Archive for the Cinemalaya Category

Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There)

Posted in Actor, Actress, Best Actor, CCP, Cinemalaya, Pinoy Fimmaker, Pinoy Movie, Showbiz News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Eduard Orgel

Ang Nawawala (What Isn't There)

Gibson Bonifacio stopped speaking as a child. He is now twenty years old, returning to Manila from his studies abroad, his first visit home in three years. He finds his family trying to keep it together, his mother still hurting from a tragic loss in the past. In the backdrop of the vibrant local music scene, his childhood best friend reaches out to him, and he finds a chance at his first real romantic relationship. Amidst the holidays, Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationships with his family, his friends, and with himself.

Awards Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2012 Finalist (New Breed Full-Feature Category)

Starring Dominic Roco, Felix Roco, Annicka Dolonius, Alchris Galura, Mercedes Cabral, Kelvin Yu, Jenny Jamora, Marc Abaya, Sabrina Man with Mr. Boboy Garrovillo and Ms. Dawn Zulueta

Directed By Marie Jamora

Written By Marie Jamora & Ramon De Veyra

Screenplay By Marie Jamora & Ramon De Veyra

Produced By Marie Jamora, Bernard Dacanay, Trinka Lat, Daphne O. Chiu & John Sy


Posted in Actor, Actress, Best Actor, Best Actress, CCP, Cinemalaya, Showbiz News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by Eduard Orgel

an entry to the 2012 director’s showcase of cinemalaya. written by zig dulay, directed by lawrence fajardo, stars bangs garcia, wendy valdez, art acuna, susan africa, nor domingo, jake macapagal and nico antonio. with the special particiaption of john lapus. july 2012.

Lawrence Fajardo

Director of POSAS
Lawrence Fajardo

“Bagong Hari”: A lost gem of a film retrieved, March 12 at CCP!

Posted in Actor, Actress, CCP, Cinemalaya, Pinoy Fimmaker, Pinoy Movie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2011 by Eduard Orgel


Mario O’Hara’s “Bagong Hari”, filmed in 1985 to launch Dan Alvaro to action stardom will finally be screened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Manuel Conde on Saturday, March 12, 2pm. as part of the ongoing series “Overlooked Films, Underrated Filmmakers” by the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (SOFIA).

The film starred Dan Alvaro, Robert Arevalo, Joel Torre, Carmi Martin, Perla Bautista, ElviraManahan (her first and last film!), Celso Ad. Castillo, Ruel Vernal and other supports.

I chanced upon this rave review of “Bagong Hari” by Jojo Devera in Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy.  May I quote:  “Bagong Hari (Cineventures, Inc.) is the picture by which all other films of 1986 is measured.  The film is director Mario O’Hara’s best work showcasing a very exciting performance by Dan Alvaro.  Blessed with a good physique and strong features, his characterization of Addon, the cunning street fighter caught in a political power struggle, is memorable for its raw power.  He is competent in scenes that call for bone breaking fist fights as well as scenes that require toned down emotions.  Underneath a cool exterior, the sheer energy expelled by Alvaro in the film’s vicious fight scenes takes the notion of acting with sincere cruelty to a new ecstatic high.

In ‘Bagong Hari’, Addon becomes the symbol of social rage.  He is an angry young man fighting for survival in a community that lives by the gun, where power bestows the privilege of abuse on a select few.  In Addon’s chaotic world, the police are no longer friends but foes in the service of corrupt officials.  Addon is introduced as a diligent riverboat worker with simple pleasures except for Isagani Labrador (Robert Arevalo), his politically well-connected father.  Addon’s world revolves pretty much around his environment in the slums.

When his mother (Perla Bautista) falls ill, the need for money to settle a huge hospital bill forces Addon into a criminal mission that puts him at odds with the town’s political kingpins.  Because of his skill at weapons, he is admired by the powers that be.  In the process, his combat achievements earn the wrath of the Governor Nenuca Lailles’ (Elvira Manahan) murderous son, Rex (Joel Torre).  Suddenly, he finds himself a pawn in the fight between two warring parties for the governor’s office. At one point, he is forced to shoot his father, who had been branded as an opportunist by the enemy camp.  To cover up the crime, Addon is ordered salvaged but the plan fails.  Addon escapes eventually destroying his opponents by fist, gun and knife!

Director Mario O’Hara and screenwriter Frank G. Rivera have created a fresh character who has neither the wealth nor the influence to assert social control but who has the ability to define his terms against those who trample his domain.

‘Bagong Hari’ is difficult not to like.  It has some of the most haunting images in recent movie memory.  One of the film’s most striking compositions shows Addon burying his mother by the roadside, owing to their poor state.  As he digs a hole in the ground, the camera shows the city lights glittering like gems in the distance.  This particular image is one of the film’s most interesting allusions to the idea of the city as agent of seduction and death, the city lures people on the promise of financial gain only to leave them in poverty and despair.

The use of such expressive images is the key to the film’s effectivity.  Mario O’Hara’s direction is outstanding.  His clever use of environment, particularly the riverbank dwellings and the ice factory which he turns into a visual maze is highly effective in creating feelings of fear and suspense.

For sheer visual excitement, ‘Bagong Hari’ is hard to match.  One gets the impression that both ‘Condemned’ and ‘Bulaklak Sa City Jail’ (two O’Hara pictures from 1984) were just sketches in preparation for this thriller.

The cinematography by brothers Johnny and Romulo Araojo is superb.  Antonio Aguilar’s music is imaginatively absorbing and the film’s editing is just brilliant.  To pass judgment on ‘Bagong Hari’ for the sheer aspect of its violence is unfortunate.  Considering its unique qualities and taking its story and direction as a whole, the film merits serious consideration even from the most discriminating Filipino moviegoer.”


Posted in CCP, Cinemalaya, Pinoy Movie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by Eduard Orgel


First-of-its-kind collaborative project using EMC technology solutions to help store, protect and manage CCP’s complete audio-visual archive                     dating back as far back as 1970


MAKATI CITY, Philippines – 02 March 2011 – EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines(CCP) today announced the launch of a nationwide digitization project to convert and integrate CCP’s entire audio-visual collection of Philippine arts and culture into digital and emergent forms, for the preservation of the nation’s treasures for the use of future generations to come.

The digitization project will involve storing, protecting, managing and making accessible on EMC information infrastructure systems CCP Library’s vast collection of national, cultural and historical materials which currently consists approximately 40,000 hours of audio, 30,000 hours of tapes from its film archive, 6,500 photos, 28,000 photographic slides and at least 56,000 manuscripts of literary works. Part of its program is to also digitally capture 1,500 art and 1,500 historical pieces for future content migration.

“Poetry, film, music, visual art and expressions of humanity are all part of a country’s national, cultural and historical heritage and, yet, many of these critical documents and cultural artifacts are at risk of disappearing without the right information infrastructuresystems,” say David Webster, President of EMC in South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  “EMC recognizes and supports the protection of such important heritage of the Philippines for the enjoyment and appreciation of future generations of Filipinos.”

In supporting CCP’s vision and far-sightedness on the importance of preserving the nation’s heritage, EMC has been closely collaborating with the CCP team and providing the necessary EMC products and technologies, including training support, to start the project.

”EMC’s collaboration with CCP is a natural fit with our core business and expertise around storing, protecting and managing critical digital information assets,” say Ronnie Latinazo, Country Manager of EMC Philippines. “It has been a rewarding challenge to help CCP create a virtual and interactive environment to make information on Philippines’ rich cultural past available and accessible to everyone. This is EMC’s way of giving back to the community after having operated in the Philippines for the past 10 years.”

The CCP was established by the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1969 through Executive Order No. 30 to preserve Filipino arts and culture, as well as promote the development and appreciation of national arts and culture. Over the years, the documentation of cultural performances and growing repository of materials from other art forms were accumulated to provide entertainment and educational materials to the public.

“We commend EMC’s generosity and dedication as a responsible corporate citizen. CCP is honored to be a beneficiary of this digital preservation initiative. It shows EMC’s spirit and vision of making technology a vital tool in building a better Philippines and outstanding Filipinos. This partnership will benefit not only this generation but the youth of the future as well,” said Dr. Raul Sunico, President, Cultural Center of the Philippines.


About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world’s leading developer and provider ofinformation infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC’s products and services can be found at

Chanel Latorre: Reaching new heights as an actress!

Posted in ABS-CBN, Actress, Cannes, Cinemalaya with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2011 by Eduard Orgel


Chanel Latorre

Everything’s coming up roses for indie actress Chanel Latorre!  In less than a year, she is able to achieve many things which only a determined newcomer like her could ever do!

Take these:  She was picked from almost a hundred aspirants from Asia as the title-roler in the first full-length feature of Hongkong-based American filmmaker of short films for children, Craig Addison.  Titled “WanChai Baby”, the said film is about a Pinay domestic helper who ran away from her American master’s apartment when the latter got murdered.

“WanChai Baby” was shot in its entirety in Hongkong in the district where beleaguered Filipino congessman Ronald Singson was tried and sentenced to one-and-a-half years imprisonment for some drug offense.

When Chanel came home, it was only to do an indie suspense-drama film “Rindido” directed by Noriel Jarito and which was included in the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival”Salute to Pinoy Indies”.

Another surprise offer came from no less than the internationally acclaimed Pinoy filmmaker Brillante Mendoza for her to portray a lifestyle writer who was among local and international tourists taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf terrorists.  For Chanel, her inclusion in the formidable cast of a Cannes Filmfest-bound film project, tentatively titled “PREY”, was a realization of a dream to hit the international film landscape!  It also afforded her the chance to work with French acting icon Isabelle Huppert who was twice proclaimed Cannes Best Actress:  for “Violette” and “The Piano Teacher” and who is looked up to as France’s answer to Hollywood’s Meryl Streep!

I stumbled upon some scribbled thoughts of Chanel about herself and her dreams which revealed her being adventurous and willing to explore new horizons and learn new things.  Says she:  “I like trying anything and everything at least once (as long as God won’t hate me for it!).  I like surprising people…even myself when I do so.

“I finished a nursing course from UST and was supposed to enter medical school three years ago, underwent military and martial arts training but I discovered a safer alternative of trying/experimenting something new:  film acting.

As an artist, I want to earn acting awards and be appreciated for my performance.  I want to try any role–the more challenging, the better…something that has never been done before.

I want to portray Snooky Serna in her biopic.  I think her life is a checkered one and is a litmus acting test for any actress!

I also want to portray Madame Bovary–escaping banalities of a boring life through immoral
and pretentious means.  A double life!

I also want to breathe life to a woman disguised as a man, tapos mabubuko as a woman.  Could be the leader of a syndicate or a gang, a drug pusher who gets nabbed and tortured.

I also want to portray a persone who has lived like an animal — unglamorous and true of some patients in the mental hospital who are treated like animals and in the process get to adapt some animal traits!

Brillante Mendoza film, inaabangan!

Posted in ABS-CBN, Actor, Actress, Best Actor, Best Actress, CCP, Cinemalaya, dennis adobas, GMA network, Pinoy Fimmaker, Pinoy Movie, Showbiz News, TV5 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2011 by Eduard Orgel



Brillante Mendoza

Brillante Mendoza


 Isabelle Huppert

Isabelle Huppert and Chanel Latorre and others cast of "PREY"

Tapos na tapos na ang principal photography ng “Prey”, ang latest film project ng internationally acclaimed Filipino filmmaker na si Brillante Mendoza.  Kinunan ito sa apat na lugar:  Batangas, Quezon, Rizal sa South at (Subic) Zambales sa North.

Ang “Prey” ay tumatalakay sa mga hostage-taking incidents ng mga local at foreign tourists ng Abu Sayyaf. Pinaka-peg ng kuwento ang madramang nangyari sa Dos Palmas Resort sa Palawan mga ilang taon na ang nakakaraan.  The script is written by Boots Agbayani Pastor based on various researches, interviews.  Mismong si Direk Brillante Mendoza ay nagpunta sa Mindanao para magsaliksik!

The cast of “Prey” is an assemblage of top actors from the movies, television and theater.  Headlining the cast is French acting icon Isabelle Huppert who was twice proclaimed Cannes Filmfest Best Actress for her performances in “Violette” (1978) and “The Piano Teacher” (2001). She is considered “France’s counterpart of America’s Meryl Streep” in terms of acting capacity and various roles played onscreen.

Kasama rin sa cast ng “Prey” sina Maria Isabel Lopez, Sid Lucero,Raymond Bagatsing, Chanel Latorre, Ronnie Lazaro, Neil Ryan Sese,Kristoffer King, Mercedes Cabral, Bernard Palanca, Mon Confiado, Tado, Raymund Nullan, Angel Aquino, Perry Dizon, Rustica Carpio, Allan Paule at iba pa.

Malamang na isasali ang “Prey” sa 2011 Cannes Film Festival sa Cannes, France in May 2011.


Bukod sa singing ay binabalikan din ng singer-actor na si Ernie Garcia ang pag-arte.

Kasama si Ernie sa cast ng teleserye na “My Lover, My Wife” ng GMA-7 playing the role of Maxene Magalona’s loving and supportive father.

Ang iba pang artistang nasa cast ng “My Lover, My Wife” ay sina Luis Alandy, Marco Alcaraz at Nadine Samonte.  Sa direksyon ni Jay Altarejos.

Last month ay lumabas naman si Ernie sa isang episode ng dramatization of real stories on “Face To Face” ng TV5.

Babalikan din ni Ernie ang recording.  Upon the advice of stage director Freddie Santos (dati niyang kasamahan sa Repertory Philippines), magre-record siya ng mga kantang Tagalog na katipo ng mga kanta ni Tom Jones.  Kasalukuyan siyang nakikipag-usap sa mga composers para magpagawa ng mga kantang ganito.


Bago pa sila nagkakilala ni Ernie Garcia, dati na palang nagpo-produce si Dr. Rey Carpio ng mga beauty pageants.  Siya ang producer ng “Queen of the East” at “Philippine Super Model” contests some years ago.

Si Dr.Carpio ang producer ng pre-Valentine concert ni Ernie sa Eastwood Richmonde Hotel grand ballroom sa Libis, Quezon City, last February 12.  Pinamagatang “Ernie Garcia…Loving You”, ito’y nagtampok din kay Mark Anthony Carpio as special guest performer.

Presidente si Dr. Carpio ng Grand Monaco Estate Developers, Inc. na may 12 locations including Antipolo, Caloocan, Marikina, Novaliches, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig and Taytay.

GMEDI maintains a pool of accredited brokers backed up by promotional strategies of putting up sales exhibits at the malls, billboards at strategic locations, saturation within the 4.6 radius of the project sites, leafleting, mobile ads and open house activities.

Grand Monaco housing projects have been selling like hot cakes.  Gross sales for 2010 reached P600-million (up from only P5-million in 2003) and tripled 2009’s performance.

“Bagong Hari” ni Dan Alvaro sa CCP March 5!

Posted in Actor, CCP, Cinemalaya, Entertainment, Pinoy Movie, Showbiz News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Eduard Orgel


Dan Alvaro

Dan Alvaro

Bilang bahagi ng project ng SOFIA (Society of Filipino Film Archivists) to screen “almost forgotten cinematic gems”, ipalalabas sa CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) Tanghalang Manuel Conde sa March 5, 2011, ang pelikulang “Bagong Hari” na isang action-drama-suspense film with contemporary political undertones (patapos na ang Martial Law ang setting ng pelikula) na dinirek ng internationally acclaimed Filipino filmmaker na si Mario O’Hara.

Modesty aside, allow me to say that “Bagong Hari” was my movie project in the same way also that “Babae Sa Breakwater” was.  Hindi ito pagyayabang dahil totoo ito at saksi ko sina Direk Mario O’Hara at iba pang directly involved sa production.  Kung wala ako, wala din sana itong gem of a film na itinuturing na one of the best sa history ng local filmmaking.

Project ko ang “Bagong Hari”.  Title-roler dito ang alaga kong si Dan Alvaro.  Ipinatawag ako ng prodyuser at nag-usap kami at nagpirmahan ng kontrata.

This was 1984. Katatapos lang ipalabas noon ng isa pang cinematic gem na “Condemned” starring Nora Aunor  and Dan Alvaro and directed by O’Hara na tumabo sa takilya.  Kaya nang tanungin ako ng prodyuser ng “Bagong Hari” kung sino ang gusto kong magdirek kay Dan, sumagot kaagad ako na si O’Hara!

The following day ay dinala ko si Direk Mario sa opisina ng prodyuser.  After two days ay bitbit na ni O’Hara ang scriptwriter na si Frank Rivera.  In two weeks’ time ay nabuo ang project!

Aside from Dan Alvaro (as Addon Labrador, ang Bagong Hari), the film also had in the cast big names like Joel Torre, Robert Arevalo, Carmi Martin, Ruel Vernal, child actress Glaiza Herradura, Celso Ad. Castillo and the irrepressible TV host (of “Two For The Road” with Nestor Torre) with the signature crackling laughter, Ms. Elvira Manahan.

“Bagong Hari” was intended to be an entry in the 1984 Metro Manila Film Festival.  Due to some problems with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (then chaired by Armida Siguion Reyna during the Marcos administration) hindi ito natuloy sa festival at naipalabas ito on January 4, 1985 — immediately after the festival!


I would like to freely quote some portions from Mr. Noel Vera’s (Critic After Dark) review of “Bagong Hari” which appeared in his blog.  Here go:  “‘Bagong Hari’ perfectly captured the regime’s (the last days of Martial Law) utter corruption, its systemic use of violence, our need (or hunger, if you like) to have someone rise up against it…’Bagong Hari’ was an ultimate statement of violence!

“Violence is a classic mode of expression among Filipino political parties, especially during election season…Violence is one of the oldest and most preferred means of interaction between men, with the man most skilled at inflicting it revered, worshipped, granted larger-than-life status.  ‘Bagong Hari’ acknowledges this from the opening sequence, a hand-to-hand duel between two men on a beach.  Fists crunch into bone, feet are ground into faces, and faces in turn are crushed in the wet sand.  O’Hara keeps the various body parts in giant close-ups then freezes the images, partly to distance us from the horror of physical punishment, partly to aestheticize the violence, force us to dwell on its awful beauty (hard, muscular bodies being pummeled and punched).

“‘Bagong Hari’ is O’Hara at his most baroque:  two desperate men in a life-or-death struggle for the amusement of the upper classes!

“‘Bagong Hari’ is recognizably noir in that it has protagonists struggling against a complex crime plot in a dark and hostile urban landscape, because it presents such a wide range of characters–from the highest offices of power to the humblest river rat–interacting and dominating (or being dominated by) others”.


Dingdong Dantes is immensely enjoying his noble role as Youth Ambassador of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).  He was present during the press launch of the National Arts Month celebration and the grand opening of the Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF) last January 30 at the Rizal Park (Luneta).

Says Dingdong at the press launch at NCCA Building:  “I merge my name and pour my time to the objectives of the NCCA as they embark on their traditional National Arts Month, capped by this year’s PIAF this month.

“As an arts exhibitor and practitioner myself, it is my hope that I would be able to somehow help, even through my small efforts, in stimulating public interest and support to this year’s campaign of the NCCA.

“Because more than the culture of corruption, helplessness and despair that most of us feel is regrettably already fast shaping the lives of Filipinos today.  I believe there are true positive cultures inherent in us such as our untiring hope, perseverance, drive for excellence and desire to propel our pristine beginnings.

“While there is always room for advance, our zoom to international limelight, particularly in the fields of music, cinema and visual arts are all encouraging and truly honoring for all Filipinos.  With this, I give my highest regards to the likes of Charice Pempengco, Lea Salonga, Architect Felino Palafox, to name a few, who have all brought in international prestige and honor to our race, by displaying Filipino greatness in terms of arts.

“And it is my hope that this year’s nationwide festivities of the NCCA will harness and put to limelight thousands of untapped and unkown art skills all over the country, which are worth showcasing and exemplifying!”