“honor thy father”: when money is not the only thing left in this world (a film review by robert manuguid silverio)…


john lloyd cruz: an out-of-the box film role
john lloyd cruz: an out-of-the box film role
meryll soriano, erik matti, john lloyd cruz
meryll soriano, erik matti, john lloyd cruz


john lloyd: a wonder.
john lloyd: a wonder.

This is one unique story about a prodigal son who proved to be not that one written in the Bible. Here is one young adult man who went astray because his own father never understood him, and he had no time to make amends with his son until the day he died. When the son went back home to embrace once more and seek help from his blood siblings, the father was gone. Thanks God, the son still had his mother- who united them all (the family), all-over again.

But that is not just the whole story of this magnificent and truly brilliant new film from highly-acclaimed Filipino director Erik Matti. The story is about money- and how people greatly suffered from the ill-effects of material wealth, combined by their wrong faith on their chosen Religion.

The Catholic church does not oblige people  to give them money, it’s all voluntary. Though in some cases- in times of calamities, danger, church-building and other reasons, sometimes, people with faith on their convictions humble themselves down to ask for help and monetary support. And now, to some, it becomes abusive. And that’s where the devil comes-in.

A lot of independent churches and religious groups have emerged by this time in this modern-day society. And to a few, giving money becomes obligatory. Religion and business became “twin conspiracies”. And the film Honor Thy Father greatly focused itself on this aspect.

We just didn’t know if the film was “anti-Christ”, after all. But when lead actor John Lloyd Cruz said to his wife- “Your God, not mine”, we felt a little bit confused. In this three-dimensional world we now live-in, God becomes ‘a little option’. It is now more about the strength and conviction of one ordinary man. How could he cope-up with the greatest challenge of his life- MINUS GOD.

It is his love for his family that mattered the most- not the love for God. And this made him a hero for us. Furthermore, this made him A MORE JUST AND RIGHTEOUS MAN for us.

He crossed the boundaries, went beyond the limits, crossed-over higher with his imaginations of stealing a bank, killed two people and played tricks with TIME. Yes, a mortal man could also do magic, perform acts of awe and shock, defy God and in the end, showed his true strength, glory and character.

John Lloyd Cruz, as Edgar, the main lead character of this thrilling and absorbing film, was quiet but so intense. His eyes could speak, his gentle moves could electrify you and his tears at end could melt your heart. This is one “out-of-the-box” film role for John Lloyd, who’s more comfortable in those glossy love stories kind of film from his home studio in Star Cinema. But John Lloyd experimented this time. And it’s a WONDER.

Meryll Soriano as Edgar’s wife was so, so fine in this movie. She never over-acted, too, like John Lloyd. She was consistent in scene after scene. And she provided the best conflict in the story of this film as a throughly devoted wife, mother and Religious fanatic bounded and trapped with his father’s networking business.

Once more, Tirso Cruz III proved to be such a very good veteran actor in this film- portraying the role of a Religious cult leader. Dan Fernandez as Edgar’s elder brother managed to stand-out in a few scenes with his good characterization of a supportive blood sibling. William Martinez was surprising in this role as the assistant of the Religious leader. We could say by now, that the former matinee idol in the ’80’s had transformed himself into a serious character actor.

The direction of Erik Matti was truly original and very “Hollywoodish”. There’s no dull scene, every scene counted and the beauty of his cinematic vision was truly wonderful.

Once more, scriptwriter Michiko Yamamoto (of Magnifico and Norte) delivered a very efficient job of telling a delicate story which no one could have told as honest as this one.

Honor Thy Father gained good reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival and was well-appreciated when it was shown as the Opening Film at the recently-concluded Cinema One Originals Film Festival. And we can say, no wonder why.


Production Companies: Reality Entertainment Inc.

Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano, Dan Fernandez, Tirso Cruz III, Perla Bautista, Yayo Aguila, Khalil Ramos, William Martinez, Lander Vera Perez, Boom Labrusca, Krystal Brimner

Director: Erik Matti

Writer: Michiko Yamamoto

Story by: Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto

Producer: Erik Matti

Supervising Producer: Tess V. Fuentes

Associate Producer: Stacey Bascon

Executive Producers: Ronald “Dondon” Monteverde, John Lloyd Cruz

Director of Photography: Ber Cruz

Production Designer: Ericsson Navarro

Editor: Jay Halili

Sound Supervision: Mikko Quizon

Composer: Erwin Romulo

Sales: Reality Entertainment Inc.



BONUS LINK: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/honor-thy-father-tiff-review-822705


bg rebel biring ham dasmb tc bkp



1.) “Baka Siguro Yata” (Joel Ferrer, genre: Romantic Comedy)


Dino Pastrano as Carlo

Valerie “Bangs” Garcia as Melissa

Cherie Gil as Remy

Ricky Davao as Adrian

Katrina “Hopia” Legaspi as Myka

Boo Gabunada as Jinno

Anna Luna as Nica

Chanel Latorre as Mae

Nicco Manalo as Japot

Jerald Napoles as Gio

Alex Medina as Epol


Baka Siguro Yata is a comedy drama which revolves around Carlo, a 29-year old unambitious graphic designer whose only passion is to play music with his co-unambitious long-time friends. After discovering that his girlfriend of 6 years is a lesbian, he seeks to find refuge on a one-night stand with a high school classmate named Melissa. However, Melissa gets pregnant which in turns everything in disarray. Melissa’s sister and her boyfriend mulls over their planned first sex but gets cold feet due to what happened to her sister. Carlo’s divorced parents, on the other hand, discreetly starts seeing each other as they rekindle their 20 year old relationship by having an affair and secret meetings while they cheat on their new partner. Baka Siguro Yata tells a story of love within three generations. It tells how each generation understand and perceive the idea of love.

2.) “Bukod Kang Pinagpala” (Sheron Dayoc, genre: Horror)


Bing Pimentel as Stella

Max Eigenmann as Stephanie

Paolo Paraiso as Demon

Lou Veloso as Mang Nardo

Lui Manansala as Aling Natty

Kiko Matos as James

Senon Palomares as Fr. Atilano

Extras as mga deboto


In an old house replete with images of Catholic icons and symbols, a young lady struggles with the demented religious fanaticism of her mother, who it seems cannot differentiate between pious fervour and demonic possession- for both exist simultaneously in her being.  The daughter seeks help for mother’s behavior, but as days go by, their relationship turns from harrowing to horrific, as strange phenomena occur inside the house, driving the daughter to evade and overcome her mother’s deranged machinations.

3.) “Dahling Nick” (Sari Dalena, genre: Docu-drama)


Raymond Bagatsing                         Nick Joaquin/Don Badong/Bro Fernando

Alessandra de Rossi                        Virgin Mary / Maria

Ma. Isabel Lopez                               Anastasia

Adrian Cabido                                   Onching

Paul Cedric G. Juan                        Leocadio Joaquin

Banaue Miclat-Janssen                    Doña Salome Joaquin

Che Ramos-Cocio                            Sara Joaquin

Ping Medina                                      Ping Joaquin

Roli Inocencio                                    Mang Emong

Kiko Matos                                        Master Novice

Angelina Kanapi                               Elizabeth

Dindi Gallardo                                   Imelda Marcos

Lance Raymundo                              Ferdinand Marcos

Bernardo Bernardo                           Adrian Cristobal

Emmanuel Dela Cruz                       F. Sionil Jose

Nick Lizaso                                        Juan Ponce Enrile

Karl Medina                                       Danny Dalena

Ross Pesigan                                    Pete Lacaba

Thea Yrastorza                                  Marra Lanot

Kris Lanot Lacaba                            Serafin Lanot

Karla Pambid                                    Elena Roco

Opaline Santos                                 Virgie Moreno

Aba Lluch Dalena                             The Sculptor

Ronah Adiel Rostata                        Ninotchka Rosca

Darwin Gordon de Roxas                Greg Brilliantes

Nico Bagsic                                       Joma Sison

Bong Cabrera                                   Mang Jojo

Gabby Padilla                                    Agueda

Hazel Faith Dela Cruz                      Catalina Montiya

Jasmine Capule                                Cousin Marina

Jessa Lyn Capule                             Cousin Elena

Cos Zicarelli                                      Rodrigo

Faye Alhambra                                  Natalia

Johnny Regana                                 Angelito

Kino Sicat                                          Children

Paris Sicat

Kirsten Moya

Rica Abad                                          Mujeres Ilustradas

Jane Valderama

Noemi Bayoneta



DAHLING NICK is a documentary drama exploring the life and works of National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin.


DAHLING NICK is a documentary-drama exploring the life and works of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, who only accepted the National Artist Award on the condition the Marcos administration release a well-known writer who was being unjustly detained during Martial Law. Depicting the “inner world” of this canonical writer, who wrote both novels as well as journalistic works, the juxtaposition of documentary interviews, episodes from his life, and evocative imagery from his literary pieces will create a cinematic collage. DAHLING NICK is a celebration of Joaquin’s life and inimitable contributions to Philippine arts.

4.) “Dayang Asu” (Bor Ocampo, genre: Action-Drama)


Ricky Davao as Mang Peping

Junjun Quintana as Tonton

Inna Tuason as Jeljel

Lui Manansala as Lola Miding

Bernard Laxa as Ahmed

Elora Españo as Nadjoua

Kelvin Vistan as Amor

Alex Manansala as Burbos

Marco Nepomuceno as Mayor Macapagal

Ronnie Tayag as Governor Macapagal

Bajun Lacap as Mang Domeng

Gina Villa as Aling Lydia



Amidst legalized corruption, a son struggles to prove to his father that he is fit to survive in a dog-eat-dog world.


Money flows in the quarry business. Running it means constantly keeping a lot of people satisfied. And, digging deeper reveals a scheme designed for legalized corruption. Workers issue “official receipts” for the passway fee collected from every truckload of sand coming from the quarry site, 24/7.

A passway marks the delineation between two sides. It is exactly in the middle and serves both as entry and exit.

Tonton, the son of a quarry master, enters the world of quarrying.

A newbie to the business, he does his best to toughen up and blend in with his co-workers. On top of that, he struggles to prove to his father that he is fit to be part of and eventually run the business. As his co-workers search for a dog to butcher for his birthday, he tries to deal with a landlord who demands for a higher cut on the earnings. However, his diplomatic attempt on swaying the landlord is futile, proving that his father’s ways are more effective. Things get out of hand and he is forced to make a decision. “Dayang Asu” is inspired by true events.

5.) “Hamog” (Ralston Jover, genre: drama)


Zaijan Jaranilla as Rashid

Teri Malvar as Jinky

Sam Quitania as Tisoy

Bor Lentejas as Moy

OJ Mariano as Danny

Anna Luna as Paula

Mike Liwag as Bernard

Lou Veloso as Abdul

Kyline Alcantara as Super Girl



A story of 4 street children called “Batang Hamog” who  got hooked in 2 consecutive  and unexpected events in their daily routine of crime and survival in the busy  Manila streets.  One of them suddenly disappears in the hands of a kidnapper, with a clear fate of being oblivious; while the other kid dies in a fatal car accident.  How will the remaining street kids cope with such tragedies?  Where will they go next?


A child’s play at the end of innocence, heading towards a journey at the beginning of life.  It showcases 4 street children called “batang hamog” who got hooked in 2 consecutive and unexpected events in their daily routine of crime and survival in the busy streets.  One of them, Jinky, the only girl in the group, suddenly disappears in the hands of a kidnapper, a taxidriver they victimize with haphazard thievery while his vehicle got caught in heavy traffic.  The youngest, Moy suddenly dies in a fatal car accident during a petty heist.  Rashid, the Moslem boy, could not fathom the thought of leaving his dead friend in the morgue after finding out that he is an escaped ward from the orphanage; Moy has no known relatives to take care of his burial.  Rahid needs to learn the Christian tradition of burying their dead. Meantime, the eldest in the group, Tisoy, Jinky’s boyfriend feels equally lost looking for her in their regular hangouts.  He gets haunted by his sordid past when he spots a crying boy, shouting his mother’s name. Until he experiences something beyond the ordinary when he starts seeing an animated character he only used to watch on television and in some animated films. Tisoy believes his dreams have finally come alive.

6.) “Manang Biring” (Carl Joseph Papa, genre: Drama-Comedy)


Erlinda Villalobos as Biring and Jerry

Mailes Kanapi as Eva

Alchris Galura as Terence

Patrick Sugui as Yohan

Bea Benedicto as Amanda

Lance Raymundo as Richard Abadilla

Cherry Pie Picache as Nita

John Carlo Tan as CJ


MANANG BIRING is a dark comedy-drama about a feisty, terminally ill old lady who has long accepted her imminent passing due to stage-4 breast cancer but then receives an unexpected letter from an estranged loved one announcing their return for Christmas

7.) “Mga Rebeldeng May Kaso” (Raymond Red, genre: Youth Drama)


Felix Roco (Rem)

Nicco Manalo (Pat)

Epy Quizon (Deo)

Earl Ignacio (Sid)

Angela Cortez (Mara)


The film is based on true events surrounding the emergence of the underground alternative cinema movement of the 1980s. Just after the February ’86 People Power revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship, a band of young filmmakers organize their own independent film & video festival and declare the legitimacy of the emerging “new wave” movement of alternative cinema. The film also touches on crossing paths with the brewing underground music scene, and their fateful collaboration with iconic pioneer Pinoy punk band Betrayed. 

8.) “Miss Bulalacao” (Ara Chawdhury, genre: small town drama)


Dodong – Russ Ligtas

Lisa – Chai Fonacier

Poldo – Ferdinand Mesias

Mercy – Tessie Tomas

Peter – Keith Deligero

Fr Tony – Mon Confiado

Marlina – Nanette Inventor

Esme – Gen Mijares

Toto – Tita Chris

Hilda – Paz Tabuldan

Belen – Nikki dela Paz

Dario – Ronyel Compra

Kriston – Jeff Ogario



Miss Bulalacao is about a young drag queen, Dodong, who joins a barangay

gay pageant to gain acceptance in his father’s community. He is instead met with hostility from his father, who chases him to a jungle, where he sobs to a lone bright star. What follows is the strangest night in his entire life, and an even stranger 9 months when he realizes he is pregnant. With only his stepmother, Lisa, as support, Dodong deals with ridicule from a barangay who does not believe him – until the rumors becomes a headline in a tabloid, “BAKLA, INA NG DIOS!”.


On the eve of the fiesta of Punta Bulalacao, somewhere in the island province of Biliran, 15 year old Dodong joins a gay pageant and is asked the question, “What is the essence of being a woman?” He answers “Motherhood”, and is crowned Miss Bulalacao”. His victory is greeted with rage from his father, Poldo, who takes after him with a dos por dos. He spends the night in the jungle, sobbing to a lone star. The star grows larger and larger, until Dodong’s hiding place is engulfed in white. In the morning, he remembers nothing and is swept up in the village’s fiesta preparations. Aside from Poldo, he lives with his young stepmother, Lisa, who is cold to him. He assists her with odd jobs around town – most frequently for their rich neighbor, Mam Mercy, who has a son named Peter. Dodong only has eyes for the city-bred Peter but he never notices him or anyone in their small village. The village folk spend their days gossiping about each other and life continues as it always has.And then Dodong gets sick. He and Lisa visit the barangay health official who recommends they get an ultrasound to rule out gallstones. Instead of gallstones, the monitor reveals a tiny heartbeat. Dodong is confused. The health official suggests that maybe Dodong is biologically female, except his genitalia is submerged, or his clitoris overdeveloped. They are recommended to go to an OB, who laughs at them as soon as Dodong claims he is pregnant. Soon, word spreads about Dodong’s claims. At first, the news is met with repulsion, then amusement, and then bewilderment when some of the villagers realize he isn’t lying. The rumors reach the tabloids, where Dodong’s situation is transformed into a miracle. The community members one by one become devotees, fashioning themselves into a cult. Only his father is unconvinced. Poldo spends more and more time with his old girlfriend-turned-mistress, Esmeralda – further detaching himself from the household. Soon church officials are knocking on their door to verify the “miracle”.

9.) “The Comeback” (Ivan Andrew Payawal, genre: Comedy-Drama)


Patrick Garcia

Kaye Abad

Valeen Montenegro and

Matt Evans

Also starring

Adrienne Vergara

Julia Enriquez

Bea Galvez

Kate Alconga


Sheena Ramos



The Comeback is a comedy about a 32 year old crazy, OA fading superstar actress who loses everything in her life and decides to commit suicide but on the day she decides to kill herself, she receives a package containing 4 letters and ashes in a vase: a dead man’s ashes in search of a home. 


Angela Velasco had it all: Fame, money, expensive clothes, a mansion, true love, fans that adore her, friends that support her. Even though she lost her parents at a young age, she has been a fighter and made it on her own. But that was before…Before the nasty rumors, before her showbiz downfall, before her deepest heartbreak, before all of her friends leave her, before the never-ending debts, before her disgusting diva attitude, before the drugs and alcohol, before the parties, before her attempted suicide.

Feeling like she lost everything, on the decided day of her suicide, her attempt gets cut by an arrival of a package that contains 4 letters and a vase with ashes in it. One letter is addressed to the owner of the house. She then gets the surprise of her life when she finds out that the ashes are remains of a dead man named Kiko who used to be the owner of the house Angela is staying in. Kiko is requesting if the owner of the house can help him find his real destination: to the arms of the 3 names: Melanie, Letty or Irene,that are written on the letters.The arrival of Kiko’s ashes sparks like a good luck charm for Angela as she tries to juggle her “comeback” with her old antics while she embarks on a journey finding a home for Kiko but in the process she finds a home for herself.


cinema one’s most succesful film- “that thing called tadhana”, now available in dvd’s…

“Yes, it’s indeed Cinema One Originals’ most successful film in all aspects”, Mr. Ronald Arguelles, head of Cinema One, assured a blogger. “It earned so well, we got many sponsors and all, it entered the mainstream, its stars blossomed fully after the film- that’s why I said that.”

“And now, we’re releasing it in DVD form”, Mr. Arguelles continued. “Everyone can see it by now, they just have to buy the DVD which is now on the market. Just a month ago, the book form and script form of the film was launched at National Bookstore, with its writer Antoinette Jadaone writing signatures on the book. Truly, it’s a very successful film project.”

Relish the film… be entertained… capture the magic of cinema right in your own home. Buy and watch the DVD of “That Thing Called Tadhana”!!!

Need I say more, Ronald Arguelles?

angelica panganiban and jm de guzman in "that thing called tadhana"
angelica panganiban and jm de guzman in “that thing called tadhana”



“miss bulalacao”: one of cinema one originals film fest finalist…

actor mon confiado takes a scene on "miss bulalacao"
actor mon confiado takes a scene on “miss bulalacao”
miss bulalacao, gets pregnant by a STAR!
miss bulalacao, gets pregnant by a STAR!


miss bulalacao, the film, has a very provincial setting
miss bulalacao, the film, has a very provincial setting
young female indie film director- a woman at that- ms. ara chawdhury takes a shot.
a young female assistant director- a woman at that- takes a shot.
"miss bulalacao" has religious undertones, too
“miss bulalacao” has religious undertones, too
ms. tessie tomas, mon confiado and other cast members in one one meal scene of "miss bulalacao"
ms. tessie tomas, mon confiado and other cast members in one one meal scene of “miss bulalacao”
a gay beauty pageant in "miss bulalacao"
a gay beauty pageant in “miss bulalacao”
young female indie film director- a woman at that- ms. ara chawdhury takes a shot, with cinematographer christian linaban
young female indie film director- a woman at that- ms. ara chawdhury takes a shot, with cinematographer christian linaban



Miss Bulalacao is one of the finalists for this year’s Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2015 on November 4-17 in select theaters around Manila. It is Director Ara Chawdhury’s debut feature after winning grand prize at the Sinulog Film Festival 2015 for Operation Prutas.


Shot entirely in the scenic island province of Biliran by award winning cinematographer Christian Linaban, it is produced by Jill Anoba-Yap and Bianca Balbuena for Cinema One, with Panumduman Pictures, Above the Line Productions and Epic Media.


Chawdhury says that she got the inspiration for the script from The Sims, various films, and her experiences growing up in Naval, Biliran. “I was pregnant and bored, so I looked around me and thought of what I could shoot in my mom’s village. We lived with our helper’s family and an addition to the family was our maid’s husband’s son who, when he first came to us, was flamboyant and proud. I already knew the husband beat the wife every now and then. So it wasn’t hard to imagine why the boy stopped singing Regine Velasquez every morning. I thought, maybe if he was the pregnant one, his dad would go easy on him.”


The result is a one and a half hour black comedy about a young drag queen, Dodong, who joins a barangay gay pageant to gain acceptance in his father’s community. He is instead met with hostility from his father, who chases him to a jungle, where he sobs to a lone bright star. What follows is the strangest night on his entire life, and even stranger 9 months when he realizes he is pregnant. With only his stepmother, Lisa, as support, Dodong deals with ridicule from a barangay who does not believe him – until the rumors become a headline in a tabloid. “Bakla: Ina ng Dios”


The film stars Cebuano bred performance artist Russ Ligtas in his first lead role in a film. Of the experience, Russ says “Even as someone who is part of the LGBT, shooting the film revealed so many things about my own prejudices. I am humbled to be part of it.” Chawdhury says she is hoping the film is accurate in its portrayal of life in the storm besieged Region. “Region 8 is one of the poorest regions in the country, even before Haiyan. I am hoping this film sheds some light on the culture and attitudes of people who have to survive on family bonds and community spirit, and how the individual suffers for this.”


Aside from Ligtas, the film also features Chai Fonacier, Ferdinand Mesias, Tessie Tomas, Nanette Inventor, and Mon Confiado, among others. Tomas, who is a native waray speaker, was glad to reconnect with her heritage. “Miss B is a cleverly wacky story that challenges our beliefs on faith. I am proud to be a part. Kaupay na man la!”


Mon Confiado says he was impressed by Operation Prutas, and jumped at the chance to work with the production behind it upon receiving the script. “Kakaibang kwento. Nakakatawa pero di siya nagpapatawa. Nakakaiyak pero hindi ito nagdadrama. Mababaw pero malalim ang kwento. Nakakatuwa na bumabalik na ang sigla ng mga Regional Films!”


Producer Bianca Balbuena had this to say, “Regional stories are important fibers in Philippine cinema because of the little stories that we dont hear in the cities we live in, they are very intimate and refreshing but also universal in terms of emotions and feelings.”


While the cast is a mix of actors from Manila Cebu and Davao, the crew is entirely Cebuano.


“I’ve never worked with a more professional cast and crew. This is more or less the same crew that’s been working on the previous Cebuano Cinema One entries. I guess, the efficiency of this production is just a result of all those years of trial and error.” Chawdhury says.


“Biliran used to be part of Leyte before receiving province status in 1992. So the island is besieged by storms, and we shot right in the middle of Habagat season. We were not expecting the weather to be as kind to us as it did then. The people were incredibly accomodating as well. I guess it helps that we expressed wanting to  Some of the scenes were shot in the diving resort we were staying in, Agta Beach Resort. The owners’ ancestral house is featured in the film as Maam Mercy’s house.” she added.


Miss Bulalacao will premiere at the CinemaOne Originals Film Festival in select theaters in Manila which is slated for November 4-17, 2015.

abe pagtama: the low-key hollywood pinoy film actor has been joining the indie film scene for years now…

sir abe: acting is his passion
sir abe: acting is his passion
sir abe can change characters in film roles
sir abe can change characters in film roles
abe: from hollywood to indie film scene
abe: from hollywood to indie film scene
abe: father-like and gentle
abe: father-like and gentle
sir abe grew his beard long in the film "kamera obskura"
sir abe grew his beard long in the film “kamera obskura”
sir abe with pen medina in "kamera obskura", a cinemalaya film entry in the year 2013.
sir abe with pen medina in “kamera obskura”, a cinemalaya film entry in the year 2013.
sir abe portrayed mostly eskimo film roles in his hollywood projects
sir abe portrayed mostly eskimo film roles in his hollywood projects


If you happen to see an adult man looking so low key and father-like, emanating a humble kind of feeling and very Filipino ways, on those big events of premiere nights and film showings- that could be Mr. Abe Pagtama, surely, one of the best actors that this blogger had admired.

He is so gentle, thoughtful, warm and kind- almost like a real father who cares. His ways are well-mannered, the way he speaks, so soft and reassuring. And his thoughtfulness could melt your heart down.

This actor, who has been appearing in many filipino independent films for the past years, is one of the best, again we say, that we had seen so far. He’s the “camera-holder” in the Cinemalaya 2013 film Kamera Obskura, a film directed by Raymond Red. He’s the child hostage-taker in the horror film Diplomat Hotel, directed by Chris Ad Castillo, he’s the evil villain in Rekorder, directed by Mikhail Red. And many more.

But he was never given the proper ‘accolades’. Back in the U.S. wherein he resided most of his life, he joined the Hollywood scene, portraying an Eskimo man in a TV series there, an Hawaiian in some films, and a lot of gangster roles.

“Ironically, I never played a Filipino man-character in those film and TV projects that I got in Hollywood”, Mr. Abe Pagtama started saying to a blogger during a coffee-interview at Coffee Bean in SM Megamall. “I was always casted as an Eskimo man or an Hawaiian man. But I was happy, anyway. Somehow, I longed the Philippines and I wanted to act here. When I met Raymond Red in the U.S. more that fourteen years ago, that’s how it all started. I appeared now in some Filipino indie films.”

And Mr. Pagtama simply flies back and forth from the U.S. to the Philippines. Isn’t it expensive? We asked.

“Ha-ha, I get free tickets, anyway”, Mr. Pagtama answered. “I attend some conventions and they give me free plane tickets. My work, really, is somewhat on the marketing side. It’s the one the pays my bills. And acting is only my passion.”

Mr. Pagtama is now currently in the Philippines to shoot new films with directors Raymond Red and Mikhail Red.

“I am casted in direk Raymond Red’s new film for the upcoming Cinema One Originals film fest”, Mr. Pagtama continued saying. “I am one of the rebels there in the film Mga Rebeldeng Walang Kaso, which is loosely based on the direk Raymond’s rebel days during his youth when he joined a group of friends fighting for an alternative cinema. The film happens only in one day. Raymond was only 17 years old at that time, together with other film rebels like Cesar Hernando and the rest. I am so glad to be a part of this film.”

Mr. Pagtama had already started shooting the film. And he felt so comfortable working with direk Raymond Red, whom he considers a very close friend. Then, on the coming month of November, Mr. Pagtama will start shooting for Mikhail Red’s (son of Raymond Red) new film. The film is entitled Birdshot.

“And next year, on the upcoming Cinemalaya 2016, I will be doing three film entries for Cinemalaya”, Mr. Pagtama added again. “I was casted in three films there and I am so happy. But I have to go back first to the U.S. for a brief period of time before I do those films.”

Mr. Pagtama doesn’t easily accept film roles, you see.

“When I accept a role, it depends on the script”, he said. “Kapag nagustuhan ko lang talaga ‘yung role, that’s the time I accept it. Then afterwards, I research for the kind of character I will portray. I change my looks based on the character. I sometimes become flamboyant, sometimes looking arrogant and evil, and I also let my beard grow if the character asks for it. That’s how serious an actor can I be.”

Mr. Pagtama has been acting in Hollywood since 1970’s. That’s why it’s really an honor for every Filipino film artist to have him around now. He wants to contribute something for the Philippine Cinema.

“As long as I am needed here, I will come”, came Mr. Pagtama’s last words for the interview. “I am a Filipino by birth and by blood. Nothing gives me more happiness but to work with my fellow Filipino film artists.”

Very well said, Mr. Abe Pagtama. And we promise, more of you on this humble blog site.


(words by robert manuguid silverio)

ronnie liang and vince tanada stars in “esoterika: maynila”, the OPENING FILM of 2014 cinema one originals festival

ronnie liang
ronnie liang
vince tanada
vince tanada




(vid above, uploaded on youtube.com by mr. carlos cedran)

The protagonist, a Manila denizen, narrates his transition from restaurant peon to literary artist. In a voyage of self-discovery, Mario, alternately ingenuous, plunges into the territory of the exalted, the charmed and the bizarre, swimming through the uncharted waters of the unique Filipino “mystique”.


a dark scene in the film "esoterika: maynila"
a dark scene in the film “esoterika: maynila”
a dark scene in the film "esoterika: maynila"
a dark scene in the film “esoterika: maynila”
a dark scene in the film "esoterika: maynila"
a dark scene in the film “esoterika: maynila”

from sssip 🙂

PMPC (Philippine Movie press Club) award-winning actor Vince Tanada portrays the role and character of the narrator of the film, referred to at the film’s synopsis above as “a Manila denizen”. The lead star of the film is no less than Ronnie Liang (his first major movie break), portraying the character of “Mario”, a man who plunged deep into the “mystique” of the film.

Both Vince and Ronnie did their very best in this film, supporting each other and helping each other out in some violent and delicate scenes of the movie.

The film’s director, Elwood Perez (known in the industry as a “sadist” film director) have only good words for both Vince and Ronnie.

“It was a perfect acting chemistry for me”, direk Elwood once said to a blogger.



Need I say more?

ssssip 🙂


“ESOTERIKA: MAYNILA” also stars Carlos Cedran, Lance Raymundo, Boots Anson-Roa, Snooky Serna, Chris Lim, Cherry Bagtas, JP Lopez, Adelle Lim, Patrick Libao, Kevin Posadas, Jerie Sanchez and many more.

Screenplay by: Elwood perez and Jessica Zafra

Produced by T.Rex Productions

mara lopez yokohama stars in “hindi sila tatanda”, a cinema one originals film entry…

beauteous and sexy mara: in a sci-fi film- "hindi sila tatanda", film entry for cinema one originals 2014
beauteous and sexy mara: in a sci-fi film- “hindi sila tatanda”, film entry for cinema one originals 2014

Join Kean Cipriano, Ketchup Eusebio, Mara Lopez, and Dawn Jimenez on a trip to retrace the legend of a UFO sighting, that will test the bounds of their friendship in Hindi Sila Tatanda. A film by Malay Javier. Coming this November only in #C1Originals 2014!

the leading cast of "hindi sila tatanda"
the leading cast of “hindi sila tatanda”

sandino martin stars in “esprit de corps”, a cinema one originals film entry (courtesy of mymovieworld.com)



sandino martin: sexy
sandino martin: sexy
vj mendoza: commercial model-theater actor and the "cebuana lhuilier" man also stars in this film
vj mendoza: commercial model-theater actor and the “cebuana lhuilier” man also stars in this film

It was the last three weeks of Military trainingwhen it was cumpolsory during the Marcos Dictatorship. The cadets must pass through Hell week: gruelling physical tests, Wargames and a final test at the dreaded Interrogations Room! Many are aspiring for the position of Major Mac Favila. He is every cadets ideal officer- sharp, snappy, witty and most of all the most macho among the school’s officers. Privates Abel Sarmiento and Cain Fujioka are the top contenders for his position.
Will they do anything to get his position? Or will they end the cycle of corruption ?
A corruption-seduction drama set in a Christian school for boys, a year before Marcos fell from power.
Based on the original play with the same title.

Starring: Sandino Martin, JC Santos, Lharby Policarpio, Garry Lim, Abner Delina Jr, VJ Mendoza

Written and Directed By: Kanakan-Balintagos

Cinema One Originals 2014 will be held from November 9 – 18 2014 at Glorietta, Fairview Terraces, Greenhills Promenade and Trinoma.

bloglink courtesy of: http://mymovieworld-coolman0304.blogspot.com/2014/10/esprit-de-corps-teaser-cinema-one.html

cinema one originals filmfest 2014: “intense”, and when art can never go wrong!



  • Kanakan BALINTAGOS (better known as Auraeus SOLITO) adapts Abel/Cain from his own 1980s play about a game of seduction involving two cadets in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who try to outwit their superior officer.
  • Alec FIGURACION‘s supernatural horror Bitukang Manok is about the occupants of four cars traveling to Bicol on the titular winding road who must join forces when they find themselves trapped, endlessly driving in circles.
  • Cinematographer Malay JAVIER‘s teen sci-fi romance Di sila tatanda (literally, “Never Gonna Grow Up”), inspired by a series of UFO sightings in the 1990s, is the tale of an alien barging into an already complex love triangle.
  • Paolo O’HARA‘s The Housekeepers is a comedy of errors in which a couple are forced to babysit a kidnapped child, only to go on the run as a family when they’re ordered to kill it just as the police close in.
  • Sigrid Andrea P. BERNARDO follows CineFilipino-winner Anita’s Last Cha-cha Ang huling cha-cha ni Anita with Lorna, a “midlife comedy drama” about a sixty-something woman who has a second chance at romance over the internet.
  • Cinematographer Jay ABELLO‘s action film Red is the tale of an underground fixer in Bacalod, the capital of Negros Occidental province, who finds himself framed for the same drug crimes he’s trying to cover up for his clients.
  • Documentary film-maker Nash ANG directs South Korea-set Seoul Mates, a comedy about a suicidal man and woman whose romance begins when they meet at the bridge they’re about to jump from and unexpectedly fall in love.
  • Remton Siega ZUASOLA‘s Soap Opera is a comedy about a con-artist couple who persuade foreigners to visit the Philippines and marry them only to run off with their money. The scam goes wrong when they have to play nice with a victim’s sick child.
  • Antoinette H. JADAONE‘s That Thing Called Tadhana is a romantic comedy about a heartbroken man and woman who meet-cute at an airport check-in desk when one’s luggage is overweight. “Tadhana” is Tagalog for “fate”.
  • Eduardo DAYAO‘s psycho-horror Violator, set on the brink of the apocalypse, is the macabre tale of three police officers encounter a stranger in their precinct who forces them to confront a dark secret.
jm de guzman stars in one of the film entries of c1 this year
jm de guzman stars in one of the film entries of c1 this year
angelica panganiban stars in one of c1 "intense" film entries this year
angelica panganiban stars in one of c1 “intense” film entries this year
ronald arguelles: the man behind cinema one originals
ronald arguelles: the man behind cinema one originals

“death march”: when the dead comes marching-in

poster of the film "death march", the closing film at the recently-concluded cinema one originals fest.
poster of the film “death march”, the closing film at the recently-concluded cinema one originals fest.
jason abalos: outshines other fellow actors in the movie "death march"
jason abalos: outshines other fellow actors in the movie “death march”
the actors in "death march"
the actors in “death march”
a horrifying dead scene in the movie
a horrifying dead scene in the movie
director adolf alix, jr. instructs actors jason abalos and zanjoe marrudo in one scene in the movie "death march"
director adolf alix, jr. instructs actors jason abalos and zanjoe marrudo in one scene in the movie “death march”



They say that the “dead ones” have no more right to mingle and mix with the living. They say, too, that the dead people are already totally “all gone”, just like a smoke that evaporated into thin air. The dead ones, they say, no longer feel, no longer see, nor hear, smell and breathe… they’re just DUSTS UPON A WIND.

Those, are the usual things that the most cynical and critical people do say about the DEAD. Forever gone. Forever away.

But what happens when the living ones are the ones who are DEAD? Can you comprehend? Can you grasp? Can you understand?

In the movie Death March, this was clearly seen. Because upon joining that historical march in the darkest time in the story of one beloved country, you had to consider yourself ALREADY DEAD.

No wonder, it was called the “Death March”.

But the dead ones have their own reasons to stay, too. Sometimes, they even linger forever. Not until a task is delivered, or a law, broken.

Those who believe in the “soul” surely knows and accepts that.

You could see images after images portrayed onscreen via this enormous movie directed by Adolf Alix, Jr.

Images that could stab you, handsome faces that could penetrate you, but sadden you with the fact that, they, indeed, looked like real ghosts in this film. The words they spoke were few but meaningful. Words that could make you sleep so as to escape the brutalities of war.

This was not an enjoyable film. Even critics would hate it because it challenged the mind so much. And it even questioned one blogger, why did ANGELS let those things happen in a long but almost forgotten chapter of a dark history?

As they say, the dead ones always brings tears, sadness, depression… that’s why most people would rather forget than cope, that’s why most people, too, were afraid of “ghosts”.


There was only one living character that a blogger saw as he watched this film on the closing event of Cinema One Originals fest. And it was the character portrayed by Jason Abalos, who also stood-out among the rest as the greatest actor in the ensemble cast. His emotions in the film were so vivid and real.

The rest, were “ghost-like” phantoms that acted in unison, in contrast with Jason’s magnificent acting ability all throughout his scenes. One other actor, Sam Milby, could have been alive, but he somehow faltered back in evaporation in his few remaining last scenes in the movie.

There was no “music”, only very raw sound created by actress Alessandra de Rossi, but it created utter shock and praise.

The cinematography in black & white by Albert Banzon was delusional, haunting, absolute.

The direction was unbelievably magical. A wonder of hands and mind created by Adolf Alix, Jr.

Warning: When you watch this film, be sure to have drunken a big mug of coffee so as not to fall asleep while watching it. Because it’s so painful, all you could do is to escape and close your eyes to  its horrifying images of the casualties of war. Then, as you closed your eyes, the angels would dwell and would make you fall-in more deeper into slumber.

Because this movie was not a movie, after all. IT WAS DEATH AND LIFE COMBINED IN ONE VISION. Surely, the cinema has played a trick of magic upon it… AS THE DEAD CAME MARCHING-IN.


(words written by robert manuguid silverio)


(special added feature below, courtesy of history.com)

The Bataan Death March

The Deadly March of American and Filipino POWs During World War II


(link): http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwarii/qt/Bataan-Death-March.htm


The Bataan Death March was the forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war by the Japanese during World War II. The 63-mile march began with 72,000* prisoners from the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines on April 9, 1942. The horrible conditions and harsh treatment of the prisoners during the Bataan Death March resulted in an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 deaths.

actual graphic pictures of DEATH MARCH IN BATAAN PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES below:

japanese soldiers torturing filipinos
japanese soldiers torturing filipinos
the march of death
the march of death

Bataan Death March

Only hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Japanese also struck airbases in the American-held Philippines (around noon on December 8, local time). Caught by surprise, a majority of the military aircraft on the archipelago were destroyed during the Japanese air attack.

Unlike in Hawaii, the Japanese followed their surprise air strike of the Philippines with a ground invasion. As the Japanese ground troops headed toward the capital, Manila, American and Filipino troops retreated on December 22, 1941 to the Bataan Peninsula, located on the western side of the large island of Luzon in the Philippines.

Quickly cut off from food and other supplies by a Japanese blockade, the American and Filipino soldiers slowly used up their supplies. First they went on half rations, then third rations, then fourth rations. By April 1942, they had been holding out in the jungles of Bataan for three months and were clearly starving and suffering from diseases.

There was nothing left to do but surrender. On April 9, 1942, U.S. General Edward P. King signed the surrender document, ending the Battle of Bataan. The remaining 72,000 American and Filipino soldiers were taken by the Japanese as prisoners of war (POW). Nearly immediately, the Bataan Death March began.

The March Begins

The goal of the march was to get the 72,000 captured American and Filipino POWs from Mariveles in the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula to Camp O’Donnell in the north. To do this, the prisoners were to be marched 55 miles from Mariveles to San Fernando, then travel by train to Capas. From Capas, the prisoners were again to march for the last eight miles to Camp O’Donnell.

The prisoners were separated into groups of approximately a hundred, assigned Japanese guards, and then sent marching. It would take each group about five days to make the journey. The march would have been long and arduous for anyone, but the already starving prisoners were to endure cruel and brutal treatment throughout their long journey, which made the march deadly.

The Horrible Conditions of the Bataan Death March

Japanese soldiers believed strongly in the honor brought by fighting to the death and anyone who surrendered was considered contemptible. Thus, to the Japanese soldiers, the captured American and Filipino POWs from Bataan were unworthy of respect. To show their displeasure and disgust, the Japanese guards tortured their prisoners throughout the march.

To begin with, the captured soldiers were given no water and little food. Although there were artesian wells with clean water scattered along the way, the Japanese guards shot any and all prisoners who broke rank and tried to drink from them. A few prisoners successfully scooped up some stagnant water as they walked past, but many became sick from it.

The prisoners, who were starving even before their surrender, were given just a couple balls of rice during their long march. There were numerous times when local Filipino civilians tried to throw food to the marching prisoners, but the Japanese soldiers killed the civilians who tried to help.

The intense heat during the march was miserable. The Japanese exacerbated the pain by making the prisoners purposely sit in the hot sun for several hours without any shade — a torture called “the sun treatment.”

Without food and water, the prisoners were extremely weak as they marched the 63 miles in the hot sun. Many were seriously ill from malnutrition, while others had been wounded or were suffering from diseases they had picked up in the jungle. These things didn’t matter to the Japanese. If anyone seemed slow or fell behind during the march, they were either shot or bayoneted. There were Japanese “buzzard squads” who followed each group of marching prisoners, responsible for killing those that couldn’t keep up.

Random brutality was common. Japanese soldiers would frequently hit prisoners with the butt of their rifle. Bayoneting was common. Beheadings were prevalent.

Simple dignities were also denied the prisoners. Not only did the Japanese not offer latrines, they offered no bathroom breaks along the long march. If a prisoner had to defecate, then they had to do it while walking.

Arrival at Camp O’Donnell

Once the prisoners reached San Fernando, they were herded into boxcars. The Japanese shoved so many prisoners into each boxcar that there was standing room only. The heat and conditions inside caused more deaths.

Upon arrival in Capas, the remaining prisoners marched another eight miles. When they reached their destination, Camp O’Donnell, it was discovered that only 54,000 of the prisoners had made it to the camp. It is estimated that about 7,000 to 10,000 died, while the rest of the missing had escaped into the jungle and joined guerrilla groups.

The conditions within Camp O’Donnell were also brutal and harsh, leading to thousands more POW deaths even within their first few weeks there.

The Man Held Responsible

After the war, a U.S. military tribunal was established and charged Lieutenant General Homma Masaharu for the atrocities committed during the Bataan Death March. Homma had been the Japanese commander in charge of the Philippines invasion and had ordered the evacuation of the prisoners of war from Bataan.

Homma accepted responsibility for his troops’ actions even though he himself never ordered such brutality. The tribunal found him guilty.

On April 3, 1946, Homma was executed by firing squad in the town of Los Banos in the Philippines.

* Some sources say 75,000 soldiers were taken prisoner after the surrender at Bataan, with 12,000 of them American and 63,000 Filipino.