WINWYN Marquez currently plays the role of Ribay in GMA7’s primetime show, “Mulawin Vs. Ravena”. Now that she has officially been presented as one of the candidates in Miss World Philippines 2017, that means she will have to give up her role as she will have to stay with the rest of the candidates at a specific hotel during the duration of the pageant until the coronation night on September 3 at the MOA Arena, with telecast on GMA-7.
Winwyn, whose real name is Teresita, previously joined the Bb. Pilipinas pageant in 2015 (the batch of Pia Wurtzbach) but only made it as a finalist and winner of best in costume and best in talent. The daughter of movie stars Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez, her aunt, Melanie Marquez, was the Miss International winner in 1979.
“I’ve always dreamed of being a beauty titlist,” she says. “Hindi ko na puwedeng ipagpaliban pa kasi 25 na ako. So now I want to make my dream a reality.”
Has she asked advice from her Tita Melanie? “She now lives abroad but even before, she told me to just enjoy the moment, have fun, think positive, don’t pressure yourself by being scared and just do your very best. I think I’m more ready now than when I first joined in 2015. I’ve gained more experience and I can feel mas prepared na ako.”
Why did she join Miss World this time and not the Bb. Pilipinas? “I researched about it and I like their motto na beauty with a purpose. My own purpose is to help my former school, Southville International in their aim to ‘Save a PoUCh’ which means save a poor urban child. They offer scholarships to poor urban children who can’t afford to go to school.”
There is a rumor that Winwyn has already broken up with actor boyfriend Mark Herras but others say that it’s just a temporary separation so she can focus her undivided attention entirely on the pageant as it’s actually Mark who urged her to join the pageant. Winwyn won’t confirm or deny any of this but then, she attended the wedding of Rochelle Pangilinan and Arthur Solinap at Tagaytay last Tuesday with Mark, so that means they’re still very much on.
VETERAN ACTORS INTIMIDATE NEWCOMER
‘BIRDSHOT’ was the opening film in this year’s Cinemalaya Filmfest. Those who’ve seen it now claim that it’s better than any of the entries in Cinemalaya, which some say should be called the pestebal of directors na hindi marunong magdirek. ‘Birdshot’ is currently an entry in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino which starts showing in cinemas nationwide on August 16.
“Birdshot” is co-written (with Rae Red) and directed by Mikhail Red, 25, whose first directorial job was “Rekorder”, which won best production design at the 2013 Cinemalaya and later won for Red the best new director award at the Vancouver International Filmfest. “Birdshot” got initial funding from the Doha Film Institute in Qatar and the CJ Entertainment Award Asian Project Market then fully bankrolled by TBA (Tuko Films, Buchi Boy, Artikulo Uno). It later won the Best Picture in the Asian Future category of the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival and The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award at the Goteborg Film Festival.
“Birdshot” is about Maya (Mary Joy Apostol), a teenage farm girl who mistakenly shoots and kills a critically-endangered and protected Philippine Eagle in a reserved forest area in Northern Luzon. Two cops come to investigate who did this, the Chief Officer, Mendoza (John Arcilla), and the new cop, Domingo (Arnold Reyes). However, their investigation leads them to an even more horrifying discovery about a missing bus and its passenger farmers that turns it into a riveting mystery thriller about high level corruption.
Where did Red get the story idea? “I got it from a news item three years ago about a farmer who gets arrested for shooting a Philippine Eagle which he doesn’t know is a treasured endangered specie,” he says.
Mary Joy Apostol is a total newcomer. How did he recruit her? “Nag-audition siya. We really want a newcomer for the role of Maya, then we'll surround her with seasoned actors. Tamang-tama 'yung balance niya ng innocence and grace pero may ferocity rin in her.”
How did Mary Joy feel when she bagged the lead role in her first movie? “Hindi ko po talaga ine-expect,” she says. “Intimidated ako noong una, kasi puro magagaling ang kasama kong sina Arnold Reyes, John Arcilla and Ku Aquino as my father, Diego. And they’re all very helpful, so I feel so blessed kasi I learned so much from them while shooting the film.”
After this, TBA will also release three other good movies before the year ends: “Smaller and Smaller Circles” with Sid Lucero and Nonie Buencamino as two priests investigating a series of killings in Payatas, “1-2-3” about a boy searching for his sister who has become a child prostitute, and the recent Urian Awards favorite, "Women of the Weeping River”, which they are hoping to be chosen as the country’s entry in the foreign language film category of the next Academy Awards.
MOVIE REVIEW: RESPETO
RESPETO could have been the story of the usual underdog kid who is befriended and gets trained by an older mentor, just like in the “Karate Kid” movies or, Yoda and Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars", or Sean Connery and Rob Brown in “Finding Forrester”. But no, it chooses to be different and everyone ends up still a loser.
Set in a shantytown in Pandacan that is being threatened with demolition, the story is about a young man, Hendrix (rapper Abra, whose full name is Raymond Abracosa). He was orphaned at an early age and lives with his loser of a sluttish sister and her drug-trafficking partner, Mando, who, in turn, makes Hendrix a drug dealer himself.
Hendrix is a would be rap per who wants to join the underground rap contest in their neighborhood. The first time he joins, he uses the money of Mando from drug dealing and ends up losing when his opponent, a fat woman, scares him so much he ends pissing on his pants, making him the butt of everyone’s jokes.
To pay back Mando, he and his friends try to rob the second hand book store of an old man, Doc (Dido de la Paz), who is being pressured by his cop son (Nor Domingo) to sell their old house. They get caught and the cops force them to help Doc do repairs on his damaged bookshop.
You know at once that this will be the start of the friendship between Hendrix and Doc, a former makata or poet who was tortured by soldiers during martial law, with his wife ruthlessly abused and raped. His wife later killed herself and memories of his brutal experiences would haunt him every now and then.
Hendrix finds Doc’s poems and loves them. He tries to incorporate them into his rapping, but Doc discovers it and reprimands him for lacking originality. There’s an attempt to compare rapping with the local verses in a balagtasan with local makatas, but it didn’t really go anywhere, just like the jabs on Duterte, Marcos’ burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and the current war on drugs.
If you’d think the film is anything like autobiographical white rapper Eminem’s “8 Mile” or that big Hollywood hit about the real life gangsta rap group of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, “Straight Outta Compton”, who succeeded in leaving their miserable lives in Compton, California to become rich and famous rappers, you’d have another think coming. The characters here never succeed in escaping from impoverished Pandacan in triumph. Far from being inspirational, it’s actually quite depressing as there is no redemption at all for the characters, with many of them, like Hendrix’ relatives and friends, ending up as corpses, all victims of violence.
There is an attempt to give Hendrix a love interest when he gets enamoured with a slut in a whorehouse, but this, too, ends in disaster when he sees his rival rappers lining up in violating her. But the ending is quite logical, what with all the violence and injustice surrounding him, how else would you expect Hendrix to react? The film is resolved in a very violent scene where you realize that the place where they live is really hell on earth where there is no salvation for the inhabitants who are trapped and lead dead end lives.
If you love films that carry such valid but very dark messages, then “Respeto” is for you. It’s the full length film debut of music video director Alberto “Treb” Monteras and it has good technical credits, particularly the beautifully textured cinematography that captures the grit and sordidness of its dark milieu, plus competent acting from hip-hop artist Abra, Dido de la Paz, and all the supporting players led by Chai Fonacier and Sylvester as Abra’s friends, including the rappers featured who are all the opposite of good looking. This makes Abra stand out as the only rapper who’s fairly handsome. We find “Respeto” quite uneven, but still, it’s much better compared to the other entries in this year’s disappointing harvest in the Cinemalaya (where there are so many directors na hindi marunong magdirek you’d wonder what happened to the screening committee who gave the green light to their projects).