maria isabel lopez, among the big stars to be a part of cinema one originals fest in november!

maribel with the fellow cast of "angustia"
maribel with the fellow cast of “angustia”
maribel in one scene in "angustia"
maribel in one scene in “angustia”
a delicate scene in "angustia"
a delicate scene in “angustia”
maribel and alex vincent in "angustia"
maribel and alex vincent in “angustia”
maribel lopez: a dedication to the cinematic arts
maribel lopez: a dedication to the cinematic arts

Natapos na ang Cinemalaya Indie Filmfest 2013, padating naman this coming September 11 ang National Film Festival (All Masters Edition) ng Sineng Pambansa… at, sa buwan naman ng Nobyembre, bubulaga naman sa lahat ang “biggest threat” among all of them- ang CINEMA ONE ORIGINALS Independent Film Festival!

And among the top stars na mapapasali sa festival na ito ay walang iba kundi si Maria Isabel Lopez. She is included in the cast of one of the film entries there- ang “Angustia” na ukol sa devotion ng mga Bicolanos kay Mama Mary nu’ng panahon ng Kastila. Very poetic ang pelikulang ito dahil ang direktor nito ay isang true-to-life POET. Siya si Kristian Sendon Cordero na nanalo na ng dalawang Palance Awards for Literature.

Excited si Mama Maribel sa pelikulang ito dahil halos pawang mga “first-time” actors ang mga nakasama niya habang nagsu-shooting sila sa Bicol region (with the exception of sensational actor Alex Vincent Medina na kasama rin sa pelikula at gaganap sa papel ng isang young priest na mape-presecute). Si Maribel at si Alex Vincent ang nagbigay ng mga “tips” sa mga new actors na ito at sumuporta sa kanila para mapagaling ang kanilang performances. Pero ayon pa kay Maribel, bumilib din siya sa mga ito dahil maski mga “first-timers” ay nagpakita ng angking mga kahusayan sa pagganap.

“Hindi ko muna iri-reveal kung ano ang role ko dito, pero very challenging!”, tanging nasabi na lamang ni Mama Maribel sa blogger na ito. Kaya naman lalong nakaka-suspense, di ba?

Anyway, nasa ibaba ang isang link ukol sa direktor ng pelikula na na-grab namin sa FB Wall ni Maribel. At lalo kaming na-intriga sa movie project na ito na entry sa darating na Cinema One Originals Indie Festival dahil tipong napakalawak ng mensahe at napaka-poetic. Idagdag pang maka-capture muli ng husto ang kagandahan ng Bicol region sa pelikulang ito.

Basahin na lang po natin ang link sa ibaba:

Young literary laureate breaks into film making


By Juan Escandor Jr.

SAN JOSE, Camarines SurHe has an array of poetry books, fiction, and literary translations in his name and two Palanca Awards and other literary awards on his sleeves when he was still in his 20s.

At 30, Kristian Sendon Cordero wanted to reinvent himself as he breaks ground this year in the field of film making courtesy of Cinema One, a subsidiary of the ABS-CBN Network dedicated to showing Filipino movies.

Cordero is among the 10 amateur filmmakers who made it to the finals of the category Cinema One Currents in the 2013 competition targeted screening in Manila sometime in November.

He received a P1-M funding to finish a full-length feature film which tackles the absolute power of the church over the coverts among the indigenous people Agta of Mt. Asog. He titled his film “Angustia,” meaning deep anguish or intense sorrow arising from the relations of characters of a secular priest, an Agta couple, and a Babaylan in the 1800s Bicol.

Even with a shoestring budget, Cordero is undaunted by the task of finishing a period film about Bicol that happened more than two centuries ago, which requires costumes and appropriate locations that simulate the era of the colonial period.

He is thankful he was able to get great support from his friends in the academe, literary circles and friends’ network which freed him from spending for talent fees, exterior and interior locations, and accommodations.

In this town, where Cordero shoot for two days, the parish priest was too generous to allow them the use of the Baroque church built in 1816, pastoral center and seminary, and bahay-na-bato of the Patrocinio family that saved him a lot of money that could have been charged from the film budget.

“Help from friends”

“I am happy friends are helping me. That’s a lot of savings because I’ve heard some film makers have to shell out about P100,000 per day for the use of church alone and P50,00 per day for private house as location. It’s free here. You only need to extend courtesy and coordination with the priests and bishop,” Cordero, a former seminarian, revealed.

He was delighted Monsignor Aguirre, parish priest of San Jose, allowed him to shoot the film inside the church even though the film material talks about a priest engulfed in paranoia that dragged him down to the bottom of intense sorrow.

Cordero tapped the talents of actor Alex Medina and actress Maria Isabel Lopez to do major roles in the film and the other roles are performed by non-actor friends and volunteers doing cameo and as extras to breathe life on his narrative about power, subjugation, and exploitation.

The church here is special to Cordero aside being one of the most beautifully preserved Baroque churches in Camarines Sur during the colonial period, it also hosts to the remains of a rich forlorn girl who was strangled by her fiancé inside the church because she declined to be wed.

One of the scenes captured one of the lead characters, an Agta maiden, kneeling before the tomb on the wall inside the church where the remains of a certain Delfina Bilbao were interned. Bilbao died on June 24, 1905 at the age of “18 años, 7 meses, 16 dias.”


Details of the tombstone showed a bas relief of a young girl, with long braided hair flowing down and resting on a pillow beside the right side of the face, lying inside a curtained bed. At closer look at the bas relief, a strip of cloth runs from the jaw to the head as if to prevent the mouth from being agape.

Cordero hinted that Delfina Bilbao’s tale somehow finds its way into the “Angustia” scenes including inspiration from Marian devotion traced back to a tale of miracle that happened on a hill called Inorogan at the foot of Mt. Asog in 1641, when the volcano acted up.

“I want to see my film as an ode to loneliness. I like to believe that I can translate my poetry in my film,” he mused.


Better known as a poet, Cordero earned raves from personalities in the Philippine literary circle for his published books.

For example, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera reviewed Cordero’s poetry book “Mga Tulang Tulala: Piling Tula sa Pilipino, Bikol at Rinconada” as “ (a) kin to mysterious seed that sprouts shoots you don’t expect. The religious sensibility of the author originates from tiny miracles of creative imagination. (Para silang mahiwagang binhi na nagpapagitaw ng mga sibol na di mo inakalang lilitaw. Ang sensibilidad na relihiyosong awtorang pinag-uugatan ng mga mumunting himalang malikhaing imahinasyon.)

Marne Kilates, poet and translator, described Cordero as “the enfant terrible of Bikol poetry. His deep thought on things ordinary and extraordinary constantly stretches the possibilities of the language.”

“One of Kristian’s most exciting contributions to Bikol and Filipino literature as his poetic production not only in Filipino and the regional lingua franca of Naga-Bikol but also native Rinconada (dialect of the fifth district of Camarines Sur), churning such gems as Upus, Dapla, and Kamgum. By writing literature in Bikol of Iriga and environs, he has helped preserve this variety of Bikol for posterity,” according to Prof. Paz Verdades Santos, a book author and editor and retired professor of literature at the De La Salle University presently teaching at the Ateneo de Naga University.


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