(A REPOST) cinemalaya memories…

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FROM SSSIP 🙂 : This is one of the highest post/entries on my blog.

the cultural center of the philippines

It was one cool and windy evening as I sat near the fountain area at the facade of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I walked up near the main entrance glass doors of the CCP. I saw the dark blue skies, the stars… the moon. I saw the lights of the vehicles nearby. The whole world was on my sight. What a beauty.
The wind blew harder, embracing me, touching my skin, whispering something I couldn’t hear. This evening was one evening I will never forget.
My Cinemalaya 2011 memories.

Just a while ago on this very night, I was staring at the handsome face of an actor named JM de Guzman. I could almost embrace his soul as he looked straight into my eyes. It was an intimate, but quite a “rush interview”. But somehow, amidst the mobs of his fans, I managed to grab him in a far corner of a fabulous restaurant in Harbour Square, near CCP.

jm de guzman

I felt the sincerity of this actor. For me, he is the living form of “art”. He is ‘Cinemalaya’ in a human form. An angel sent there. Of beauty. Of love…
And I remembered the film “Cinema Paradiso”. It was a film about a young man and his love for the cinema and the only woman in his life. It was a very beautiful Italian film. A classic. I could feel the soul of that movie on this very night. I could imagine JM as the actor portraying the main lead role, and I? Maybe I was the soul of that woman… but the wind didn’t seem to agree coz it blew harder on my face…

a scene from "cinema paradiso"

The dinner-interview with JM’s co-star Carizza Cortez and the rest of the cast of “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank” was overflowing with crispy patas, kare-kare, fried lumpias, fish fillets, sinigang na baboy and many others. I was bloated so well after the dinner. It was after their gala night that night at the CCP for Cinemalaya 2011.

maria isabel at cannes, was with me one whole day at cinemalaya....

The next day, I was with beauty queen Miss Maria Isabel Lopez, hanging around the interior grounds of CCP. Watching films, meeting artistic people, eating ginataan (sweet coconut milk mixed with camotes, bananas, etc.) and drinking coffee. Maribel is one actress I always loved to be with because of her positive attitude and lively character. She could carry me well and transform my low moods into upbeat ones.
I met indie film directors and interviewed them, too. The likes of Loy Larcenas, Rommel Sales, Emerson Reyes, Law Fajardo, Wardo Yor. Bumped-in with well-known directors like Joel Lamangan, Jeffrey Jetturian, Marlon Rivera, Alvin Yapan, Jerold Tarog, Mel Chionglo, Auraeus Solito, Gil Portes, Adolf Alix, Jr., Mikhail Red, Rafa Santos, Buboy ‘Neal’ Tan, Sheron Dayoc, Pepe Diokno, Francis Xavier Pasion, Joey Agbayani and many more. Film directors all.
You could only see them in a festival like this one. In harmony, in unison, in a perfect gathering form and symmetry. I felt within me, I was a part of them.
Sometimes, I was watching films and before I knew it, famous talent manager Ms. Girlie Rodis was already seated at my back together with mainstream movie producer Mother Lily Monteverde. And I would see critics and movie writers like Mario Escobar Bautista, Edgar Cruz, Alwyn Ignacio, Ronald Carballo, Mell T. Navarro, Ricky Calderon, Lito Manago, Gayace Domingo, and many more.
Talent manager Manny Valera would spare me a little cash one time when I got “short”. While another manager, Mr. Leo Dominguez would treat me for fabulous dinners at Japanese, French and Chinese restaurants.
The films I saw were like eternity. “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank”, “Cuchera”, “Busong”, “Ang Sayaw Ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa”, “Nino”, “Patikul”, “I-Libings”, “Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me” and others more. As I looked at the screen, everything was magical. Everything was like a dream. Come true.
Mingling with the stars at the CCP main lobbies (there’s a lobby, too at the 2nd floor and also one at the 3rd floor), the red-carpeted stairs, the basement exhibit floor, the other little theaters- was, like a feeling of ‘deja vu’. It’s as if I had met them somewhere before. And it was on this event that we all managed to make one dream come true…. stars and actresses and actors like Miss Jean Garcia, Rez Cortez, Racquel Villavicencio, Eugene Domingo, Rocco Nacino,Ricky Davao, Kean Cipriano, Ricky Davao, Janna Tiangco, Edgar Allan Guzman, Ina Feleo, Miss Laurice Guillen, Mara Isabella Yokohama, Allen Dizon, Jonathan Neri, Isadora, Rico Barrera, Dimples Romana, and so many more….
Time well spent. Every minute of my moves and fast walks along the classy interiors of the CCP, I would meet friends, some old, old friends, some friends who just came back from abroad, some surprising friends I would suddenly meet- wow! Wherever I went, there was an activity, even when I ate at the canteen, even when I went to the restroom,or when I smoked a cigarette outside the main entrance facade of the CCP, something good will happen. oh my, pretty amazing….
Most important thing was, I even met new friends. Like theater actor named JR Macanas, and student practitioners Daryl Alcantara and his friend Neydine…also some more indie film actors, production people, some movie fans, photographer-friends… and a lot of film addicts…

How I wished the next Cinemalaya would be next month again. But it would be next year. I would wait again for another 12 months.
But I knew, it would be worth the wait…

As I heard the upbeat and titillating music of the drums at the opening night festivities of Cinemalaya and again at the awards night, I clearly knew that the soul of the film arts invited me there and somehow said: “You’re home.”
Yes, I was home now… I was finally home after a hard journey and a tiring search. And the drums kept on playing.
Actor and band singer Kean Cipriano danced along with the rhythm of the drums as he was being flocked by the media people before he entered the main theater at the awards night. His dance was so inviting. And I looked at him, though, he didn’t see me. He felt the spirit coming-in …And I felt it, too. The music and the arts, indeed, was our own loving and unique souls.
Cinemalaya forevermore.

a 'naked' dance amidst the rhythm of the drums with kean...

words by robert manuguid silverio


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top fashion designer ms. edie baddeo with a model.

Isa sa mga tinitingalang “icon” sa fashion scene ay walang iba kundi si Miss Eddie Baddeo. Ang mga disenyo ng kanyang mga damit ay orihinal ang approach, sexy and outlandish, moderno, babaeng-babae ang dating. Kaya naman naging paborito siya ng mga sikat na celebrities tulad nina Miss Melanie Marquez at Ruffa Guttierez. Kaya naman, isa siya sa aming personal “choices” na hingan ng kanyang sarili ring choices sa TOP 10 FASHIONISTAS. Mataas kasi ang respeto namin sa fashion designer na ito, together with Mr. Larry Leviste, na mas beterano kay Eddie at tinitingala talaga (we will ask Mr. Leviste’s choices sa top 10 fashionistas soon).
So there. Naririto ang mga choices ni Miss Eddie Baddeo:
1.) LUCY TORRES- “So simple, yet so classy.”
2.) ANGEL AQUINO- “Model na model ang dating niya.”
3.) MIKEE COJUANGCO- “Naro’n sa kanya ang touch ng pananamit ng mom niyang si Tintin Cojuangco, kuha niya.”
4.) MARICAR REYES- “Always poised.”
5.) WILMA DOESNT- “Statuesque.”
6.) GRETCHEN BARRETTO- “Ang galing ng taste niya sa mga damit.”
7.) CHARO SANTOS- “Outstanding, very corporate.”
8.) CHARLENE GONZALES- “Charming ang pananamit niya.”
9.) PIA GUANIO- “Revealing.”
10.) ANNE CURTIS- “Girlish, gigglish ang dating. But her being slim is so fabulous. Carry niya ang mga damit niya.”


So there. Bilib kami sa galing mga personal choices ni Miss Eddie Baddeo sa “Top 10 Fashionistas”. Iba na talaga ang mga mata ng mga magagaling!

words by robert manuguid silverio


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Angelo Falconi, one of the most promising celebrity hairdressers gives his own list of THE TOP 5 BEST IN STYLE, HAIR AND MAKEUP. Both male actors and female actresses. One of his 4 salons (he has branches in Davao, Gen. Santos City and Cavite) is located at Shell Almanza in Alabang-Zapote Road. Mr. Falconi is one of the most promising “new breed” of hairdressers in the art of beauty!

Here are his lists:

1.) PIOLO PASCUAL- “Magaling manamit. He maintained his good looks.”

2.) RAFAEL ROSSEL- “He always looks good.”

3.) AKIHIRO SATO- “Animalistic appeal. Ang lakas ng “it” or appeal. Ang galing ng face niya.”

4.) DENNIS TRILLO- “Habang tinititigan mo, lalong gumuguwapo.”

5.) AGA MUHLACH- “Walang kakupas-kupas.”


1.) GRETCHEN BARRETTO- “Miss Flawless Skin”.

2.) KRISTINE HERMOSA- “Sobrang ganda ng mukha.”

3.) LUCY TORRES-GOMEZ- “Iba talaga ang beauty niya.”

4.) CHARLENE GONZALES-MUHLACH- “Talagang beauty, mahirap pantayan.”

5.) ANDI EIGENMANN- “Sobrang sosyal ng mukha.”

words by robert manuguid silverio


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fanny tf serrano: a beauty all his own...

He or she is also a great beauty all his own….

Yung na-achieve ni Fanny TF Serrano in terms of uplifting the image of people in the beauty industry, hindi na siguro madu-duplicate pa ng iba.Napakalaki rin ng naitulong at na-contribute niya sa showbiz industry. Hindi lamang sa pagke-create ng mga glamorosang image sa mga local actresses natin, kundi pati na rin sa kagalingan niya bilang isang aktor. Yes, Philippine showbiz will never be the same again without Fanny TF Serrano.
Kamakailan lang, nagwagi si Fanny TF Serrano ng Best Actor trophy (his very first) sa Gawad Tanglaw Awards (an award-giving body composed of professors, teachers, critics and literary agents) para sa indie film niyang “Tarima”. At ang magandang buena-mano na yun ng pagkapanalo ni TF ay nasundan naman ngayon ng isang nomination sa Golden Screen Awards ng Enpress. At isa pa sa PMPC Star Awards at sinundan pa rin ng isa sa Gawad URIAN. Kaya naman talagang masaya si TF these days.
Anyway, kung sino man ang nasa “authority” para mamili ng kanyang choices bilang BEST LOOKERS sa showbiz industry, yun ay walang iba kundi si TF rin. First, because he truly belongs in the showbiz world and mingled intimately and closely to the stars, second, ilang dekada na rin siyang laging nasa top ng beauty industry, and third, his taste and class can never be questioned.
So there. Naririto ang list ni Fanny TF Serrano para sa TOP 12 BEST FEMALE LOOKERS IN PHILIPPINE SHOWBIZ. Sinabi namin kay TF na ang mga choices niya dapat ay yung mga artistang nagiging outstanding at naga-outshine ang kagandahan kapag “made-up” na. Meaning, kapag sila ay naayusan na talaga in terms of make-up, hair and clothes. Tipong very stylish na. Kaya naririto ang mga choices ni TF:
Topping TF’s number one choice is no less than Miss Sharon Cuneta. At heto ang mga explanations ni TF:


“Maski sa malayo ay naggo-glow ang beauty ni Sharon. Ang number one best quality ng kagandahan niya ay ang kanyang charm. Sharon is sooooo charming! At maski may tampo ka sa kanya dahil naipit siya sa schedules niya, malayo pa lang, kapag nguniti na siya sa yo , hay naku, mawawala na ang tampo mo sa kanya! Her beauty is the best for me!”
On the number 2 position naman, pinili ni TF ang kakaiba ring kagandahan ni Miss Lorna Tolentino:


“Classic ang beauty ni Lorna. Hindi nagbabago. Habang tumatagal, lalo pa rin siyang gumaganda! Ilang dekada na siya sa pagiging isang dramatic actress pero ang kagandahan niya ay hindi kumukupas. At maski ano’ng iayos mo kay Lorna, bumabagay sa kanya!”
On the top 3rd slot, ibinigay naman ni TF ang karangalan kay Miss Ruffa Guttierez, at narito ang masasabi niya:


“Ruffa is beauty queen na beauty queen ang dating. The way she walks, the way she smiles, everything. At gustong-gusto ko rin yung the way Ruffa carries herself. Looker talaga si Ruffa!”
Number four naman sa list ni TF si Miss Gretchen Barretto:


“Doon sa teleserye niyang Magkaribal sa channel 2 last year, talaga lagi ko siyang pinapanood at inaabangan! Kasabik-sabik ang mga ayos niya at pananamit sa teleseryeng iyon. Class na class ang mga taste niya. Alam ni Gretchen ang tama at nararapat sa kanya and she sticked to it. With that, hanga talaga ako sa beauty niya.”
At take note, umabot sa top 5 slot na choice ni TF ang beauty naman ng bagets na singer-actress na walang iba kundi si Miss Sarah Geronimo:


“Yes, ibang kagandahan ni Sarah! Nakita ko na ang hitsura ni Sarah nuon pang naging judge ako sa Star In A Million kung saan siya sumali at nag-umpisa. Ang dating pa niya that time ay tipong TH (trying hard) to become a celebrity. Pero nalampasan niya ang stage na iyon so beautifully. Parang isang cocoon na nag-transform into a very beautiful butterfly. Kahit anong ipasuot mo na damit kay Sarah, at kahit anong ayos, bumabagay sa kanya! Isa pang factor kasi yung kababaan ng loob ni Sarah, yun ang nagpapaganda ng husto sa kanya. Her inner beauty. At si Sarah kasi, kapag namake-up-an na, lalong gumaganda, lalong nagsa-shine ang beauty! Naggo-glow ng husto! Kapag totally ‘made-up’ na siya, lutang na lutang naman ang kagandahan niya. Simple lang ang beauty ni Sarah, pero ang kagandahan niya ay ‘Gandang Pinay’. At maski walang makeup si Sarah, kakaiba ang beauty niya. Kaya best looker siya sa akin!”
On the sixth position naman, walang iba kundi si Miss Charlene Gonzales:

“Kagandahan din ng kalooban ang dahilan kung bakit napakaganda ni Charlene. Authentic ang beauty niya. Hindi put-on. At mapa-less or more ang make-up at ayos ni Charlene, very pleasing pa rin sa mga mata ng mga taong tumitingin sa kanya, tulad ko.”
On the number 7 slot ng pagiging Best female Looker sa list ni TF, napunta naman yun kay Miss KC Concepcion, ang unica hija ni Miss Sharon Cuneta:


“Si KC ay parang isang scientist. She likes to experiment on so many things when it comes to make-up, hair and clothes. She is an experimentalist. Young, adventurer-free-spirited-type si KC. At yung pagiging expeimentalist niya, lalong nagpapaganda sa kanya! She’s feisty! She always want to change something in her style. From sweet image look, she can transform din herself to a sexy look. Ganyan si KC. Hindi lang isang look ang napaglalaruan niya sa sarili niya. And I really admire her for that!”
Number 8 ang asawa ni Robin Padilla na si Mariel Rodriguez!


“Si Mariel, kakaiba rin ang beauty. May sarili siyang taste on her clothes and style kaya alam din niya ang bagay sa kanyang kaayusan. And even without make-up, Mariel is very pretty talaga. May charm din siya.”
Number 9 naman ang legendary Concert Queen and total performer na si Miss Pops Fernandez:


“Like KC Concepcion, Pops Fernandez is also an experimentalist. Enjoying soooo much of trying different looks with her face. And no doubt about it, napakaganda talaga ni Pops!”
Umabot naman sa number 10 ang kakaibang beauty ni Miss AiAi delas Alas sa listahan ni TF!


“At bakeeet? Marahil ay nagtataka at nagulat kayo, no? Kasi Robert, ang list na ito ay sinabi mong Best female Looker, at yung mga artistang the best ang ganda kapag totally made-up na. Eh kadalasan, si Aiai lang ang nagme-make-up sa sarili niya. So, hindi dapat na mawala sa listahan na ito si AiAi! Kasi, si Aiai, kakaiba ang beauty kapag naayusan mo na ng husto. Lumalabas ang tunay na kagandahan niya. At sexy din si Aiai at magandang manamit.”
Number 11 naman ang beauty ni Miss Regine Velasquez sa listahan na ito:


“You see, Robert, si Regine kasi she also enjoys doing her own make-up trying new look with her costume changes. At lahat ng yun ay bumabagay sa kanya. She can transform herself!”


And last but not the least, on the number 12th position, no less than the sister of our President, Miss Kris Aquino:
“Si Kris, simple lang din ang beauty, pero nag-glow siya lalo when she became a wife and a mom. Si Kris din, nagsa-shine pang lalo kapag naayusan mo na.”
So there, dear readers of SSSIP. Ito po ang mga choices ni Fanny TF Serrano sa Top 12 Best Female Lookers in Philippine Showbiz. Kanya-kanya namang taste yan, kaya sana, yung mga hindi nakasali sa mga choices ni TF ay huwag magtampo. Dahil para sa amin, the best itong mga napili ni TF!–

words by robert manuguid silverio

INSULTO SA SCREENWRITERS (ang naganap sa cinemalaya 2011 awards night)… by Jerry Gracio

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the balanghai image in which the balanghai trophy of cinemalaya was patterned. a screenwriter asks: "why there is no balanghai trophy for best screenplay for director's showcase category" at cinemalaya 2011?"

By Jerry Gracio on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 4:26am

Bilang screenwriter, nainsulto ako sa hindi pagbibigay ng Cinemalaya jury sa taong ito ng Best Screenplay Award sa Directors Showcase.

Hindi ako nainsulto dahil hindi ako ang nanalo. Sanay na akong matalo. At sanay na rin akong binibigyan ng award, hindi ko na kailangan [yabang lang ‘to]. Dahil awards lang naman ang konsuwelo ng screenwriters sa Pilipinas. Lalo pa’t maraming screenwriters ang hindi binabayaran nang tama.

Nainsulto ako dahil pakiramdam ko, ang Cinemalaya, na bastion sa pagpapalaganap ng bago at tamang kalakaran sa industriya ay siya mismong nangunguna sa pagbabale-wala sa mga manunulat.

Nagsisimula ang Cinemalaya sa pagpili ng pinakamahusay na screenplay. Ibig sabihin, bago ka matanggap sa Cinemalaya, kailangan mong mag-submit ng concept at sequence treatment. Batay sa treatment at sa concept, mamimili ang Cinemalaya Screening Committee ng finalists na mapapasama sa top 10, at bibigyan ng grant bilang seed money para magawa ang pelikula.

Ibig sabihin, kung nakapasok ang proyekto mo sa Cinemalaya, hindi ito dahil sa kaibigan mo ang mga nasa committee kundi dahil sa maganda at may promise ang iyong concept at treatment. Ibig sabihin, maganda ang iyong screenplay.

Ngayon, kahit ano pa ang sabihin, kahit sabihin pa na may mga direktor na nakakagawa ng pelikula gamit lang ang palara ng yosi, ang unang batayan ng pagpili ng mga makakapasok sa Cinemalaya ay screenplay. Sabi nga sa akin ni Robbie Tan, puwede kang magsumite ng script sa Cinemalaya at kapag pumasa, sila ang magrerekomenda ng direktor para sa iyong materyal.

Kaya hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit hindi nagbigay ng Best Screenplay award ang Cinemalaya jury. Maiintindihan ko kung walang Special Jury Prize. Baka may magandang screenplay pero pangit ang execution. O may pangit na screenplay na nakalusot sa mata ng screening committee at nang magawa nang pelikula, na-validate ng jury na pangit ang konsepto at script na iyon at hindi dapat nakalusot sa pinagpipitaganang panlasa ng jury.

Ano ang ibig sabihin ng hindi pagbibigay ng best screenplay award?

Na pangit ang lahat ng screenplay sa Directors Showcase? E di sana hindi na ito pinondohan ng Cinemalaya. Na magkahiwalay ang script at pelikula? Na kahit pangit ang screenplay, magiging maganda pa rin ang pelikula? Ano na ang silbi ng mga screenwriter? E di huwag na lang mag-submit ng script sa Cinemalaya. I-submit na lang natin ang pangalan ng mga direktor at batay sa mga pangalan, magdesisyon na lang ang Committee kung sino ang dapat at hindi dapat bigyan ng grant.

Ilang beses na rin akong nag-script doctor para sa Cinemalaya. Binabayaran ako ng 5,000 para busisiin ang script. At pag sinabi kong busisi, hindi ito nitpicking, para akong nagsusulat ng bagong screenplay. Pumapayag ako, kahit na kulang ang 5,000 para makabili ng cat food, lalo na kung ang pusa mo ay imported. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit nagsusulat ako ng pelikula para sa Cinemalaya kahit 10 o 15 thousand lang ang bayad, o kung minsan, libre na lang, beer na lang, o skyflakes, o cat food, kahit na sa totoong buhay, mas mahal ang cat food kaysa sa pagkain ng tao. Pumapayag ako dahil naniniwala ako sa Cinemalaya: na naniniwala ang Cinemalaya sa kahalagahan ng mga writers. Dahil naniniwala ako na itinataguyod ng Cinemalaya ang sining, kasama na ang mga manunulat.

Pero hindi ko ito naramdaman kanina.

Nainsulto ako. At pasensiya na kung kailangan ko ng mahabang note para iparating ang sakit na nararamdaman ko sa pang-iinsulto sa akin bilang screenwriter.

Initerbyu ako kanina at sinabi ko na “ganyan talaga, desisyon ‘yan ng jury at dapat nating tanggapin ang desisyon.” Binabawi ko na ang sinabi ko. Hindi ko tinatanggap at hindi ko matatanggap ang nangyaring insulto kanina. Lalot na’t dalawa sa miyembro ng jury ang screenwriter.

Pero dahil friends tayo lahat sa showbiz, sigurado ako na isang araw lang, makakalimutan na ito ng mga manunulat.

Magandang umaga.

Mabuhay ang Cinemalaya!

(from inquirer.net) Cinemalaya 2011 awards winners bared …By Katherine Evangelista

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i betted on this film to win! and it did grab the BEST PICTURE for new breed category!
eugene domingo, best actress for new breed category at last night's cinemalaya 2011.
edgar allan duzman, beated so many strong contenders for best actor (new breed) at cinemalaya 2011.

Source Link: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/6763/cinemalaya-2011-awards-winners-bared
By Katherine Evangelista

MANILA, Philippines – It was a night for the big winners during the Cinemalaya 2011 Awards Night.
The awarding ceremony held at the Cultural Center Philippines Sunday evening was hosted by TV personality Paolo Bediones and award-winning actress Angel Aquino.
Eugene Domingo (“Kimidora,” “Here Comes the Bride”) won the award for Best Actress for the New Breed Full-length Category for her role in “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank.”
“Kailangan ko pang kumain ng tae para lang manalo nito,” Domingo quipped after receiving her award.
Domingo played herself in the film where she was cast for a role in an upcoming independent film.
Marlon Rivera won the Best Director Award for New Breed Full Length Category for the film “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank.” The film also won Best Film for the same category.
The script was written by Chris Martinez (“Here Comes the Bride,” “Kimidora,” “100”), who won the Best Screenplay Award and Audience Choice Award for the New Breed Full Length Category.
“Busong” director Aureus Solito (“Pisay”) won the Best Director Award while” Bisperas,” directed by Jeffrey Jeturian (“Kubrador”) won the Best Film for the Director’s Showcase Category.
The Best Actor Award for the New Breed Full Length category was snagged by Edgar Allan Guzman for “Ligo na U, Lapit na Me.”
“Bisperas,” directed by award-winning film maker Jeffrey Jeturian, which is about a middle-class family who finds their home burglarized on Christmas Eve, won Best Film for the Director’s Showcase category.
The film also won Best Production Design (Rodrigo Liceo) and Best Cinematography (Roberto Iniguez) for the Director’s Showcase Category.
Julia Clarete and Raquel Villavicencio both won the Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress awards, respectively, for their roles in “Bisperas” also for the Director’s Showcase.
Veteran actor Rafael “Bembol” Rocco won Best Actor for the Director’s Showcase for his portrayal of a man who fathered a fish in the film “Isda.”
“Patikul,” directed by veteran film maker Joel Lamangan, is about a group of parents in a war-stricken, far-flung village in Patikul, Sulu, who took it upon themselves to ensure the safety of local public school teachers just so their kids can continue with their education. “Patikul” won the Audience Choice Award for the Director’s Showcase and was named as the Best Film for Children.
Jaime Pebangco also won the Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Patikul.” also for the Director’s Showcase.
“Walang Katapusang Kwarto” by Emerson Reyes also won several awards for the New Breed Short Film including Best Film, Best Screenplay and Audience Choice Award.
Milo Tolentino won Best Director for the New Breed Short Film Category for his film “Ninobonito.”

Movies in my mind…by alwyn ignacio (guest writer)

Rafa Santos' "samarito" poster
Dax Bungay in "Busong"
paulo avelino and rocco nacino in "sayaw ng dalawang kaliwang paa"

by Alwyn Ignacio
on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 11:57am

Of the many movies currently showing in the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2011, topping my “must-see” list is Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, directed by the tandem of Alemberg Ang and Alvin Yapan. The film is part of the New Breed Full Length category.

Ang Sayaw is about the out-of-the-ordinary student-teacher relationship between Karen (Jean Garcia), a literature/poetry professor who moonlights as the university dance studio choreographer, and two young male danseurs, Marlon (Paolo Avelino) and Dennis (Rocco Nacino).

Marlon has the “hots” for his teacher so he “hires” Dennis, his classmate and a dance scholar, to tutor him so that he clinches a slot in the company without fail. As the movie progresses, the friendship between the nubile male dancers grows and becomes intimate, with their teacher becoming not only mentor but friend. The trio’s lives intertwine as they take the journey together, enriched by the arts — specifically literature and dance.

One of the film’s most important elements is my beloved alma mater, Far Eastern University. The university that used to be my playground not only serves as its backdrop, but is an important facet to the flow of the whole narrative.

Garcia, aging gracefully as the professor who laments the coming and going of her students, finding solace and strength from the literary word, is at her most competent. Avelino is beautifully photographed as Marlon. Nacino is Ang Sayaw’s heart and soul, delivering a nuanced performance as the troubled and quietly in love Dennis.

Other entries in the New Breed Full Length Category are Lawrence Fajardo’s Amok; Marlon Rivera and Chris Martinez’s Ang Babae sa Septic Tank; Eduardo W. Roy Jr. and Jerome Zamora’s Bahay Bata; Joseph Israel Laban’s Cuchera; Rommel Andrea Sales’ I-libings:Your Loss, Our Luck; Noel Ferrer, Jerry Gracio and Erick Salud’s Ligo na U, Lapit na Me; Loy Arcenas’ Nino and Alistaire Christian Chan’s Teoriya.

Now on its seventh incarnation, the all-digital film festival continues with its thrusts to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate the Filipinos life experiences.

Cinemalaya has also become the “new blood” and “lifeline” that resuscitated the “ailing” Filipino film industry. It gives the Filipino audiences out-of-the-box stories to watch and rallies for the unlikeliest of protagonists and antagonists. Majority of festival film entries earn not only local but international accolades as well.

Speaking of “accolades,” Busong received a five-minute applause when it was shown at the Theatre Croisette during the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Aureus Solito, it premieres in this year’s Cinemalaya Directors Showcase.

The Hollywood Reporter’s reviewer Maggie Lee describes it as “visually and aurally delightful celebration of Philippine indigenous culture that is more mystifying than mystic.”

Dax Alejandro, who plays a fisherman with a powerful amulet that causes stonefish stings to a covetous white man’s feet (who sadly loses his son to the ocean), sits down with this writer and talks about his experiences during the shoot.

“As Lulong, physically I learned how to swim, row a banca, nagpahaba ako ng buhok, nagpahaba ako ng kuko, ‘di ako nag-shampoo ng sampung araw, kung pwede nga lang ‘di mag-toothbrush ginawa ko, baka masira lang ngipin ko,” he jokes. “Emotionally and mentally. I conditioned myself that I am really Lulong, that I have a son, that I belong to a cultural community, that because of my heritage, I am being oppressed and that I must do something about the oppression.”

He reveals, “My most emotionally taxing scene would have to be that time when Cris Haywood slapped me. Pinakita dun na kahit sinasaktan at inaalipusta ang isang Palaweño, he did not react aggressively, na mas may breeding pa ang isang tulad ni Lulong. I was told that the crew was deeply moved and napaiyak sila during the shoot. I hope when the audiences see it, they will also be affected.”

“Direk Aureus is one of the best directors that I have worked with,” avers Dax. “I learned from him that marami talagang unexpected na mga sitwasyon that can happen in life and that kailangan buo yung character mo para makapag-react ka ng tama.”

The remaining Directors’ Showcase films are Jeffrey Jeturian’s Bisperas, Adolfo Alix Jr.’s Isda and Joel C.Lamagan’s Patikul.

There are 10 entries in the Short Feature category and the most infamous is Rafael L. Santos’ Samarito.

The Short Feature “media blitz” centered on Santos’s offensive remark, which angered the theater community: “Well, personally I find that theater actors are better to work with because they don’t complain. Yeah, you can feed them SkyFlakes three meals a day, and pay them in cat food. And they’re never late. And, they cry when you want them to cry. Other actors kasi you have to hit them first.”

Though Rafa already offered his apology, we still don’t know whether people will bother to watch his short film.

The other eight short films are Pamela Llanes Reyes’s Debut; Gino M. Santos’s Every Other Time; Henry Frejas’s Hanapbuhay; Mikhail Red’s Hazard; Gabriel Puyat’s Immanuel; Rommel Tolentino’s Nino Bonito; Misha Balangue’s Oliver’s Apartment; Ana Carlyn Lim’s Un Diutay Mundo and Emerson Reyes’s Walang Katapusang Kuwarto.

The Cinemalaya Awards night will be on July 24, 7 p.m. at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) Cultural Center of the Philippines.

For tickets and information, please call the CCP Box-Office at 832-7304 and CCP Media Arts at 832-1125 local 1202/05 or visit http://www.culturalcenter.gov.ph and http://www.cinemalaya.org.

“ang babae sa septic tank”: take me to the funny side of life! (a film review)

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the best picture of the decade!
jm de guzman, kean cipriano (seated), carizza cortez and director marlon rivera .
jm de guzman: serious acting with a grasp of comedy in "ang babae sa septic tank"

This is the kind of film that I’ve been waiting for so long!
A movie that tickles, a movie that absorbs… way long after you left the cinema.
All the ingredients of a good film is here. The script of Chris Martinez was awesome. The direction of Marlon Rivera was strong and powerful- and versatile at that. And the acting prowesses of the main actors and actresses were the greatest of all!

Ang galing magpatawa ng pelikula. Mauubusan ka talaga ng lakas sa kakatawa sa mga eksenang katuwa-tuwa. But alongside those funny scenes, may mensahe kang makukuha at may mga aral kang mapupulot.
Karakter na karakter ang pagkaka-portray dito ni Miss Eugene Domingo bilang “Miss Eugene Domingo”, isang sikat na aktres na himalang nakuha ng isang young indie film director at ng ka-team nitong isang young movie producer para lumabas sa pelikula nilang “Walang-Wala”. Nakakatuwa yung mga eksena sa bahay ni Miss Eugene dito. Feel na feel ng lahat ng mga nanood sa gala night ng movie na ito ang ang karakter niya bilang isang aktres na nagka-kursunada sa script ng “Walang-Wala”. Ganun na ganun kasi ang mga tao sa movie industry kapag nagsisimula na sa bagong mga film projects nila.
Outstanding ang performances din nina JM de Guzman at Kean Cipriano. Si JM, very effortless ang acting pero matatawa ka pa rin sa mga hirit at banat niya sa komedya. Hindi pilit ang pagpapatawa niya! He could both mix serious acting with a drop of comedic taste! While si Kean, nakaka-sorpresa na hindi lang pala siya basta isang magaling na band singer, kundi nakakaarte rin talaga!
Ito namang si Carizza Cortez, naku po, maski walang dialogues sa pelikula ay agaw-eksena pa rin! Napaka-epektibo ng technique na ginawa ng scriptwriter at direktor sa karakter dito ni Carizza, kakaiba pero nakakatuwa talaga.
Take me to the funny side of life! Ang pelikulang ito ang siyang naging “breaker” sa lahat ng mga malalalim na film artists na ngarag na ngarag na sa kakapanood ng mga seryosong pelikula sa Cinemalaya 2011! At least, nung pinanood nila ang pelikulang “Ang Babe Sa Septic Tank”, gumaan lahat ang pakiramdam nila.
Still, inaasahan namin na mananalo ng mga awards ang pelikulang ito bukas sa awards night ng Cinemalaya 2011. Kasi, maski komedya ang pelikula, may sarili itong kakaibang ganda. At kahanga-hangang kalidad.
Pang-hollywood na talaga ang estilo ng mga young indie filmakers ngayon. At sadyang angkop na angkop din sa panlasa ng mga elitista’t maka-masa.
For us, “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank” ang Best Picture ng dekada!

words by robert manuguid silverio