Cinema One channel head Ronald Arguelles (Rightmost) with the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival filmmakers

Cinema One channel head Ronald Arguelles (Rightmost) with the Cinema One Originals 2015 festival filmmakers






Ten years is a good round number to wrap up an era. For its first ten years, Cinema One Originals has produced some of the most unique, diverse, adventurous independent films in Philippine cinema.  On its eleventh year, it is ready to level up.

Welcome to Cinema One Originals Mark 2.0. As exemplified by its new tagline “Kakaiba Ka Ba?” Cinema One Originals continues to uphold diversity and uniqueness in Philippine Cinema, an exhortation and an affirmation for both filmmakers and film-goers. This year marks the first of another ten years and beyond and promises more of the same only bigger, better, bolder.

Starting everything off are our nine Originals 2015. Joel Ferrer’s cross-generational screwball rom-com “Baka Siguro Yata” which stars Valerie “Bangs” Garcia, Dino Pastrana, Ricky Davao, and Cherie Gil. 

Sheron Dayoc’s religious horror gothic “Bukod Kang Pinagpala” featuring real-life mother and daughter Bing Pimentel and Maxie Eigenmann as a mother and daughter in the grip of sinister forces.

Ivan Andrew Payawal’s comedy about suicide and celebrity “The Comeback” features Kaye Abad as a fading star whose life takes an unexpected turn.

Sari Dalena’s “Dahling Nick,” an experimental docu-fiction hybrid that celebrates the life and work of Nick Joaquin with Raymond Bagatsing in the eponymous title role.

Bor Ocampo’s “Dayung Asu,” featuring Ricky Davao and Junjun Quintana as a father and son enmeshed in a life of crime, is a homage to Pinoy action set in a unique milieu.

Ralston Jover’s “Hamog” blends neo-realism and magic realism with Zaijan Jaranilla and Teri Malvar as street children.

Carl Joseph Papa’s fully-animated “Manang Biring” is the touching story of a terminal patient and her estranged daughter with Erlinda Villalobos in the title role.

Raymond Red’s “Mga Rebeldeng Walang Kaso” is a look back at the early days of the first wave of Philippine independent cinema with Felix Roco, Epi Quizon, Earl Ignacio, and Nicco Manala.

And lastly, Ara Chawdhury’s “Miss Bulalacao”, which introduces performance artist Russ Ligtas in his first film role, is a comedy about a young drag queen whose life is changed by a strange encounter.

Aside from the nine Originals 2015, there will a Special Presentation of Cinema One’s production of Sherad Sanchez’s found footage horror film “Salvage,” with Jessie Mendiola as a reporter lost in a haunted jungle. There will also be an impressive program of films showcasing the best of world cinema, including Miguel Gomez’s “Arabian Nights,”  Hou Hsiao Hsien’s “The Assassin,” Hong Sang Soo’s “Right Now Wrong Then,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster,” and Roy Andresson’s “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch.”

This year’s Filipino Classics will be highlighted by a restoration of Ishmael Bernal’s “Ikaw Ay Akin” with no less than Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, as well as restorations of Lino Brocka’s “Insiang” and Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Karnal.”

In the spirit of commemorating revolutionary cinema, Cinema One Originals 2015 will pay tribute the first wave of Pinoy indies, the short filmmakers from the 80s led by Raymond Red, Nick De Ocampo, Rox Lee and Joey Agbayani, the pioneers of alternative cinema. As an auxiliary program, there will be also a showcase of 10 short films from the Philippines, New Zealand and Iran. Here is the form’s glorious past and it’s glittering future.

From November 9-17, cinemas at Trinoma, Glorietta, Resorts World and SM Megamall will be haven for discerning cinephiles as Cinema One Originals once again celebrates cinema with a difference. Kakaiba ka ba?


“gemini”: what you don’t see won’t hurt you…



Habang naniniwala ka sa nakikita mo, sa kuwento mo, walang puwedeng magsabi sa iyong hindi ito totoo… Simulan natin sa pangalan mo (While you still believe in what you see, in your own story, no one has the right to tell you that it isn’t true… Let’s start with your name).”



The mind creates, it takes you to journeys, in life’s many labyrinths and puzzles… Sometimes, once you took those journeys, you’ll never gonna come back again. And very seldom, you can manage to cope those mind’s journeys and go back all over again.


Only a soul or a human being with a great and powerful love can save you from the bondage of your own “phantoms”. There’s a hand reaching out on you, a love as powerful God’s grace and sacrifice, that will awaken you and cuddle you with coldness and with warmth.

It could be a FANTASY recreated by human beings. It could be a work of certain imaginations… but only then, you would be FREE.

Science, Love, Fantasy. All combined in one very delicate and intellectual film, that only a few could analyze and comprehend- just like the DUALITY that existed in the film Gemini.

Once more, the indie film industry has mastered its freedom away from commercialism. It went further beyond the horizons, traveled in and out of a mind set- and fulfilled an artistic work of ART.

Director Ato Bautista surely got there. The flow and the rhythm of the movie Gemini could be more appreciated when you close your eyes because you could feel its heart beating and pulsing, even if you’re gone and dead. To achieve this was such a monumental task- because you could feel the beauty of the film Gemini even if you didn’t see anything, even if you were blind- because what you didn’t see won’t ever hurt you.

Sometimes, the movie just stood still (as in “still life”), but even when it stood still- it journeyed far beyond your wildest imaginations.

But you would want to open your eyes again to see how the lead actor of this film- in person of Mon Confiado- acted-out with great subtlety, power and compassion. His speaking lines in the film were all too perfect, and very challenging to deliver. And only an actor like Mon could do justice on those very meaningful lines.

A very underrated actor, that is, Mon, was the one who brought life into this film. Despite the director’s very artistic rhythm and flow and the cinematographer’s graphic but beautiful “eyes” (for the camera)- someone had to stay to make it all ALIVE. And, only the ACTOR, could very well do that.

Surprisingly, the scriptwriter of this film was only just a KID. With the name of Shugo Praico. How could he ever travel so much in terms of psyche, love and conflicting feelings and versions of a marvel-like life by one set of twins- whether conjoined or not- was indeed a fantastic mission and assignment. But he delivered.

The ending of the film’s story was a mixture of science winning over love, but if you’d analyze it all over again, it was love who prepared the WAY to make Science win.

The other half twin was gone in the mind of the more natural twin-mate, but the more that the other half twin EXISTED … and lived. Yet, in the film, it was presented only in a VERY PHYSICAL WAY. Just analyze further, you’d know.


Someone would be calling again… but you’d never see who’s on the other line.


it was meant to be that way…

as the truth suffers, the eyes lingers on.



(A Film Review By Robert Manuguid Silverio, written outside the journeys of his “book of love”, dated: December 18, 2014).

“GEMINI”, 5 STARS *****!


THE DIRECTOR AND THE CAST OF "GEMINI" (photo by: sigfried barros-sanchez)

the director and the cast of the film "gemini". (photo by: sigfreid barros-sanchez)
the director and the cast of the film “gemini”. (photo by: sigfreid barros-sanchez)


(from robert manuguid silverio’s facebook status, reprinted below):

A MILESTONE! Mon Confiado’s superb and very subtle acting performance in the movie Gemini is comparable to the acting styles of Hollywood actors like Nicholas Cage, Robert de Niro and Benicio del Toro (actors who can do character roles and lead roles at the same time, with much intensity and clarity)… Napaka-low key lang kasi ni Mon dito movie industry natin, lagi siyang nano-nominate sa mga acting awards pero bakit tila mailap yata ang acting trophy sa kanya? Ang dating tuloy niya ay tila Richard Burton sa Hollywood na more than 9 times na-nominate as best actor sa oscar awards, but never nanalo? Kainis. Watch another splendid performance of Mon sa “Gemini” movie niya na entry sa darating na MMFF sa New Wave category. It’s the kind of acting I have hungered for in years!!!… P.S.: Kudos to direk Ato Bautista for his very artistic kind of direction and story, Shugo Praico for a superb script and Rain Yamson II for his majestic cinematography… In this film, ibang Lance Raymundo na naman ang nakita ko, a total change of look and acting style, while the Mcbride twins- Brigitte McBride & Sheena McBride Bonus were good, too, as new actresses, nakuha nila ang “soul” ng characters nila. Maski walang dialogue o speaking words si Don Gordon Bell sa movie, ang lakas ng dating niya onscreen. While ang actor na si Alvin Lorenz Anson naman, kay lakas ng sex appeal sa film na ito!…Congrats to all the people involved in this film!

don gordon bell portrays a different kind of role in the film “gemini”…

dongem dongem10 dongem11 dongem12 dongem13 dongem14 dongem15 dongem2 dongem3 dongem4 dongem5 dongem6 dongem7 dongem8

A veteran Hollywood film actor at that, Don Gordon Bell portrays another unique kind of role in the film Gemini, one of the ‘New Wave’ film entries in this coming 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival.

With countless international movies on his cap, Don embraced the country Philippines and pursued, rather, continued his acting career here. Alongside acting is his passion for Photography, that’s why he’s now deep into taking pictures at different entertainment events in the Philippines.

The film Gemini is his one remarkable film for him. Because he’s so happy to star here opposite his real-life Filipino friends – actors Mon Confiado and Lance Raymundo, also with the director of the film Ato Bautista.

“Both Mon and Lance knew I was a war veteran in Vietnam”, Don told a blogger one time. “That’s why they were both impressed. And I admire them both as actors.”

Don portrayed the role of a father of psychollogically-disturbed twins in the movie Gemini. But there’s something more in his role here.

“That’s going to be a surprise and I won’t reveal it”, Don said. “Better watch the movie as its shown on December 25th for the Metro Manila film fest. It’s on the New Wave category. See u then.”

Very well, Don.


(words by robert manuguid silverio)




lance raymundo talks about the film “gemini” and director ato bautista

actor lance raymundo with co-actors in "gemini". from left to right: alvin anson, lance himself, sheena macbride, sarah gaulger & brigitte mcbride
actor lance raymundo with co-actors in “gemini”.
from left to right: alvin anson, lance himself, sheena macbride, sarah gaulger & brigitte mcbride. (PHOTO BY: DON GORDON BELL)

Kasali ang pelikulang Gemini, na kung saan ay isa sa mga bida ang aktor na si Lance Raymundo, sa darating na Metro Manila Film Festival as part of the New Wave Category. Very happy si Lance sa balitang ito, dahil malaki rin ang naging hirap niya sa paggawa ng nabanggit na “highly-artistic” film which deals about the strange journeys of the mind.


“For me, it’s one of the movies I’m really proud of”, bungad na wika ni Lance over a great lunch in a restaurant along Tomas Morato area. “Alam ko kasi na magandang pelikula ito, something I haven’t done in years. I am fascinated by director Ato Bautista’s style in movie making. And i really intend to do another film and work with him again soon.”

Papel ng isang mahiwagang suitor o love interest ng isa sa mga twins- portrayed by  real-life twins Brigitte and Sheena McBride in the film- ang role ni Lance sa pelikula. Pero may “twist” sa totoong identity ng character niya sa pelikula, kaya naman challenging ito para kay Lance.

lance with don gordon bell and an actress
lance with don gordon bell and an actress

“I am really awed by director Ato Bautista’s creativity in this film”, dagdag na sabi pa ni Lance. “He is really artistic at may international appeal ang mga pelikulang ginagawa niya. All of my co-actors in this film, lahat sila, really impressed kay direk Ato.”

Kinuwento pa ni Lance sa blogger, nu’ng magkaroon ng special screening ang pelikulang Gemini, humanga ng sobra ang mga film critics.

lance with the cast and crew of "gemini"
lance with the cast and crew of “gemini”
lance in a scene in "gemini" with sheena mcbride
lance in a scene in “gemini” with sheena mcbride

“As I’ve seen in recent film festivals held here, I know na intellegent na ang mga movie viewers and they can appreciate na films like this one- itong Gemini film namin”, anya pa. “I am sure that this time, they can digest na films like this one. Kaya I am so hopeful na mapapansin talaga ito ng husto sa darating na Metro Manila Film Fest.”

In the meantime, tinatapos na rin ni Lance ngayon ang pelikulang Maskara, isang highly-political film na kung saan ay kasama niya sa cast sina Ina Feleo, Boots Anson-Roa at Lester Llansang. leading man ni Ina ang role ni Lance sa movie namang ito.

lance with co-actors
lance with co-actors

“I am a ladies’ man in the film”, sey ni Lance. “A debonaire man na may hidden agenda. I will swoon over the character of Ina Feleo in the film na isang news reporter, pero ‘yun pala ay may hidden interests ako. The film is about political whistle blowers kaya highly-interesting ang plot ng movie. Let’s talk about this new film of mine soon.”

Pinagpalit ni Lance ang offer ng isang giant TV network para sa isang teleserye kapalit ng pelikulang Maskara. Pero hindi naman nagsisisi o nanghihinayang si Lance. Mas bina-value kasi ni Lance ang previous commitments and schedules niya keysa sa bigger offers. Ganyan ka-professional si Lance.

Tunay namang umuulan pa rin ng blessings and good opportunities ang showbiz career ng mabait na si Lance Raymundo. Kaya naman ibinabalik niya sa Diyos ang lahat ng ito. Sa pamamagitan ng pag-aalay ng inspirational speaking engagements in various schools all-over the Philippines.

This is Lance’s second life and he is simply making the best out of it.


(words by robert manuguid silverio)


lance in a photo shot by photographer erickson dela cruz
lance in a photo shot by photographer erickson dela cruz




“in darkness we live”, a new film by christopher ad castillo

from sssip 🙂

‪#‎InDarknessWeLive‬ new trailer.


“Official competition selection of the ‪#‎QCinema‬ International Film Festival.
Gala premiere night Friday Nov 7 at 930pm Trinoma Cinema 3. Public is welcome.
2nd screening on Saturday Nov 8 at 12pm noon Trinoma Cinema 3.
Much thanks for your support and please share to help foster ‪#‎independentcinema‬.







“The idea was borne about by my love for Takashi Miike gangster films and French slasher films of the
90’s. I always put my influences in anything that I do artistically and this film gave me a chance with a
couple of film languages that I admire. Plus it was a great way to work with my dear friend producer
Suzette Ranillo and my fiancee Malaya Santos who was actively involved in my production for the first
It’s about bank robbers who botch a job and have to go on the run. They run out of gas on and go on
foot in this weird forest where no one has gotten out alive. There they discover an old house where a
young woman lives with her grandmother. As they insist on staying, the Grandmother tells them that it
is the night of Ang Kumakatok (Those Who Knock), a mythical being who takes away a soul from the
occupants of the house they knock in. As the dead of night unfolds, we realize who they all really are
and when the knock comes, none of them can run away from an evil that stays in their soul.
It’s not your traditional exercise in horror but more of a drama and the toll the extreme psyche exerts on
the human soul. I toy with the idea of a myth and its effects on people who are already on the edge
while being violent by nature. The legend of Ang Kumakatok is something I discovered after doing
research on Philippine mythology. I wanted to pick on something more obscure and stay away from the
overused standard ones like Tikbalang and Kapre to name a few. Every time I ask people whether
they’ve heard of Ang Kumakatok, they don’t know what it is. Our culture is rich in mythology, let’s be
inventive about it.”

“My motto on set was never run out of blood. I came in knowing that the screen will be awash in red
and I was not going to shy away from the reality of the characters and the story. These are violent
people that will not think twice to kill and will die before they get caught and I have to be honest in the
actions they do. And if that means ultra violence then so be it. Actually I started the film knowing I was
headed into X rating territory and enjoyed every second of it. There’s a feeling of liberation when your
art is unencumbered and you’re free to unleash onto the audience the terrible darkness in your mind.”

“I wanted to do something different and fun for me and the actors. I just wrote a seven page treatment
and I went out and got my friends which happen to be some of the best actors in the industry namely
Mon Confiado, Alex Medina and Jerald Napoles. I just gave them the character and their traits and
things I wanted to hear from their dialogue and they just ran with it. I respect actors a lot and give them
a lot of leeway to create as long as it fits the life of the film. Most actors and directors never get a
chance to be experimental in their craft so you do it the first time you get a chance. And they all did a
wonderful job. It was a very dark and bloody shoot but it was the most fun I’ve had on a set. No matter
how hard it was to think of a line of the spot, they dug deep down and found it. These actors really
deserve more accolades from the mainstream.”

“I don’t get intimidated especially not in the film industry but it was very difficult for me to give instructions to Mommy Glo when she first arrived on the set. She’s on a different plain as an actress and
I know where I stood in regards to experience. But she cracked a joke before we started and that melted
all the anxieties I had with working with her. And I think she knew how I was feeling and she did that
on purpose for my benefit. I didn’t really have to tell her much except what the character was about and
I just sat back and enjoyed her eerie performance like everyone else.”

“People asked my why I didn’t speak out after the controversy of the uploading. It’s because I rabble
rouse in a different way and it was already getting out of hand. They told us about their plans and they
announced it during the filmmaker reunion. The outcry should have happened there and we would have
saved a lot of anger and grief.
I went into the dialogue wanting to hear solutions but there’s still a lot of hurt from the filmmakers and
it was evident in the meeting. It was combative most times and rightfully so. Anything worth saving is
worth fighting for and being mad about.
The blame goes both ways. While I understand my contract and Cinemalaya was within their rights to
do what they did and I even truly understand why they did it, they just went about it the wrong way.
The dialogue should have happened prior and not after. On the other side, some of the bashing and
name calling coming from the filmmakers should have been tempered down although emotions are the
last thing you have control over. We are all in this together whether we like it or not. The festival is not
a money machine and most of the films don’t turn a profit and right now the festival is fighting for its
For better or for worse, Cinemalaya has contributed a lot to the industry and to careers. I had some of
the best time in my life at the festival last year. I wanted to come out of the dialogue with ideas and
solutions for the future and while there were some bandied about, it was more putting the raw emotions
on the table. I hope a second dialogue happens because it would surely be more productive. So is there
a Cinemalaya 2015? Personally I highly doubt it and we are all the poorer for it.”

mon confiado in the film “heneral luna”…

the real emilio aguinaldo and mon confiado as aguinaldo
the real emilio aguinaldo and mon confiado as aguinaldo

“Ang Heneral Luna ang isa sa pinakamalaking pelikulang nagawa ko. At napaka-suwerte ko na mapabilang sa cast ng pinakamagagaling na mga aktor sa industriya! Pinagsama-sama sa makasayasayang pelikulang Heneral Luna“, saad ng text message ng aktor na si Mon Confiado sa isang blogger.


Directed by Jerrold Tarog. Produced by Eduardo Rocha. Cinematography: Pong Ignacio. Production Design by Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije.

mon confiado as emilio aguinaldo in his latest film "heneral luna"
mon confiado as emilio aguinaldo in his latest film “heneral luna”

“Five months before the shoot nag-prepare na ‘ko for the Aguinaldo look.. Hinanap ko ang pinaka magaling mag gupit ng Aguinaldo Cut..”, sabi pa ni Mon.

“I studied the script.. Read it six times.. I memorized all my lines and dropped script three months before the shoot..”, anya pa.

At ilang buwan din siyang nag-research sa buhay ni Aguinaldo para maging makatotohanan ang kanyang pagganap…

Nag-aral din si Mon horseback riding, araw at gabi, in preparation for his scenes in the movie na kung saan ay nangangabayo siya…

Tunay na aktor, ‘yan si Mon Confiado sa pelikulang HENERAL LUNA…



(by robert manuguid silverio)

mon c10 mon c11 mon c12 mon c2 mon c3 mon c4 mon c5 mon c6 mon c7 mon c8 mon c9


mon confiado’s two exciting new indie films- “gemini” and “el peste romansa”

mon: the thinking actors.
mon: the thinking actor.

“Pareho silang intended for international film festivals abroad”, nasabing pabungad ng aktor na si Mon Confiado over a brief phone chat. “I can say, sila ang mga tunay na indie films. What I mean is, 100% na indie films sila dahil pawang mga indie film actors lamang ang kasali. Kasi, ‘yung ibang indie films, may participation na  ang mga mainstream and commercial actors, kaya hindi masasabing tunay na indie films ‘yun. Unlike itong dalawa kong indie films na Gemini at El Peste Romansa, lahat ng mga kasama ko dito ay paang indie films actors lang.”

And that makes Mon Confiado’s two new indie films- Gemini and El Peste Romansa a lot more exciting. Ang Gemini ay isang suspense-thriller na mula sa direksyon ni Ato Bautista. Samantalang ang El Peste Romansa naman ay mula sa direksyon ni Richard Somes.

Nag-release na ng official trailer ang Gemini at malapit na rin itong ipalabas. Samantala, ang El Peste Romansa naman ay malapit na ring i-release ang official trailer, ayon pa kay Mon.

Sa Gemini, napaka-markado ng role ni Mon dahil ang role niya dito ay isang private detective na tipong magsasaliksik sa misteryo ng pagkatao ng isang babaeng “mentally-tortured” magmula nang mamatay ang kanyang ka-kambal. Sa trailer pa lang ng pelikula, obvious na obvious na ang kagalingan sa pag-arteng ipinamalas ni Mon. Nakapagtataka lang kung bakit laging “underdog” siya sa mga award-giving bodies, gayong sa lahat ng mga indie films na nilalabasan niya, tunay na kahanga-hanga ang kanyang mga ipinamamalas na kagalingan sa pagganap. Pero lagi namang “critically-acclaimed” ang mga performances ni Mon.

the "gemini" film of mon
the “gemini” film of mon

Nakaka-intrigue din ang role ni Mon sa El Peste Romansa, pero suspense daw muna iyon at ayaw muna niyang i-reveal.

mon: underdog
mon: underdog

“Pero dito sa bagong film na sinu-shoot ko, ang Heneral Luna, mas gusto kong mag-focus talaga ngayon”, dagdag na sabi pa ni Mon sa isang maikling phone chat sa isang blogger. “Kasi, ang papel ko sa movie na iyon ay bilang si Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo. First time kong gaganap bilang isang Heneral at distinguished man in the pages of Philippine History. Kaya excited ako at malaking hamon talaga sa akin.

the "el peste romansa" film of mon
the “el peste romansa” film of mon
mon in "el peste romansa"
mon in “el peste romansa”
mon in "gemini"
mon in “gemini”

“Mas natuto pa nga ako ngayon ng husto na mangabayo”, anya pa. “Kasi, in preparation for my character sa pelikula, nag-aral talaga akong mangabayo. I had a special horseback training lessons dahil alam kong bihasa sa pangangabayo si Heneral Aguinaldo.”

Nasa ibaba ang napakagandang trailer ng Gemini film ni Mon. Sana naman this time, mapansin na ng mga award-giving bodies at manalo muli siya sa pelikulang ito ng isang acting award! Dapat lang, di ba?


(words by robert manuguid silverio)