Bicolano, Papampango and Ilocano in Cinemalaya films
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
The premiere independent film fest in the country has already featured films set in the different regions of the Philippines. Last year alone, Cinemalaya New Breed Best Picture DIABLO was shot in Nueva Ecija and even abroad MGA DAYO shot in GUAM. Cinemalaya 2013 has several films that are set in regions and may even include dialects from those places like Bicolano, Ilocano and Pampango.
The general auditions phase where all filmmakers are together to shortlist actors were recently concluded last January 20. Among the actors seen that day Marife Necesito, Aleera Montalla, Menggie Cobarubias, Joe Gruta, Gerhard Acao and Arnold Reyes. Some are young TV personalities like Anne Curtis’ lovely younger sister Jasmine Curtis and Kylie Padilla.
The actual fest will run from July 26 to August 4, 2013 and will screen films not just at the Cultural Center of the Phil but also in Greenbelt and TRINOMA malls. Fluency in the dialects was given a plus by several directors.
The main competition or NEW BREED category has a total of 10 films: DIPLOMAT HOTEL by Christopher Ad. Castillo, TRANSIT by Hannah Espia, SIYAM by Joseph Israel Laban, BABAGWA by Jason Paul C. Laxamana, PRIMERA BELLA by Richard S. Legaspi, PUROK 7 by Carlo Obispo, DAVID F by Emmanuel Palo, REKORDER by Mikhail Red, QUICK CHANGE by Eduardo Roy Jr. and DEBOSYON by Alvin B. Yapan.
DEBOSYON by Alvin Yapan in the New Breed category is about Mando (Paulo Avelino), a Bikolano devotee of Ina, Virgin of Peñafrancia, Patroness of Bikolandia. Mando injures himself in the middle of the forest at the foot of the Mayon Volcano. He is nursed back to health by a mysterious woman, Salome (Mara Lopez) living there. They eventually fall in love with each other. But when Mando invites her to come with him to the plains, Salome refuses, saying a curse prohibits her from leaving the forest. Salome holds a secret that will devastate Mando’s love for her. Mando relies on his devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia to lift the curse, making him realize just how inextricably linked are the virtues of love and faith.
The synopsis was provided by producer Alemberg Ang who is also involved in another Cinemalaya film – DIPLOMAT HOTEL. Ang was all praises for Paulo Avelino the male lead in DEBOSYON on his facebook wall. He shared that Avelino insisted on being auditioned by Alvin Yapan and is now learning Bicolano, months before the shooting date. The effort and professionalism is evidence of the hard work that paid off from their original team up in last year’s Cinemalaya. Avelino won Best Actor while Alvin Yapan won Best Director and Best Picture for “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa” at the URIAN awards.
News website Interaksyon reported that PUROK 7 by Carlo Obispo is a countryside comedy that follows 14-year-old Diana and her younger brother who are on their own. Set in a remote purok or village, the film features the lighter side of a country lifestyle. The main characters take advantage of the fun and thrills of the town festival to make their childhood sweet and memorable. Pampango is spoken in southern half of Tarlac while Ilocano and Pangalatok are more prevalent in the northern part of the province.
THE DIPLOMAT HOTEL is written and Directed by Christopher Ad Castillo. The story revolves around a disgraced reporter. He seeks redemption by leading his documentary crew to spend one night and tell the story of what really happened at the haunted and infamous Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City. The dialect will most likely be a combination of Ilocano, Tagalog and English.
DAVID F by Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Palo is the story of an African-American soldier who sided with the Filipinos during the Philippine-American war. Palo was widely praised for his film STA. NIÑA that starred Coco Martin and Alessandra De Rossi. Palo has said that stories from his home province of Pampanga are close to his heart, DAVID F may not be an exception.
SANA DATI by Jerrold Tarog is a love story about a woman whose wedding is thrown into disarray. A mysterious person arrives and reminds her of the man she really loves. It is the third part of Tarog’s Camera Trilogy after “Confessional” (Cinema One Originals 2007) and “Mangatyanan” (Cinemalaya 2009). Direk Jerrold said that SANA DATI is set in La Union but most dialogue will be in Tagalog.
Knowledge of dialects is an advantage for those being cast in these films. A lot of established actors have already expressed their desire to participate in Cinemalaya. Competition Committee Head Laurice Guillen said, “We always have a mix of big names. People who already have shows have names already in show business but would like to be in a Cinemalaya film so they come here. And we also have people who come in who’ve never had any experience.”
EXTRAS by Jeffrey Jeturian is in the Director’s showcase category and ironically, has Governor Vilma Santos in the lead role. Head of the monitoring Committee Mel Chionglo was among the panel that attended the auditions. Chionglo replaced Robbie Tan who served for 8 years.
Other films in the Director’s category are: PORNO by Adolf B. Alix Jr., AMOR’Y MUERTE by Cesar Evangelista, THE LIARS by Gil M. Portes and SANA DATI by Jerrold Tarog.
This entry was posted on January 23, 2013 by jude bautista. It was filed under Cinemalaya, Film, People, TV and was tagged with Adolf B. Alix Jr., African-American soldier, Aleera Montalla, Alemberg Ang, Alessandra De Rossi, Alvin B. Yapan, Alvin Yapan, AMOR’Y MUERTE, Arnold Reyes, BABAGWA, Baguio City, Best Actor, Best Director Best Picture, Best Picture, Bicolano, Bikolano devotee, Carlo Obispo, Cesar Evangelista, Christopher Ad. Castillo, Cinemalaya 2013, Cinemalaya New Breed, Coco Martin, Competition Committee Head, Cultural Center of the Phil, DAVID F, DEBOSYON, Diablo, DIPLOMAT HOTEL, Eduardo Roy Jr., Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Palo, Emmanuel Palo, English, EXTRAS, facebook wall, Filipinos, Gerhard Acao, Gil M. Portes, Greenbelt, GUAM, Hannah Espia, Head of the monitoring Committee, Ilocano, Ina, Interaksyon, Jasmine Curtis, Jason Paul C. Laxamana, Jeffrey Jeturian, Jerrold Tarog, Joe Gruta, Joseph Israel Laban, Kylie Padilla, Laurice Guillen, love and faith, Mando, Mara Lopez, Marife Necesito, Mayon Volcano, Mel Chionglo, Menggie Cobarubias, Mga Dayo, Mikhail Red, New Breed Category, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pampango, Pangalatok, Patroness of Bikolandia, Paulo Avelino, Philippine-American war, PORNO, PRIMERA BELLA, purok, PUROK 7, QUICK CHANGE, REKORDER, Richard S. Legaspi, Salome, SANA DATI, SIYAM, Sta Niña, synopsis, Tagalog, Tarlac, THE DIPLOMAT HOTEL, THE LIARS, TRANSIT, TRINOMA malls, URIAN awards, vAng Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, Vilma Santos, Virgin of Peñafrancia.