Two of the country’s comediennes—Pokwang and Melai Cantiveros are brought together by Kapamilya Network in a new dramedy series titled ‘We Will Survive’ as Wilma and Maricel, which aired on Monday, February 29 on Kapamilya Primetime Bida slot before TV Patrol.
Pokwang and Melai as contest winners are also joined by two other winners of TV contests and have turned as stars as well—Bea Saw and Regine Angeles. The four will portray as friends with stories of struggles and triumphs, which the audiences will definitely resonate with.
In an exclusive interview, according to Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario, the show producer, the four friends’ common denominator is the videoke since it is their outlet whenever they find the need to have release of any emotional tension whatsoever.
She distinctly describes the four friends as: “Sa kanilang apat, Bea’s character is the well-off kasi mayaman ang asawa. Regine’s character has the videoke bar biz. Melai is an orphan and grew up with her grandmother which made her a spoiled brat at nakakaangat din sa buhay. While Pokwang has the most challenging situation in life; kaya nagpang-abot sila sa school hindi siya yearly nakaka-enrol. Ang interaction nila in reference to lovelife ay yung present sila sa lahat ng ‘highlights’ ng lovelife ng bawat isa. They share the important moments like proposals, break-ups, yun tipong they share the joys and heartbreaks.”
Since the show was shot in Legazpi with the Mayon Volcano as its backdrop—comparing the two comediennes to the province’s tourist attraction. Ms. Mendoza-Del Rosario described Melai and Pokwang as: “Si Melai ang similarity sa Mayon, nauuna ang damdamin na sumasabog bago mag-isip. Siya ang mas sumasabog na bulkan; warla kung warla pag-galit, baliw pag-in love. Siya ang Mayon na madalas may eruption.
“Si Pokwang naman mas serene at docile na Mayon; nagtatago sa ulap at perfect cone, Tahimik, kalma, mas may self-control, Kaya niyang i-set aside ang love and feekings para unahin ang needs ng pamilya. Perfect in the sense na gusto niya muna makitang maganda estado ng pamilya bago unahin ang sariling kapakanan at kaligayahan.”
The series is not the same feel as ‘Be Careful’, ‘Dream Dad’ and ‘Ningning’. It is best described as a dramedy and banking on friendship as its theme. In fact, the Network gambles on the team-up of Pokwang and Melai, who have never been lead stars in a television series since in the two stars have shown sincerity in acting for drama-themed shows like ‘Maaalala Mo Kaya’ episodes.
Mendoza-Del Rosario added, “Sana ito yung ma-achieve naming—yun bang sasakit ang ulo ng manonood sa kakatawa at kakaiyak.”
Apart from the dramedy as its unique selling point of the show, it also seeks to leave the televiewers the message of Filipinos being strong and resilient amid all challenges in life.
“Na kahit anong dagok sa buhay, go go go lang. Di lahat ng problema, baha, traffic, etc., sinasakyan lang ng Pinoy. Kahit anong problema o kalamidad, babangon tayo. We are a nation of survivors.”
Also in the show are Josh De Guzman, Carlo Aquino, Jeric Raval, Viveika Ravanes, Bing Davao, Alcris Galura, Maris Racal, Joshua Zamora, McCoy De Leon, and Vangie Labalan. It is directed by feel-good narrative director Jeffrey Jeturian.
Though not so-identified as a romantic comedy, which was initially the intention of the film’s theme that turned out to be a slightly ‘advocacy’ and melodrama flick of Dennis Trillo titled ‘Lakbay2Love’ is set for a February 3 opening in theaters nationwide.
Trillo plays the role of Jay-R or ‘Alamat’, a forester and a biker who helps the lost and lovelorn Lianne portrayed by Solenn Heussaff. In the film, Jay-R became the main subject of the documentary assignment that Lianne is working on and falls for somewhere in between. But when Jay-R’s good friend, Macky played by Kit Thompson resurfaced as Lianne’s ex-lover, the blossoming love went sour when the letter guy is still determined to pursue the woman they have entangled with.
The pseudo-romantic cum coming-of-age film is written by Palanca-winner Layeta Bucoy and the director herself Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil.
The love story of Jay-R and Lianne failed to go on further after the former is faced with the challenge of providing for his loved ones—his family and is forced to work in a foreign land instead.
Ongkeko-Marfil admires Dennis’s commitment to finish the project despite the actor’s busy schedule while working as a lead star in a different independent, historical-biographical film dramatizing the life of the first executive minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, and is titled ‘Felix Manalo’.
“His breaks from the shootings of the ‘Manalo film’—he would be with us—filming ‘Lakbay2Love’ and he treated it as his ‘rest’,” says the director.
Trillo admitted as well, “Isa ito sa dream roles ko na natupad na. Hindi ko naramdaman na work kasi masaya ang shooting. Kung saan-saan kami pumunta. Maraming lugar na first time ko napuntahan. Meron pang locations wherein we had to hike for two hours pero sobrang enjoy!”
Apart from Dennis, Solenn also showed ease in tackling her role as she along with other cast showed effortless way of pedaling through the rocky forests and hilly terrains.
This is the third time that Trillo and Heussaff have worked together. For more details on the said movie, check out its facebook.com page.
On December 10, as part of Star Cinema’s 20th anniversary celebration, it will release and distribute the youth-oriented, but not-too-pleasant-themed flick of young filmmaker Gino M. Santos’s ‘#Y’.
The film revolves around the lives of upper-class and modern-day youth and features young stars like Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia, Sophie Albert, Kit Thompson, Slater Young, and Chynna Ortaleza.
Gino M. Santos, one of the youngest commercial, TV, and film directors in the country who graduated with a Digital Filmmaking degree from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde in 2008 was chosen as Philippines’ delegate for the Motion Picture Association Conference held in Beijing, China. He is best identified with flicks that focus on youth particularly set in present-day.
With ‘#Y’, together with his screenwriter Jeff Stelton, this is their second attempt to present the lives of today’s youth. In fact, according to Santos, “I intend to make a trilogy about the kids of today, following them in high school which was the setting for ‘The Animals’ and ‘#Y’, which depicts their lives in college.
“I’m still conceptualizing the third film with my writer, Jeff Stelton, it will probably be about yuppies and post-grad life.”
He added that in his first film ‘Animals’ which was also a Cinemalaya entry, it showcased more of the environment in which these kids live in, on the other hand in ‘#Y’, he went inside their heads in order to show the audiences what really goes on inside or what their motivations, “I guess the latest film is more intellectual.”
Two of Santos’s films are reminiscent of the 1984 two-part Philippine youth-oriented comedy films ‘Bagets’ created by Viva Films about a group of high school teenagers. In this successful 80s movie, it was Jake Tordesillas who wrote the story and the multi-awarded Maryo J. Delos Reyes was the one who directed it.
He admitted that the film was one of his inspirations, “I’m really a big fan of teen-oriented films and ‘Bagets’ is one of them. I also loved ‘Batch ‘81’ as well as ‘Jologs’. I guess all of them served as inspiration for my films. These films depicted their generations, from the slang, the clothes, and the environment, which I guess would make ‘#Y’ look unique to the generation since each generation has its own trademark style and the technology they use that differ on each time.”
Back in this year’s Cinemalaya, ‘#Y’ competed in the New Breed category and was given the Special Jury Citation for Best Acting Ensemble for its cast.
According to Santos, the film has to undergo some adjustments just to cater to the taste and regular audience as well as the thrust of Star Cinema, “We had to make a bit of tweaking.”
The film conveys a message of how today’s generation live their lives that is greatly influenced and unified by social media and the Internet. It also promotes the ideological lifestyle of ‘YOLO’ which means ‘you only live once’ which simply implies ‘make the most of what one has in this lifetime.
‘#Y’ is written by, and is produced by Stained Glass Productions and Timeframe Media Production.
For more details and updates on the film, like its facebook page.