A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

This is the world through my eyes

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LA LA LAND: Hollywood In Love

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

For those who love me

Written by

Jude Bautista

Mia (Emma Stone) stopped Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in his tracks with what she said next. Mia: We might as well get this out of the way–I hate jazz… You ok? He immediately takes her to a smoky jazz club. Seb: It’s just that when people say they hate jazz they don’t have context. They don’t know where it comes from. Jazz was born in a little flophouse in New Orleans. People were crammed in there spoke five different languages. The only way they could communicate was with jazz.

LA LA LAND broke the record for most Golden Globes win with 7 awards. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

LA LA LAND broke the record for most Golden Globes win with 7 awards. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Mia: But what about Kenny G? What about elevator music? You know jazz music that I know? Seb: What about it? Mia: I find it relaxing. Seb: It’s not relaxing. It’s not. It’s not. Sidney Bechet shot somebody because he was told he played a wrong note. It’s hardly relaxing. Mia: In where I grew up there’s this station called KJAZZ 103. People just put on that station when they had a cocktail party. And everyone would just talk over it.

Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Seb: I know I think that’s part of the problem. You have to hear it. You have to see what’s at stake. Look at the sax player he just hijacked the song. He’s in his own trip. Every one of these guys they’re composing they’re rearranging. They’re writing and playing the melody. Now look the trumpet player he has his own idea. It’s conflict and its compromise. Its new every time. It’s brand new every night. It’s very, very exciting. And it’s dying. It’s dying Mia. And the world says let it die. It had its time. Not on my watch.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Mia and Seb at first glance aren’t remarkable people. What they do have in common is that they live for their dreams. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with them when you see their eyes light up talking about their passions.

Emma Stone (Mia); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Mia is obsessed with old Hollywood. She sleeps under the gaze of Ingrid Bergman whose image is the size of her bedroom wall. Her love for movies inspired her to become an actress. Meanwhile she’s a barista at the Warner Brothers lot, which has a lot of film history.

Ryan Gosling (Seb) trained for 3 months to play the piano. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Ryan Gosling (Seb) trained for 3 months to play the piano. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Sebastian or Seb for short is an extremely talented musician but is having a hard time making ends meet. He finds difficulty in compromising his art and passion for jazz. There’s a huge gap between what he wants to do and the music that he’s paid to play in his gigs.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); the Rialto Theater was one of many historical landmarks they shot in. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); the Rialto Theater was one of many historical landmarks they shot in. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Hollywood isn’t just about fame and fortune, although it doesn’t hurt having them. LA LA LAND shows that Hollywood is still about having a dream and going after it against all odds. Theirs is the struggle of thousands of Angelenos, dreamers searching for that big break. That’s why the story is so inspiring and entertaining in the most classical sense. They made old Hollywood come alive and relevant in a magical way. They harkened to a time when musicals were king and was considered the best way to tell the story. Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly and the recently passed Debbie Reynolds would be proud of the song and dance work in LALALAND.

Hollywood legends Gene Kelly and the recently passed Debbie Reynolds would be proud of the song and dance work in LA LA LAND. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Hollywood legends Gene Kelly and the recently passed Debbie Reynolds would be proud of the song and dance work in LA LA LAND. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Featurette- homage to Musicals – filmaker’s own words

Millennials who are not able to relate with Hollywood’s glory days are given a lyrical and eloquent introduction. Hopefully they’re infected with the same passion that Mia grew up with and was inspired by. After all movies like CASABLANCA, BRINGING UP BABY and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE are now just a YouTube click away.

BRINGING UP BABY & CASABLANCA are among Mia’s favorite movies. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

BRINGING UP BABY & CASABLANCA are among Mia’s favorite movies. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Vocals and Choreography

It’s hard not to fall in love with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They have that combination of adorable and sexy as a couple. Their previous rom com CRAZY STUPID LOVE with Steve Carrell and Julianne Moore was a hilarious hit. They were also a pair for period film GANGSTER SQUAD. Gosling though, could be seen more as the top romantic lead after THE NOTEBOOK with Rachel McAdams.

John Legend (Keith); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

John Legend (Keith); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Their vocals weren’t spectacular but were definitely moving. Neither of them may not necessarily be the next Luciano Pavarotti nor even to the level of co-star and executive producer John Legend. But both of them sang with such sincerity that audiences can’t help but be drawn to their performances. There’s the longing in CITY OF STARS by Gosling and heartfelt AUDITION (The Fools Who Dream) by Emma Stone. Of course John Legend had his stellar START A FIRE performed in a huge concert scene.

START A FIRE performed by John Legend

Where Gosling truly shines is his newly acquired skill on the piano. He trained for 3 months and called it “his most fulfilling pre-production experience”. John Legend (known for his piano playing) in turn also had to learn the electric guitar as Keith.

Ryan Gosling (Seb) trained for 3 months to play the piano. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Ryan Gosling (Seb) trained for 3 months to play the piano. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Ryan and Emma also excelled in the dance portions with choreography that paid homage to the sequences from SINGING IN THE RAIN and other classics. The sequence in A LOVELY NIGHT where it was just Mia & Seb during sunset was memorable although not as complex as the others.

A LOVELY NIGHT

Mandy Moore Cameo?

There was some confusion when Writer Director Damien Chazelle credited Mandy Moore as choreographer during his Best Director acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. It turns out that their choreographer Mandy Moore is the (exact) namesake of the pop star. Mandy, the actress/singer, is currently starring in the TV show THIS IS US. She also had a concert here in EASTWOOD CITY MALL (Quezon City, Philippines) last 2008. Her hits include: I WANNA BE WITH YOU, CRY and performed the official soundtrack I SEE THE LIGHT for Disney’s TANGLED.

Choreographer Mandy Moore (left) was mistaken for her namesake during a speech for Pop star and actress Mandy Moore (right). Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Choreographer Mandy Moore (left) was mistaken for her namesake during a speech for Pop star and actress Mandy Moore (right). Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

The choreographer / professional dancer Mandy Moore is no slouch having worked on SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, AMERICAN HUSTLE, JOY and TV shows SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and DANCING WITH THE STARS. She is one of many creative people like composer/ film scorer Justin Hurwitz, lyricists Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and cinematographer Linus Sandgren who have made LALALAND the award winning film that it is. Screenwriter and director Damien Chazelle also wrote the lyrics for the song IT HAPPENED AT DAWN.

Writer Director Damien Chazelle has already earned several Best Director nods: Golden Globes, Director’s Guild and is nominated for an Oscar. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Writer Director Damien Chazelle has already earned several Best Director nods: Golden Globes, Director’s Guild and is nominated for an Oscar. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Awards

Almost throughout the movie Mia goes from one dehumanizing audition after another. Although the story celebrates the history and glory of Hollywood, it also sheds light on some the negative aspects. The challenge of the audition is something that all performers go through. Lili Tomlin during her acceptance speech for Screen Actors Guild -Lifetime Achievement, said she’d accept any part as long as she didn’t have to audition. That same night Emma Stone won for Best Actress; it was one of several for her and Ryan Gosling.

Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

LA LA LAND is one of the favorites in the upcoming Oscars after earning 14 nominations. They’ve nearly swept every major category in the GOLDEN GLOBES: Best Picture Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Ryan Gosling, Best Actress – Emma Stone, Best Director / Best Screenplay Damien Chazelle, Best Original Song – Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Pau and Best Musical Score- Justin Hurwitz. The number of trophies from International and U.S. based awards are too many to mention such as the Director’s Guild of America etc. listed here.

Golden Globes winners from right: Prod. Designer Justin Hurwitz, Writer Director Damien Chazelle, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Golden Globes winners from right: Musical Scorer Justin Hurwitz, Writer Director Damien Chazelle, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) passed by screen legends on mural. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) passed by screen legends on mural. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Film History & L.A. Landmarks

In one of the early scenes, her friends in a late night party abandon Mia and she has to make her way home by herself. She passes by a mural and the camera reveals the faces of screen legends albeit in a humorous way: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, child star Shirley Temple sits on the lap of W.C. Fields (who reportedly hated children). The wall Mia passes is a real location: YOU ARE THE STAR MURAL on 1648 Wilcox Ave and Hollywood Boulevard. Artist Thomas Suriya completed it in 1983 and was restored by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles in 1995.

Emma Stone (Mia) passed by screen legends on mural. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) passed by screen legends on mural. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Production designer Dave Wasco encapsulated the emphasis on location and history when he said, “It was an opportunity to do a movie about a place we deeply loved”. Dave along with wife Sandy Reynolds-Wasco has already won Best Production Design for LA LA LAND from the Art Director’s Guild, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards and Georgia Film Critics Association along with a nomination in the Oscars and BAFTA.

Prod Designers David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco have earned several awards. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Prod Designers David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco have earned several awards. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

There are so many ways that Chazelle honors the past, the places that Mia & Seb visit around L.A. are landmarks that have been made famous by the movies. There’s the Griffith Observatory (REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, THE TERMINATOR, TRANSFORMERS), The Light House Café where they shot the jazz club scene is near Hermosa Beach and was made famous by Miles Davis. Check out the list with photos of film locations made by Conde Nast Traveller here.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); the Griffith Observatory interiors were recreated on set. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); the Griffith Observatory interiors were recreated on set. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

After more than a century of filmmaking, Hollywood is still a city of dreamers that can still make you fall in love. As Mia sings in Audition (The Fools Who Dream)–

 

“A bit of madness is key

To give us new colors to see

Who knows where it will lead us?

And that’s why they need us”

So bring on the rebels

The ripples from pebbles

The painters, and poets, and plays

And here’s to the fools who dream

Crazy as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that break

Here’s to the mess we make

AUDITION (The Fools Who Dream)

Cara Mia, Amoré, Deep Kiss, Delicate, Beloved, Warmth, Sweet Angel.

Cara Mia, Amoré, Deep Kiss, Delicate, Beloved, Warmth, Sweet Angel.

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from left: Choreographer Mandy Moore paid homage to the steps made famous by Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in SINGING IN THE RAIN. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

from left: Choreographer Mandy Moore paid homage to the steps made famous by Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in SINGING IN THE RAIN. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); the Griffith Observatory interiors were recreated on set. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); the Griffith Observatory interiors were recreated on set. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

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(Left) Ryan and Emma leave their mark at Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Right) Single LP cover for LA LA LAND Soundtrack. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

(Left) Ryan and Emma leave their mark at Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Right) Single LP cover for LA LA LAND Soundtrack. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

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John Legend (Keith); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

John Legend (Keith); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb)on the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena California, one of the many landmarks they shot in. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb)on the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena California, one of the many landmarks they shot in. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

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Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Ryan Gosling (Seb) is pissed off playing for 80s retro band. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Ryan Gosling (Seb) is pissed off playing for 80s retro band. Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

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from left: John Legend (Keith) and Ryan Gosling (Seb). Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

from left: John Legend (Keith) and Ryan Gosling (Seb). Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

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Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

Emma Stone (Mia) & Ryan Gosling (Seb); Watch LA LA LAND in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Resort’s World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Venice Piazza Mall and Eastwood City Mall.

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Learning from RED AMNESIA

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Deng (Lu Zhong) walks the busy thoroughfare, trucks and cars whizz by. When she gets to a corner she enters a two-story shop.  She ignores the displays and sales people and enters a backdoor. After climbing a flight of stairs she goes through a dark maze of Laundromats and massage cubicles all occupied. She finally gets to her son Bing (Qin Hao) in front of an i-mac who is startled to see her. Bing immediately gets up to go to a small kitchen and pulls a man in an apron before she sees him. Bing snatches the apron from the man and shoos him away but kisses him before he leaves. Deng busies herself in the kitchen to make her son dinner. In spite of this he barks at her, “Don’t you feel bored having to come here everyday?”

from right: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from right: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

RED AMNESIA is one of 6 films you can watch for free at the SPRING FILM FESTIVAL starting January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. Organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University, mall guests can look forward to more events to ring in the lunar new year at the Shang’s Grand Atrium.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Catch the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Painting Exhibit from January 25 to 31; enjoy An Afternoon of Beautiful Chinese Melodies: Chinese Musical Concert by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University on January 28 at 3PM, and take part in a Pastel Painting Workshop with Master Fidel Sarmiento, President of the Art Association of the Philippines, on January 29 at 1PM. Finally, get to witness the traditional Chinese Dragon and Lion Dance on February 5, 2pm. Admission is free for all activities.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Deng is a senior citizen who feels left out of her sons lives more and more. Things change when a spate of robberies happens in her neighborhood. She gets prank calls and a brick gets thrown through her window making her sons worry about her safety. Something in her past comes back to haunt her. She also learns that a greater number of the elderly are getting sent to old age homes by their children. There’s less reverence for the tradition of caring for parents and grand parents in this modern, fast paced Chinese society.

from left: Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from left: Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Awards / Cast

RED AMNESIA won a Best Actress award for Lü Zhong  in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the ARRI/OSRAM Special Mention for director Xiaoshuai Wang in the MUNICH Film Festival. The film also earned a nomination for a Golden Lion in the Venice Film Fest. RED AMNESIA is a third in the Cultural Revolution series by director Xiaoshuai Wang.

Director Xiaoshuai Wang (in blue) discusses scene with cast. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Director Xiaoshuai Wang (in blue) discusses scene with cast. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

One of the big names in the cast is Qin Hao (秦昊) who was the star in SPRING FEVER which won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 2009. Here in RED AMNESIA he plays the gay son Bing who has difficulty opening up to his mother. Homosexuality is not a common theme in Chinese cinema, director Wang should be commended for his courage for dealing with the subject.

from left: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from left: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lead Actress Lu Zhong as the neglected mother here is far removed from her usual role.  She gives up her royal garbs as she has played the Empress Dowager in at least 3 separate TV projects (1 film) and or the royal grandmother in others.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Feng Yuanzheng as older brother Zhang Jun is very familiar to Chinese audiences as he has numerous roles on film and TV. Feng is also an obsessive middle aged fan who kidnaps a sexy video blogger in CASE SENSITIVE (敏感事件) recently aired in RED by HBO.

Amanda Qin (Wang Lu) and Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Amanda Qin (Wang Lu) and Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Cultural Revolution vs War On Drugs

This is one of several films that have a theme of the Cultural Revolution’s traumatic experiences that have returned to haunt the people of China today. Last year the Spring Film fest premiered COMING HOME starring Gong Li. That film also dealt with the immeasurable damage to one family by that turbulent phase in Chinese history.

A choir of seniors sings a Maoist hymn. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

A choir of seniors sings a Maoist hymn. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

It spanned from 1966-76 and has some parallelisms with our own experience of President Duterte’s War On Drugs in the Philippines. Mao Tse Tung during that time wanted to consolidate his hold on power. To do this he believed he had to get rid of his enemies, which eventually spread out to a whole category of individuals such as intellectuals, professionals, doctors, engineers, lawyers anyone who was capable of thinking for themselves and opposing Maoist ideals. Tens of thousands of people were executed, arrested and exiled.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Chairman Mao is definitely among those leaders that Duterte admires, seeing himself as a Strongman. The infamous list includes Vladimir Putin, Adolf Hitler and has aligned himself with U.S. President elect Donald Trump.

More and more of China’s elderly are no longer cared for by their children. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

More and more of China’s elderly are no longer cared for by their children. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

The current number of people killed since President Duterte came to power (in 2016) is 6,000 and still growing. The similarity with the Cultural Revolution is the lack of judicial process. Whether or not these people killed really are involved with drugs or not that can’t be fully determined. All we know is that bodies are found everywhere and are broadcast everyday on TV. Children, senior citizens and other by standers are also caught in the crossfire and are killed.

Rice paddies in Gui Zhou; Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Rice paddies in Gui Zhou; Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

The difference between them is the sheer scale, the Cultural Revolution lasted a decade. And because a drought happened during that time millions also starved to death as a refusal of China to receive foreign aid.

Lü Zhong (Deng) visits her husband’s grave. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng) visits her husband’s grave. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lessons Unlearned

Going back to the story of RED AMNESIA lead character Deng is haunted by what she had to do to survive during that painful period also called The Great Leap Forward. This was a time when her whole district in Beijing was exiled to a remote and poor mountain province in Gui Zhou. There’s a certain amount of nostalgia and a huge contrast to their lives today. Beijing is now a bustling metropolis with the most modern transportation system. With the visuals of shops and neon lights the Chinese megalopolis is as capitalist as any city in the world.

from left: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing), Lü Zhong (Deng) and Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from left: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing), Lü Zhong (Deng) and Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Deng returns to Gui Zhou in an effort to confront her past. She visits the old brick factories and dormitories that are now abandoned. She seems to represent the whole population of China wanting to bury its painful past to never think about it, hence the title RED AMNESIA.  The problem with forgetting is that people are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Lü Zhong (Deng) visits the old abandoned brick factories they lived in Gui Zhou. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng) visits the old abandoned brick factories they lived in Gui Zhou. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

We in the Philippines seem to have not learned from this experience as well, believing that killing people without due process is a solution the way Mao Tse Tung did and now with President Duterte. We see in this film that people are still paying the price today for injustices committed 40 years ago.

For inquiries, call 370-2597 or 98 or visit www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial. Follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.

Lü Zhong (Deng) comes back to visit old friends in Gui Zhou. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng) comes back to visit old friends in Gui Zhou. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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Amanda Qin (Wang Lu) and Zhao Zelong (Little One). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Amanda Qin (Wang Lu) and Zhao Zelong (Little One). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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Lü Zhong (Deng) picks up grandson in school. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng) picks up grandson in school. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

More and more of China’s elderly are no longer cared for by their children. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

More and more of China’s elderly are no longer cared for by their children. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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Lü Zhong (Deng) visits the old abandoned brick factories they lived in Gui Zhou. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng) visits the old abandoned brick factories they lived in Gui Zhou. Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Shiliu (Boy); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Shiliu (Boy); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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from left: Amanda Qin (Wang Lu), Qin Hao (Zhang Bing), Zhao Zelong (Little One), Lü Zhong (Deng) & Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from left: Amanda Qin (Wang Lu), Qin Hao (Zhang Bing), Zhao Zelong (Little One), Lü Zhong (Deng) & Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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from left: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing) & Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from left: Qin Hao (Zhang Bing) & Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

Lü Zhong (Deng); Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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from left:  Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun), Zhao Zelong (Little One) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

from left: Feng Yuanzheng (Zhang Jun), Zhao Zelong (Little One) and Lü Zhong (Deng). Watch RED AMNESIA and other Chinese films for free at the Spring Film Fest from January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. The annual Spring Film Festival is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo De Manila University.

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The SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN (s) In Our Lives

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Beauty Pageant Candidates in their native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Leo Selomenio (addresses a crowd of Filipino maids): Wag niyong isipin katulong lang ako binabayaran lang ako ng amo ko. Nandito ako dahil may sahod akong dollar may ipapadala ako sa Pilipinas. It’s not that. Isipin ninyo sa sarili ninyo manager kayo! Syempre ako nag mamanage ng bahay ng amo ko. Bakit kayo hindi? O? Tatawa sila. Bakit kinahihiya mo trabaho mo? Sabihin mo muna manager ka. Siyempre titignan ka niya from head to foot. Oo may nakasabay ako sa eroplano. Anong ginagawa mo sa Hong Kong? Manager. Manager? Manager ka ng ano? Manager ako ng amo ko. O tinapat ko nga i-phone ko ha! Manager? Tapos tinignan niya ko from head to foot.

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Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

(Don’t think of yourselves as mere helpers. You’re here just for your salary to send back home. It’s not that. Think of yourselves as managers. Of course I manage my employer’s household. Don’t you do the same? They laugh at me. I met someone on the plane and asked my job. Tell them you’re a manager. They look at me from head to foot. You’re a manager? Yes I manage the affairs of my employer. Then I whip out my i-phone. Then they look at me from head to foot.)

SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN is a touching love letter to all mothers, sisters, aunts anyone who has sacrificed something to make us who we are. When you think about it, it’s for every Filipino, for any parent and child, family in the world. It will make you want to hug every woman in your life.

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Cherrie Bretaña & her ward Hayden; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Directed by Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez, it is the only documentary to ever win BEST PICTURE in the history of the Metro Manila Film Fest Awards. It also garnered BEST EDITING- Chuck Gutierrez, GATPUNO ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS CULTURAL AWARD, CHILDREN’S CHOICE along with SAVING SALLY and VINCE & KATH & JAMES.

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Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

It’s a story we’re all familiar with regardless of race. There’s someone a mother, an aunt, a sister, a father, a provider who sacrifices themselves so we can go to school, have food to eat, clothes on our back. They are stories that don’t attract million-dollar blockbuster excitement, its not necessarily Gal Gadot of WONDER WOMAN or Hugh Jackman as LOGAN for 2017. More often than not they are the people we take for granted and not really think about.

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Beauty Pageant Candidates own Hong Kong’s Central District. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

We feel and see the ‘sacrifice’ through the experiences of Leo Selomenio (Science Education Graduate), Rudelie Acosta (IT Graduate), Mylyn Jacobo (AB English Graduate), Hazel Perdido (Computer Science Graduate) and Cherrie Mae Bretaña (Hotel Management Graduate).

They are all Overseas Filipino Workers who work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong but have found meaningful activity during Sundays. Leo is an organizer of pageants and other events specifically for Filipina OFWs since 2008. The rest of the subjects are the candidates. The pageants are held only on Sunday as their one free day in the week.

We go through their typical day, hear their stories and even hear from their employers. As you can see from their college degrees they’re actually overqualified for the position of domestic helper. That doesn’t protect them from experiencing verbal abuse from their employers or looked down upon even by their own countrymen. Even as the government hails our OFWs Overseas Filipino Workers as modern day heroes, other Filipinos sometimes look down on domestic helpers.

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Cherrie Bretaña; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Just like the joke that Leo shares above, SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN isn’t just a tearjerker but more of an inspirational journey. We see that they cope with loneliness through mutual support, performances and yes beauty pageants.

Ju-Chen Chen, an Anthropologist at the University of Hong Kong was at first puzzled at their efforts, time and passion for these activities even after an exhausting workweek. Chen witnessed firsthand the camaraderie during an event.

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Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

She discovered that they literally carry the Philippine flag through the performances of cultural dances, pageants and concerts. There are elaborate costumes, choreography. They are proud bearers of Filipino identity. Chen realized that the fulfillment they get is far greater than their day-to-day difficulties. Through their gatherings, performances, they find a greater sense of self worth. In the face of stressful or often discriminatory work environment, they take the one-day they should have for themselves and still find the energy to put on a show for others.

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Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

HK Mindset

There’s no doubt that domestic helpers in Hong Kong have a vital role. Long time TV producer Jack Soo was interviewed and said, “I live alone by myself. Mylyn is the only one taking care of me in my daily life…Let me tell you something. IF Hong Kong has no foreign helpers Hong Kong will be in trouble. Just imagine those family without a foreign helper. How are they gonna work how will they take care of their children? How are they going to do their daily lives? So if the Philippine government stop all the helpers in all of the country, the whole world will be in big trouble without helpers. There’s a big problem.”

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Jack Soo; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall

Not everyone though has a glowing opinion of foreign domestic helpers. In April of 2015, Executive Councilor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee made some derogatory comments against Filipina domestic helpers accusing them of seducing their employers. The comments on her blog and official facebook page were particularly painful knowing the abuse that a majority of foreign domestic helpers endure. Some of them have even suffered physical and sexual abuse. For Filipinas who sacrifice so much this is has the potential to damage their familial relationships back home.

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Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The issue came up in the Q&A portion in one of the pageants. Mylyn Jacobo very ably replied: “It’s a big insult to us that most Filipina OFWs are called prostitutes. I will cite something what Mrs. Regina Ip told us. We Filipino domestic helpers are working here to provide the needs and support our families in the Philippines. Whatever you do abroad you should think twice.”

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Mylyn Jacobo poses w pals; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

2 Week Rule

Documentaries put important issues to the forefront because viewers see real people in real situations not actors. In this case it’s the policies of the HK SAR concerning domestic helpers. This affects not just the DH themselves but their wards, the elderly not to mention their own families back home reliant on the money they earn.

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Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Discrimination against foreign domestic helpers is built into the system. A clear example is what happened to Rudelie Acosta. After one of the pageants she was late coming back to her employer and went over her curfew hours. She was fired on the spot and was asked to leave the only lodgings that she had. Even after pleading to at least spend the night her employer refused and kicked her out without a roof over her head. On top of this she only has 2 weeks to find another employer or lose the right to stay in Hong Kong.

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Rudeline Acosta buys Filipino food during gathering; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Although the termination was abrupt and unfair, because of the 2-week rule there’s almost no recourse to file a complaint and immediately find a new job. Rudelie’s case is an example of the unfairness and injustice that thousands of foreign domestic helpers find themselves in Hong Kong.

Different foreign workers associations of Indians, Indonesians, Thais, Malaysians, Nepalese, of course Filipinos have banded together to formally complain against the 2 Week Rule since the late 1990s. But HK SAR has stuck to its guns allowing this discriminatory and racist policy to continue.

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Mylyn Jacobo shares the sash she earned with Jack Soo. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

A comprehensive article entitled Maid in Hong Kong: Protecting Foreign Domestic Workers explained clearly how the 2 week rule is unjust: “Beyond cramped housing conditions, isolation of domestic workers means that abuses by employers often go unreported. A 2013 survey conducted by another Hong Kong-based group, Mission for Migrant Workers, found that 58 percent of the more than 3,000 workers surveyed experienced verbal abuse in the home, 18 percent physical abuse, and 6 percent sexual abuse.”

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Hong Kong translates to Fragrant Harbour. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The report continues, “Another policy, the “two-week rule,” mandates that once foreign domestic workers quit or are let go, they must depart Hong Kong within two weeks. This policy, critics say, discourages domestic workers from seeking justice, for fear they could lose their jobs. It also makes finding a new employer difficult, as this process can take from four to six weeks. Moreover, a visa extension, the length of which varies by case, costs HK $190 (US $24), and during the extension application period migrants cannot work and must pay for their housing and food. Many domestic workers, therefore, choose to stay silent about abuses.”

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Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Interestingly enough a possible solution also came from one of the victimized helpers in the documentary. She theorized that no less than our own Philippine government along with other nations like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and others should negotiate in behalf of their workers with the Hong Kong authorities to abolish the 2 Week Rule.

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Executive Producers Vincent R. Nebrida, Fernando Ortigas and E.A. Rocha have another award winning film. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Track Record

SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN is another meaningful and significant creative contribution from executive producers Vincent R. Nebrida, Fernando Ortigas and E.A. Rocha. These are the same executive producers who brought us the historical hit HENERAL LUNA and the enchanting KANA THE DREAMWEAVER. In a short period of time they have established a winning track record of award winning and critically acclaimed films.

Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Director Babyruth Villarama’s loving and supportive husband Chuck Gutierrez is both Producer and Editor. Chuck has added yet another BEST EDITING award from the MMFF to his wins in Cinemalaya, Cinema One and many others.

Dexter Dela Peña as cinematographer also deserves credit in being able to make everyday scenes more cinematic. Even though it was a run and gun style we were able to see the character of the city and more importantly the beauty of the contestants. Babyruth must have also handled the secondary camera. The trio of Babyruth, Dexter and Chuck have already been together for several projects including JAZZ IN LOVE another documentary that was part of Cinemalaya in 2013.

Its Miss Luzon 2016 Manilyn Salapare’s silhouette on the now iconic poster. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Its Miss Luzon 2016 Manilyn Salapare’s silhouette on the now iconic poster. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Invaluable

Watching SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN is so enriching and educational in so many ways and levels. There are many touching moments between the families that helpers literally care for. Employers address Leo as ‘he’ even if he is biologically a woman. They see him as who he is, as a person. If you bring every family member, every maid, yaya, kusinera, labandera to this movie you will all come out richer for it. Respect and kindness truly goes a long way.

Leo Selomenio (center) is treated like family by (from left) Bonny Lee and daughter Yoanna. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Leo Selomenio (center) is treated like family by (from left) Bonny Lee and daughter Yoanna. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Leo uses the earnings from the pageants to help domestic helpers who were abused and need emergency assistance. In truth he has given those who participate in them and even those who watch something more valuable. He has given them a chance to see and feel the beauty they have. You can see the pride in the costumes, dances, unique to their provinces and hometowns in the Philippines. This pride extends not just to participants but to the audiences as well.

Hazel Perdido; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Hazel Perdido; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Miss Luzon 2016 Manilyn Salapare with organizer Leo Selomenio; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Miss Luzon 2016 Manilyn Salapare with organizer Leo Selomenio; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rudeline Acosta Poses with employer Chung Su Wan and son. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rudeline Acosta Poses with employer Chung Su Wan and son. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Skyscrapers in HK’s Central district; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Skyscrapers in HK’s Central district; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Mylyn Jacobo and Camille Castanier; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Mylyn Jacobo and Camille Castanier; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidates in their native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidates in their native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Our domestic helpers become Philippine flag bearers in Hong Kong through their costumes and dances. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Cherrie Bretaña & her ward Hayden; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Cherrie Bretaña & her ward Hayden; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Beauty Pageant Candidate prepares to go on stage. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate prepares to go on stage. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidates own Hong Kong’s Central District. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidates own Hong Kong’s Central District. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Cherrie Bretaña; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Cherrie Bretaña; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate prepares to go on stage. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate prepares to go on stage. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , http://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , https://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , https://judebautista.wordpress.com/

Beauty Pageant Candidate prepares to go on stage. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate prepares to go on stage. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Hong Kong translates to Fragrant Harbour. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Hong Kong translates to Fragrant Harbour. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidate in native costume. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

left: Mylyn Jacobo; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

left: Mylyn Jacobo; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Cherrie Bretaña; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Cherrie Bretaña; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Pinays take over Hong Kong’s Central District during Sundays. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

WordPress:

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Mylyn Jacobo; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Mylyn Jacobo; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidates. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Beauty Pageant Candidates. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Its Miss Luzon 2016 Manilyn Salapare’s silhouette on the now iconic poster. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Its Miss Luzon 2016 Manilyn Salapare’s silhouette on the now iconic poster. Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Leo Selomenio; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Leo Selomenio; Catch MMFF Best Picture winner SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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SAVING SALLY: Pinoy’s Creative Showcase

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

My Delicate, my artist, you are the best of me.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Marty (Enzo Marcos): The girl is stolen by a band of monsters who keep her in an impenetrable fortress, enslave her and keep her from her birthright. She thinks her only way out is marrying this monster prince. Coz she feels that living with one monster is better than to live in a fortress full of them. All this time the boy plots her rescue. Toto the Publisher (Peejo Pilar): Well… Marty: So it’s a fantasy. Toto: It’s a love story. Marty: You hate it. Toto: No I don’t I haven’t cried this much since Optimus Prime died in Transformers the movie, the animated one ok?

from left: Peejo Pilar (Toto the Publisher) & Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

from left: Peejo Pilar (Toto the Publisher) & Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Marty: You’re not crying. Toto: I weep inside. Marty: This story just came to me. You know? Toto: OK, OK visually its good. It’s surreal and light at the same time. I love the hero and the fact that he is flawed. He’s skinny…(looks at Marty) The girl is a victim of circumstance. She makes good of what she can. It’s just that love stories’ not the path I was headed. Marty: I know you wanted mayhem, war, chaos… Toto: Yes!

Marty: Isn’t that what love is all about?

SAVING SALLY is pretty much summed up in the dialogue above between Marty (Enzo Marcos) and his comic book publisher Toto (Peejo Pilar). The story is basically a love story but the way it is told is vastly different from any other made in the Philippines, certainly from any other entry in the MMFF (at least for 2016).

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

SAVING SALLY combines animation, both 2D and 3D with live action with elements of sci-fi and fantasy. This ‘film’ is the perfect example of the 180-degree turn of the Metro Manila Film Fest to give other, newer, creative minds, filmmakers a chance to tap into that lucrative Christmas market. More importantly it allows the vast majority of our kababayan to see in this case a work where a multitude of different artists like illustrators, animators, comic book artists-sketchers, painters, all come together to tell a story that anyone can relate to.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Everyone from Pixar, production places in Singapore, Korea and the U.S. even France are all aware of the talent of Filipinos in animation. In fact the producers are French: Alain De la Mata, Herve Pennequin, Catherine Jacques. These countries tap into our rich talent pool in their studios.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Oscar & Golden Globe winning INSIDE OUT (Best Animated Feature) co written and directed by Pinoy Ronnie Del Carmen with Phil Docter is only the most recent example. It’s our own audiences here who have yet to appreciate our animators, with a story and production that’s 100% Pinoy.

TJ Trinidad (Nick); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

TJ Trinidad (Nick); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

We can safely proclaim that SAVING SALLY has changed all that with the glowing reception by fans at the MMFF and showcasing the talent we have in animation and the excellence of the cast. The sacrifice of director Avid Llongoren over a decade to complete this dream project has been rewarding. From a short story by Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, Carlo Ledesma helped Avid Llongoren develop the screenplay. There were 2 reshoots, re casting and other problems. Anna Larrucea was originally cast as Sally.

Director Avid Llongoren has sacrificed so much to get SAVING SALLY made and finished. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Director Avid Llongoren has sacrificed so much to get SAVING SALLY made and finished. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Back in 2011, PINTAKASI produced by Gov. Imee Marcos was part of the New Wave category of the MMFF. It was a film that also combined live action with animation. That was more action oriented with monsters, demons, heroes battling it out. If you can imagine it also cast the best hip-hop dance crew in this side of the world: The Phil All Stars. The problem being it was only screened in very few cinemas and for about 3 days–total. Coming from that we see how the full exposure and support of SAVING SALLY as part of the main competition of the MMFF is beneficial to everyone concerned.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Zach Sycip (Bully/monster); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Zach Sycip (Bully/monster); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

SAVING SALLY has attracted the younger audiences from kids to teens and has had relatively better commercial success. More Filipinos now have the chance to see the work of our celebrated animators. We know we have the talent, the dearth has been content, the will to create an audience for it and that’s what the MMFF has done this year.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

RHIAN RAMOS

Rhian Ramos as Sally is the perfect girl every man can fall for but even more so for every teenage geek. She is a comic book artist. She is not only obsessed with gadgets she makes them too. Sally almost fits Rhian to a tee except for the inventing gadgets part. Mr. Avid was very lucky in being able to get someone in her caliber of an actress. She’s young enough to be convincing as a teenager and yet experienced enough as an actress to portray the more complex scenes. Rhian seems to enjoy the challenge of unconventional roles that she has told GMANews of her intentions to add more indie projects for 2017.

Archie Adamos & Shamaine Buencamino are Rhian Ramos’ (Sally) abusive parents. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Archie Adamos & Shamaine Buencamino are Rhian Ramos’ (Sally) abusive parents. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

VAW

Her adoptive parents played by Shamaine Buencamino and Archie Adamos abuse Sally both verbally and physically. We’re all familiar with Shamaine Buencamino who has done it all from lead roles to villains from TV to theater. It is Archie Adamos who seems almost unrecognizable as an upper-class terror of a father. He cleans up very well and was very convincing. He’s played a lot of bad guy parts but never in a role as big as this and gave a great account of himself. The conflict for Sally is something not expected in an animated piece. But delivering the message of how and why violence against women (VAW) is wrong is relevant more than ever.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) was a victim of abuse in the story. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) was a victim of abuse in the story. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

ENZO MARCOS

Producers may have felt that with the casting of Rhian Ramos, she’s enough of a box office draw (which turned out to be correct). They could take a risk with newcomer Enzo Marcos. The experiment has proven to be successful. Viewers understand how Enzo’s character Marty is so in love with Sally and how he is so insecure and fearful of declaring his love for her. They both have an obsession for anime, comics, alternative film,music and the like.

Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Marty is the more skilled comic book artist and is looking to make it a career even before graduating art school. Sally is better at conceptualizing and making gadgets that make her life easier like improvised telescopic goggles, robot arms that iron clothes and scare off bullies.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) and Zach Sycip (Bully); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) and Zach Sycip (Bully); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo very easily portrays Marty because they both have a creative mind. Enzo is a filmmaker who has produced music videos for Pinoy super bands KJWAN and GREYHOUNDZ, apart from being a musician himself. He has also directed TV commercials for international brands. So the need to express himself through his art, through images is something that he can fully relate to.

Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo has also produced an interesting web series on YouTube featuring artists, performers and thinkers called MANILA REGARDLESS. Casting Enzo as Marty is very natural since he lives in that world of artists in different media. Both Marty and Sally use their love for comics, cartoons and fantasy as a way to escape their problems.

Manila Regardless

Carme Sanchez (Marty’s Mom) and Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Carme Sanchez (Marty’s Mom) and Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Carme Sanchez & Bodjie Pascua

Carme Sanchez is the loving mother to Marty. She can’t help but be excited about the prospect of Marty having Sally as his first girlfriend. Bodjie Pascua on the other hand is the senior geek of the family. His field of expertise is slot car racing (it’s the matchbox sized cars that go around in plastic tracks). If the movie is to be believed there is a community of racers right here in the Philippines. Dad may not be an expert in love but just like his famous TV character Kuya Bodjie, he has a lot of wisdom to impart to our unlikely hero Marty.

from left: Bodjie Pascua (Dad) and Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

from left: Bodjie Pascua (Dad) and Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

The A-Team

Visually there’s a lot going on in each scene. There are weird monsters walking by. These are bullies, villains that oppress ordinary folk like Marty. In his mind they’re monsters. Then there are the colorful animated backgrounds from skies, carnivals to the dark castle of a house Sally lives in. Responsible for the look are Lead Visual Artists Jether Amar and Jethro Razo. Credited as Supporting Art Ninjas: Peyer Raphael Mutuc, April Fonda and Joshua Tata Selo Panelo. I’m sure there are other artists that participated. These are only the tip of the iceberg that deserves praise and congratulations.

from left: TJ Trinindad (Nick), Rhian Ramos (Sally) & Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

from left: TJ Trinindad (Nick), Rhian Ramos (Sally) & Enzo Marcos (Marty). Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Then there’s the production side that fill the gap between animation and live action. They are crucial in making the illusion that real people can interact with animation. These are: cinematographers Rommel Sales, Odyssey Flores, Production Designers Rocketsheep Studio, Rommel Laquian and Erik Manalo and Sound master Joshua Cantillon. Director Avid learned the hard way that hard drives could crash and destroy one’s hard work (Part of the reason the project took more than 10 years). Enter I.T. Warrior Hermie Cabrito to ensure, this no longer happens.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

All of these talented, hard working people have come together to drive home the idea in SAVING SALLY. And that is if you love someone you should never pass up the opportunity of showing it. As difficult it is to see, the rewards always outweigh the risk. You never know what may happen to prevent you from being with that person. From that enduring Alfred Lord Tennyson quote: “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

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from left: TJ Trinindad (Nick) & Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

from left: TJ Trinindad (Nick) & Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

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Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

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from left: TJ Trinindad (Nick) & Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

from left: TJ Trinindad (Nick) & Enzo Marcos (Marty); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

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Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

2D and 3D animation are combined with live action in SAVING SALLY. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

WordPress:

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Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , http://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , https://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , http://judebautista.wordpress.com/

Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

tumblr:

http://judebautista.tumblr.com/

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Rhian Ramos (Sally) is every man’s dream. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty) & Rhian Ramos (Sally); Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

Enzo Marcos (Marty)& Rhian Ramos (Sally) interact with animated backgrounds. Catch MMFF 2016 entry SAVING SALLY in Resort’s World Manila Cinemas, Eastwood City Mall Cinemas and Shang Cineplex.

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Cathartic MANO PO 7: CHINOY

foreground: Enchong Deee (Son son), behind him from right: Richard Yap (Wilson Sr), Jean Garcia (Debbie), Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama), Janella Salvador (Carol) & Jana Agoncillo (Shobe). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

foreground: Enchong Deee (Son son), behind him from right: Richard Yap (Wilson Sr), Jean Garcia (Debbie), Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama), Janella Salvador (Carol) & Jana Agoncillo (Shobe). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Homosexuality, drug addiction even infidelity (by the wife), these things occur in the real world. MANO PO 7: CHINOY has everything any Filipino-Chinese family would be hard pressed to talk about. The confrontation of the issue with drug addiction is particularly courageous considering the War On Drugs by the Duterte administration. Whether you are of Chinese descent or not, there are still a number of gay men and women out there who struggle for acceptance even from their own families.

from left: Enchong Dee, Carlo Orosa, Rosalind Wee, Richard Yap, Mother Lily Monteverde, Jean Garcia, Rebecca Chuaunsu and Marlo Mortel. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from left: Enchong Dee, Carlo Orosa, Rosalind Wee, Richard Yap, Mother Lily Monteverde, Jean Garcia, Rebecca Chuaunsu and Marlo Mortel. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

The story by screenwriter Senedy Que captured the conservative attitude in the community. Director Ian Loreños has consistently told the Filipino Chinese experience in his previous films in Cinemalaya (THE LEAVING), Cinema One (ALAGWA). Regal films Mother Lily Monteverde must have appreciated this and the decision of putting him at the helm has paid off quite well.

from left: Enchong Dee (Son son), Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Richard Yap (Wilson Sr). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from left: Enchong Dee (Son son), Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Richard Yap (Wilson Sr). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from left: Kim Jones, Echo Rosales, Exec Producer Gloria Lao and Director Ian Loreños. Photo was taken at ALAGWA premiere in Shang Cineplex during the Cinema One fest back in 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Kim Jones, Echo Rosales, Exec Producer Gloria Lao and Director Ian Loreños. Photo was taken at ALAGWA premiere in Shang Cineplex during the Cinema One fest back in 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

All families who are going through issues of acceptance will find healing, a catharsis if you will in MANO PO 7: CHINOY. This is more contemporary and relatable than previous MANO PO stories of humble beginnings, rags to riches tagline. For international audiences, the term Chinoy is a combination of Chinese and Pinoy shortened term for Filipino. It is the newer term for Filipinos of Chinese descent who grew up in the Philippines.

mp7-title

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Chinese Patriarch

Richard Yap as the real estate tycoon Wilson Wong Sr. is very different from the charming, jovial Sir Chief character on TV that a lot of fans know him to be. Acting stoic and unfeeling is more difficult than expressing emotion. Although in an interview with Rcky Lo of Philstar, Yap admits that Wilson is closer to him and more accurate portrayal of the Chinese male attitude. Yap shared that his Pinay wife taught him how to love. This coldness or lack of affection by Wilson Sr could be traced to his childhood, shown through flashbacks. It’s this difficulty in showing empathy that permeates his relationship with his wife and children.

Vince Gabriel (Young Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Vince Gabriel (Young Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee’s Evolution

Enchong Dee has proven his evolution as an actor. His role of Son son (Wilson Jr) gives a human face to the drug problem. He didn’t do it recreationally or because of his barkada but more of his need for validation from his father. From here we see how and why he turned to drugs. Although, Son son has the luxury of getting checked into a super high-end rehab facility, that looks more like a resort. This is where he meets another troubled soul in Jocelyn played by Jesse Mendiola. Pinky Amador plays her mom.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Critics and award giving bodies will certainly consider Enchong’s performance as worthy of a Best Supporting Actor win. Urian, Star Awards will have their nominees filled with this particular cast as it is a superb ensemble performance.

Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn) does taichi in high end rehab center. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn) does taichi in high end rehab center. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong’s character is very relevant today. The difference between Son son’s situation and the drug menace is that there are tens of thousands of addicts who can’t afford to go to that high-end facility or any rehab center for that matter. Enchong has made Son son empathetic, willing to change for the better. He helps us realize that drug addicts deserve that chance. Unlike the thousands of users who have already been killed from extrajudicial killings across the country robbed of the opportunity for reform.

Enchong Dee (Son son); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Close up’s hit TVC w Janella Salvador & Elmo Magallona. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Close up’s hit TVC w Janella Salvador & Elmo Magallona. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

 Jean Garcia and Janella Salvador

Janella Salvador is growing as an actress as the uninspired cellist Carol. We’ve seen her prominently in the CLOSE UP TVC with Elmo Magallona. UP DHARMA DOWN performed the infectious jingle from that ad. She’s the favorite daughter of Wilson who is into classical music. She has her own love triangle with creepy college Professor Vera (Kean Cipriano) and classmate/suitor Henry Santos (Marlo Mortel).

Marlo Mortel (Henry) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Marlo Mortel (Henry) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Just A Smile by Up Dharma Down

from left: Janella Salvador (Carol) & Jean Garcia (Debbie). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from left: Janella Salvador (Carol) & Jean Garcia (Debbie). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia is the trophy wife Debbie Wong. Garcia’s features seem to defy time, which makes her even more attractive now than her younger days. Wilson’s distant manner towards her seems baffling. Because she’s a cougar you understand how the young and dashing Marco (Jake Cuenca) falls for her. You almost want her to have an extra marital affair to fill the romantic void in her life.

Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Jake Cuenca (Marco); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Jake Cuenca (Marco); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Casting as Statement

The genius of casting here is being able to find the perfect face and performer for each role, which can be a statement in itself. Richard Yap’s character Wilson gets a life-changing lesson from his Aunty that helps him make a paradigm shift.

Rosalind wee (Aunty) and Enchong Dee (Son son); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Rosalind wee (Aunty) and Enchong Dee (Son son); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

The words of wisdom may be from the heart as Aunty is not performed by a professional or theater actor, but from a real life success story and philanthropist in Rosalind Wee. Her delivery, look and mastery of the language lend her credibility in the role. Aunty in the film is part of the prestigious board that Wilson presents his ideas to. In real life Rosalind Wee is President of Pearl S. Buck Philippines, established the Marine Resources Development Corporation, owner of the First Marcel Properties and serves as the treasurer of the Philippine National Red Cross– Quezon City chapter. The posh office interiors and lavish homes may have also been part of Marcel Properties which were perfect film locations.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama) in front of the Mount Potalaka Avalokiteśvara Shrine. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama) in front of the Mount Potalaka Avalokiteśvara Shrine. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Even Rebecca Chuaunsu gave noteworthy performance as Wilson’s mom Erlinda. Rebecca will remind a lot of Chinoys of their chatty, overbearing, extremely conservative Ama (translated as granny). The brilliant performance is not a surprise considering her long experience as film and theater actress who has branched out into Rebecca Chuaunsu Film Production.

from right: Eric Quizon (Jason) meets Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from right: Eric Quizon (Jason) meets Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Coming Out?

The statement of casting is even more evident in the role of Eric Quizon. He plays Jason, the gay older brother of Wilson who was banished by the family for decades. There’s never been official word of Eric Quizon as being gay in real life. Curiously, he was markedly absent in the press cons and mall tours for the movie. Eric was part of love teams in the 80s and 90s and has transitioned to a successful career as TV and film director.

Eric Quizon (Jason); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Eric Quizon (Jason); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

It would be hard to imagine him having a difficult time coming out to his own parents. His father, the late Comedy King Dolphy essayed countless gay roles. In fact the three Quizons: Dolphy, Eric with brother Epi were highly praised for the film MARKOVA COMFORT GAY. Could this role be Eric’s own way of coming out to the public? Either way his performance as Jason is not any less powerful. There’s a definite need for Chinoys to be more open and accepting of family members who are LGBTs.

from left: Vince Gabriel (Young Wilson Sr), Nicole Lee (Erlinda) and young Jason. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from left: Vince Gabriel (Young Wilson Sr), Nicole Lee (Erlinda) and young Jason. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Breathtaking Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

If there is one minor quibble from this gem of a movie it’s the many cuts between dialogue especially when only two people are talking. The camera switches frequently and abruptly from speaker to speaker. The result can be jarring to the viewer. This is done to sustain visual interest in a not so exciting scene. Sometimes less is more. Even when the conversation is very intimate particularly with the developing sexual tension between Enchong Dee and Jessy Mendiola, the camera flits/cuts from one face to the next barely finishing a sentence. Sometimes you have to let the performance breathe and marinate with viewers in one angle. Let their delivery of words, their facial expressions stand out more by doing less.

left: Gloria Maris interior and high end rehab center. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

left: Gloria Maris interior and high end rehab center. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

In terms of camera work there are a lot of grand landscape and cityscape shots from cinematographer Lee Meily. Even the restaurant scene in Gloria Maris is given a grandiose exterior shot. The place is significant because of its reputation for authentic Chinese cuisine and is frequented by Chinoys.

Fo Guang Big Buddha in the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Fo Guang Big Buddha in the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

In September 28, Philippine Entertainment Portal reported that cast and crew were stranded in Kaohsiung, Taiwan because of a typhoon. Thankfully no one was hurt, only some scary moments during a bus ride. The trip was worth the inclement weather. They were able to get some breathtaking aerial shots of the Fo Guang Big Buddha, which stands 355 ft. tall and was cast using 1,800 tons of metal.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama) in front of the Mount Potalaka Avalokiteśvara Shrine. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama) in front of the Mount Potalaka Avalokiteśvara Shrine. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

There was a touching scene between Wilson (Richard Yap) and Ama (Rebecca Chuaunsu) in front of a very ornate sculpture called Mount Potalaka Avalokiteśvara Shrine. The shrine is part of a bigger complex, Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, recently opened to the public in 2011.

MANO PO 7 CHINOY is both a technical and creative triumph. More than this is the timeless message that family is where we should all find love and acceptance.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jana Agoncillo (Shobe). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jana Agoncillo (Shobe). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Kean Cipriano (Denver Vera); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Kean Cipriano (Denver Vera); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Marlo Mortel (Henry) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Marlo Mortel (Henry) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

flickr:

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from left: Jake Cuenca (Marco) & Marlo Mortel (Henry). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. Pic from REGAL ENTERTAINMENT official fb: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RegalEntertainmentInc/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1363597170340369

from left: Jake Cuenca (Marco) & Marlo Mortel (Henry). MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. Pic from REGAL ENTERTAINMENT official fb: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RegalEntertainmentInc/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1363597170340369

Jake Cuenca (Marco); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jake Cuenca (Marco); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Jake Cuenca (Marco); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Jake Cuenca (Marco); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Kean Cipriano (Denver Vera); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Kean Cipriano (Denver Vera); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

from left: Jana Agoncillo (Shobe) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. Pic from REGAL ENTERTAINMENT official fb: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RegalEntertainmentInc/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1363597170340369

from left: Jana Agoncillo (Shobe) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. Pic from REGAL ENTERTAINMENT official fb: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RegalEntertainmentInc/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1363597170340369

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Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you

Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you

Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Eric Quizon (Jason) & Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Eric Quizon (Jason) & Rebecca Chuaunsu (Ama); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. Pic from REGAL ENTERTAINMENT official fb: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RegalEntertainmentInc/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1363597170340369

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. Pic from REGAL ENTERTAINMENT official fb: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RegalEntertainmentInc/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1363597170340369

Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Janella Salvador (Carol); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) & Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) & Jessy Mendiola (Jocelyn); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Vince Gabriel (Young Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Vince Gabriel (Young Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) in his power address. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr) in his power address. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia (Debbie); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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8 Pagodas in the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. 8 Pagodas in the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

8 Pagodas in the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you. 8 Pagodas in the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Enchong Dee (Son son); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Jean Garcia (Debbie) & Enchong Dee (Son son); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) hugs Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

Enchong Dee (Son son) hugs Richard Yap (Wilson Sr); MANOPO 7: CHINOY opened last December 14, 2016 at a mall near you.

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Edna & Nonoy Inspire BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO

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foreground: Garry Corpuz & Denise Parungao; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and Photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Ballet Philippines latest production AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO promises to be a fun, entertaining romp back to the 1970s when the airwaves were dominated by VST & Company. The band’s music have been so well loved that they have become true iconic OPM hits. At the heart of the musical is a love story based on premiere Ballet figures Edna and Nonoy Froilan.

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will be staged at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) on Dec. 2 – 8 pm; Dec. 3 – 6 pm; Dec. 4 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 9 – 8 pm; Dec. 10 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 11 – 2 pm and 6 pm.

from left: Markki Stroem, Cooky Chua & Sandino Martin; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Markki Stroem, Cooky Chua & Sandino Martin; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

OPM icon Cooky Chua, award-winning actors Sandino Martin and Jef Flores, and The Voice Kids Season 3 alum Noel Comia Jr. in AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO, a new dance musical set to the hits of Manila Sound legend VST & Company.

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page
https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

They will be alternating with the ABS-CBN Kapamilya multi-talented artists, namely Karylle, Michael Pangilinan, Markki Stroem, and Kyle Echarri. The vocal ensemble will be comprised of members of the classical singing group, Viva Voce.

Karylle will alternate roles with Cooky Chua in BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO. Karylle also played Sita in BP’s RAMAHARI (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Karylle will alternate roles with Cooky Chua in BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO. Karylle also played Sita in BP’s RAMAHARI (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Bibeth Orteza was tapped as the librettist for her intimate knowledge of VST’s music. The long time scriptwriter and actress was there to actually there witness Vic Sotto, Joey De Leon, Tito Sotto during the recording of hits like: IPAGPATAWAD MO, ROCK BABY ROCK, MAGSAYAWAN etc. But according to her the true inspiration for the story is Nonoy Froilan who she idolized since she was young.

from left: Jean Marc Cordero, Bibeth Orteza and Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jean Marc Cordero, Bibeth Orteza and Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Orteza said, “I really wrote the material in my head based on Nonoy. We hailed from the same barrio Calbiga, Samar. So I came across this material. Nonoy was always a figure in my childhood. We all talked about him way back. I wanted to do something about him. I was there in the studio when these songs were recorded. This is a personal thing for me. We had a relative there in a play with his wife and then material is very familiar with me. I was around the making of the songs, it’s a full circle.”

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Froilan was already one of the most celebrated figures in dance by the 70s. He was known as the Philippines’ premier danseur for three decades. He essayed all the leading roles in classical and contemporary ballet partnering world-renowned prima ballerinas such as Margot Fonteyn and Yoko Morishita. He has performed in countless major works by foreign and local choreographers.

Nonoy Froilan performed as Lead to the biggest stars like Lisa Macuja & Yoko Morishita. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Nonoy Froilan performed as Lead to the biggest stars like Lisa Macuja & Yoko Morishita. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Monica Gana & Erl Sorilla in MAGSAYAWAN. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana & Erl Sorilla in MAGSAYAWAN. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonoy is in the role of Victor while his real life wife Edna Vida Froilan is cast opposite him as Teresa. This marks a comeback for Edna who also has a storied past as a premiere ballerina. BP Artistic Director Paul Morales is exhilarated with the prospect of seeing his favorite and most admired dancer on stage again.

from left: Choreographer Edna Vida Froilan, Nonoy Froilan (Scrooge) and BP Pres. Margie Moran in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Choreographer Edna Vida Froilan, Nonoy Froilan (Scrooge) and BP Pres. Margie Moran in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Since retiring back in 1989, AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO is Edna’s first major performance as a dancer as she plays the role of the elderly Teresa. Best remembered as the Firebird, Carmen, and Myrtha in GISELLE, she has essayed leading roles in numerous full-length classical ballets with American Ballet Theater stars such as Natalia Makarova and Patrick Bissell. A prolific choreographer, she has created many of the company’s signature works, such as MUTYA NG PASIG, ENSALADA, VISION OF FIRE and PETER PAN.

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Ballroom dance champion Ednah Ledesma and former BP prince Butch Esperanza will alternately play the same roles at certain performances. Their younger counterparts will be essayed by current Ballet Philippines dancers Rita Angela Winder, Denise Parungao, Jean Marc Cordero, and Garry Corpuz.

from left: Jef Flores, Rita Angela Winder, Victor Maguad & Erl Sorilla. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jef Flores, Rita Angela Winder, Victor Maguad & Erl Sorilla. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Seated from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, BP Pres. Margie Moran & Edna Vida Froilan, Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Alexander Morales, Butch Esperanza, Kooky Chua and Choreographer Carissa Adea. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Seated from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, BP Pres. Margie Moran & Edna Vida Froilan, Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Alexander Morales, Butch Esperanza, Kooky Chua and Choreographer Carissa Adea. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Dekada 70 is still Relevant

A lot of things have changed since the first quarter storm of the 1970s and yet some of the events of the time have also proved to be eerily similar to the problems of today. Orteza goes on, “Merong metrocom, may natatakot, may napatay, may saranggola na lipad to signify hope. It speaks of the time. As a matter of fact we were managing a band there in Holiday Inn when sumabog sa Plaza (Miranda) Nonoy Zuñiga lost his leg. That’s how he lost his leg kasi ni-recall ko lang mga bagay bagay sa aking kabataan. That all went to the loves story. I’m really really happy Nonoy and Edna are doing this talagang sila ang na isip ko. I’m really proud to put them in the cast because wherever I’d go, whether I’m in an airport in Isabela lagi silang magkasama. It was really them.”

From left: Vic Sotto & Joey De Leon in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before they were movie stars they were hit makers / songwriters for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

From left: Vic Sotto & Joey De Leon in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before they were movie stars they were hit makers / songwriters for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page
https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

The story is not an exact replica of Edna & Nonoy’s real life love story but is more based on them as people. Orteza then used her own experiences from the era to write the libretto, “When I was talking to Vic Sotto sabi sakin ni Vic there is no way you can present it as a contemporary piece kasi ang music, mood really speaks of a particular period. I decided to come up with a love story shared flashbacks but set in Martial Law Manila. As a young actress who was part of rallying outside the CCP, ngayon I’m telling a story set in Martial Law Manila ang daming layers.”

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

The VST & Co. is considered one of the pioneering groups from the music genre known as the Manila Sound in the mid 70s. The group is composed of Vic Sotto, Spanky Rigor, Tito Sotto, Val Sotto, Celso Llavina, Monet Gaskell, Male Rigor, Roger Rigor, Jun Medina, Joey de Leon, Homer Flores, Chito Ilagan, Ben Escasa, Fred Concepcion, Boy Alcaide, and Clod Baria. Their impressive collection of hits has left a legacy that endures to this day.

top: Vic Sotto with Maine Mendoza, bottom: Alden Richards in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom Bossing was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: EK10 Youtube trailer https://youtu.be/Pcs7YyMj8xU

top: Vic Sotto with Maine Mendoza, bottom: Alden Richards in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom Bossing was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: EK10 Youtube trailer https://youtu.be/Pcs7YyMj8xU

Nonoy Froilan as dirty politician Santiago Sr in Tanghalang Pilipino’s WALANG KUKURAP (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonoy Froilan as dirty politician Santiago Sr in Tanghalang Pilipino’s WALANG KUKURAP (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Cast

Both Edna & Nonoy have been cast as actors. She appeared as Lady Macbeth in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Macbeth and in Gilda Cordero’s LUNA: AN ASWANG ROMANCE. In 2015, she returned to the stage, starring alongside her husband Nonoy Froilan in Juan Miguel Severo’s HINTAYAN NG LANGIT, which debuted in Virgin Labfest 11 and did a re-run the following year as part of VLF 12’S REVISITED.

In 2013, Nonoy returned to Ballet Philippines’ stage as Ebenezer Scrooge in Edna Vida Froilan’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and appeared as the Duke of Courland in the GISELLE Gala in 2014. He is currently playing the role of Lolo Apo on the ABS-CBN television series, BE MY LADY.

Nonoy Froilan worked with Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Nonoy Froilan worked with Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Cooky Chua dances with Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Cooky Chua dances with Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Ednah Ledesma

Ednah Ledesma’s training as a dancer began when she was a child of eight. Her mother first enrolled her in ballet classes, which she continued up to the age of sixteen, along with jazz, Hawaiian, and hip-hop genres as well. She also participated in musical plays and got into stage dancing for a year, until she got married. She entered the world of ballroom dancing in 1997, and started joining competitions soon after. She and her partner John Derick Co started out in Asian competitions, like the IDSF International Open Latin in Japan in 2003, where they ranked 28th. They further proved themselves at the Blackpool Dance Festival in England, where they ranked second in the competition’s Senior Latin division in 2003 & 2004, and went on to win first prize in 2005. Ednah has served as a judge in SHALL WE DANCE, a Filipino reality dance competition program on TV5.

from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, Ednah Ledesma & Butch Esperanza. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, Ednah Ledesma & Butch Esperanza. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Butch Esperanza

Butch Esperanza began his dance career with the University of the East Dance Troupe under the tutelage of Gener Caringal. He became a member of the CCP Dance Company (now Ballet Philippines) in 1978, where he performed solo and principal roles such as Ravana (RAMA HARI), Sultan (ANG SULTAN), Mercutio (ROMEO AND JULIET), Rothbart (SWAN LAKE), Prince Charming (CINDERELLA), and Andres Bonifacio (BAYANI), to name a few. He later joined Singapore Dance Theater as a principal dancer in 1988 and Philippine Ballet Theater in 1995. His most recent roles include the king in BP’s 2002 & 2014 production of CINDERELLA, Step Sister in PBT’s 2010 production of the same ballet, as Ebenezer Scrooge in Edna Vida Froilan’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL in 2013.

Conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO is co-presented by ABS-CBN and is a collaboration with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Salonga. The show features a libretto by Bibeth Orteza, choreography by Carissa Adea, James Laforteza & PJ Rebullida, musical direction by Jed Balsamo, sound design by Jethro Joaquin, set design by Ohm David, costume design by James Reyes, lighting design by John Batalla.

Ballet Philippines has another hit in their hands. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Ballet Philippines has another hit in their hands. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will be staged at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) on Dec. 2 – 8 pm; Dec. 3 – 6 pm; Dec. 4 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 9 – 8 pm; Dec. 10 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 11 – 2 pm and 6 pm.

from left: Kyle Echarri & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Kyle Echarri & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Ticket prices range from Php 500 to Php 3500, with discounts for students, senior citizens, and government employees.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/balletphilippines

Twitter: @balletph

Instagram: @balletphilippines

YouTube: balletph

To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use our official hashtags: #balletph, #awitinmoatisasayawko

 

from left: Jef Flores & Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jef Flores & Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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Markki Stroem; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Markki Stroem; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page
https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

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from left: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Musical Director Jed Balsamo; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Musical Director Jed Balsamo; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Sandino Martin, Markki Stroem, Jef Flores and Denise Parungao. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Sandino Martin, Markki Stroem, Jef Flores and Denise Parungao. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Librettist Bibeth Orteza and Columnist Danny Vibas; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Librettist Bibeth Orteza and Columnist Danny Vibas; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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Nonoy Froilan as Scrooge in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonoy Froilan as Scrooge in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao & Garry Corpuz; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao & Garry Corpuz; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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foreground: Jef Flores shows his moves with Denise Parungao while Sandino Martin sings (background). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground: Jef Flores shows his moves with Denise Parungao while Sandino Martin sings (background). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Denise Parungao, Rita Angela Winder, Jean Marc Cordero, Seated from left: Cooky Chua, Librettist Bibeth Orteza , BP Pres. Margie Moran & Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Denise Parungao, Rita Angela Winder, Jean Marc Cordero, Seated from left: Cooky Chua, Librettist Bibeth Orteza , BP Pres. Margie Moran & Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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TRUMP vs. DUTERTE Who’s Worse & Why It Matters

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Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Disgraced Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is a billionaire who managed to spout controversial statements and garner supporters enough to get to become the face of a major political party in the U.S. Rodrigo Duterte was the mayor of Davao, won on a platform of state sponsored murder who was actually elected as president in the Philippines.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot that would be similar in their backgrounds except for their habit of putting their foot in their mouth. But the importance of comparing and contrasting their statements, their thoughts and styles why they’re wrong can still benefit the electorate of America.

The many people who have been deceived by Trump’s empty promises will benefit in seeing the effect of electing someone who’s temperamentally unfit to the presidency. Here in the Philippines we have to figure out where we went wrong, would it be possible to avoid doing it again in the future. Now that Duterte is president we must at the very least find out how we can mitigate his many disastrous statements.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

And unlike these two we must be able to put our thoughts in the proper context and perspective. The stakes are far higher in the U.S. election as the world’s leading superpower. Choosing the wrong leader could mean an apocalyptic third world war, if not a new nuclear arms race. There are also huge economic and geopolitical implications.

During the VP debates Senator Tim Kaine summarized it best, “If you can’t distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.” Sadly that’s exactly what happened to the Philippine electorate in our previous presidential election, Filipino voters thought that scaring people through a dictatorship is what was needed. Leadership is being able to inspire people to do the right thing. It’s easier to tear the country apart by killing people than it is to unite it under one cause.

VP candidate Tim Kaine: If you can't distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.

VP candidate Tim Kaine: If you can’t distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.

Actress Agot Isidro very courageously pointed out the obvious by calling Pres. Duterte a ‘psychopath’ through her facebook page. In spite of her honesty and accuracy she received a wave of criticism from netizens. The reaction and even the high approval rating of Duterte are strong indications that Filipinos have a great need for voter education and political awareness.

Agot Isidro was criticized for her honesty and accurate description on fb of Pres. Duterte by his supporters.

Agot Isidro was criticized for her honesty and accurate description on fb of Pres. Duterte by his supporters.

Seeing how and why Trump has fallen from grace may be a bigger lesson for Filipinos than the rise to power of Duterte is to the American electorate. Both nations however and other budding democracies can benefit from how and why their thoughts and statements are damaging so here goes.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Trump and Duterte both have a bombshell tape that exposed their worst comments. ‘Worst’ being overtly sexist with overtones of assault if not outright rape (in the case of Duterte). We would also qualify ‘worst’ as statements made so far. As both of them may still make even worse comments in the future. The comparison here is not just from the statements themselves but more importantly how it affected each of their campaigns.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

The Access Hollywood video and audio of Trump talking to TV host Billy Bush, is still very much fresh in everyone’s minds. Some of the most interesting ones: ‘grab them by the pussy’, ‘when you’re a star they let you get away with it.’ The tape is from 2005 from Trump’s guest role in a soap opera covered by Access Hollywood. The distinction from Duterte is that Trump’s comment came from what they call a ‘hot mic’. Meaning both Trump and Billy were not aware their conversation was being recorded.

The bombshell tape during Duterte’s campaign was from an actual speech that he gave as Mayor of Davao where he was addressing his constituents. It was in 1989 after a female Australian missionary Jaqueline Hamill was kidnapped, raped and then murdered. The gist of it which he related to the crowd, when he saw the remains of the Australian missionary he quipped that he wished he was the first in line to rape her ahead of the kidnappers.

Duterte video

The video of Duterte giving the speech naturally drew widespread condemnation. Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ambeth Ocampo added that Duterte’s comment not only hinted of rape but of necrophilia. Different embassies among them the U.S. and Australia outright condemned the candidacy of Duterte.

BOTH of these men made reprehensible comments but without a doubt comparing these two tapes, Duterte’s is far worse. Trump has the excuse of thinking that his was a private conversation while Duterte made his as an actual speech to a crowd. Even so, the rape and necrophilia laced speech of Duterte did nothing to affect his popularity. In spite of that video, he was still deemed by Filipino voters as being the next president.

In Trump’s case it was a turning point in the campaign. The hot mic tape was correctly called by his campaign as a private conversation. In a halfhearted apology Trump dismissed it as mere ‘locker room talk.’ But it was too late. Legendary actor Robert De Niro immediately posted a video online on why he wanted ‘to punch Trump in the face’. On Twitter NBA players Jamaal Crawford, CJ McCollum, NFL Jacob Tamme even CM Punk who spent most of their lives in locker rooms, as collegiate and professional athletes never heard Trump’s brand of ‘locker room talk’.

Robert Deniro on Trump

Prior to the tape Hillary was only 5 points ahead. After the tape was made public by the Washington Post and the subsequent second and third debates Hillary posted her biggest lead 50% to 38%. That gap has since closed with a CNN/ORC Poll dated October 28, 2016 at Hillary 49%, Trump at 44%.

CNN/ORC Polls show that Hillary is ‘only’ 5-6 points ahead of Trump.

CNN/ORC Polls show that Hillary is ‘only’ 5-6 points ahead of Trump.

TYRANT TALK

During the second U.S. Presidential debate there was this exchange:

TRUMP: If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor… and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

CLINTON: … Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

Trump you’d be in jail video

In U.S. politics this was almost unheard of save for a very few exceptions. And threats like these were never made so openly. Of course no one is naïve enough to think it never happens where the President doesn’t influence cases indirectly. But the way that Trump said it also revealed his ignorance of the division of the branches of government and their roles: the executive, legislative and judiciary.

CNN political analyst David Gregory called it as “criminalizing political differences”. He explained that kind of talk was fairly common from tyrants and less developed democracies but definitely not in the U.S. Legally speaking there was no recourse for a sitting President to ask a ‘special prosecutor’ to go after political opponents.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

The Philippine Situation

Theoretically in the Philippines, we’ve adopted a similar form of government from the U.S. We supposedly have the same separation of functions between branches of government. We’ve also adapted parts of the Constitution and bill of rights; we used to be a U.S. colony after all.

In reality however, the Philippine situation is different especially with a trend of political persecution in the past several Presidential administrations. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went after and prosecuted ousted President Erap Estrada for corruption. Pres. Noynoy Aquino then went after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and EVEN Chief Justice Corona. Naturally even during the campaign President Rodrigo Duterte promised to prosecute Vice President Jejomar Binay. This extended even to Binay’s whole family who are accused to be a political dynasty and on corruption charges.

In the case of PNoy and Duterte, they actually made the threats as part of their campaign promise to clean up corruption, almost exactly the way Trump did against Hillary.

Duterte has failed to deliver on his campaign promise of prosecuting political rival Binay who was accused of numerous corrupt deals.

Duterte has failed to deliver on his campaign promise of prosecuting political rival Binay who was accused of numerous corrupt deals.

Persecution of De Lima

By the time President Duterte assumed his post, he seemed to forget his threats against Binay. There was someone else who got his ire. Senator Leila De Lima, opened up the Senate hearings on extra judicial killings that have risen alarmingly with Duterte’s assumption to power. Duterte promised to have 100,000 drug addicts, drug pushers killed in the first 100 days. By the time the senate hearings began there were already 2,300 in what the Phil National Police called Deaths Under Investigation.

The hearings intended to shed the national spotlight on what was happening in Duterte’s war on drugs. A week or so later after it began, De Lima was ousted as Senate Justice Committee Chair by the pro administration majority in the Senate. The lower house began its own investigation on anomalies in the New Bilibid Prison. The principal suspect just happens to be Leila De Lima who was Department of Justice Secretary previous to her current stint as Senator.

There’s credence to support the theory that the lower house investigation is a witch hunt out to persecute De Lima as the congressmen in the hearing are allied with President Duterte. Presidential appointee and current DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has taken the lead in the presentation of witnesses against Delima. They are composed mostly of Drug Lords already in custody seeking parole or a chance to cut prison terms.

Senator De Lima is a victim of Duterte’s ‘criminalizing of political differences’ in a similar way that Trump went after Hillary.

Senator De Lima is a victim of Duterte’s ‘criminalizing of political differences’ in a similar way that Trump went after Hillary.

The congressional hearings have involved a fake sex video supposedly between Delima and her ex lover a former driver and security personnel. The female in the video was later proven as someone other than Senator De Lima. The attacks on Delima’s reputation continue in media by Aguirre including publicizing her cellphone and home address. As consequence Delima has received thousands of death threats via text and calls to her cellphone from Duterte supporters who see her as obstructing the War on Drugs.

In the tyrant talk- persecuting political opponents Duterte has proven to be worse. The Donald has talked a lot of trash but has not really done anything about it.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

HITLER CONNECTION

The tyrant and dictator label doesn’t end in their criminalization of political differences. Ken Burns is a multi-awarded documentary filmmaker. His latest work DEFYING THE NAZIS: THE SHARP’S WAR is about an American couple Waitstill & Martha Sharp who helped Jews escape persecution and death camps in Europe. Christiane Amanpour interviewed him in her show. In it Burns had an important insight with Trump, “Hitler also wanted to make Germany Great Again without backing it up or explaining how he’d do it. There’s this simplistic messaging that has become so popular.” Trump’s racist remarks against Mexicans, African Americans and other minorities also echo somewhat Hitler’s racist doctrine.

Ken Burns in Amanpour’s interview explained that Hitler also promised to make Germany Great Again like Trump’s tagline. Both have not presented solutions to back it up. Its this ‘simplistic messaging’ that resonated with the masses similar to the peace and order slogan of Duterte. http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/10/20/intv-amanpour-ken-burns.cnn/video/playlists/amanpour/

Ken Burns in Amanpour’s interview explained that Hitler also promised to make Germany Great Again like Trump’s tagline. Both have not presented solutions to back it up. Its this ‘simplistic messaging’ that resonated with the masses similar to the peace and order slogan of Duterte. http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/10/20/intv-amanpour-ken-burns.cnn/video/playlists/amanpour/

Duterte’s campaign also had a simplistic messaging of eliminating all drug lords, drug addicts by killing them as the miracle solution that would solve all the problems of Filipinos. It’s the same ‘effective playbook’ that the Nazi’s employed which Burns was referring to. Duterte also promised this would all be done within 100 days. His on again off again running mate Sen. Peter Cayetano explained that once peace and order was in place economic improvement would follow.

After several months in power, without solving the traffic crisis and other major problems Duterte revised his own 100-day deadline. He asked for 6 more months for Filipinos to feel the ‘effect’ of his magic bullet. He believes the extension is warranted as there are 4 million drug addicts. He believes the number of addicts and menace of the drug problem has been so bad that he HAS TO step up his war on drugs in the next months. Duterte said he would be ‘happy to kill 3 million addicts’. There have already been 3,600 lives lost since his term began.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

IF that’s not enough Duterte was also quoted as comparing himself to Hitler. Likening his desire to kill 3 million criminals to the genocide of the Jews. “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them…At least if Germany had Hitler the Philippines would have… you know my victims, I would like to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.” He later on apologized for the comments. Ironically the pro Nazi sentiment was also echoed by his appointee to the U.N. Teddy Locsin via twitter.

Who’s worse in the Hitler connection? Although he’s not AS consistently racist as Trump, Duterte’s need to kill more people is a lot closer to the Hitler dogma. So again Duterte is worse in the Hitler Connection.

Duterte on Hitler video

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

LOVE PUTIN HATE OBAMA

Both Trump and Duterte have been quoted praising Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. They are also very much aligned in their dislike, sometimes violent reaction (in Duterte’s case) to U.S. President Barack Obama. This similarity only reinforces the dictatorial/tyrant tag for Trump and Duterte. Putin was a former Head of the KGB, known for jailing, persecuting and yes, assassinating political rivals. Putin also invaded territories of neighboring Ukraine and annexed Crimea. He continues to influence and meddle in the affairs of Ukraine. Trump has gone so far as to praise him for handling the Syrian crisis by supporting another dictator in Bashar Al Hassad.

Early in the Presidential campaign Putin complimented Trump. Intelligence analysts in the U.S. such as CIA director Michael Morell believe that Putin did this in order to manipulate Trump. Putin’s background as in the KGB has given him experience in exploiting mental weaknesses such as stroking Trump’s ego.

Putin is known for assassinating political rivals.

Putin is known for assassinating political rivals.

During Duterte’s recent trip to China his host Pres. Xi Jing Ping, including the whole world was shocked to hear extremely loaded statements in his speech. Duterte announced categorically that the Philippines would have a ‘separation of military and economic ties’ with its long time ally the U.S. He added, There are three of us against the world. China, Philippines, Russia.”

China meanwhile was a gracious host talked about numerous investments and new economic projects with Duterte. China however, was wisely silent about his ridiculous pronouncements. Not surprisingly when Duterte went back home, Washington asked for an official clarification to his statements made in Beijing. After some thought and advice from cabinet members, he took those statements back citing the interest of 4 million Filipino Americans working and living in the U.S.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

RECOMMENDATIONS for U.S. Voters and Republican Party

The first and most important recommendation is for the American electorate, obviously because of the upcoming elections. There’s no denying that Hillary Clinton has her own issues with the 33,000 emails in a private server, questions on companies or foreign governments paying for meetings with the Clinton Foundation. With that said comparing all the facts, all the insanity and absurdity, Donald Trump is a far, far greater danger not just to the U.S. but also to the whole world if he becomes President.

Calling him temperamentally unfit to become president is a severe understatement. It is THIS danger and threat to world peace, world economic stability etc. that disqualifies him as President more than the hot mic tape. The solution is to make absolutely sure that he doesn’t become president. U.S. voters should come out in droves to absolutely reject him and vote for Hillary Clinton. You can’t waste your vote on Gary Johnson or anyone else. There has to be a strong mandate from the people that you won’t tolerate a sexist, racist and an insane candidate.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

For the Republican Party once Trump loses the election, the whole party should be unanimous in kicking him out. There was never a moment when he embodied Republican values OR ideology. On those very grounds he should never have been your candidate in the first place, no matter how popular he is. His rise only divided the party almost irreparably. The hot mic issue and claims that the electoral system is rigged has even threatened your party’s control of the lower house and the Senate.

During the Vice Presidential debates everyone saw how a levelheaded, articulate and true Republican like Mike Pence would have been a far stronger candidate against Hillary. The good news is he can be your next Presidential bet. Choose Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, McCain, ANYONE except Donald Trump. IF he still wants to run as President again let him do so but not as a Republican definitely not with your financing, network and support.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Duterte’s emphatic endorsers include Vice Ganda during the campaign.

Duterte’s emphatic endorsers include Vice Ganda during the campaign.

RECOMMENDATIONS for Pres. Duterte

No matter how divisive the previous Presidential elections were here in the Philippines, no Filipino would want you to embarrass yourself in your foreign visits or in any speech. This is because you’re representing us. Whenever you insult or antagonize ANY country we’ve had a long friendship and alliance, the whole nation suffers.

You’re undoing the efforts of names like Carlos P. Romulo, most recently Albert Del Rosario in increasing the prestige of the Philippines in the world stage of diplomacy and international affairs. Del Rosario fought hard in The Hague, international court to defend our territorial waters from the invasion of China. After a hard fought and long legal battle we won. In one statement you cozied up to the invader and broke ties with the one superpower willing to bolster our armed forces. Last July 27, weeks before your trip to Beijing the U.S. donated 42 million pesos worth of high tech equipment including night vision goggles, bulletproof vests and bomb suits.

Former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert Del Rosario fought for Phil interests at The Hague, Intl court.

Former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert Del Rosario fought for Phil interests at The Hague, Intl court.

The first qualification as President is the ability to THINK FOR and in behalf of the welfare of the whole country. After thinking things through, gathering relevant facts, sage advice that’s when you make a speech or make major decisions. Why is it that your recent statements seem to be without planning or preparation? You have a background as a lawyer and as fiscal. For every case aren’t you supposed to know the facts? Aren’t you obligated to research pertinent laws, regulations similar cases and decisions? Any lawyer should have an obsession with reading, research and basic homework. This particular work ethic should have been ingrained in you long before you became President.

A sensible suggestion would be to have a well-crafted, effective catchphrase that you can use for every ambush interview. The best example is from former Pres. Fidel V Ramos whose catchphrase during his term “Everything is under control.”

Duterte was able to use his ‘simplistic messaging’ to become popular in a very similar way Trump and Hitler used theirs.

Duterte was able to use his ‘simplistic messaging’ to become popular in a very similar way Trump and Hitler used theirs.

It didn’t matter if he was being asked about the power crisis, coup threats or corruption. He would inevitably start or end with ‘everything is under control’. He explains his favorite statement as an assurance to the Filipino people that the government is aware of the problem and is doing the necessary steps to solve whatever it is. More importantly as a speaker, it puts HIM into a certain frame of mind or way of thinking and allows him to expound on the catchphrase and customize it to the current question or concern. And it worked, every single time. He was perceived as one of the most effective/problem solving presidents that we had.

Needless to say FVR also did his homework. He was known to wake up at 5am, just to read the newspapers. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was known to, if not write her own speeches, to constantly edit, re-edit and review them.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Get the best minds not just in government; hire a whole PR agency just to come up with the catchphrase. You can even ask FVR his suggestion for a new catchphrase. Most of all do your homework. You owe it to yourself; you owe it to the Filipino people to prepare conscientiously for each speech, each statement and each word that comes out of your mouth.

Immeasurable Damage of War On Drugs

There’s a reason why ‘Thou shalt not kill’ is one of the Ten Commandments. In his divine wisdom the Lord saw that you cannot make up for it. You can never bring back the life you’ve taken. The numbers are staggering. To think that not one life is taken but thousands and if it were up to you Mr. President could easily reach into the millions. All human lives swept into nothing, they’re all considered less than animals.

Tony Bourdain was a rehabilitated drug addict before he became a world famous writer and TV Host. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit PARTS UNKNOWN.

Tony Bourdain was a rehabilitated drug addict before he became a world famous writer and TV Host. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit PARTS UNKNOWN.

Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, David Bowie and Robert Downey Jr. are just some of the names of drug and alcohol dependents who rehabilitated their lives. Bourdain was a dishwasher in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Barely out of his teens he was shooting LSD and Heroin recreationally in the 70s. After cleaning himself up he became a bestselling author and TV host. He promoted his love for cuisines from around the world. His favorite region happens to be Southeast Asia and the Philippines.

David Bowie was a creative genius in music, fashion and art that transformed our whole concept of rock and roll. He was deep into cocaine and alcohol but after his rehabilitation he went on to become an even more prolific musician. As a young actor Robert Downey Jr went into rehab a total of 6 times for his cocaine addiction. After cleaning himself up, he was finally able to prove that he is one of the most talented actors of his generation among them his most iconic role as IRONMAN.

Robert Downey Jr went into rehab for his cocaine addiction six times. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit IRONMAN.

Robert Downey Jr went into rehab for his cocaine addiction six times. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit IRONMAN.

The list is long. If these people were killed summarily just because they were addicts, the world would have lost all their invaluable contributions. You would never have given them the chance to rehabilitate themselves and become productive members of society. That loss in life, the loss in human potential is something that you can’t measure.

The damage and loss doesn’t end with the life taken either. Every so often, a father, a mother, a sister or brother is shot while a young child is present. Even worse kids are shot in the crossfire accidentally. This happens over and over again because the killings frequently happen in the congested slum areas, where whole families live in small shanties. For those children who do live to see a parent, sibling or family member die a violent death, they are scarred for life. How would you expect them to deal with that trauma? In turn their relatives, barangays and whole communities are all traumatized.

Left: German’s hail Hitler (1940), right: Pinoys hail Duterte (2016)

Left: German’s hail Hitler (1940), right: Pinoys hail Duterte (2016)

Wasn’t this your intention Mr. President, to create an atmosphere of terror and fear where we are all collectively traumatized as a nation? If we do reap the benefits of your idea of law and order how will the country be able to recover from the incredible loss of human life, human potential and collective trauma?

The recommendation here is to emphasize rehabilitation over summary executions with your war on drugs. The immeasurable loss is too steep a price for the Philippines to pay. You end up destroying the lives of people you swore to protect and improve. Different donors come from China, the Catholic Church, trying to donate, raise funds and organize rehabilitation centers. They all want to help solve the problem of the drug menace while minimizing the loss of life. Make this a policy of your government before we go further down a path of destruction we can never come back from.

Filipinos need Duterte to think before he speaks.

Filipinos need Duterte to think before he speaks.