“el presidente”: more than what it takes to be a FILIPINO


Governor E.R. Ejercito should have won "Best Actor" for MMFF awards for his authentic performance in the movie "El Presidente".
Governor E.R. Ejercito should have won “Best Actor” for MMFF awards for his authentic performance in the movie “El Presidente”.
cesar montano
cesar montano
christopher de leon
christopher de leon


felix rocco made the female augiences giggle & swoon over his good looks in the movie "el presidente".
felix roco made the female augiences giggle & swoon over his good looks in the movie “el presidente”.

Here is a Filipino film. A true Filipino film. At par with Hollywood film standards, showing what’s true, what’s beautiful, what’s so meaningful…

Dare not show the “ugly” side of Filipinos just to be noticed at film festivals abroad. Dare not show the ‘unreal’ just to imply DEPTH & STYLE.

But rather, show the life of a gentle Filipino, the first President of the Philippine Republic – in all its authenticity and originality- and life would never be the same again.

The movie: “El Presidente” simply showed more than what it took to be a FILIPINO.

The film was greatly acted by its powerful array of actors and actresses. A great ensemble cast, a great casting call.

Governor E.R. Ejercito should have won Best Actor for this film. He portrayed a dignified man of principles and nationalistic pride, and yet, he was there as the major front-runner in every field battles- fighting, riding horses, igniting passion and revolution.

A character like this was so hard to portray, it took a great deal of research and imitation, of personification and angst. And yet, Gov. Ejercito delivered it so fully- with a quenching satisfaction for an ordinary moviegoer.

The direction of diretor Mark Meilly was so “uncopied”, so fresh and vivid in details. Just wondered how did he get this kind of style in directing an epic film of historical proportions. It might have took him great pains to do so.

Among the supporting cast, this blogger was so awed with the performances of Cesar Montano (as Andres Bonifacio), Christopher de Leon (as General Antonio Luna) and Felix Roco (as General Emilio del Pilar). Their characters were so important in the film. It reshaped the Philippine history. Though they all died in the film, and Gen. Aguinaldo was the lone survivor of the Philippine Revolution, their deaths and sacrifices helped a lot in building a new nation of independence and freedom.

Felix Roco made the young audiences watching the film (yes, the cinema house was full when we watched this film) felt so “kilig” (giggling) with his so handsome looks and great “eye-stares”. He should be given more challenging roles like this in the future.

Meanwhile, actor Baron Geissler who portrayed a Spanish brat official in the film, looked like a DRUNKARD in his scenes rather than a distinguished Spanish military man. Sorry to say, but Baron almost destroyed the movie with his annoying style of bad acting!

The production design was almost like a deja vu. It was so superbly done.

The cinematography was simply great. The music, fabulous.

As I went-out of the cinema after watching this film, I was walking tall and standing proud.

My ancestors did a good job of where I am now. Without them, I felt, I would never know for sure of what it truly took me to be a FILIPINO.





“sisterakas”: blood is thicker than water!

Aiai should have won Best Actress MMFF awards. She was so great in "Sisterakas".
Aiai should have won Best Actress at MMFF awards. She was so great in “Sisterakas”.
Kris emereged as a greater actress in "Sisterakas".
Kris emereged as a greater actress in “Sisterakas”.
Vice Ganda: A standout!
Vice Ganda: A standout!
direk wenn deramas: a FILIPINO director.
direk wenn deramas: a FILIPINO director.

As I watched four MMFF entries in two different new malls in the East side of the Metropolis, I was so enlightened. It was the kind of enlightenment I had been wanting to see for years now. A clear vision of LIFE. Of seeing families and friends gather together to enjoy and celebrate the most simplest JOY of living- that is, watching a movie altogether.

And I saw that beautiful reality inside the cinema house as I watched the movie “Sisterakas” (produced by Star Cinema), which starred Miss Aiai delas Alas, Kris Aquino and Vice Ganda. I saw faces smiling so fully; in their eyes I saw the great appreciation of a good movie, and in their pockets, the contentment of a well-spent luxury.

As kids embraced their mom after watching the film, and friends gathered their arms together, I also realized one thing: THAT BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER.

Family and friends are still FAMILIES , after all. And the Filipino culture had long embraced it. In the movie “Sisterakas”, the message was present. And the more they loved it as they watched the said film.

Miss Aiai delas Alas delivered a powerful acting in the movie. I just wondered why she didn’t win in last night’s (the December 27 award-giving ceremony of all the MMFF film entries) awarding for the MMFF film entries as Best Actress. She was so candid, overwhelming, so touching in her performance as a young mother who simply wanted to give the best of everything to her two kids, but was apprehended by FATE and a past she couldn’t escape. Her comedic scenes in the film was awesome and fantastic, the moviegoers laughed a great deal with her natural way of showing her funny side.

Kris Aquino, meanwhile, was also a revelation in this film. Portraying a ‘contravida’ this time, Kris emerged as a comedian on the side. Given a good role like this, Kris would surely emerge as a greater actress and a talented comedian as well.

Vice Ganda was the favorite of the audience inside the cinema where I watched (SM Masinag cinema). In all his scenes, he was a standout! His chemistry with Aiai and Kris was so strong, you’d feel he was the one carrying the two of them in this movie all along.

The director of the film- director Wenn Deramas- knew fully well the “soul & the heart” of present-day Filipinos. How he executed and timed his scenes were simply fantastic. There were no boring moments and there were so many scenes in the film that I laughed until I dropped! A great sense of happiness for an ordinary blogger like me being belittled by many of his showbiz friends…

And maybe, the same way with the others, too. Ordinary working Filipinos were always belittled, too, by their egoistic bosses, apprehended and stepped-upon by the powerful people and always ‘unappreciated’.

Yeah,the same way this blogger felt, was the same way that any other ordinary Filipino also felt.

And in the film’s story, it was PRESENTED. 

The hardworking Filipino… The Filipino who would always smile even in hardships… And the Filipino who would always love his FAMILY.

Yes, blood is thicker than water. And the Filipino bloodlines would live FOREVERMORE.

The movie “Sisterakas” should have won the Best Picture, the Best Actress and the Best Director. But it did not.

Powerful people in control? We dare ask. But dare not  judge, too.

Our lips would remain to be SEALED.




bonus added feature, courtesy of MANILATIMES.NET:




Once again, Kris Aquino’s prediction has come true. On day two of the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Kris, Ai Ai delas Alas and Vice Ganda’s entry Sisterakas has doubled its lead in the nationwide box-office as it turned in a total gross of P71.2 million, according to data from the film fest organizer Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Second placer Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at Si Ako, grossed P47.4 million nationwide followed by, One More Try, with P24.3 million and Shake, Rattle and Roll 14 with P16.7 million. 

Prior to the Christmas day opening of the Metro Manila Film Festival, Kris had predicted that her movie Sisterakas would be the number one movie of the festival.

“Kasi nung 2010 number three ako. Nung 2011 na festival number two yung movie. So, it’s about time na siguro na mag-number one kami,” she was quoted saying during the movie’s press conference

And true enough, Sisterakas recorded the highest single-day earnings of a local film of all time, raking in P40.7 million and getting an early lead over Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at si Ako—a movie that features perennial MMFF box office leaders Vic Sotto, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Judy Ann Santos.

“We set a record! Highest single day earnings for any Philippine film in history . . . Congrats to the MMFF Queen, Ai Ai . . . Congrats undisputed #1 box office director Wenn Deramas . . . Congrats to the reigning box office champ [Vice Ganda]!” read Kris’ posts on Twitter on Wednesday.

On Christmas Day, Kris and Vice held a block screening that was attended by their family and close friends including the Aquino sisters and President Benigno Aquino 3rd. 

Kris and Vice said that they were very happy to hear the audience laughing inside the cinema with Vice boldly proclaiming that it could even exceed the box-office success of his film The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin, which is currently the highest grossing local film of all time.

Citing the film’s booking officials, Kris said that their movie earned P40,739,323.25 nationwide, quite close to the figures released by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino. 

According to Tolentino, Sisterakas grossed P23.1 million in Metro Manila and another P16.1 million from the provinces for a total of P39.2 million. In second place is the fantasy-comedy Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at Si Ako, with a P29.5-million total followed by the romantic drama, One More Try and Shake, Rattle & Roll 14 with P13.6 million and P10.5 million, respectively. 

If Sisterakas does end up in first place in this year’s festival, Ai Ai delas Alas will have the distinction of starring in all of the top 3 highest grossing MMFF films of all time. 

The top 5 highest-grossing films in the history of the MMFF are Enteng Ng Ina Mo (P237.88 million); Ang Tanging Ina N’yong Lahat (P171 million); Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote (P159 million); Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last na ‘To!) (P157 million) and Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo (P140 million).