DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY – Mae Tanagon;
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY/ EDITOR – Mae Tanagon;
ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE/SOUND – Aron Abad;
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – Mae Tanagon
Two horse caretakers struggle to make ends meet amid the low-wage employment in the horse racing industry..
Sota is an observational documentary film that follows the lives of Arnel Arguelles and Leonardo Yambao, horse caretakers at San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park in Carmona, Cavite. This documentary film presents their occupational welfare and living conditions while working in the horse gambling industry at Manila Jockey Club Inc.
The Philippine horse racing is a popular sport in the Philippines, and race betting is an equally prevalent activity.
Historically, horse racing had existed in the Philippines as early as 1867 as a recreational activity, which is also the year when Manila Jockey Club, INC was founded in Manila. In 1935, the Philippine Legislature passed Republic Act No. 4130, authorizing the holding of Sweepstakes Races. Horse racing in the Philippines is a multi-billion-peso industry; it provides revenues for the government and a source of funds for charitable institutions.
Despite having good amenities, the workers in this sector are underpaid. Low-wage employment has become an essential feature of the labor market and a controversial topic for debate in many countries. The filmmaker knew that if she did a film regarding the workers behind the horse racing industry in the Philippines, it would critique the poor management of horse racetracks and thus might help workers in this sector.
The filmmaker is one of the residents behind the walls of Sta. Ana Race Track until it was moved to a larger place in Naic, Cavite. This makes her rooted and well-immersed in the horse racing industry. The filmmaker uses her voice and skill to tell the story of one of the underpaid sectors in the Philippines.