The nights are getting cold these days. On these nights, I can feel some visits and embraces from long, lost friends far-away from hidden galaxies and dimensions of time. The coldness reminds me of them. Somehow, when lives of people are getting hot, embracing the “cold” can be the perfect way to calm you down.
In that early evening of November 8, 2015, the coldness I felt turned into a big celebration of LIFE. I saw old friends, I saw people who all loved the film arts, I saw the real meaning of my existence. It was the eve of CINEMA ONE ORIGINALS 2015 opening night.
It also reminded me that the Holiday Season was getting near. This is the season of the year that we all need to celebrate and that we all need to LOVE. The many events coming-up only reminds us that life is so beautiful, precious and sweet.
Upon seeing veteran director Joel Lamangan with a fellow writing peer Armand Reyes- both lining-up on the registration area of Cinema One Originals’ theater venue at Trinoma 7 cinema, I at once felt that it’s going to be a memorable night. The staff of ABS-CBN channel 2 and Cinema One were all so nice and efficient. They were kind in answering questions and queries, and very generous in providing bags of goods and give-‘aways’ to those people whom they invited to attend the Opening Night of Cinema One. It was all too proper. They were really great in organizing events like this, the Cinema One people and channel 2, I mean.
I guess, I was the very first person who entered the guest area that night filled with high tables that’s meant for the cocktails about to be served in less than an hour. As the nice lady on the facade of the theater allowed me in, I immediately saw the happy face of the man behind Cinema One- Mr. Ronald Arguelles. He embraced and greeted me at once, and in return, I kissed him on his left cheek. I consider this man a FRIEND. That’s why I see to it that every time he invited me, I would be there.
Right behind Ronald, I saw another old friend during my early years of writing in the entertainment field- no less than actor William Martinez, who also lives in a neighboring subdivision along Marcos Hi-way. William also embraced me upon seeing him. It was a long time ago since I last saw him and I also became his P.R.O., not so many years ago. Right then and there, I asked him for an interview and William readily obliged. In-between the interview questions, me and William managed to talk about our being neighbors and friends.
Suddenly, another person from the past butted-in. He looked so handsome and distinguished. He used to be my phone pal, too, chatting with him almost every night in our younger years- when he was still about to enter at that time the world of acting in the Cinema. That person: Mr. Dan Fernandez, also a political figure now, not just an actor. I learned later on, both William and Dan were among the cast in the film Honor Thy Father, which was the chosen Opening Film that night at the festival.
What a beautiful feeling, indeed. Seeing old friends and inspirations, it brightened-up my night at once- even before the event was about to start! Amazing.
As the event was getting nearer and nearer, and so was the excitement “we” all felt. Cinema is our LOVE. Because, the Cinema of One…is, the Cinema of LOVE.
One by one, V.I.P. guests and celebrities were now starting to flock-in at the cocktails area. Kisses and embraces, camera lights that glitter, rushing media people, greetings from pals, sneaking-in for some “Hellos’s” and “Hi’s”…
We saw entertainment writers like Ricky Calderon, Trixie Dauz, Evo Joel Contrivida, Alwyn Ignacio, Archie Liao, Jojo Panaligan, Mell Navarro… photographer Erckson dela Cruz, TV staffs of channel 2 and Cinema One, and many more on the media side.
At last, we saw Ms. Ara Chawdhury, one of the female film directors competing on this year’s Cinema One fest- via her film Miss Bulalacao. Ara was one of the reason why we’re there. She’s only the film director among the many film directors of this year’s Cinema One who allowed us for an interview. Who said YES to us for an interview. That’s why we’re there… for her.
Ara looked so elegant and beautifully made-up with her ‘rockista‘-kind of looks- she indeed looked so pretty that night. We chatted for almost 15 minutes until immediately, the wines and the cocktail foods were served. And it overflowed. So wonderfully.
The wines served were courtesy of Metro Wine Center, one of the sponsors of Cinema One. It has a branch on Bonifacio Global City and you can have all the kinds of wines at their liquor store there. All the best kinds of wines they served that evening tasted so good and lifted-up our spirits. We drank almost ten glasses of wine that night. Oh, my.
On the side, the cocktail foods which that were served, too, tasted so terrriiiiffic! Especially that cocktail finger food with white cheese on top and a rare kind of biscuit on the edge. We felt an A-1 citizen of the Republic eating those great cocktail foods that were served.
More guests came-in. And it was obvious that the security was tight and strict. No wonder why, Ms. Korina Sanchez (a future First Lady?) and Senator Sonny Angara were there as among the guests all eager to watch the film Honor Thy Father. Handsome faces of male celebrities managed to steal our attention away from Ara Chawdhury while we are talking to her. Especially the trendy looks of actor Lance Raymundo who looked like Justin Bieber that night because of his preppy outfit and brownish hair. One smile from Lance made our evening very complete. He even joined us along with Ara at the cocktail table that very moment for a while. Not until more and more people occupied our space! Haha.
Handsome faces of Khalil Ramos, Boom Labrusca, Junjun Quintana and of course, ALEX VINCENT MEDINA also made us “chill”. But the most handsome face of all that very night belonged to actor Mateo Guidicelli, who also became the host of the mini-program before the Opening Film started.
I guess, I was also the very first media person who was also allowed-in, inside the theater venue of Trinoma Cinema 7, while the actors, staff and directors of all the film entries were being briefed-in about the mini program to be presented at that time. While the rest of the media people were still outside the Cinema, I already enjoyed having brief chats with actor Raymond Bagatsing, film directors Joyce Bernal and Sari Delena (whom I at once greeted upon entering the cinema), TV host and future First Lady (?) Korina Sanchez- and such a great exchange of smiles and “hi’s” to Senator Sonny Angara who looked so young and good-looking.
Veteran actor Ronnie Lazaro stood right beside to where we were sitting. We exchanged jokes and chats, and praised him for being such a good actor doing his job on his teleserye on channel 2- Pangako Sa ‘Yo. Ronnie made a deal to us that he will seat beside us just in case his ticket number won’t be given to him. But someone suddenly handed him his ticket inside the cinema and his seat number, and that’s the time he left us and sat-in inside the Cinema.
We saw from a very near distance the handsome face of actor John Lloyd Cruz, who’s the main lead actor of the Opening Film- Honor Thy Father. John Lloyd’s eyes penetrated our very soul. It was deep. He looked like an angel from where we were sitting at, staring at him with all our might, as he talked to a film staff of director Bb. Joyce Bernal.
In less than minutes, the flock of media people filled-in the Cinema. Actors, actresses, film artists- also all joined-in. And the mini program started.
Mateo Guidecelli stole our attention. Yes.
And more wines were served, plus popcorns, too, for everyone, right inside the Cinema. The movie was about to start.
A separate blog article/film review will be soon published about the film Honor Thy Father. It was a magnetic film. Powerful. Strong… And very beautifully-done. And it looked and sounded so ‘Hollywoodish’. Director Erik Matti, the person who made this film is one hell of a great film director. Maybe, the amazement by those people inside the Cinema, right after the film was through, had forgotten that the film needed a standing ovation. It fully deserved that, after all.
And the film ended. But more “behind-the-scenes’ happening went-on. Interviewing media people, more wines and food, more laughs, more embraces, greetings, went on and on and on, too. It was as if, the event didn’t end at all.
Yet for the ONE, it really DID NOT. Together with his other ‘unseen’ friends, it was THEIR event. An event that will last FOREVER.
The ONE walked-on, leaving the Cinema 7 of Trinoma Mall, exiting in the glass doors, and passing-by the avenues.
He looked-up at the sky and made a PACT with the stars up there.
It was his own way of looking at the CINEMA.
BECAUSE, THE CINEMA OF ONE… IS, THE CINEMA OF LOVE.
(AS THE WORDS WERE WRITTEN UP THERE IN THE NIGHT SKIES OF “ONE”, TOGETHER WITH HIS 89 FRIENDS- RECORDED IN HIS “BOOK OF LOVE” AND IN A SEPARATE TIME AND SPACE OF 90 STARS THAT COULD HAVE LIVED… UNTIL FOREVER… BY ROBERT MANUGUID SILVERIO)*