A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

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Raf raf: Not Just Another Killing

from left: PD Lizo and Raf raf Gueta Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PD Lizo and Raf raf Gueta Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

On the morning of August 25, 2016 Pinky Gueta a midwife at the Health Center in the town of Claveria, Burias Island had to attend a meeting in nearby Masbate. It was a work conference where she had to leave the island and asked her son Raphael Gueta to accompany her. Since there were no trips from the large lantsa (outrigger boat) to their destination they hired their own boat. In the middle of the open sea, out of nowhere another boat showed up with masked men (bonnets over their faces). They gave chase and when they were near open fired with assault rifles. Pinky, Raphael and the boatman were all hit with several bullets. Pinky managed to call a relative with a fast lantsa to come to their aid.

A large lantsa waits for passengers at daybreak Claveria, Burias-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

A large lantsa waits for passengers at daybreak Claveria, Burias-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinky and Raphael were both treated in hospital at Legaspi City. August 26, Raphael who is known as Raf raf to most people died from gun shot wounds, one to his head. He was a father of two with his young wife. Pinky is still recovering from her bullet wounds and is no longer in critical condition. The boatman survived. Some have theorized the boatman was the intended target as both Pinky and Raf raf had no known enemies.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. - from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. – from fb pic.

Who shot them and why is still a complete mystery. No one knows. All we know is that it happened. All we know is that it is a modus operandi that has been replicated across the Philippines. Unidentified men with either masks, shades, caps would walk up to their victims and shoot them, in internet cafés, slums, inner city neighborhoods. Most recently the ones that have reached the headlines of newspaper and tabloids are the killings in the inner city, usually drug related.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. - from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. – from fb pic.

But the numbers have climbed so high, the victims so indiscriminate they do not have to be involved in drugs at all. Bodies have been found in EDSA the major highway wrapped in tape with the sign SNATCHER AKO or HOLDUPPER AKO WAG TULARAN. (I am a snatcher/ I am a holdupper don’t end up like me) In another incident a 5-year-old girl was killed while her grandfather was being targeted just days before Raf raf.

Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias, in the foreground is a concrete cross-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias, in the foreground is a concrete cross-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

What scares me even more is that Filipinos seem to have desensitized themselves to the news and spate of killings. We knew it was coming. President Rodrigo Duterte won on a mandate of state sponsored murder in his own city of Davao as Mayor. He even bragged it would not cost the state coffers a cent. His campaign funds had a surplus estimated to be P1 Billion. This will be his ‘budget’ for the eradication of drug pushers and criminals. During his campaign he proudly proclaimed at least 100,000 dead. A direct quote translated from his tough guy talk in Filipino: Their carcasses will become feed for the fish in Manila Bay.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

As a journalist during the election I felt compelled to write against it. But I also felt absolutely powerless. The electorate, tired of the seeming insurmountable increase of crime propelled him to victory.

Even before he was sworn to office in June, the killings have begun. What is commonly called extrajudicial killings, vigilante killings have been officially changed by the Philippine National Police to Deaths Under Investigation: DUI. Even cops in full uniform have been found dead with the sign DRUG PUSHER AKO WAG TULARAN. By August 23 the official number of killings in the DUI category has risen to just over 1,900 (PNP statistic). The real number may even be higher as most victims don’t even want to report them.

Raf raf Gueta was hospitalized in Legaspi but passed on a day later. - from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta was hospitalized in Legaspi but passed on a day later. – from fb pic.

The number of surrenders of both drug pushers and users have reached more than several thousand in provinces across the country: 2,000 in Zambales, 300 Quezon, 762 Rizal Province, etc. The number of petty theft and other crimes have also gone down as a result of the ‘President’s War on Drugs’. An unprecedented 91% approval rating for Duterte was scored by Pulse Asia the highest of any president since the survey was instituted a decade or so ago.

Daruanak islet on Mabiton coast Burias Island-May 20, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Daruanak islet on Mabiton coast Burias Island-May 20, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

THIS is what Filipinos wanted. They wanted the bad guys killed. They want to scare people into obedience. It doesn’t matter if once in a while (or often) they get it wrong. We don’t really know anymore. We’ve been desensitized from the daily headlines of people being summarily executed, killed without reason or notice.

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was a powerful photo in the Inquirer front page of a woman clutching her husband a pedicab driver shot that has acquired international attention. It was covered by CNN. A recent feature by the BBC was about a hitman who is actually a woman. She relates that she’s haunted by guilt of already having killed 6 drug pushers at P50,000 pesos each. The amount is distributed among her and her ‘team’ so she gets 10k.

PDI front page: LAMENTATION A weeping Jennelyn Olaires hugs partner Michael Siaron, 30, a pedicab driver and alleged drug pusher, who was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen near Pasay Rotonda on Edsa. He was one of six killed in drug-related incidents in Pasay and Manila yesterday. RAFFY LERMA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO photo from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/799260/duterte-on-photo-of-wife-cradling-slain-drug-pusher-nagda-dramahan-tayo#ixzz4IXeYY6Bc Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

PDI front page: LAMENTATION A weeping Jennelyn Olaires hugs partner Michael Siaron, 30, a pedicab driver and alleged drug pusher, who was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen near Pasay Rotonda on Edsa. He was one of six killed in drug-related incidents in Pasay and Manila yesterday. RAFFY LERMA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
photo from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/799260/duterte-on-photo-of-wife-cradling-slain-drug-pusher-nagda-dramahan-tayo#ixzz4IXeYY6Bc
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

We Filipinos have gotten so used to it. There’s this seeming inescapable desensitization to the countless number of stories, pictures. We’ve come to accept this new reality, new normal. This desensitization includes myself until now, until Raf raf.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

I woke up at 5am, something I never do and I looked through my old image files from last year. I was in Burias Island with my family and I was certain that I was able to photograph him. It took a while but I found it. He’s overweight closer to obese, something we teased him about in his young age of 26. I also thought the pic was evidence he wasn’t a user at all. Shabu (crack) is known to make users lose weight and look emaciated. The photo is also for people who didn’t know him.

from left: Nanette Montenegro, Annie Puyo, Beth Javier, Nana Tely Gomez and Rose Lizo; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Nanette Montenegro, Annie Puyo, Beth Javier, Nana Tely Gomez and Rose Lizo; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

He always had a warm smile. His potbelly was more evidence of his grandmother’s and mother’s excellent cooking of Bicolano fare. His grandmother Thelma Gomez was called Nana Tely by most. Nana Tely was the wife of my mother’s cousin. She was a long time midwife who loved and served her community, often helping women give birth in even more remote places than Claveria, around the island. When she passed away in November 2015, hundreds of people turned up. The huge and long procession was a testimony to the countless people she helped and served for decades.

Nana Tely with her favorite apo Iggy; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nana Tely with her favorite apo Iggy; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

When Raf raf found out I was shooting the dawn, he volunteered to bring me up the hilltop overlooking the coast on his motorcycle. The way was scary because it was dark before daybreak we were going relatively fast. He was so proud of the newly cemented roads we were going through, especially the one that went up to the hilltop. I found out later on he actually worked for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) responsible for constructing those roads. He took me up there to photograph the dawn, now he’s never going to see another one again.

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

We don’t know who killed him or why. I’d be the first to admit we have no idea if it’s even remotely related to Duterte’s War on Drugs. What we do know is that this kind of killing has been happening over and over again. Whether they’re drug pushers, users, innocent bystanders they’re all getting killed. All I’m saying is we shouldn’t be desensitized from this loss or any other. Raf raf should not be just another killing.

Raf raf Gueta in green w his family- from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta in green w his family- from fb pic.

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bgy Dapdap coast Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

bgy Dapdap coast Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

That’s Raf raf helping my mom alight from a tricycle Burias Island-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

That’s Raf raf helping my mom alight from a tricycle Burias Island-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Finding THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From right: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

My Angel, My Warmth, I love you at any age.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Santiago (Guillermo Francella) and Eugenio (Fabián Arenillas) have known each other for more than 30 years. They’re business partners but for Santiago they were more than that closer than brothers or even twins. They did everything together from breakfast to paddle ball and drive the same model and make of a car. One morning Eugenio didn’t show up and it baffled Santiago. Eugenio’s wife Laura (Ines Estevez) suddenly came storming in their office screaming. She was a lot more definite with what happened; he abandoned her, the business and everyone else.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Laura is middle aged, blonde, kooky but has this Latin fire in her. Santiago and Laura tried to retrace the places where they knew Eugenio would go. On Thursdays she revealed they went dancing ‘Mambo for me and Salsa for him’. Just as Santiago asked how they did this, a tall, young, handsome dancer pulls Laura to the dance floor. Laura adds, “We each had different partners that’s why it was so much fun.” When the music died down to a slow dance Laura pulled Santiago to dance and embraced him. He was still very much confused not just with the disappearance but there was a whole side to his friend he didn’t know about. She whispered, “We pretended to be strangers and introduce ourselves with different names and stories every time. We’d always end up at the hotel in the corner.”

Argentinian Amb. Roberto Bosch; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Argentinian Amb. Roberto Bosch; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS (El Misterio Dela Felicidad) is one of many films in the Argentinian Film Festival 2016 you can watch for free from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. There are a total of 6 award-winning films in the line up, most of them garnering accolades in Cannes and other international fests.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS is a fun romp that is very Argentinian whether its family barbecues or saucy dances. While it is amusing, touching, charming we learn the universal truths of friendship and recapturing the lost once in a lifetime opportunity that is love.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez

The two lifelong buds of Santiago & Eugenio may be the leads at the start but the wife Laura played by Ines Estevez very easily steals the show. She plays her as a very frazzled and mentally unbalanced character, which is understandable for a woman dealing with a missing husband. But she is kooky and vulnerable in an endearing way that audiences can’t help but fall for her.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines is a very accomplished actress having won awards from her work in cinema, TV and theater. Most recently she has gone back to her musical roots and has proven to be a captivating jazz singer as well. She teamed up with established Bassist Javier Malosetti who is also her life partner.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Javier Malosetti; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Javier Malosetti; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines has showed her conviction, standing up for herself in a huge facebook controversy just this week. She was bullied by netizens who criticized her as being too old (at 52) for showing too much cleavage at a red carpet event.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

She responded by saying on her fb page (roughly translated from Spanish) “the human body is not something that is offensive. I don’t think we should support perfection knowing the trend towards surgeries, maiming, anorexia and bulimia. So I propose: accept each person’s uniqueness; avoid the tyranny of eternal youth, live and let live.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

And every one of those who have written something against my cleavage upload a photo of your pecs on my page http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial Because of their destructive criticism, you will see a recent picture of my boobies, taken this evening in a natural position, without silicone or photoshop. I am proud of them.” Ines’ spunk and daring in real life also shines through in her role as Laura here in this film.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Guillermo Francella

Guillermo who played the abandoned business partner Santiago is no slouch himself. He is one of the most recognizable film and TV stars in Argentina. Whether it’s a comedy, drama or action he’s done it. His international success came in 2009 as part of the cast in THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, which won Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. He also earned rave reviews from his newest film THE CLAN (2015) as Arquímedes Puccio the patriarch of a crime family.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

His performance here THE MYSTERY… is the discreet gentleman trying to make sense of his partner’s disappearance. He becomes convincing because he never overacts. His is a very precise and measured approach, everything comes naturally. His character finds that the mystery of happiness isn’t in wanting more but is in discovering what is already in his life and looking at them in a new way.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From right: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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BP’s WINGS Soar

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird), Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird), Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Ballet Philippines calls the 47th season WINGS and the opening salvo makes it soar high. Audiences will be captivated by a very wide range of pieces put together in one stage called FIREBIRD and Other Ballets running from August 19-21, 2016 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. There will be two shows each day of the weekend on the 20th and 21st at 2pm and 6pm.

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

The headline among 4 different pieces is FIREBIRD with choreographer George Birkadze and elaborate costumes designed by Mark Higgins. Truth of it is every piece is able to stand on its own and is vastly different from one another.

standing from left: Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Choreographer George Birkadze and Costume Designer Mark Higgins seated from left: Cyril Fallar (Koschei), Garry Corpuz (Pearl Merchant), Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

standing from left: Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Choreographer George Birkadze and Costume Designer Mark Higgins seated from left: Cyril Fallar (Koschei), Garry Corpuz (Pearl Merchant), Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

There’s no dull moment. The accompanying music literally sets the tone for the performances. For example there’s the romance of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major for MOVING TWO, the energy shifts to the unique vocals, rhythmic string and singular violin of Iva Bittova’s NE NEH LEDEJ.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

MOVING TWO is choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo and performed by Victor Maguad and Katrene San Miguel / Jemima Reyes. NE NEH LEDEJ is choreographed by David Campos. The performers for each piece is shared among dancers of Ballet Philippines such as Jean Marc Cordero, Gilliane Gequinto, Victor Maguad, Denise Parungao, Lester John Raguindin, Jessa Tangalin, Erl Sorilla, Monica Gana, Garry Corpuz and Sarah Anne Alejandro.

Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis also has JM Cordero and Jemima Reyes. SHIFTING won Outstanding Choreography for Modern Dance from Gawad Buhay in 2010. This version is expanded to six dancers from four. Along with the expanded cast there is experimentation in the pairings: female to female, male to male.

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

How the dancers are able to change 180 degrees from one choreography to the next is a testament to their skill and versatility. Just like actors they have to inhabit moods and emotions in the characters they portray. They have to do this in less than a few minutes or as quickly as they can change costumes.

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT

Has the ingenious design of handles in the torso. This allows dancers to be lifted in different ways. Pulling them using the large handles can also be jarring not just for the dancer being dragged but also for audiences. When a jealous lover suddenly yanks on the handle away from another the effect can be heart rending. The lighting is one directional with high contrast which adds to the drama of movement. Carlo Pacis has to be given credit, there seems to be a more equal treatment between genders. Women also carry men instead of just the usual way.

from right: SHIFTING WAIT Choreographer Carlo Pacis, Jean Marc Cordero and Jemima Reyes. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: SHIFTING WAIT Choreographer Carlo Pacis, Jean Marc Cordero and Jemima Reyes. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

MOVING TWO

Highlights the synchronous movements of a pair in this case and Jemima Reyes and Victor Maguad. Jemima is also in the title role of Firebird while Vic is Koschei the Immortal. Conductor Olivier Ochanine has modified Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major into a slightly faster tempo. This gives the oft-used melody for weddings seem more exciting at the same time retaining its romance. Having the grand sound of all the instruments in the Philippine Philharmonic makes it a moving experience, enhancing the already powerful performance of Maguad and Reyes. Jemima is sometimes interchanged with Katrene San Miguel. The matched height and frame of Vic and Jemima adds to the fluidity and timed movements of the pair.

from left: MOVING TWO Choreographer Dwight Rodrigazo with dancer Victor Maguad. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: MOVING TWO Choreographer Dwight Rodrigazo with dancer Victor Maguad. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ

This is also the title of the track by Czech singer and violinist Iva Bittova (not performed live unlike Philharmonic). She has a very unique style where she scats. There’s almost a beat box quality to the vocals creating rhythm along with plucking her violin string. Nearly the whole BP Company joins in this piece. The huge cast has a more powerful effect especially when they leap and bound at the same time. There’s a lot of athleticism as with all ballet but even more so here.

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Iva Bittova

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird) and Cyril Fallar (Koschei). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird) and Cyril Fallar (Koschei). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

FIREBIRD

This was a hit production for BP back in 1978 and featured the best dancers of the country. This version is reimagined from the spectacular costumes by Mark Higgins, the set by Ohm David. Russian trained, U.S. based choreographer George Birkadze also modified the main character of the FIREBIRD as well. Olivier Ochanine conducts Stravinsky’s FIREBIRD with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra fresh from their stint from Carnegie Hall.

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

For this all-star creative team FIREBIRD is a true labor of love. Mark Higgins said, “People were asking why don’t you sell the pieces (to make it feasible) no. 1 I don’t think I can repeat a head dress like this. 2. The whole point of doing this is I want to support the dancers well and put them in something lavish. There’s a real psychological effect from my clothing.” In 1998 Higgins collaborated wth Ballet Philippines in designing costumes for choreographer Agnes Locsin’s FOUR LAST SONGS. He has been co-director of SLIM’s Fashion and Art School since 2009.

Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales, BP Pres. Margie Moran, Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Firebird Rita Angela Winder, Costume Designer Mark Higgins and Choreographer George Birkadze. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales, BP Pres. Margie Moran, Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Firebird Rita Angela Winder, Costume Designer Mark Higgins and Choreographer George Birkadze. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Birkadze talked about their concept, “This Firebird is really from Asia. This Firebird is authentic, unique. Mark did such a great job, Ohm did such a great job. Everything in this firebird lets say 99% transmitted to the stage. Even the choreography, I studied Filipino dance, Indonesian dance we did deep research. Its not just choreography we’ve achieved something very special.”

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

BP Artistic Director Paul Alexander Morales explained why they chose FIREBIRD,“ We only have 4-5 shows this season. We really have to be deliberate about which particular show to comeback and also because we have so many pieces. So at the moment Ballet Philippines has a repertoire of about 500. It’s hard to prioritize which piece to do. In the history there is so many interesting pieces. With Firebird, internationally they did it 2011 about 5 years ago. Firebird premiered 1911 and also Stravinsky’s centennial. For this side it’s the spirit of it. You will see it’s like the original where there’s a big emphasis on the design and overall schematic. This is with the purpose of creating exciting work for the audience. On one level there is artistic priorities. The other level is what we think would be interesting production to create. We always discuss the seasons back and forth and many times. There’s a factor of fate on how everything comes together. Napapanahon siya the same with Swan Lake. Swan Lake was the first production I performed in as a dancer for Ballet Philippines. That’s the root of why I’m a dancer and why I’m still here because that first production we had with Mia Barredo and Morishita with Nonoy Froilan for me that’s a life changing experience. As director I wish we could also achieve the same for the audience. So we can have more people supporting the ballet.”

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: BP Pres. Margie Moran and BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: BP Pres. Margie Moran and BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

BP President Margie Moran adds, “Margie: We make sure that what we choose is palatable to the audience. Its something that will excite the audience to come and watch the show. We have a very good pool of dancers and we want to put them in a position to where they can really excel and go to the next level as dancers. Although every year we lose talent most of whom go abroad. But we have young ones that come up in the ladder. We’re also excited we have very good dancers. We want to bring out the best in them. The past years we’ve been successful. We’ve done very well in showcasing our best masterpieces. It has given us financial rewards we are able to produce better shows and train our dancers well.”

from left: Victor Maguad and Cyril Fallar are both in the role of Koschei the Immortal. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Victor Maguad and Cyril Fallar are both in the role of Koschei the Immortal. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

While FIREBIRD is the first show of the season BP’s Principal Soloist Cyril Aran Fallar announced this will be his last for the company. He thanked Morales for his long term support and mentoring and thanked Birkadze for entrusting the role of Koschei The Immortal to him.

from right: Cyril Fallar (Koschei) and Jemima Reyes (Firebird); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Cyril Fallar (Koschei) and Jemima Reyes (Firebird); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

ROLES:

Firebird: Rita Angel Winder, Jemima Reyes

Pearl Merchant: Jean Marc Cordero, Garry Corpuz

Spice Princess: Denise Parungao, Monica Gana

Koschei the Immortal: Cyril Fallar, Victor Maguad

from left: Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Cyril Fallar (Koschei); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Cyril Fallar (Koschei); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Janine Arisola in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Janine Arisola in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Denise Parungao, Sarah Alejandro and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Denise Parungao, Sarah Alejandro and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from right: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz and Sarah Alejandro in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz and Sarah Alejandro in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Leica to Solji

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

They both have unique names but have similar features. From Manila’s elite circles Leica Carpo is a former Sunday Inquirer Magazine publisher, L’Oreal Exec and now Public Relations Executive in the U.S. Her chinita eyes, luscious lips bears a striking resemblance with K-POP star Heo Solji who is a member of the group EXID. The group’s name is short for Exceed in Dreaming. Solji has the most technically polished vocals in the group. She actually started out as their vocal coach before becoming an official member.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

In 2015 she won the King of Mask Singer TV competition garnering more attention for EXID. Leica however, is also a famous runner having participated in the Boston and New York Marathons as well as being a consistent triathlete.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

 

Forbidden Love in A FROZEN FLOWER

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Beloved, you’re my inspiration, my Korean beauty.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

The first night they were together she was nearly in tears. Hong (Zo In-Sung) tried kissing her but Queen Yuan (Song Ji-hyo) would turn away silently whimpering. Hong relented and went away. King Gongmin (Joo Jin-mo) urged them both to try to conceive a child. On the second time Hong forced himself, it was quick and painful for her.

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

The third night Hong tried a different tactic kissing her extremities; even she was surprised at the sensation and pleasure that she felt. He began to notice her smooth skin, soft hands and feet. She became more receptive.

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Their lovemaking became more intense at the same time intimate that their moans spilled out of the room. Hearing them the King began to walk toward the sliding door, which he opened slightly ajar and watched them.

Joo Jin-mo (King) watches the passion burn between Hong & the Queen. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Joo Jin-mo (King) watches the passion burn between Hong & the Queen. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean film festival last 2010 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. The story is loosely based on a real historical figure in Korea named King Gongmin in the tail end of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Feudal times were very chaotic; there were forces eager to gain the throne. Sometimes neighboring kingdoms such as Japan seek to invade their territory. The life of the King is in constant danger. So even in adolescence King Gongmin realizes this and organizes an elite unit of warriors loyal only to him. He chooses boys from as young as 10 years old so he is able to mold their hearts and minds as well as their skills in battle. This special battalion is called Kunryongwe.

Center-Shim Ji-ho (Seung-gi) leads the Kunryongwe. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Center-Shim Ji-ho (Seung-gi) leads the Kunryongwe. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

The kids learn the best techniques in warfare and weaponry. Among these he tests and chooses who among them is the most skilled and above all the most loyal. Gongmin chooses Hong, they learn nearly everything together, the Korean zither- a string instrument called gayageum, archery, even calligraphy. They practically grow up together. The relationship between King Gongmin and Hong become so close that they become lovers. Some scholars dispute the veracity of the real historical Gongmin’s homosexuality depicted in this film. Others suggest there are accounts that the Kunryongwe were not only skilled warriors but were also handsome men.

The Emperor will strip King Gongmin of his right to rule if he does not have an heir soon. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

The Emperor will strip King Gongmin of his right to rule if he does not have an heir soon. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Korea then was divided into several kingdoms. Gongmin was a King of Goryeon but had the rank of a crown prince. This is because Goryeon is subjugated by an Emperor who married his daughter Princess Yuan to Gongmin. After a year of their marriage, the couple was still childless. There was enormous pressure from the Emperor on Gongmin and Queen Yuan to have an heir. As punishment for this his kingdom would be forfeited to another Lord, if they were not to bear a child soon. This was when he thought of urging Hong to conceive a child with the Queen. Who else can he trust with this task than his own lover?

from left:  Zo In-Sung (Hong ), Joo Jin-mo (King), Song Ji Hyo (Queen) and Shim Ji-ho (Seung-gi). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Zo In-Sung (Hong ), Joo Jin-mo (King), Song Ji Hyo (Queen) and Shim Ji-ho (Seung-gi). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung as Chief Hong Lim; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung as Chief Hong Lim; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Cast

Zo In-Sung as the Chief Hong Lim of the Kunryongwe does have the dashing looks of a young Korean film star. He is as physically imposing as one can expect in these days of androgyny in their movie industry. He is known more for his TV work than film, which may garner him even greater name recognition internationally with the popularity of Koreanovellas. Whatever weakness in Zo’s performance was made up for with the sizzling chemistry that he had with Song Ji Hyo who plays Queen Yuan. She earned the Most Popular Actress in a Film award for FROZEN FLOWER.

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from right: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from right: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

It’s the intensity, however, of Joo Jin-mo as King Gongmin that has gained a lot of acclaim. One particularly difficult portion was a very torrid kissing scene with his male co-star and lover Zo. They were both convincing with the passionate male-to-male French kiss but Joo had the added burden of truly being in love.

from right: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from right: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

While being much older it is Joo who ranked fourth in CNNGo’s “South Korea’s Top 20 Hottest Male Celebs”. He also earned his very first Best Actor award at the 45th BaekSang Arts Awards. He was also one of the lead stars in MUSA one of the most epic Korean films ever made which included Zhang Zhi Yi.

Joo Jin-mo (King); A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Joo Jin-mo (King); A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung as Chief Hong Lim; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung as Chief Hong Lim; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

The architecture and landscape of the era is nothing short of breathtaking. Recreating the grand palaces, temples and royal courts was a huge challenge that they were able to achieve. The elaborate and colorful costumes also enhance the authenticity. You can see every cent of the huge budget on screen, which was worth it since it was one of the top earning films of the year. The Production Design category in the Oscars and other countries falls under Art direction in Korea. No surprise it earned Best Art Design 46th Daejong Film Awards.

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

All of these elements contribute in telling a very moving and touching story both written and directed by Yu Ha (who is also a published poet). Beyond the intense and explicit sex scenes we learn that to love and be loved is a great privilege even for a king.

From left: Song Ji Hyo (Queen), Joo Jin-mo (King) and Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

From left: Song Ji Hyo (Queen), Joo Jin-mo (King) and Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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from left:  Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Joo Jin-mo (King). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Joo Jin-mo (King). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Shim Ji-ho (Seung-gi). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Shim Ji-ho (Seung-gi). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from right: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from right: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Joo Jin-mo (King); A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Joo Jin-mo (King); A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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from left:  Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Joo Jin-mo (King). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Joo Jin-mo (King). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Zo In-Sung as Chief Hong Lim; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung as Chief Hong Lim; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Song Ji Hyo as Queen Yuan; A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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from left: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Joo Jin-mo (King) & Zo In-Sung (Hong). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left:  Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Joo Jin-mo (King). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Joo Jin-mo (King). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

flickr:

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Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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

http://judebautista.tumblr.com/

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

WordPress:

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

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Production Design was impressive. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Text-and-Photos-by-Jude-Bautista/146371575384135

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

Zo In-Sung (Hong ) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen) had sizzling scenes. A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

WordPress:

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

from left: Joo Jin-mo (King), Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

from left: Joo Jin-mo (King), Zo In-Sung (Hong) & Song Ji Hyo (Queen). A FROZEN FLOWER was part of the Korean Film fest held in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall (2010).

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Princess Jellyfish: An Otaku Adventure

from left: Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) & Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) & Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

My Delicate, we’re both otaku.

Beloved, thank you for encouraging me to write this.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda) is a handsome man, one of the most popular guys in campus. Unknown to most he is actually even prettier as a woman and loves make up and fashion. In full drag, he looked forward to the Amars group’s sukiyaki night. To this group of reclusive women he was too ‘attractive’ and fashionable. The group prohibits men in their apartment, even women who they deem intimidating, pretty and stylish. They were also all fully convinced he was female. Either way or gender he was unwelcome.

Masaki Suda plays Kuranosuke who is handsome but loves to dress up in women’s clothing. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Masaki Suda plays Kuranosuke who is handsome but loves to dress up in women’s clothing. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Sensing this he bit back, “How old are you women?” Chieko (Azusa Babazono) retorted, “How dare you ask a woman her age!” Still irritated Kuranosuke added, “You’re all NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) aren’t you? You’re in your 30s and yet none of you have a decent and consistent income.” A frantic Mayaya (Rina Ohta) replied, “We’re not NEET! For your information we do have a decent and consistent income…it’s called an allowance!”

Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. For screening schedules click here. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is a live action film based on a successful manga (comic book serial) “Kuragehime” by Akiko Higashimura. It was such a huge hit in 2008 that it was also produced as a popular anime series that has reached the U.S. and other countries. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara), Chieko (Azusa Babazono), Tsukimi (Rena Nounen), Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki) & Mayaya (Rina Ohta). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara), Chieko (Azusa Babazono), Tsukimi (Rena Nounen), Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki) & Mayaya (Rina Ohta). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The film version directed by Yasuhiro Kawamura is hilariously funny, touching and even romantic but goes way beyond that. The story was originally by creator Akiko Higashimura (manga) and the screenplay by Toshiya Ono. The movie is able to deal with serious aspects of the story that the animated series or the comic book versions were not able to convey and made it even more human and relatable. Anyone who has ever had any kind of insecurity will be able to see themselves in the unique and quirky characters.

Princess Jellyfish manga creator Akiko Higashimura has won awards as an artist. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Princess Jellyfish manga creator Akiko Higashimura has won awards as an artist. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

On the surface, it does feel like a teenage comedy because of the directorial treatment, use of animation and effects. But it also deals with a lot of angst. In a way it explains how people become reclusive, while not necessarily judging them. People are who they are, whether or not they fit into definitions or boxes of society’s expectations.

Tomoe Shinohara plays Jiji who has an attraction to images and manga of old men. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Tomoe Shinohara plays Jiji who has an attraction to images and manga of old men. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Otaku

Otaku (オタク) in Japanese slang is ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’. According to Wikiwand: “it’s a more derogatory term; seeing an “otaku” as a person unable to relate to reality… It is typically used to refer to a fan of anime/manga but can also refer to Japanese video games or Japanese culture in general. Some classify distinct groups including anime, manga, camera, automobile, idol and electronics otaku. The economic impact of otaku has been estimated to be as high as ¥2 trillion ($18 billion). According to studies published in 2013, the term has become less negative, and an increasing number of people now self-identify as otaku.”

Actress Chizuru Ikewaki is underneath that Afro as Banba who is obsessed with trains and has train sets all over her room. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Actress Chizuru Ikewaki is underneath that Afro as Banba who is obsessed with trains and has train sets all over her room. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Amars nuns from left: Chieko (Azusa Babazono), Mayaya (Rina Ohta), Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki), Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara) & Tsukimi (Rena Nounen). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Amars nuns from left: Chieko (Azusa Babazono), Mayaya (Rina Ohta), Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki), Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara) & Tsukimi (Rena Nounen). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The Amars group-5 women in the story do fall into this category. They live in an old apartment as roommates in the Amamizu district in Tokyo. Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) is an aspiring illustrator obsessed with jellyfish. Mayaya (Rina Ohta) is into medieval Samurais complete with action figures. Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki) can’t get enough of trains, trains sets and subway trains. Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara) is into Manga but also has a fetish for images of old white haired men whether drawn or photos. And Chieko (Azusa Babazono) is into Ichimatsu Dolls, a traditional Japanese doll that represent little girls or boys, correctly proportioned and usually with flesh-colored skin and glass eyes. Chieko dresses in a kimono and acts like a ‘mom’ to her dolls dressed in a similar costume.

Azusa Babazono plays Chieko who loves kimonos and Ichimatsu Dolls. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Azusa Babazono plays Chieko who loves kimonos and Ichimatsu Dolls. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The Amars group lives in Amamizu kan district in Tokyo. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The Amars group lives in Amamizu kan district in Tokyo. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

FOOD

One of the group’s common passions is food. Kuranosuke gained entry to their Sukiyaki night by bringing them Grade-A Wagyu beef. Apart from Japanese fare they love Chinese food. The most rotund of them Chieko sings a song with the lyrics “We’ll eat siomai, dumplings and Peking Duck!” They call siomai the same way we Filipinos call it. Banba and Mayaya regret not going with the others to Yokohama Chinatown crying in frustration: “They must be having Bird’s Nest soup by now!”

Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Hikikomori and NEET

Apart from their obsessions they are also in a way reclusive. Collectively, they all have an aversion to attractive people who are fashionable and men in general. Sometimes it can reach to paranoid proportions. In one scene, Tsukimi intended to go to a pet shop specializing in jellyfish. But since it was also in a district with students where she saw so many pretty girls. She had a panic attack where she had an impression they were all mocking her for her plain looks. She couldn’t reach the shop and had to run away.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

There’s a very real phenomenon in Japan called Hikikomori (ひきこもり) literally “pulling inward, being confined”, i.e., “acute social withdrawal”) is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. The term hikikomori refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general and the people belonging to this societal group. Hikikomori have been described as recluses, loners, or “modern-day hermits.”- also from wikiwand.

The Amars group lives in Amamizu kan district in Tokyo. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

The Amars group lives in Amamizu kan district in Tokyo. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Their apartment actually also has a 6th occupant, who the Amars group consider their sensei. She is a recluse to the point of being unnamed and unseen. They slip questions underneath her door and she replies by writing as well.

Chizuru Ikewaki (Banba) used a Canon 5D Mk III to shoot a train operator in the driver’s compartment. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Chizuru Ikewaki (Banba) used a Canon 5D Mk III to shoot a train operator in the driver’s compartment. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

NEET or Not in Education Employment or Training is a British acronym adopted in Japan. It is a broad category some of the youth fall into because of economic factors.An article by Kaitlyn Smith–Stagnant Youth: the NEET, freeter, and hikikomori phenomena expounds on the economic and sociological factors that have given rise to NEETs and the Japanese media’s reaction to them. “In a society primarily consisting of older adults, many youth found that it became increasingly difficult to find long-term employment, and as a result many young Japanese became disenfranchised with the Japanese school-to-work system…It (Japanese media/opinion) served to ostracize and punish those who fit the NEET definition, without paying appropriate attention to the social and cultural circumstances that created them.”

from left: Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara), Chieko (Azusa Babazono), Tsukimi (Rena Nounen), Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki) & Mayaya (Rina Ohta). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Jiji (Tomoe Shinohara), Chieko (Azusa Babazono), Tsukimi (Rena Nounen), Banba (Chizuru Ikewaki) & Mayaya (Rina Ohta). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Lesson in Tolerance

For Smith NEET is related to Hikikomori, “In many societies, the youth who feel isolated or rejected tend to form subgroups, to emphasize and idolize the qualities that allow them to be unique individuals. However, Japanese society places an enormous value on conformity and all individuals living and working in unity. Therefore, to those Japanese youth who find themselves unable to conform may find themselves turning to isolation. Rather than work to change themselves, they may find it easier to instead isolate themselves in their rooms, disconnected from society.”

Masaki Suda plays Kuranosuke who is handsome but loves to dress up in women’s clothing. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Masaki Suda plays Kuranosuke who is handsome but loves to dress up in women’s clothing. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

In my view this is how PRINCESS JELLYFISH goes beyond entertainment. While we’re laughing, we learn how and why each character has their obsession, insecurities and fears. Kuranosuke loves to dress up as a woman; one of the reasons is that he is rebelling against his strict politician father. We learn that all of the Amars group members were victims of bullying in school, some of which lead to their life long insecurities.

Princess Jellyfish has a live action movie and anime series. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Princess Jellyfish has a live action movie and anime series. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Even the group has its own prejudices, which we now see is also wrong. We understand, accept and not judge. Sometimes we’re not even aware of the trauma we cause people when we bully them. Or if we were victimized in our youth, we should work to overcome these insecurities and fears that have affected our lives for so long.

Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda) teaches Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) how to use make up, fix her hair and dress nicely. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda) teaches Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) how to use make up, fix her hair and dress nicely. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Azusa Babazono plays Chieko who loves kimonos and Ichimatsu Dolls. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Azusa Babazono plays Chieko who loves kimonos and Ichimatsu Dolls. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen (a Canon M3 endorser) plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen (a Canon M3 endorser) plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Princess Jellyfish has a live action movie and anime series. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Princess Jellyfish has a live action movie and anime series. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Banba is obsessed with trains and has train sets all over her room. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Banba is obsessed with trains and has train sets all over her room. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Princess Jellyfish has a live action movie and anime series. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Princess Jellyfish has a live action movie and anime series. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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

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Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

WordPress:

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Kuragehime magazine cover. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Kuragehime magazine cover. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Tomoe Shinohara plays Jiji who has an attraction to images and manga of old men. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Tomoe Shinohara plays Jiji who has an attraction to images and manga of old men. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Tomoe Shinohara plays Jiji who has an attraction to images and manga of old men. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Tomoe Shinohara plays Jiji who has an attraction to images and manga of old men. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

WordPress:

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

from left: Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) & Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) & Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Actress Chizuru Ikewaki is underneath that Afro as Banba who is obsessed with trains and has train sets all over her room. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Actress Chizuru Ikewaki is underneath that Afro as Banba who is obsessed with trains and has train sets all over her room. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rena Nounen plays Tsukimi who is obsessed with Jellyfish, drawing and painting. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

tumblr:

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Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rina Ohta plays Mayaya who is into Samurai action figures. PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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

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from left: Shu (Hiroki Hasegawa), Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) and Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Shu (Hiroki Hasegawa), Tsukimi (Rena Nounen) and Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda). PRINCESS JELLYFISH is currently showing in RED by HBO. The hit movie premiered in the Philippines at Eiga Sai 2015 organized by Japan Foundation Manila at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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PALE MOON’s Passion & Crime

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

My Warmth, let me steal your heart.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Life has become mundane for Rika (Rie Miyazawa). Her bank uniform hides her slender but womanly figure. She is considered attractive to most but there’s sadness in her face that diminishes it. Her husband seems more concerned with work than her. She has her head down most of the time, that’s why when someone called out her name in the subway she didn’t hear it at first. It was Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) a college student who told her he was the grandson of her client she made a house call to.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

She didn’t give it a second thought, thinking he was just greeting her. As she went down the steps, she realized he was following her. What was she feeling? Was she scared? She lost him when she got on the train. The next day he saw her again across the platform, the opposite way of where she was going. A train whizzes by between them and she’s gone. Kota was disappointed. When he turns around he sees her approaching him. They stood together face to face in the train. They go into a motel room. She suddenly changes her mind and tries to walk out the door. Without warning he grabs her.

Eiga sai sponsors

PALE MOON is one of many films you can watch for free at this year’s EIGA SAI Film festival running from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. Make sure to check screening schedules and arrive early as tickets are on a first come first served basis. This fest marks the 60 Years of Philippines-Japan Friendship and (JFM) Japan Foundation Manila’s 20th Anniversary. JFM is the film festival’s main organizer.

from left: Shang Plaza Mktg Div Head Marline Concio–Dualan, CCP Artistic Dir/ Cinemalaya Festival Dir Chris Millado, JFM Dir Hiroaki Uesugi and Cinemalaya Associate Festival Dir Tess Rances. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Shang Plaza Mktg Div Head Marline Concio–Dualan, CCP Artistic Dir/ Cinemalaya Festival Dir Chris Millado, JFM Dir Hiroaki Uesugi and Cinemalaya Associate Festival Dir Tess Rances. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. Photo by Jude Bautista

This year EIGA SAI has allied with CINEMALAYA and will have a screenings at the CCP on (July 8, August 6, 9, 10 and 12). On July 8, there will be a one-time special screening of Director Harada’s film: THE EMPEROR IN AUGUST at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino. It includes a Director’s Talk, where Masato Harada shares his experience and knowledge about the art and his career in filmmaking. His second Director’s Talk, focusing on the making of KAKEKOMI, will be held at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 on July 9.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners.
Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

PALE MOON is based on bestselling novel PAPER MOON by Kakuta Mitsuyo. On the surface it seems like a typical melodrama about morality. But it is far more than that, there are a lot of layers and alludes to the role of women and what it means to be truly liberated from the expectations of society.

Trailer

from left: Sumi (Satomi Kobayashi) and Rika (Rie Miyazawa) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

from left: Sumi (Satomi Kobayashi) and Rika (Rie Miyazawa) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays main character Rika Umezawa, which won for her a Best Actress Award at the Tokyo Intl Film fest and the 38th Japan Academy Awards. The film also won Audience Choice for director Daihachi Yoshida in TIFF. The Best Actress award is one of many for Miyazawa she’s won for TWILIGHT SAMURAI, which was nominated as Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars. She also earned Best Actress in Moscow International Film Fest for Hong Kong produced PEONY PAVILLON. Rie started off as a model to become one of Japan’s most respected and admired actresses.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Her character here in PALE MOON seems meek but discovers an inner strength to break the rules. Soon after starting an extra marital affair she begins to pinch an amount here and there in her job at the bank. She takes advantage of clerical mistakes of a co-worker and is soon emboldened. From small gifts of expensive watches for her young lover it grows more and more. There are the luxurious getaways in 5 star hotels, Apple Macintosh computer and even a luxury car.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Spending on her lover however is only an excuse. There’s a desire in her to break conventions for her perceived higher purpose. This started during her days as a child in Catholic school. There was this seed of wanting to be free from rules as opposed to stealing money for material needs. She becomes addicted to the freedom of choice that money affords her, even though she knows it’s fleeting.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

All screenings are free and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but admission process may differ according to venues. Screening venues are at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 (July 7 to 17), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Davao (July 22 to 24), FDCP Cinematheque, Davao (July 26 to 30), Cultural Center of the Philippines (July 8, August 6, 9, 10 and 12), SM Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (August 11 to 14), FDCP Cinematheque Baguio (August 15), Ayala Center Cebu (August 17 to 21) and UP Film Institute (August 17 to 20).

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

EIGASAI is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM Baguio City, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Muji, Watami, Crystal Cup Ozeki Philippines, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Masafumi (Seiichi Tanabe) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Masafumi (Seiichi Tanabe) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners.Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

WordPress:

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

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

All screenings are free and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but admission process may differ according to venues. Screening venues are at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 (July 7 to 17), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Davao (July 22 to 24), FDCP Cinematheque, Davao (July 26 to 30), Cultural Center of the Philippines (July 8, August 6, 9, 10 and 12), SM Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (August 11 to 14), FDCP Cinematheque Baguio (August 15), Ayala Center Cebu (August 17 to 21) and UP Film Institute (August 17 to 20).

Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

EIGASAI is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM Baguio City, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Muji, Watami, Crystal Cup Ozeki Philippines, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners.
Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rika (Rie Miyazawa) and Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu) in PALE MOON. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch this movie and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

All screenings are free and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but admission process may differ according to venues. Screening venues are at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 (July 7 to 17), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Davao (July 22 to 24), FDCP Cinematheque, Davao (July 26 to 30), Cultural Center of the Philippines (July 8, August 6, 9, 10 and 12), SM Baguio Cinema, Baguio City (August 11 to 14), FDCP Cinematheque Baguio (August 15), Ayala Center Cebu (August 17 to 21) and UP Film Institute (August 17 to 20).

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners.Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

EIGASAI is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM Baguio City, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Muji, Watami, Crystal Cup Ozeki Philippines, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Rie Miyazawa plays Rika. Rie was a famous model and endorser before she became one of Japan’s most admired actresses. © 2014 “Pale Moon” Film Partners. Watch PALE MOON and many others for free at the EIGA SAI film fest from July 7 to 17, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.