CHARO Santos plays the role of Horacia, a teacher who is imprisoned for a crime she did not commit through the machinations of her boyfriend, Rodrigo (Michael de Mesa) in the Venice filmfest best picture, 'Ang Babaeng Humayo.' After 30 years in jail, a key witness, Shamaine Buencamino, recants her testimony, saying she lied to frame up Charo, and Charo is freed. She returns to her hometown to discover that her husband has died and their two children are nowhere to be found. She then plots her revenge against Michael, now a very rich man, befriending several people to help her in her goal, including a transvestite streetwalker, Hollanda (John Lloyd Cruz), but this only leads to another miscarriage of justice.
How did Charo prepare for her role, her comeback vehicle after not acting for 17 years and focusing on being an ABS-CBN executive? “I went to an acting workshop by Malou de Guzman kasi matagal na nga akong di umaarte,” she says. “Then I went to the Correctional Institution for Women to get to know the place and interview some inmates to get the essence of what it’s like to live in prison for years.
“I also had a lot of discussions with our director Lav Diaz about the motivations of my character and my co-actors gave their own contributions, like Mae Paner who said I act too classy for someone who’s a convict. It’s a very collaborative experience. I just want to thank everyone involved for their energy and support. It’s very much appreciated.”
How is it working with Lav? “Lav is a brilliant man, but he’s very well-grounded and humble. His passion for cinema is the reason he comes out with excellent movies, kasama na 'yung pagmamahal niya sa bayan. And as a director, he’s always cool, calm and collected. Walang tension sa set. Chill lang.”
Did they expect to win in Venice? “No, we went there without any expectations. You just go with the flow, take things as they come. I’m just grateful that we made it as one of the 19 official entries in the main competition. Kasi hindi naman kami kilala roon. Hindi nila sasabihing si Charo 'yan, former president ng ABS-CBN. They just saw the film for its own merits and we’re so fortunate to get very good reviews.
Noong awards night, they gave us special treatment, pinasakay kami sa limousine going to the red carpet. Kami ang huling tinawag and the people there said, kapag ganun, we’re sure to win something. But they called na the best director, Silver Lion, pero wala pa rin kami at nag-iyakan na kami kasi, 'yun pala, we will win the best picture, the Golden Lion. Masayang-masaya ako for Lav, para sa aming lahat, para sa Philippine cinema because the Golden Lion is a celebration of the Philippine cinema.
I’m so proud of Lav because I saw his evolution in his works. Of all his films, this one has a very solid storytelling. Critics say it’s his most accessible film and the shortest at only 3 hours and 45 minutes, so sana maraming manood when we show it in theaters on September 28. It deserves a bigger audience at sana, magustuhan ng mga kababayan natin.”
JK HAPPY DESPITE SAD PAST
JK (Juan Karlos) Labajo was just the third placer in “The Voice Kids Season 1” but he’s now busier than the two winners, simply because he has mestizo movie star good looks and has also branched out into acting. Born in Cebu on February 5, 2001, his mom, Maylinda Labajo is Pinay and his dad, Oliver Stoltz, is German. He was still a baby when his dad left them while his mom passed when he was 12 years old. He now lives with his grandmother in Manila and is so tall. He stands 5’11” at 15 years old.
He chose Bamboo to be his coach in “The Voice Kids”. Bamboo said of him: “He’s the funniest kid I’ve ever met.I see a singer, an artist, and possibly an actor. I see someone who has the charisma to do it all.” Bamboo’s word proved to be prophetic. Right after the show ended in July 2014, JK was made to act in the dramatization of his own life story in “Maalaala Mo Kaya” then joined the soap “Hawak Kamay”.
He was pretty good so after that, he was cast in another soap, “Pangako Sa’Yo”, playing Amboy from 2015 to 2016. He has also acted in “Ipaglaban Mo” and joined Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 as a celebrity housemate. Last year, he released his debut album with MCA Records, “JK”, with 8 songs, including “This Gravity”, “Para Sa’Yo” and “Di Ka Man Lang Nagpaalam” which he dedicated to his late mom.
Why is he a happy person? “Happiness is a choice. I went through so many bad things in my life. My dad left us, my mom died, I was bullied in school. But I got so many blessings, for which I’m so thankful. And I’m tired of being sad, so I just want to be happy and spread that happiness to others.”
What changes happened in his life since “The Voice Kids”? “I grew up! My voice changed! It became and bigger and lower so hindi ko na maabot 'yung ibang notes na kaya kong abutin before. I think I have to take voice lessons para maabot ko uli sila.”
JK will be performing with “Voice Philippines Season 1” winners Jason Dy and Klarisse de Guzman in a concert, “One Voice”, at Music Museum on October 1, Saturday. “Don’t miss it kasi we’ll be doing acts na ngayon lang namin gagawin. We’ll do solos, duets, trios, medleys of various songs. We’ll make sure everyone will enjoy it.”
For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999.
DINGDONG, MARIAN U.S.-BOUND
DINGDONG Dantes left last Wednesday for his series of shows with wife Marian Rivera in the USA happy with the thought that his new primetime show “Alyas Robin Hood” rated higher than the competition. Dingdong himself as Pepe, the hooded crimefighter, is the narrator of the show, which opens with him helping the refugees in a Tent City get the rice meant for them which is being stolen by a corrupt mayor (Ces Quesada.) Then, his childhood is shown in flashback. His parents are Christopher de Leon and Jaclyn Jose, poor but honest folks. It’s established early on that he’s fond of Robin Hood and one villain in the story is Tanya Gomez who’s always oppressing their family.
When Tanya’s son beat up Pepe’s Kuya Caloy, Pepe himself takes revenge on the bad guy because their dad won’t fight back. Pepe leaves his family and works for John Feir who sends him to law school. He meets a young beautiful doctor, Megan Young as Sarri, who he saves from a rapist. His dad is now working with Cherie Gil and son Sid Lucero who’s so obsessed with Megan. Christopher is not pleased with Dingdong’s being combative, ready to fight with anyone, but his heart melts when he learns that Dingdong has already finished law and has passed the Bar.
The fast paced Week One ends with Sid killing Christopher for discovering his illegal activities and he frames up Dingdong for the murder with the help of a false witness, Tanya Gomez.