born in the Philippines but having lived in the United States for nearly 14 years, Lagman is still very passionate about the country where he grew up and spent his youth.

"The idea (behind Lolo) is really to touch on the family's life, but the main story is about the grandfather," he said. "I would love for it to spark people's interest in the role Filipino veterans played, but the movie is really about the people."

Lagman is in the midst of finding local Filipino actors to play the roles, spreading the word via the local Filipino newspaper, the Pinoy Reporter.

"It's more of a grass-roots process," Lagman said of the talent search.

The movie will begin shooting in May in Tacoma, and the City of Tacoma, through the Tacoma Arts Commission's TAIP Program, has awarded Lolo a grant to get the production off the ground. Along with some personal funds from Lagman and financial donations from his family, friends and supporters, he is on the way to making the film come to fruition.

After graduating from Evergreen State College's Tacoma campus with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts/media in 2010, Lagman worked at the college teaching and doing some IT work. He has served with the 446th AMS for seven years.

Lagman is also currently working about 40 hours a week at Madigan Healthcare System to finish his training as an Air Force flight medic.

For more information about the film and Lagman's other projects, visit

(Information from a Weekly Volcano Spew Blog post was included in this story.)

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