“kung okey na si jm, we will do a sequel of the film- that thing called tadhana”— ronald arguelles

mr. ronald arguelles
mr. ronald arguelles


Aminado si Mr. Ronald Arguelles, ang over-all head ng Cinema One Originals Digital Filmfest, na ang pinaka-succesful pa rin nilang taon ng pagdadaos ng Cinema One fest ay nuong 2014 (that was two years ago) na kung saan ay pumatok ng husto sa takilya ang Cinema One film entry na That Thing Called Tadhana, na siyang naging hudyat na rin nuon ng pagbabalik-pelikula muli ng sensational actor na si JM de Guzman, at, naglunsad din naman sa karera ng film director na si Antoinette Jadaone.

“In all of the Cinema One film entries, from year one up to last year, ang That Thing Called Tadhana pa rin ang masasabi kong pinaka-succesful na produkto namin in all aspects”, bungad na sabi ni Ronald sa isang dinner-interview sa kanya ng isang blogger sa Almon Marina restaurant. “It earned many millions in box office, maski sa marketing aspects at DVD release, ang laki din ng kinita namin dahil sa pelikulang iyon. And I can say, it made Cinema One more alive and more kicking.”

What about last year’s Cinema One fest, kumita ba ito?

“Yes, we did earn fairly naman last year… Okey naman”, mabilis na tugon ni Ronald. “But not in comparison doon sa Cinema One fest namin last 2014 na kung saan ay kasama nga ang That Thing Called Tadhana. Iyong taon na iyon pa rin ang pinakamalakas naming festival year. But anyway, I was so happy naman kasi last year ay nag-level-up na kami. We featured Asian Cinema film entries  last year na itutuloy pa rin namin sa taong ito.”

In-announce ni Ronald sa blogger na kausap niya na February 26 na ang deadline ng lahat ng mga sasali para Cinema One fest this year.

ronald rainbow
ronald rainbow

“All film entries must be submitted on or before February 26”, pagdidiin niyang muli. “Entry forms are available at the 8th floor office of us at the ELJ Building at ABS-CBN channel 2 compound. They should also submit there all the written scripts na ilalaban nila. Mapalad sila kung mapipili namin sila.”

And good news! Mr. Arguelles raised the budget ng mga mapipiling scripts to 3 million pesos! Yes, 3M na nga ang magiging budget ng mga direktor na mapapasali sa Cinema One fest, doon sa pitong mapipiling official film entries. Malaki-laki na iyan, hindi ba?

“Yung mga mapipili naming mga finalists and film entries, makakakuha sila ng three million each para sa shooting expenses nila”, pag-uulit pa ni Ronald. “This year, we will have seven finalists. Binawasan na namin ang finalists (from the usual 10 finalists in the past years) para lumaki ang budget ng mga makakasali. Meanwhile, doon naman sa mga mapipiling tatlong documentary film entries, 1.5 million pesos naman ang budget na makukuha nila. Hindi ba, ang saya-saya!”

As of now, 200 film entries na ang natatanggap ng Cinema One. Pero sa mga gusto pang makahabol, humabol na kayo at baka isa kayo sa mga mapiling seven finalists.

“We have strict judges na mga pumipili sa film entries”, sey ulit ni Ronald. “May film critic, may film historian, may film fanatic, may film reviewer… iba-iba. I can say, lahat sila ay film lovers”

jm de guzman
jm de guzman


Natanong namin si Ronald, what about a Vilma Santos and JM de Guzman movie in one Cinema One film entry?

“I just don’t know the availability of Governor Vilma Santos”, sagot ni Ronald. “Pero noon pa man ay kinukuha na namin siya. What I am thinking now is the sequel of That Thing Called Tadhana. Kung okey si JM de Guzman, we will do a sequel. Kaso, hindi pa yata siya available until now.”

Late last year, finally, nakapag-relaks-relaks na rin Ronald amidst all his busy skeds sa Cinema One. He went to Palawan island for a total rest and leisure. Nagpunta rin siya ng Australia at ng Singapore. Pero yung dalawang nahuling tours niya ay pawang mga work-related tours naman. Duon lang talaga daw siya sa Palawan nakapag-enjoy ng husto.

May gusto pang i-announce si Ronald.

“On February 23 up to February 26, all Cinema One 2015 film entries are going to be shown at U.P.’s Cine Adarna”, pagpapatuloy na sabi ni Ronald. “It’s sponsored by the U.P. Film Institute, NOT the U.P. Film Cineastes, ha. Kaya sa lahat ng mga hindi pa nakapanood ng mga film entries ng C1 last year, this is their chance to see those films.”

And last question for Ronald. What’s in store, or what’s that ‘something big” that’ll gonna happen this year for Cinema One?

“Surprise!!!”, pagtatapos na sagot ni Ronald. “It’s still too early to reveal that. Ni wala pa nga kaming napipiling 7 finalists now at submission of entries pa lang. But I am sure, they’ll gonna like it.”

As much as we like the CINEMA OF “ONE”.


(words by robert manuguid silverio)


ra2c12c13Ang iyong pelikula na kaya ang susunod na BEST PICTURE ngayong 2016?

May panahon pa para ma-submit ang inyong FULL-LENGTH FEATURE FILM CATEGORY entries! Kaya i-submit na ang complete requirements!

7 pelikula ang hihiranging Finalists sa Cinema One Originals 2016 para sa category na ‘to, at 3 naman sa Documentary Film Category.

Para ma-download ang entry forms at makita ang kumpletong detalye, click here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/at5Jx

This is your time to be KAKAIBA! Submit your entries now!

#C1Originals #CinemaOne


“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 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?


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)