JANINE Gutierrez’ wish is finally granted. She wanted then to be part of the new “Encantadia” and she even auditioned to Direk Mark Reyes, but she could not be included in the cast as she was also taping “Once Again” that time. Now that she has no regular show of her own, she’s added into the cast of “Encantadia” in the role of Agua, the “kambal diwa” of Gabbi Garcia as Alena.
“Fan ako ng ‘Encantadia’ and I’m glad to be part of the show now,” says Janine. “Maganda ‘yung role ko as Agua kasi ako ang tutulong kay Alena after maging isa siyang pagong. I will help her regain her human form as a Sang’gre. Medyo nagulat lang ako kasi ang sexy ng costume na ibinigay sa akin. Nakaka-pressure dahil sexy costumes din ang suot ng ibang Sang’gres. But I’m glad maganda naman ang feedback so far.”
Netizens praise her for being so cool-headed as she was able to move on quite quickly after her breakup with Elmo Magalona with whom she was on for two years. Their romance bloomed while doing shows like “Villa Quintana” and “More than Words”. What can she say about this?
“It was a mutual decision kasi bihira na kaming magkita dahil parehong busy ang schedules namin. We decided it’s best to just focus muna on our respective careers. But may pinagsamahan din naman kami so hindi pa tapos ang friendship namin. I want to thank all my friends and all the people na nagpalakas ng loob ko, but it’s really time to move on.”
WELL-CRAFTED, WELL-ACTED FILM
DIRECTOR Gil Portes has come up with an old fashioned love story in “Moonlight Over Baler”, written by Eric Ramos and produced by T-Rex Productions of Rex Tiri. It offers beautiful shots of Baler scenery and a sterling performance from Elizabeth Oropesa as Fidela, a school teacher who just retired and who hasn’t forgotten her first love who perished during the Second World War.
As a young woman, Fidela is played by the beautiful Sophie Albert. She’s about to be wed to a soldier, Vin Abrenica as Nestor, but before their wedding took place, the war erupts and Nestor has to defend our country from the Japanese invaders, promising to come back after the war to fulfill their wedding. Fidela waits and waits, but sadly, he never returned.
The main story is set in 1986 right after the EDSA Revolution and the past is told in flashbacks. A young Japanese photographer, Kenji, visits Baler and the now elderly Fidela is shocked when she sees him as he is the splitting image of Nestor. They become good friends and people gossip about them, but Fidela is not the least affected because the real object of Kenji’s affections is a young woman named Rory (Ellen Adarna), and Fidela even helps him woo her by teaching him how to speak in Tagalog.
When Kenji’s rival over Rory beats him up and he gives her up to leave Baler, it is even Fidela who urges him to fight for his love. If you love romantic films with a tinge of nostalgic sadness and sentimentally that’s connected with the past and with an elderly leading lady, like “The Notebook” (with the underrated Gena Rowlands), “From Time to Time” (with the great Maggie Smith), “Atonement” and “Mrs. Dalloway” (both with a touching performance from Vanessa Redgrave), then you’ll surely find some affinity with this film. The theme song here is the Ilocano folk song “O Naraniag a Bulan (O Maliwanag na Buwan, with Tagalog lyrics by the late Levi Celerio)” which is used extensively and is heard in various versions, including the terribly out of tune version by Vin Abrenica who does not look like Japanese at all.
We seriously wonder, though, how “Moonlight Over Baler, with stories set in the 40s and 80s, would fare at today’s box office. How would it sit with today’s millennial audiences who grew up with social media and seem to prefer watching movies with established love teams like AlDub or KathNiel? How would it be accepted by moviegoers today who’ve been more attuned to the cookie cutter mold of movies done by Star Cinema with its surefire crowd pleasing scenes and elements?
Will current viewers appreciate and support a fairly well-crafted, well-acted movie like “Moonlight in Baler”, which also has fine technical values, even if its sensibility is not exactly suited to theirs? Will the movie even make a connection with the members of the screening committee of the Metro Manila Filmfest and make it an official entry? Well, we just want to be positive and here’s hoping and praying that “Moonlight Over Baler” will find the audience that it surely deserves.
FILM PROJECT WITH ‘SPECIAL MEANING’
DIRECTOR Chris Martinez is currently gallivanting in Europe and his new movie, “Working Beks”, will be shown on November 23 without him. But he’s confident that his five stars, John “Sweet” Lapus, TJ Trinidad, Edgar Allan Guzman, Prince Stefan and Joey Paras who play the major lead roles in the story, will be enough to promote the film, which aims to portray real life situations and conditions happening to gays today. He says it’s his own homage to gays so, as a film project, it has a special meaning for him.
In the cast, the gays who have outed them in real life are John Lapus, Joey Paras and Prince Stefan. TJ and EA are straight. TJ is married with kids. His role was first offered to Dominic Ochoa, who later backed out.
Just like the late Ishmael Bernal’s original hit, “Working Girls”, the movie shows the lives of different kinds of gay men and happens in the course of only one day.
“Ako si Gorgeous, says John Lapus. “Ako ‘yung tipong breadwinner at sa’kin umaasa ang buong family ko, pati ‘yung mga in laws ko. Sa kabila noon, sinasaktan pa ako ng ama ko, si Rez Cortez, so darating ang point na mapupuno ako at sisigaw ako ng ayoko na.”
“Ako naman, movie actor in the story,” says EA. “Heartthrob ako na hinahangaan ng lahat at patok na patok ako with my ka-love team, si Bela Padilla. Pero I go into hiding kasi biglang may lumabas na sex video scandal na makasisira ng career ko.”
“I play a call center agent,” says Prince Stefan. “Nabalitaan kong nagpakamatay ang isang ex-lover kong naka-one night stand ko dahil nalaman niyang HIV positive siya. Tumalon mula sa MRT station. Dahil doon, napraning ako at nagpa-blood test din ako to find out kung may HIV na rin ako and the whole day, hindi ako mapalagay sa takot na nahawa ako.”
“I play an executive for a top company and for our product, an energy drink, ang endorser namin is Edgar Allan,” says TJ Trinidad. “Straight acting ako rito, hindi buko dahil marketing manager na ako, so I have to be discreet. But I have a partner at meron kaming dalawang batang inampon.”
The one with the most interesting role for us is Joey Paras, who plays an ex-gay now trying his best to prove to himself that he’s a man. It’s said to be patterned after a gay entertainment reporter-TV host who also got married, had kids and became an evangelist.
“Bilang a rehabilitated gay, I have to remind myself constantly na lalaki ako,” says Joey. “Malapit na akong ikasal in the story sa isang tunay na babae, si Cai Cortez. Kaya lang, biglang napanood ko sa internet ang video scandal ni Edgar Allan at ayun, bumalik ang gay feelings ko at gusto ko nang mag-back out sa wedding namin ni Cai.”
GMA STARS HOLD MALL SHOW
TO further strengthen their hold on viewers with their afternoon programs, GMA7 is holding a free mall show on Sunday, November 13, 5 p.m. at Starmall, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Featured are stars from their Afternoon Prime hit programs, “Oh My Mama”, “Hahamakin ang Lahat” and “Sa Piling ni Nanay”.
The “Oh My Mama” stars are Inah de Belen, Jeric Gonzalez, Ash Ortega and Annalyn Barro. From “Hahamakin ang Lahat” are lead stars Kristoffer Martin and Joyce Ching, along with Thea Tolentino, Renz Valerio and Bruno Gabriel. And from “Sa Piling ni Nanay”, the stars are Yasmien Kurdi, Katrina Halili, Mark Herras, Gabby Eigenmann and Jillian Ward. Watch them perform the musical numbers they prepare for their fans to help further boost the ratings of their respective shows.