Here are the remaining Filipino movies participating in the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) which runs from December 25, 2009 to January 7, 2010 – comparatively longer than previous years’ editions.
I always have to keep in mind that the MMFF is more focused on generating success at the box-office than short-listing movies for competition in filmfests abroad. Hence, I don’t expect the highest of praises from critics. Nonetheless, entertainment is the key word. So I want movies that truly entertain, even if for only 2 hours.
5. ANG DARLING KONG ASWANG
WRITTEN BY: Tony Reyes, Vic Sotto, Bibeth Orteza
DIRECTOR: Tony Reyes
PRODUCERS: OctoArts Films, M-Zet TV Production, APT Entertainment
MAIN CAST: Vic Sotto, Cristine Reyes, Jean Garcia, Agot Isidro, Dante Rivero, Jackie Rice, Denise Laurel, Empress Schuck, Richie D’ Horsie, Rafael Rosell, Mika dela Cruz, Barbie Forteza, Wally Bayola, Allan K, Joonee Gamboa, Luz Fernandez, Gian Sotto, Jenny Miller, Shalala, Tita Swarding, Mosang
SPECIAL GUEST STARS: Joey de Leon, Oyo Sotto, Jacky Woo and Pia Guanio
SYNOPSIS. There are two kinds of aswangs: the white and black aswangs. The white ones are merely mischievous while their black counterparts eat human flesh.
The black aswangs in Isla Negra are led by the wicked Barang (Jean Garcia) and in her group are nieces Alfa (Jackie Rice), Beta (Denise Laurel) and Keka (Empress Schuck), nephew Joaquin (Rafael Rosell) and the cruel warlock Gino (Gian Sotto). Ida (Agot Isidro) and her lovely daughter Eliza (Cristine Reyes) are part of them too but they are reluctant to eat human flesh and without Barang’s knowledge, they feed upon animals.
When Joaquin pressures Eliza to marry him, Ida decides to escape and goes to the city. They sought shelter and protection in Ida’s cousin Banong. It is in Banong’s community where Eliza meets Victor (Vic Sotto) and there was instant attraction between the two of them.
Victor is a call center manager who is already a widower. He has two adorable daughters, Darlene (Barbie Forteza) and Angel (Mika dela Cruz). They live with Victor’s father Tata Do (Dante Rivero) who is the barangay captain of the place, Nana Simang (Luz Fernandez), the housekeeper and Tom (Richie D’ Horsie), Victor’s cousin who also works in the call center as a janitor. Gerry (Wally Bayola), the barangay aide is a fixture in the house as well.
Many girls in the workplace are attracted to Victor but he keeps distance from them. He says his loves are his two daughters. But when he accidentally met Eliza, things are bound to change.
Though they belong to different “races,” Ida tells Eliza that it’s not bad to fall in love with Victor for it might free her from the curse of being an aswang because there’s a legend that only the purest of love can turn a “creature of the night” into a normal human being.
Through the prodding of Tom and Gerry, Victor eventually courts Eliza and they became sweethearts. His daughters also came to like her in the long run. But at one point, Eliza reveals to Victor her true identity: that she’s an aswang. She asks him if he will still love her despite her dark secret.
Will Victor accept Eliza and her true nature? What will happen when Barang forces Eliza and Ida to return to their coven? Will Victor fight against the black aswangs or will he turn his back on his darling aswang?
Find out when this fantaserye opens on Christmas Day on December 25, 2009.
6. SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL XI
Every year, Regal Films has made it a tradition to scare families with their horror franchise Shake, Rattle and Roll. This 2009, moviegoers will be able to watch the 11th installment of SRR for the annual Metro Manila Film Festival.
Also known by its initials SRR, this three-part movie takes inspiration from Filipino mythology to shock and entertain viewers at the same time.
The episode “Lamang Lupa” features young stars Jennica Garcia, Rayver Cruz, Iya Villania, Mart Escudero, Bangs Garcia and twin brothers Dominic and Felix Roco.
The story focuses on the lamang lupa of Philippine mythology. A group of friends go camping only to find themselves relentlessly pursued by ferocious creatures who are not dwarves but lamang lupa. Unknown to the barkada, they “disturbed” the creatures’ sacred area and they will pay the price for their mistake. The director for this episode is Jessel Monteverde.
“Diablo” stars Maja Salvador and Mark Anthony Fernandez, two of the finest performers of their generation. Directed by Rico Gutierrez, the episode revolves around Claire, a young doctor-intern at a provincial hospital who is haunted by demonic visions after she encounters a female patient suspected of carrying a deadly flu virus. Claire’s aunt brings her to Fr. Ronnie who turns out be Claire’s ex-boyfriend. Old flames are rekindled as Fr. Ronnie and Claire battle the demons.
Completing this “horror-fest” is the “Ukay-Ukay” story with Ruffa Gutierrez and Zoren Legaspi as a would-be couple Kayla and Harold whose wedding plans are deterred by a possessed vintage gown. When it falls into their hands, heavy breathing, nightmares, dragging footsteps and an apparition of a headless bride start happening. Instead of planning a wedding, Kayla must now fight against the evil spirits. Megan Young is also cast in this episode. Writer-turned-director Don Michael Perez is at the helm.
“SRR 11 is still the same scare and excitement that people have grown to love all these years, even more,” says producer Roselle Monteverde-Teo. “This year, we’re tackling horror concepts that are very unique to our culture in more thought-provoking and exciting ways.”
The haunting happens again when Shake, Rattle and Roll 11 opens in theaters nationwide starting December 25, 2009
7. NOBODY, NOBODY…BUT JUAN
SYNOPSIS. Juan (played by Dolphy) is a senior citizen who lives in a nursing home in the United States. In his younger days, he was a vaudeville performer who was part of a comedy duo called Wan and Tu. The younger version of Wan (Dolphy) is portrayed by his son Epy Quizon while Tu is portrayed by his other son, Vandolph.
To entertain himself and ease the loneliness, Juan watches Wowowee on The Filipino Channel (TFC). His enthusiasm for the show rubs on his friends in the nursing home, and they too, turn into “Wowowee” converts – much to the chargin of the strict son of Juan who runs the nursing home.
The elderly Juan misses the Philippines, especially his first love Aida whom he lost touch with during the Japanese occupation of Manila. He finds a way to come back to the Philippines and along the way, he is reunited with his good friend Tu (portrayed by Eddie Garcia). He also finds out the whereabouts of his lady love Aida (portrayed by Gloria Romero).
G Toengi is cast as the wife of Eric Quizon, who is also cast as a son of Juan in the movie.
The screenplay of Nobody, Nobody but… Juan is written by Bibeth Orteza and directed by Eric Quizon.
Be part of Juan’s journey in finding his one true love when the movie opens on December 25, 2009.
Good luck to all the entries in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival! I sincerely hope that all 7 movies will make loads of money during their holiday run.