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‘#Y’: The Modern-Day Retelling of 80s ‘Bagets’?


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’.

Gino Santos is seen talking with the press, along with his two lead stars Elmo Magalona and Coleen Garcia. Photograph courtesy of Stanley Briz.

Gino Santos is seen talking with the press, along with his two lead stars Elmo Magalona and Coleen Garcia. Photograph courtesy of Stanley Briz.

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.

Y Screening

For more details and updates on the film, like its facebook page.

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What Makes ‘Past Tense’ a ‘Present-Day’ Definition of ‘Happy Endings’?


For the third time, after their two highly-successful romantic comedy flicks together, Kim Chiu and Xian Lim or better known as the KimXi tandem are back on the silver screen to provide another ‘kilig’ love story via ‘Past Tense’.

Known for her success in films like ‘She’s the One’ and ‘Bride for Rent’—director Mae Cruz-Alviar offers another winning streak to audiences who love romantic comedies and so as to millions of KimXi fans. This is Star Cinema’s pre-Christmas offering with Ai Ai delas Alas as the third wheel in providing humorous scenes in the movie.

‘Past Tense’ revolves around the friendship of Babs and Belle, both assumed by Xian Lim and Kim Chiu. It opened with the sleeping Belle portrayed by Ai Ai delas Alas, the older one who fell asleep for 20 years and was given by Papa Time (Benjie Paras) the unique opportunity to return to 20 years backwards and meet her younger self Belle (Chiu) and make the latter fall in love with her best friend Babs (Lim) in order to prevent an accident that drastically changes her life.

Both Kim and Xian knew very well their comic timing and the sleeping part was the most natural and giddy part for all the KimXi followers and fans. Apart from the comic relief that Ai Ai could offer, some dramatic scenes really are tearjerkers. Lim and Chiu here are both daring in their kissing scene.

The film allows the moviegoers to examine and re-examine the past and create the chance to correct whatever mistakes in order to evade pains. The film attempts to re-define the meaning of a Present-Day Happy Ending and that is giving true love the second chance. Also, its conclusion provide a funny ‘twist’ that will guarantee its audience to come out in high spirits despite some dramatic scenes.

‘Past Tense’ opens on Thursday, November 26 in theaters nationwide.

My Latest Article on Rappler.com


I was privileged to interview Chris Martinez, the director of the upcoming film project that features Sam Milby as Mark Ferrer, the man that comes in between the warring friends–Zoe and Aika portrayedby equally gorgeous actresses–Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes.

The girl best friends--Aika (Cristine Reyes) and Zoe (Anne Curtis). Photograoh courtesy of Viva Films.

The girl best friends–Aika (Cristine Reyes) and Zoe (Anne Curtis). Photograoh courtesy of Viva Films.

‘The Gifted’ director on Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes’ new project

MANILA, Philippines – Director Chris Martinez will soon open his latest film in theaters nationwide on September 3 with 3 bankable actors—Anne Curtis, Cristine Reyes, and Sam Milby.

Curtis as Zoe in her revealing blue gown. Photograph courtesy of Viva Films.

Curtis as Zoe in her revealing blue gown. Photograph courtesy of Viva Films.

Reyes as Aika in her pink-laced sweet gown. Photograph courtesy of Viva Films.

Reyes as Aika in her pink-laced sweet gown. Photograph courtesy of Viva Films.

According to Martinez, he’s been toying with the film’s concept for the longest time: “It’s always been there at the back of my head. It had been brewing for maybe 4 or 5 years.”

Martinez says that the film takes inspiration from the movies War of the Roses (1989) which featured Hollywood actors—Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and directed by Danny DeVito, who also was part of the cast, and Dangerous Liaisons (1988) with Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfeiffer as the leads, and directed by Stephen Frears.

To read full story, click here!

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