What if the Pope was just beside you when you’re about to die?
What if He was also a Filipino just like you?
And what if He resembles so much about your own life, that you feel that He’s almost there- touching and embracing you?
And, yes. What if your death became a very significant one at that because you died for Him?
These are the questions left totally answered when we watched the spectacular and totally overwhelming new theater production of Philippine Stagers Foundation, a very legitimate one at that, entitled Popepular (Paano Kung Naging Pinoy Si Kiko?).
The mesage was sent loud and clear. That embracing a man worthy of His love could be a life well-lived, and a mission succesfully taken.
In the lives of five “Modern-Day Heroes”- all Filipinos, good examples to the youths of this new generation were presented. These five “angels” were sent forth to inspire once more, and believe once more, that despite the bad practices of the present governing administration, Filipinos could still live a life worthy of purpose and heroic acts.
But the way it was presented, oh my. Very redeeming, powerful and articulate. The playwrights of this musical play were specific and consistent. To be able to intermingle five characters with a Pope’s life on the side, was truly a hard task. But they did it with proper gusto.
It was executed through dances and alluring music. You would want to rock and roll, bang out loud and testify to the goodness of a humble Pope.
In-between the melodramatic tunes and sorrows, a great sigh of relief were the very satisfying comedy antics, a little naughty, but delightful to the youths.
Some sexy undertones won’t hurt. It would only make you feel more humane, erasing hypocrisies and wrong notions of being HOLY.
The costumes were authentic in nature, the make-up- incredible. Faces appear in great characterizations, highlighting proper emotions and raw feelings of passion.
One of the most unforgettable scenes of the play- greatly acted upon by Kenneth Miles Posadas and Vince Tanada, together with Poul Garcia, was the death scene of the SAF soldiers of the Fallen 44, who were both believers of the Pope, devoted to the Holy Rosary they both clung upon at the height of a battle.
So much tears fell on this scene alone, which happened before the final climactic ending scene. The Pope was there, almost like Jesus Christ himself- crying, agonizing in great pains and wanting to help. But the boys died, and as he embraced the one left dying, a shout of the greatest sorrow was heard in the vast four corners of the theatre. And it was, the greatest message of LOVE.
In a land where Filipinos now had nothing to cling for, betrayed by the people they thought would help them- somehow, the Pope was their last chance at Faith. In one single vision and one single hope- they could all be reunited again and save this land out for ruins.
In a great performance that would last a lifetime, actor Vince Tanada never failed to deliver. His presence alone added upon by his godly charm and smiles, made this great theater production an unbelievable journey of life.
(as the words were written in robert manuguid silverio’s “book of love”, august 29, 2015- together with the “67” that included him. sculptured upon the clouds of time and ETERNITY).*
read the link below to know more about “popepular”, as written by walden belen, courtesy of manila bulletin.com:
(The first Filipino musical on the life of Pope Francis, entitled “#popepular” premiered last July 24, at the Adamson University auditorium).
The play will incorporate the lives of four Filipino heroes, namely, Joey Velasco, the “Heart-ist” who painted “Hapag ng Pag-asa” showing Jesus Christ sharing a meal with 12 poor children; Kristel Mae Pasadas, a member of the Catholic Relief Services who died when a scaffolding fell on her while volunteering in preparation for a mass; Dr. Edgar Gomez, an advocate of coral reef protection; Ronald Gadayan, a poor janitor at the National International Airport who returned a
bag containing jewelries and cash amounting to P1.8 million to its owner; and PO1 Mark Clemencio, among the Fallen 44 at Mamasapano.
The stories of these five “ordinary people who did extraordinary things” will be interwoven with the story of Pope Francis.
Atty. Vincent Tañada, through the Philippines Stagers Foundation, which he heads, has been writing, producing and directing musical plays mostly about Filipino heroes.
The musical play on Pope Francis is a passion for him. When the Pope visited the Philippines, Tañada and his son also walked to the Rizal Park where the Holy Father presided over an afternoon mass in front of the Quirino grandstand. That’s how the musical play stirred his creativity.
The lawyer-stage actor plays the lead role as Pope Francis. The play will be shown all over the country.
Sila ‘yung mga aristang laging nasa background lang, pero kung tutuusin, kung wala sila, wala rin ang bida.
Sila ‘yung mga nagbibigay ng mga light moments sa mga dramatikong eksena sa pelikula o sa teleserye, kaya naman kung wala sila, sadyang boring talaga.
Kay gagaling nilang magsiganap. Pulido, mapangahas, eksakto. Mga character actors at actresses mang tinagurian, pero napakalawak na rin ng mga naging karanasan sa artistikong sining ng pag-arte.
At sa isang hapon, pinalad na makapanayam ng isang blogger ang magaling na character actress na si Malou Crisologo, na kasama ngayon sa bagong teleserye ng channel 2- Ang Probinsyano, na pinagbibidahan ni Coco Martin. Kasama rin si Malou sa isang bagong dula ni Kanakan Balintagos para sa Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Gaano nga ba ka-dedikado si Malou sa larangang pinasok niya?
“Alam mo, kahit ano pang klase ng papel iyan- mapa-pelikula o telebisyon, I give 101% of my dedication and efforts”, sagot ni Malou. “Ibinibigay at binubuhos ko talaga ang lahat. Lalo pa itong field na ito ng pag-arte. This is my home. This is where I belong to.”
Nagsimula kasi si Malou sa mundo ng teatro kaya naman ang propesyonalismo sa trabaho niya ang umiiral. Ang passion, ang kaligayahan. Secondary na lang kay Malou ang perang kikitain niya sa pagganap.
“Nasanay ako na iyong energy ng audience na nanonood sa iyo, na-absorb mo talaga kaya mas ginagalingan mo ang pag-arte mo”, sabi ni Malou. “Sa pelikula naman, parang everything bolts-in. Parang kailangang magsama-sama kayo to create one beautiful piece of work. Yung acting ng mga actors, yung script, yung direction- everything. At kapag nabuo na kayo, it’s like a dream come true.”
Sa ganu’ng aspeto raw laging tinitignan ni Malou ang sining na pinagmulan niya. It’s like a creative effort, a unified visualization.
“Katulad na lamang sa mga short films at Asian films na napasali sa nakaraang Cinemalaya 2015”, muling sabi ni Malou. “Mas may freedom sila to express what they want. At maganda ang alternative venue nila- ang Cultural center of the Philippines. There, you can see young artists and lots of creative people and directors enjoying the benefits and products of true art forms in the cinematic industry.”
Pero sa ngayon, enjoy na enjoy din si Malou dahil paborito siyang kunin sa mga teleseryes sa channel 2. Siguro dahil hindi siya mahirap kausap at laging on-time siya sa set.
“Nakuha ko kasi ang disiplina sa teatro”, wika ni Malou. “Kaya maski mataba ako, madalas pa rin nila akong kunin. Alam ko kasi ang hirap din ng mga tao sa produksyon at sa likod ng kamera, dahil naging Production Manager kasi ako noon sa Regal Films. At dapat lang talaga ay magtulungan ang lahat.”
Ang hindi malilimutang role na nagawa na ni Malou ay iyong naging role niya sa teleseryeng Sana, Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon na pinagbidahan ni Bea Alonzo.
“May naging eksena kasi ako doon na kasama si Bea na umiiyak ako pero tumatawa”, kuwento ni Malou. “Napanood yata ito ng isang executive sa channel 2 na si Ms. Cory Vidanes. At in-acknowledge niya ang naging acting ko doon. Highlight scene kasi iyon na kung saan na-reveal sa akin ni Bea ang totoong pagkatao niya. Pero hindi ako makapaniwala. Kaya tumatawa ako’t umiiyak doon. Gustong-gusto raw ni Mam Cory ang naging acting ko doon.”
Mas grabe at hectic daw ang mundo sa telebisyon, ayon pa kay Malou na dalubhasa na sa pag-arte sa mga teleseryes.
“Minsan, kailangan nilang tapusin ang 40 sequences in a day!”, sey pa ni Malou. “Kaya pressured ang lahat. Kailangang comepetitive spirit ka talaga kapag nasa telebisyon ka na.”
In the end, ang mga tulad ni Malou ang siya pa ring gagabay sa mundo ng pelikula at telebisyon.
“Pero malaki rin ang naitutulong ng mga movie press people and media bloggers”, pagtatapos na wika ni Malou. “Sila ang nagpapasikat sa mga artista at nagpo-promote sa lahat ng aspeto ng industriya. Kaya ako, nirerespeto ko ang mga media people. Magtulungan tayong lahat para sa ikauunlad pa ng sining na ito.”
THE Italian opera “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini featuring Korean and Filipino artists will be staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater on October 2 and 3, 2015 at 8:00pm.
Playing the title role of Florina Tosca is Korean soprano Yae-Jin Han, with tenor Ji-ho Kim as Mario Cavaradossi and baritone Daesan No as Baron Scarpia. Portraying the supporting roles are tenor Lemuel de la Cruz as Spoletta, Noel Azcona as the Sacristan, and Byeong-In Park as Angelotti. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra will be under the baton of Maestro Jae-Joon Lee, with the UST Coro Tomasino under the direction of Ronan Ferrer and Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir under the direction of Maria Teresa Roldan providing choral support. Stage direction is by Floy Quintos.
Soprano Yae-Jin Han graduated with highest honors at the G. Verdi Conservatory in Milan. A first prize winner at the Marsala, Bel Canto, and Como International Vocal Competitions, she had portrayed the leading and title roles of the operas “La Traviata”, “Madame Butterfly”, “Aida”, “Cosi fan tutte”, Tosca”, “Don Giovanni”, and “ “L’elisir d’amore”. She was a featured soloist of the KBS Symphony, Ukraine Philharmonic, Bacau Philharmonic, Korean Symphony, Incheon Symphony, and other major orchestras in Korea. She is currently a faculty member at Sang Myung University.
Tenor Ji-ho Kim graduated from Kyung Sung University in Korea, National College of Music in Koln, Germany, and Magnita Gorsk in Russia. He had portrayed the leading roles in the operas “I Pagliacci”, “Aida”, “Madame Butterfly”, “Turandot”, “Cavalleria Rusticana”, “La Traviata”, “Un Ballo in Maschera”, “Carmen”, and “Nabucco”. He was a soloist for Handel’s “Messiah” and Mozart’s “Coronation Mass”, and had appeared in various performances in Japan, Russia, Cuba, and China.
Baritone Daesan No graduated from Han Yang University in Seoul, Peabody Institute in Maryland, and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He was a first prize winner in the Marilyn Horne Vocal Competition, Mario Lanza International Vocal Competition, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, Liederkranz Foundation International Vocal Competition, James Parkinson Italian Opera Competition, Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Canada, recipient of the Placido Domingo Fellowship at the Academy of Vocal Arts, and the coveted Lieder Prize of the 1999 Cardiff Singer of the World. His numerous leading roles include those from “Falstaff”, “Rigoletto”, “Don Giovanni”, “Die Zauberflote”, “Lucia di Lammermoor”, “Madame Butterfly”, “Carmen”, and “Tosca”. He had played the title role of “Rigoletto” during the 2014 opera presentation at the CCP Main Theater.
The opera production is an annual project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines that started several years ago. Past productions and co-productions with the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., Rustan’s Group of Companies, and the Philippine Italian Association have included Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” (2012), Verdi’s “La Traviata” (2013), and Verdi’s “Rigoletto” (2014). Other co-productions at the CCP were with the UST Conservatory of Music – Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” (2007), Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” (2009), and with the MusicArtes – Puccini’s “La Boheme” (2011).
For tickets, contact the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.
Alam niyang naroon ako. Panaka-nakang siya’y sumusulyap, tumatanaw buhat sa malayo- mula sa kinalalagyan niya. Pero sa dinami-dami ng mga taong naroroon, lalo na ang walang humpay na pakikipagsisiksikan ng mga media bloggers upang makunan siya ng larawan at ma-“ambush” sa pakikipag-panayaman, marahil, hindi nga niya ako makita.
Pero sa pamamagitan ng tamang tiyempo, kalmadong “break” mula sa mga media people na nangawala na finally sa paligid niya, isa o dalawang kaluluwa ang nakalapit na rin, at last, sa kanya. Salamat sa malambing na imbitasyon ng kanyang handler na si Ms. Portia, at sa sinserong alok ng kanyang ama na lumapit na sa tabi niya- ang mundo ay tumigil na muli.
Sa unang lapit, bago pa nangyari iyon, kapalpakan ang nangyari. Nagkatinginan muna, naghabulan, at bigla siyang nawala sa aming likuran. Marahil, may mga iniiwasan siyang tao kung saan sana ay amin siyang daldalhin.
Kaya nuong pangalawang “attempt”, sa tulong ng kanyang handler at ama, muling nagtagpo ang dalawang nilalang, o marahil, tatlo, dahil hindi lamang nakikita iyong ISA.
Malamlam ang tingin ng kanyang mga mata, mahiwaga, nakapagtataka. Kailangan mong basahin iyon ng mas malalim pa.
Pero nanginginig ang iyong mga tuhod kapag kaharap mo na siya. Hindi mo malaman ang gagawin mo, o ang susunod mong sasabihin o susunod mong gagawin. nkadarama ka ng “panic attacks”.
Hanggang sa huling tanong mo, sinabi mong okey na ang interbyu, at bigla ka na lamang umalis. Dahil hindi mo na kaya ang mga damdamin mong hinaluan ng kung ano- dahil naramdaman mo rin ang mga damdamin niya nu’ng mga oras o sandaling iyon.
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“Very challenging”, nawika pa niya- ang aktor na si JM de Guzman nu’ng tanungin mo siya kung ano ang masasabi niya sa kanyang role sa bagong teleserye niyang All of Me. “Isa ito sa mga papel na pambihira kong magampanan. Kasi, it requires me a lot of angst, pains and mixed emotions. ‘Yun bang alam mong ikaw iyong lalaking mahal talaga nu’ng babae, pero nasa iba at mas batang kaanyuan ka na. ‘Yun bang ang nakaraan mo ay hinahabol ka pa rin. At kung paano mo maipaglalaban iyon, dapat ay matibay ka. Hindi ba, tito Robert, ang hirap gampanan nu’n? Punong-puno ng paghamon.”
Karamihan sa mga eksena ni JM sa teleseryeng ito ay sa DAGAT. Tila ata palagi na lamang siyang napupunta sa dagat. Nagkaroon din siya nuon ng isang indie film na kung saan ay sa dagat din ang setting- ‘yung pelikulang Intoy Syokoy ng KalyeMarino. At ngayon, heto na naman.
“Kung tutuusin po, tito Robert, ayaw ko sa dagat, takot ako sa dagat”, naging sagot pang muli ni JM. “Parang may phbia nga po ako sa dagat, eh. That makes it so ironical for me, na kadalasan, sa dagat ako nagsu-shooting o nagte-taping. Kaya nagdarasal na lang ako na ma-conquer ko ang fears ko. Maybe, I have to face it talaga. Wala akong magagawa.”
At takot din si JM sa matataas na lugar.
“Para po akong nalulula”, anya pa. “Feeling ko, nu’ng past life ko, nakatira ako sa isang mataas na lugar at nahulog ako.”
Nagpapasalamat si JM sa lahat ng mga kasamahan niya sa teleseryeng All of Me, lalo na sa direktor niyang si Dondon Santos.
“Sobrang tulong sila sa akin para makayanan ko at magampanan ng maige ang role ko dito sa bago naming teleserye”, anya pa. “Lalo na sa direktor namin, kasi sobrang patient siya sa akin. Ang haba ng pasensya niya. Kaya gusto ko sana, maibalik din sa kanya yung pangangalaga niya, kaya pinagbuti ko ng husto ang acting ko dito. Kaya sobrang thankful din ako sa lahat dahil tinutulungan nila ako.”
Para na namang naging emosyonal a madamdamin ang mukha ni JM nu’ng banggitin namin ang pangalang ‘Jessy’. Para ding nag-react at kumilos ang handler niyang si Portia nang marinig ang pangalang iyon. Medyo yata na-“off” sila? Kaya sana, hindi na lamang namin naitanong kung kumusta na sila ni Jessy?
“Isa po siya sa mga inspirasyon ko ngayon”, walang nagawa si JM kundi ang sagutin na lamang ang aming katanungan. “Okey naman po kami.”
Pero mas lalng naging negatibo bigla ang “atmosphere” nu’ng matanong namin (actually, napilitan lang din kaming itanong ito) kung kumusta na ‘yung isang pelikulang gagawin niya sa isang “mukhang luka-lukang” aktres?
“Nagawa na po namin ‘yung parang teaser lang ng movie”, sagot muli ni JM. “Nakapag-shoot na po kami ng one day.”
Maikling sagot means hindi rin gano’n ka-interesado na si JM na ma-tackle pa ‘yung movie na iyon na titulo pa lang ay salungat na sa aming paniniwala. Hahahaayyyy, sa totoo lang.
At sa muli, ang magandag daan na tinatahak ngayon ni JM ay tila isang daan na mas lalong magpapatibay sa kanyang pagiging isang aktor. Tinitiyak ng isang blogger, mga sunod-sunod na acting awards na ang susunod na matatanggap na pagpapala sa buhay ng batang aktor na ito.
“Salamat naman po”, huling sambit ni JM. “Iyan ang pinakamagandang narinig ko sa gabing ito.”
(mula sa mga nalikhang salita ni robert manuguid silverio, kasama si jm de guzman).*
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) holds an institution-wide workshop on Philippine literature and performance for its employees and also for public school educators as part of Performatura 2015, a three-day event in November this year. Performatura 2015 will be held on November 6, 7 and 8 at various locations within and without the Center. The event is free or open to the public.
The first leg of the workshop series will be held on August 28, Friday, at the CCP Bulwagang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining for the Center’s employees. Lilian C. Barco, Department Manager of the Human Resource Management of the institution, said that this initiative forms part of its overall program designed to achieve the fourth objective of the CCP, which is to “develop a loyal, competent and efficient workforce towards fulfilling a vital role in the cultural institution”.
“The continuing education on Philippine literature and performance for our cultural workers would greatly help them in gaining a deeper understanding of our rich culture, which, in turn, would enable them to work more effectively in promoting our arts and culture to the broad public,” Barco said. “Art matters to the life of every Filipino” is the vision of the CCP.
Multi-awarded writer, performer, and educator Vim Nadera, Festival Director of Performatura 2015, will be conducting the workshop series for the CCP employees and the public school teachers. “Performatura 2015 has an education aspect for the ones who directly interface with a large group of people – the CCP employees who deal with the public aside from the artists, and the public school teachers who interact with the students. This aspect of Performatura could be likened to training the trainers,” Nadera explained.
The second leg of the workshop series will be held sometime in September for public school educators. The CCP Arts Education under Department Manager Eva Mari Salvador will handle this activity.
Highlights of Performatura 2015 include the Epic Center, Coffee & Conversations with National Artists hosted by the likes of Lourd de Veyra and Gloc-9, Chromatext Rebooted Art Exhibition curated by Krip Yuson, Park Poetry performances, daily workshops, and a day-long summit of performances from young poets.
“ALL OF ME” NG ABS-CBN, HAHAMUNIN ANG ORAS SA NGALAN NG PAG-IBIG SIMULA LUNES
Dagdag sa Kapamilya Gold block ang pinakabagong obra maestrang pantelebisyon ng ABS-CBN na “All of Me,” ang romantic drama teleserye na hahamon sa oras para sa pangalawang pagkakataon sa pag-ibig simula ngayong Lunes (Agosto 31).
Umiikot ang kwento ng “All of Me” kay Manuel (Albert Martinez), isang 50-year-old na doktor na hahamunin ang oras para lamang ipaglaban ang kanyang pangalawang pagkakataon sa pag-ibig nang maging binata muli.
Ang “All of Me” rin ang major TV comeback ni JM de Guzman matapos ang kanyang breakthrough film na “That Thing Called Tadhana.”
Kasama ni JM sa bagong Kapamilya Gold teleserye sina veteran actor Albert Martinez, Kapamilya hunk actor Aaron Villaflor, at rising young actress Yen Santos na gaganap sa kanyang unang daring role bilang love interest ni JM.
Susundan ng teleserye ang buhay ni Manuel (Albert Martinez), isang doktor na iiwan ang kanyang masiglang karera at maninirahan sa isang isla matapos mamatay ang kanyang asawa. Sa isla niya makikilala si Lena (Yen Santos), isang dalagang muling magbibigay kulay sa kanyang buhay na mauuwi sa matamis na pag-iibigan.
Ngunit sa gabi ng kanilang honeymoon sa isla, isang hired killer ang magtatangka sa buhay ni Manuel, pero matatakasan niya ang kamatayan at mapapadpad sa isang magic portal na magiging tulay sa pagbabalik binata niya. Ngayon, isang binatang Manuel (JM de Guzman) na matutuklasan na tumakbo na ang oras ang haharap sa bagong hamon sa kanyang buhay – ang maghiganti at muling paibigin si Lena na isang maybahay na ng kanyang protégé na si Dr. Henry Nieves (Aaron Villaflor) o kalimutan ang mga masayang alaala nila ni Lena.
Ano ang handang kayang ibigay ni Manuel para ang nakaraan ay maging kasalukuyan?
Mula sa direksyon ni Dondon Santos, ang “All of Me” ang dramang hahamunin ang lahat pati ang oras para sa pag-ibig.
Tampok din sa inaabangang teleserye sina Angel Aquino, Ina Raymundo, Neri Naig, Ana Capri, Micah Munoz, Jordan Herrera, Sue Ann Ramirez, at Akira Morishita.
Huwag palampasin ang pagsisimula ng kwento ni Manuel sa “All of Me” ngayong Lunes pagkatapos ng “It’s Showtime” sa ABS-CBN Kapamilya Gold. Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, bisitahin ang official “All of Me” accounts sa Facebook (All of Me TV), Twitter (@AllOfMeTV), at Instagram (@AllOfMeTV).
Stories that linger forevermore about the question of TIME. In folklore, occult novels, personal accounts, and yes, history.
Of people vanishing deep within the soil or deep within the seas, and when they reappear back, TIME has changed.
My grandfather, too, told me about a story of three fishermen-friends of his who were taken by mermaids and came back as little boys. He told me that story when he was sick and dying, but I vowed to him I won’t ever be scared at all.
Or what about the personal account of author T. Lobsang Rampa in one of his occult books- “The Third Eye”? He recounted there that he went to a place wherein time and space swallowed him and when he got out, he was already in an entirely different continent?
These and all still causes unbelief and amazement to many. But thanks to the very creative minds of the people behind a TV network- the channel 2 people- for giving and breathing-in a new life and a powerful concept for a TV series melodrama. An ancient tale has become the ‘backdrop’ of their new prime time teleserye, entitled “All of Me”.
A very beautiful pilot episode was seen and watched by a selected few during a press screening, attended by bloggers and movie press people, at Cinema 7 of SM Megamall last August 24, 2015.
The pilot episode seemed to swing you up and down as you felt like a baby in a cradle, being swayed upon by an invisible hand. No pretensions of grandeur and greatness, only a simple story-telling of a man’s life that rose up from a very tragic start.
The main lead was a boy who became a young man, and turned into a 56 year-old adult man. His name was Manuel, alternately played by Akira Morishita,
JM de Guzman and Albert Martinez.
His life was like a POEM, a lyrical song, with loving and sweet, lonely undertones. He lost all the people he so dearly loved, but emerged as a successful doctor who built-up a humble hospital in memory of his dead mom. But when he loved a woman and married her, she died.
He sought refuge in a watery land, where villagers are unassuming and kind. He lived a new kind of existence, seeking comfort in the ashes of his dead wife. Not until…
A young woman came along. Carefree, playful, sincere. And his heart became alive once more.
Albert Martinez as the old Manuel could makes you feel he was really ‘the’ JM de Guzman, the younger Manuel. To be able to do this seemed so hard, but a fine actor like Albert indeed transformed you into the hidden dimensions of time via ‘deja-vu‘s’, coupled-in by his powerful acting and controlled emotions.
Yen Santos as the young woman was so pretty to be true, angelic in nature, casual in her acting performance.
But another young supporting actor, in person of Arron Villaflor almost stole the show. His character as the other man who loved the young woman served as the bittersweet aspect of the plot. Arron exuded a great acting sensitivity this blogger had not seen for a long time.
Ms. Ana Capri, Neri Naig and Micah Munoz- the threesome bit players in most of the village scenes- looked so delightful, wholesome, wonderful. Especially that of Ms. Capri’s scene with Albert wherein she told him it’s okay for her as a mom to have him as his son-in-law. That scene was truly delightful! Wow.
The production design of this “almost- like- a- painting” pilot episode was so alluring, mystifying, that left you with a feeling of wanting to live there the rest of your life. Whoever is the production designer for this, simply deserves a “kneel down”.
The music “All of Me” by John Legend served as the perfect musical background for this pilot episode. It’s so romantic to hear, recharging your spirits, regressing your mind, body and spirit to become young once more.
But the most touching of all, was the way director Dondon Santos attacked his rather captivating style of an artistic direction for a TV teleserye. It was almost like a full-length movie that you were watching. Anticipating the next scene, loving every frame and angles, shots and “bird’s eye views”. Truly AVANT-GARDE.
As the ocean rumbles, scrambles and raptures…
Or the skies turns blue, and the lights, orange.
Silhouettes from a different angle of time, once again, appear-
On the face and the image of the greatest young actor we had seen in this generation-
Mr. JM de GUZMAN.
As the younger Manuel, you could feel an almost mystical spirit, mixed-in with humbleness and perfection.
The way he ran in the sand dunes, the way he jumped, the way he cried, and smiled.
It’s ALL OF HIM.
Yes, without JM de GUZMAN in this TV teleserye, the “poetic justice” of a remarkable story-plot could not be put into a totally magnificent form.
It’s like, your embracing his very soul via this TV drama, loving him more, touching him more.
you won’t ever want to lose him again
(as the words were written by the “67”, in an infinite glory that separates a time dimension of space and eternity- recorded in robert manuguid silverio’s “book of love”).*
( for more details about jm de guzman’s new teleserye “all of me”, please click this link: http://starcinema.abs-cbn.com/latest-news/august2015/august18/jm-de-guzman-given-another-chance-in-all-of-me )
After discovering the nostalgic TV-film treats on the new Jeepney TV cable channel late last year, we’ve periodically watched its old shows and have been reminded of some gifted stars who are no longer with us.
Last month, the face and voice from the past who came through most vividly on the channel’s replay of a “Goin’ Bananas” episode belonged to—Jay Ilagan.
All of a sudden, we recalled how exceptionally talented he was, starting out as a child sidekick to no less than Fernando Poe Jr., and later quickly establishing himself in his teens as the young male lead most likely to make it big in the highly competitive world of Philippine entertainment.
Actor of choice
In fact, before he added too many unwanted pounds, Jay was the young lead actor of choice of many of the country’s top directors!
It was no surprise to learn that his performing genes were top-level: His parents, Angel Esmeralda and Corazon Noble, were both stars, and the entire Ilagan clan was one of local show biz’s “royal” lineages.
But, Jay was more talented than most. He looked cute as heck, but he also had a lot of depth to him.
That unusually compelling combination of stellar attributes wasn’t lost on film people and the viewing public, and Jay went from one stellar assignment to the next with no end in sight—until his unfortunate weight gain.
It was a truly tragic turn of events, because even his most avid fans among the country’s top filmmakers were forced to replace him with newer actors.
For instance, in Lino Brocka’s “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang,” the male lead role went to Christopher de Leon. And, in “Maynila, Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” it was assigned to Bembol Roco.
If the show biz grapevine is to be believed, therefore, it’s no exaggeration to say that, if Jay hadn’t gained all those pounds, there may not have been a Christopher or a Bembol—not as early as when they became stars on the rebound, anyway.
We were fortunate to work with Jay in the early ’70s, when we directed him and his “secret love,” Hilda Koronel, in a Lea Productions photoplay. Their love affair was absolutely forbidden by their producer, but they were such good actors that they fooled everybody!
Later, we wrote the script for “Inspiration” for Ishmael Bernal, and Jay starred in that memorable movie too, that time with Vilma Santos.
Full of zest
In both instances, Jay impressed us both as an artist and as a person—he was so full of zest for life and for acting. He was good not just at drama but also at comedy, hence his eventual stint on “Goin’ Bananas,” along with Christopher, Bobot Mortiz, Johnny Delgado and Al Tantay.
On the episode of that ’80s show that we recently caught on Jeepney TV, Jay was already overweight, but his deadpan wit still shone through, making today’s viewers chuckle, despite the passage of many years.
It was truly tragic, therefore, when Jay passed away in a motorcycle accident in the ’80s, leaving his many colleagues in the movie biz bereft and mourning the loss of a major talent. Had he survived that accident, imagine what other thespic accomplishments he would have racked up!
—Well, that’s all wishful thinking now, but movie buffs can still honor Jay by accessing his exceptional screen performances, and comparing them to the feeble approximations being turned in by his TV-film counterparts today.
—When comes such another?
(BELOW, COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA.COM)
Jay Ilagan (January 20, 1955– February 4, 1992) was a Filipino actor. He hosted Stop, Look and Listen and starred in My Son, My Son and Going Bananas, and starred and participated in a number of movies.
He was married to movie personality, Hilda Koronel.
Title/ Year /Role
Moro Witch Doctor 1964 Mahmud
Santiago 1970 Danilo
Tubog sa Ginto 1971 Santi
Ato ti Bondying 1973 Bondying
Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa 1975 Noni
Kaming Matatapang Ang Apog 1975
Fe, Esperanza, Caridad 1975 Husband of Esperanza – 2nd Episode (“Esperanza’)
Ligaw Tingin, Halik Hangin 1976
Daigdig ng Lagim 1976
Minsa’y Isang Gamugamo 1976 Bonifacio Santos
Tisoy! 1977 Boy
Sino’ng Pipigil sa Pagpatak ng Ulan 1979
Aguila 1979 Osman
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? 1980
Brutal 1980 Tato
Mga Hiwaga ng Pag-asa 1982
M.I.B.: Men In Brief 1983 Anthony Phillips
Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing 1983
Sana Bukas ang Kahapon 1983
Soltero 1984 Crispin Rodriguez
Sister Stella L. 1984 Nick Fajardo
Mga Batang Yagit 1984
Bituing Walang Ningning 1985 Zosimo Blanco
Sa Totoo Lang 1985 Ipe
Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas 1986
Operation; Get Victor Corpuz, the Rebel Soldier 1987
Maging Akin Ka Lamang 1987 Ernie Balboa
Paano Tatakasan Ang Bukas 1988
Nagsimula sa Puso 1990 Jim
Alyas Pogi 2 1992 Bimboy (His last movie role.)
Title /Year/ Role /Network
Prinsipe Abante 1977–1980 GMA Network
Goin’ Bananas 1987–1991 host IBC/ABS-CBN
BONUS: ONE MORE ARTICLE ON THE LATE JAY ILAGAN, COURTESY OF: (GYPSYBALDOVINO.WORDPRESS.COM)
“Brutal”, “Sister Stella L”, “Soltero”, “Kisap-mata”, “Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa”, “Tubog sa Ginto”, “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo” and “Aguila” are true gems of Philippine cinema. But aside from being great classics, they have another plus factor— they all starred a truly gifted actor named Jay Ilagan.
Jay was from the famed Ilagan clan of showbiz. His parents were the top stars Corazon Noble and Angel Esmeralda of circa 40s. Hermogenes Ilagan, the father of Philippine sarzuela was his grandfather while national artist Gerry de Leon was an uncle.
According to his elder brother Leslie, Jay practically invited himself to showbiz. “When my mom was shooting “Mga Tigreng Tagabukid” in Pandi, Bulacan, she used to take Jay and myself with her every weekend. One day, director Manding Garces needed a child in a scene. To everyone’s surprise, Jay volunteered. ‘Uncle Manding, ako na lang,’ he said. My mom was surprised but Uncle Manding wasn’t. He said to my mom: ’Kataka-taka ba ‘yan. Pareho kayong artista!”
Jay did the scene in one take. And soon, he was accepting other films roles. In his next film, “Walang Duwag na Lalaki” under Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions, he already had a billing. His first screen name was Boy Noble.
Fernando Poe Jr. saw Jay’s first film and was very impressed. “Naku, idol na idol ni Jay si Ronnie,” relates Leslie. Saka, tinuturuan siyang mag – swimming niyan eh. So, binata pa si Ron noon, may rapport na sila niJay.”
“When FPJ started producing movies, he got Jay as his sidekick. When he did “Batang Maynila”, he billed Jay as Jay Ilagan”, Leslie says.
He was an instant sensation. FPJ was everybody’s favorite and every young boy wanted to be Jay Ilagan because he was FPJ’s perennial sidekick in the movies.
“When Jay was a kid, biglang darating si FPJ sa bahay, nagkukuwentuhan sila. Soon, pati si Erap, si Jay na kinukuha basta may child role. Pati yung “Maruja”(1968) si Jay din yung batang Romeo (Vasquez), while Vilma (Santos) was the young Susan (Roces)”, he says.
Jay’s career never wavered until his teen years, when he reigned as one of the top three matinee idols, along with Tirso Cruz III and Edgar Mortiz.
But while his contemporaries banked on their musical and dancing skills, Jay concentrated on honing his craft, and appeared in worthwhile movies that helped define the golden age of cinema in the 70s and 80s.
Among Jay’s impressive body of works were: “Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing” (1983), “Kakabakaba Ka Ba?” (1980), “Kasal?” (1980), ”Salawahan” (1979), “Fe, Esperanza, Caridad” (1975), “Ato ti Bondying” (1973), “Dodong Diamond” and “Santiago” (1970).
To Leslie, Jay’s best performance was showcased in Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Brutal”(1980). “He was so convincing as the villain in that movie, and I know it was plain acting because his film character was his polar opposite in real life. He was also good in “Kisap-Mata”(1982), where he effectively employed under acting. He’s the type of actor, na hindi nakikipagsapawan. He loved to read and he did a lot of research in preparation for his roles.”
Jay was Corazon and Angel’s youngest child but he grew up with his mom and elder brother Leslie. His eldest sister Lourdes died when she was just ten months old while his dad, Angel was based in Guam. Despite the dad’s absence, Leslie claims, “Lumaki kami na parang buo ang pamilya because the Ilagan clan is really closed-knit”.
Despite the demands of showbiz, Jay was able to finish Advertising in Maryknoll College (Now Meriam). “He was among the first batch of male students accepted in Maryknoll when it turned co-ed,” adds Leslie.
Jay was a man of varied interests. “He didn’t know how to cook but he definitely loved to eat. He played basketball, did scuba. Mahilig siya sa outdoors, biking and motorcycling. He was close to Bobot (Edgar Mortiz), the Bad Bananas (Johnny Delgado, Christopher de Leon), barkada talaga ‘yan”, says Leslie.
“Jay was kind. Sa kanya, walang masamang tinapay. He’s exactly the same as my mom,” he continues. “He didn’t know how to say ‘no.’ Kakainin na lang, ibibigay pa sa ‘yo. He was super-generous, to a fault, and he wasn’t attached to material things.”
“When he died, there was a group of handicaps. They brought flowers to Jay at the funeral. ‘Hindi n’yo naitatanong, sumusuporta sa amin yan (Jay)’, they said. And no one knew it. We were raised that way. My mom used to say, ‘Never let your right hand, know what your left hand is doing”, he furthers.
“As a brother, I miss him,” admits Leslie. “When Jay was alive I wasn’t afraid of anything because I knew that Jay would take care of my family should something bad happen. I knew he would always be there for me.”
“He was emotional when it comes to love, but he would never show it”, he continues. “Marami siyang naging girlfriend but he wasn’t the type who would ‘kiss and tell’. He respected women. And he wanted to be the pursuer, not the pursued.”
“Pag sikat ang kapatid mo, lahat ng pinto nakabukas para sa ‘yo,” he philosophies. “When Jay died, I told his children not to take comfort, na dati bukas lahat ang pinto, dahil maraming pinto ang sasara”.
Jay was only 36 when he died in a motorcycle mishap in February 3, 1992. He was survived by brother Leslie and daughter Leona Paula (with erstwhile wife Hilda Koronel).
“People told me that FPJ cried when Jay died,” says Leslie. “He came to the wake at dawn. Nagalit pa nga yan, nung tumaba si Jay. Sabi n’ya kay Jay, ‘Paano ko magreretiro? Ayokong magretiro kung ‘di ko sa ‘yo ibibigay ang korona”.
“He died a rich man,” says Leslie. “He was comfortable as he wasn’t wanting of anything. He was simple. And as long as he had a good sound, good movies, okey na yun. And he knew na maraming nagmamahal sa kanya.”
(photos of mr. jay ilagan above, courtesy of the following: gypsybaldovino.wordpress.com blog site, mr. bobby fajardo, memories of old manila fb page and google.com).*
Sa labing-isang black and white short films na ipinalabas kamakailan lang sa nagdaang Cinemalaya 2015 na mga produkto ng Cinemalaya Film Institute (nagkaroon ito ng free screenings sa nabanggit film festival), ang pelikulang TeAmo Adios ang pinaka-nagustuhan ng blogger na ito dahil sa napaka-simpleng paglalahad ng isang istorya about MOVING-ON.
Hindi man naging experimental ang atake, very elaborate and visually-engrossing ang pagkaka-direk dito ni Arnel Ramos Felix. May ‘cinematic’ eye siya, at maski traditional ang approach ng kanyang film directing style, naroon ang impact at very disturbing “after shocks”. Para sa blogger na ito, ganyang klase ng film direction ang nakakalikha ng mga imortal na pelikula.
May raw passion, may sex scenes na very provocative, at may elemento ng sorpresa- dahil, sa istorya ng pelikula, imbes na maging bayolente ang reaksyon ng bidang lalaking ginampanan ni Leon Miguel, naging kalmado lamang siya at kontrolado. Kakaibang atake ng plot at kaganapan.
“Gusto kong maiba sa iba”, naging pahayag ni direk Arnel Ramos sa isang blogger. “Napansin ko kasi, sa mga mas batang mga kasamahan ko sa Cinemalaya Film Institute, pawang mga makabago ang approach nila. Magiging pare-pareho kaming lahat kung ganu’n din ang gagawin ko. Sila kasi, may kanya-kanya silang visions, pero ako, I felt that I needed to do a different story and create a different interpretation out of it. Confident naman ako sa naging desisyon ko.”
Ang resulta: isang magandang short film na kahanga-hanga ang kinalabasan. Pati musika, cinematography and texture na medyo dark, sound, production design- at lalo na ang acting ni Leon Miguel, ay nakakabilib.
“Magaling na aktor si Leon”, dugtong na sabi pa ni direk Arnel. “Alam niya ang ginagawa niya kaya kampante ako sa kanya. Hindi iyan mapapansin sa mga international movies na nagawa niya kung hindi siya ganu’n ka-intense sa mga atake niya sa mga roles niya sa pelikula.”
Unang nagkasama sina Leon at direk Arnel sa short film din na Red Lights, na mula naman sa direksyon ng guwapong si Christian Paolo Lat, at ang pelikulang ito ay nanalo sa Ottawa International Film Festival. Sina direk Arnel at leon ang mga Associate Producers ni Christian sa pelikulang iyon, at doon namuo ang pagnanasang magkatrabaho pa rin silang tatlo sa pelikulang Te Amo Adios na kung saan this time, si direk Arnel naman ang direktor at sumuporta naman si Christian sa editing at sound ng pelikula. Pero si Leon pa rin ang bidang aktor.
Tunay na maka-sining si direk Arnel. Kaya naman ang mga tulad niya, dapat lamang na gumawa ng isang full-length feature film very soon.
“Hinahanap ko pa ang next project ko”, pagtatapos na sabi ni direk Arnel. “Pinaghahandaan ko talaga. Narito ang passion ko sa film making. Kaya sa suporta ninyong lahat, ay magpapatuloy ako.”
Nagpapasalamat din si direk Arnel sa beteranong direktor na si Carlos Siguion-Reyna na siyang gumabay sa kanilang mga estudyante sa Cinemalaya Film Institute.
“Siyempre, haligi na sa movie industry si direk Carlos”, anya. “Ang suporta niya sa amin ay napakalaki. Siya ang nagbukas ng pintuan para sa amin.”
At ang isang paglalakbay ay nagsisimula sa unang hakbang. Nasimulan na nga iyon ni direk Arnel.