Herwin Benedictos Cabasal is a media practitioner and professor.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication (Broadcasting) at Centro Escolar University (2007) where he bagged recognitions such as Cum Laude, Gold Medal for Most Outstanding Academic Performance, and Best Thesis. In 2020, Herwin obtained Master of Arts in Media Studies (Film) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Herwin is also an alumnus of various film workshops in the country namely Celso Ad Castillo’s Directing Workshop (APFI, 2008) FilPix Basic Filmmaking Workshop (Filipino Pictures, Inc., 2009); Raymond Red’s Digital Cinematography Workshop (Siklab, 2010); Armando Lao’s Found Story Workshop (2011 and 2015); Surf Reyes’ The Film Gym (Film Academy of the Philippines, 2013); and a fellow at Hasik Filmmaking Advocacy Seminar of Active Vista Film Festival (Dakila, 2012); 1st UP Gawad Plaridel Masterclass: Scriptwriting Fellowship with Ricky Lee (UP College of Mass Communication, 2015) and Heroes Hub: Youth Empowerment Summit (Dakila, 2017), among others.
He also studied Motion Picture Production Program in Asia Pacific Film Institute (2011) where he produced his thesis film “Viscera” (2011) that won Best Director and Best Screenplay awards from Art Film Festival and Indie Un-film Festival in 2012, respectively. This was followed by other award-winning alternative films like “The Signature Mustache” (2015), winner of 3rd Best Film at UP Cineastes’ Haute Auteur and “Incubo” (2015), winner of Best Director and Best Cinematography at 3rd Singkuwento International Film Festival.
His advocacy short film “Pieta” (2013) was screened in Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival, Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival, and Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival. Furthermore, his short film “Mr. Postman” (2015) received PhilPost Award from Philippine Postal Corporation to recognize its social responsibility. Other short films that he wrote and directed include “Resurreccion” (2012) that was showcased in selected film caravans and “Motion Picture” (2010), an official selection at the Art Film Festival 2011.
His seven-year work experience in the television department of ABS-CBN Corporation, the Philippines’ largest media conglomerate, gave him his first professional work in the media industry since 2007. As a Segment Producer/Director, he produced creative elements of various long-form television programs and directed diverse types of multimedia content for broadcast in the said station until 2014.
In 2011, he was named as “Inspirational Pinoy Visionary Artist” of Red Carpet, US-based entertainment magazine of Asian Journal when his short documentary films: Starfish, Stewards, Tactics, and Pledge were screened at Possible Futures Film Contest.
His career in media includes a brief stint in advertising as a Project Manager of AdSpot, Inc. (2015) while doing some freelance directorial jobs for different multimedia productions from various clients. For a time, Herwin also worked as a Video Editor at PurpleLab, a visual communication company based in Singapore in 2018. He edited digital content and commercials for advertising agencies and clienteles.
As an academic, Herwin currently serves as a College Instructor/Lecturer at Centro Escolar University (2012-present), Far Eastern University (2016-present) and Mapua University (2018-2020). He lectures for various communication, media, and film courses such as Introduction to Communication Media, Introduction to Film, Introduction to Broadcast Media, Communication and Media Theory, Visual Communication, Media and Society, History of World Cinema, Video Production Processes, Television Production, Cinema Production, Fundamentals in Film and Video Production, Scriptwriting, Cinematography, and Video Editing, among others. He served as the Founder and Festival Director of Centromedia Festival: The Annual Student Media Festival of Centro Escolar University from 2012 to 2017. He is currently the Adviser and Festival Director of Likhang Mulat of FEU Department of Communication since 2019.
Mr. Cabasal has also shown proficiency in media and film scholarship by presenting his academic papers: “The Film Restoration: REELiving the Culture Industry and Spectacle in Classic Filipino Films” at The 2016 UP CMC Graduate Student Conference on Communication and Media Studies; and Social Advocacy Cinema: Progressive and Political Filmmaking of Alternative Multimedia Collectives from 2000 to 2019 at the Faculty Colloquium 2019 of Far Eastern University Department of Communication. He also presented the same paper to International Conference on Communication and Media Studies – “Identity and Power” (London, UK) in 2020, organized by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research.
He has been a guest speaker to numerous academic events of different universities such as MasKom Obra: Film and TV Directing (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, 2016); COMMASOC: Exploring Human Connectivity towards a Meaningful Communication and Community Building (Centro Escolar University Manila, 2016); Alternative Learning Experience: Utilizing the Medium of Alternative Cinema (Far Eastern University Manila, 2017); and Alternative Learning Experience: Directing and the Art of Visual Storytelling (Polytechnic University of the Philippines, 2017).
Herwin also headed the Media Productions Unit of Hagonoy Young Leaders Program (HYLEAP), a volunteer-driven youth organization focused on developing programs and community-oriented services through capacity- building, resources mobilization, and network and alliance building to develop a critical mass of service-oriented and values-based young leaders (active from 2008-2015).
For professional affiliations, Herwin currently serves as an Assistant Editor of Southeast Asian Media Studies Association (SEAMSA), an international, non-profit, non-government community of academics, researchers, media practitioners, and institutions who are actively committed to the study and research on the mass media of the Southeast Asian region (active from 2020 – present). He is also an active member of Philippine Association for Communication and Media Research, Inc. (PACMRI); Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE); and Philippines Communication Society (PCS).