Saturday, August 31, 2013

Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra goes Out of the Box for 2013-2014 season

Offering more than just the classics, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra goes Out of the Box for their upcoming 2013-2014 Concert Season. In addition to their subscription concerts held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the PPO, led by music director and principal conductor Olivier Ochanine, brings the orchestra to the Rizal Park for a series of free youth/family oriented concerts.

For the Out of the Box concert series to be held at the Rizal Park, the PPO will collaborate with the University of the Philippines, Manila in November for an Andres Bonifacio themed concert which is in line with the hero’s 150th birth anniversary. Come December, a Christmas concert will be presented alongside the University of Santo Tomas. A nature themed concert will be coming this January in collaboration with the Far Eastern University. Expect the tamaraw to be featured prominently in this concert. And finally in February, the concert in collaboration with the Ateneo de Manila University will focus on love. I am still not sure if the Out of the Box concerts’ programmes will be announced or if these performances will contain some elements of surprise.

Conductor Olivier Ochanine

The Out of the Box concert series sounds interesting and worth checking out but what I am really looking forward to are the performances for the orchestra’s subscription concert season. During the press conference held at the CCP Main Theater Lobby, Olivier Ochanine said that people’s requests factored in a lot for the programming of this season which is the orchestra’s 31st. He revealed that the most requested piece is Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons which will be performed by the orchestra in January. There will be two violin soloists for this performance, PPO Assistant Concertmaster Joanne Ruth Livioco and her brother, Jonathan David Livioco, Concertmaster of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. Other popular pieces that will be part of this season are Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique, Manuel De Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 and Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30. This season will also introduce to the Philippines several pieces that have never been played in the country before. One of these will be the world premiere of the winning piece of the 2013 PPO Composition Competition happening at the closing concert of the season this April.

Bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza

Guest artists for this season include Chilean flutist Viviana Guzman, Israeli pianist Yossi Reshef, Chinese cellist Ray Wang, American violinist Roger Wilkie and Chinese oboist Wanchen Hsieh. Guest conductors for this season are the returning Yoshikazu Fukumura from Japan, former PPO music director and principal conductor Eugene Castillo and Apo Hsu from Taiwan.

The November concert is the one that I’ll be looking forward to the most this season. Not just because it will feature a piano concerto, but the event will also be in partnership with the Embassy of Israel.

The FEU Bamboo Band

The press conference also featured a few performances. Olivier Ochanine with the flute was joined by pianist Lourdes Gregorio in performing Cécile Chaminade’s Flute Concertino in D major, Op. 107. They were followed by bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza who performed Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan by George Canseco. Finally, the FEU Bamboo Band entertained those who were present with an energetic performance of Magtanim ay ‘Di Biro, Leron Leron Sinta and Eye Level.

Here is what is in store for everybody at the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2013-2014 Concert Season.

September 6, 2013

Viviana Guzman, flute
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Paul Dukas Fanfare from La Péri
Franz Liszt Les Préludes
Antonio Vivaldi  Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 10, No. 3, RV 428  Il Gardellino
Vittorio Monti Czardas
Viviana Guzman Flutes of the World
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique

October 11, 2013

Herminigildo Ranera, conductor

Angel Peña Philippine Festival Overture
Alfredo Buenaventura
     Manik Buangsi and Tuan Putli Symphonic Poem
Lucio San Pedro Suite Pastorale
Darius Milhaud La création du monde, Op. 81a
Antonín Dvořák Slavonic Dances, Op. 46

November 14, 2013

Yossi Reshef, piano
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Robert Schumann
     Overture from Manfred, Op. 115
     Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Richard Wagner
     Overture from Rienzi
     Overture from Der fliegende Holländer
Giuseppe Verdi Overture from La Forza del Destino

December 13, 2013

Ray Wang, cello
Yoshikazu Fukumura, conductor

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36
Camille Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
Manuel De Falla El sombrero de tres picos

January 17, 2014

Joanna Ruth Livioco, violin
Jonathan David Livioco, violin
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Antonio Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons)
                      Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, La primavera (Spring)
                      Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, L'estate (Summer)
                      Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, L'autunno (Autumn)
                      Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, L'inverno (Winter)
Carl Nielsen Symphony No. 2 Op. 16, FS 29 The Four Temperaments

February 21, 2014

Roger Wilkie, violin
Eugene Castillo, conductor

Gerald Finzi Fall of the Leaf, elegy for orchestra in D minor, Op 20
Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

March 14, 2014
Hsu, Hsieh & Prokofiev 5

Wanchen Hsieh, oboe
Apo Hsu, conductor

Carolyn Yarnell Yosemite and the Range of Light
Bohuslav Martinů Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra, H. 353
Sergei Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 in B flat major Op. 100

April 11, 2014
Symphonic Film Music Extravaganza

Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Premiere of 2013 PPO Composition Competition winner
Various Classical works made popular in film scores
Richard Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30

All concerts fall on a Friday with the exception of the November 14, 2013 concert which be on a Thursday. The concerts on January 17, 2014 and February 21, 2014 will be held at the Meralco Theater. The rest of the concerts will be held at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

I noticed that there was an increase in ticket prices for this season which could put off some concertgoers from watching. But there’s still the usual discount given to students, senior citizens, government employees, military personnel and persons with disabilities. Subscription packages for four (4) or eight (8) shows are also available.

Chilean flutist Viviana Guzman spices up PPO’s 31st Season opening concert

Flutist Viviana Guzman

September 6, 2013, 8:00 PM
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Viviana Guzman, flute
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Paul Dukas Fanfare from La Péri
Franz Liszt Les Préludes
Antonio Vivaldi  Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 10, No. 3, RV 428  Il Gardellino
Vittorio Monti Czardas
Viviana Guzman Flutes of the World
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra led by music director and principal conductor Olivier Ochanine opens its 31st Concert Season in a concert entitled Opening Night: Guzman & The Pathétique this September 6, 2013, 8:00 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

Chilean flutist Viviana Guzman will be the featured guest of the night. She will be performing Antonio Vivaldi’s  Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 10, No. 3, RV 428  Il Gardellino and Vittorio Monti Czardas. An improvisational piece, entitled Flutes of the World will have Guzman performing with the PPO percussion section.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

According to her biography, Guzman is described by the New York Times as "an imaginative artist," She began her musical training at the age of 5 and won her first competition at seven. By the age of 15, she played as a soloist with orchestra, studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal, and was featured on a John Denver nationally televised NBC special. Guzmán studied with Albert Tipton, master classes with James Galway and graduated from the Juilliard School. Performing over 80 concerts a year, she has been seen on the cover of Latina Style Magazine, and in COSMOPOLITAN en Español, and has played in 118 countries. Her music video was aired on UNIVISION in 30 countries.

Conductor Olivier Ochanine

Other pieces to be performed during this evening will be Paul Dukas’ Fanfare from La Péri, Franz Liszt’s Les Préludes and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s last work that premiered in his lifetime, Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique.

Ticket prices:
P1500 Orchestra Center
P1200 Orchestra Side
P800 Extreme Orchestra Side
P500 Balcony I Center
P400 Balcony I Side
P300 Balcony II
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
CCP Marketing Department 832-1125 local 1806
CCP Box Office 832-3704
TicketWorld 891-9999

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hungary joins Cine Europa’s Sweet 16

September 5-15, 2013
Shang Cineplex (Cinema 2), Shangri-La Plaza

As Cine Europa celebrates its 16th edition, the festival welcomes Hungary as it participates for the very first time with its entry Made in Hungária. The Shangri-La Plaza will once again be home to Cine Europa 16 this September 5-15, 2013 at the Cinema 2 of the Shang Cineplex. A varied selection of 21 films from 17 participating European nations will be screened for ten days. Drama, comedy, musical, thriller, documentary and films for children and the whole family will be represented in this year’s film selection.

During the press conference held at the Premiere Cinema of the Shang Cineplex, Julian Vassalo, the Political Counsellor of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, proudly announced that last year’s edition showed a 24% increase in attendance, from 29,500 in 2011 to 36,500 in 2012. He attributes the increase in audience to the additional venues of the festival made possible through the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ cinematheques located in key cities around the country. After its Manila leg, Cine Europa will once again travel to various parts of the country. As always, admission to the festival is for free in all locations.

The films to be screened this year are Austria’s Das Pferd auf dem Balkon/The Horse on the Balcony, Belgium’s A Pas de Loup/With a Wolf’s Gait, Bulgaria’s Стъпки в пясъка/Footsteps in the Sand, Czech Republic’s Musíme si Pomáhat/Divided We Fall, Denmark’s A Royal Affair, France’s Les Bien Aimes/Beloved, Germany’s Barbara and In Almanya - Wilkommen in Deutschland, Greece’s O xenagos/The Guide, Hungary’s Made in Hungária, Italy’s Pranzo Di Ferragosto/Mid-August Lunch and La Stanza Del Figlio/The Son’s Room, the Netherland’s Achtste-Groepers Huilen Niet/Cool Kids Don’t Cry, Norway’s Kautokeino-opprøret/The Kautokeino Rebellion, Romania’s Tatal Fantoma/Phantom Father, Slovakia’s Nedodržaný Sľub/Broken Promise, Spain’s Silencio en la nieve/Frozen Silence, Sweden’s Svinalängorna/Beyond, Switzerland’s Operation Libertad and the United Kingdom’s Project NIM and Dreams of a Life.

Vassalo also mentioned that there will be an increased educational component happening this year through the resources of the Independent Film Cooperative (IFC). Round table discussions with prominent film personalities and experts exploring the links between European and Filipino films will be held at the Premiere Theatre of the Shang Cineplex. This will be done alongside the screening of selected Filipino films that have strong European connections.

After the press conference, the film Achtste-Groepers Huilen Niet/Cool Kids Don’tCry, the entry from the Netherlands was screened. Prior to the screening, Ms. Ank Willems, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands introduced the film and gave a brief background of the film while trying not to reveal major spoilers.

Achtste-Groepers Huilen Niet/Cool Kids Don’t Cry

Consider me an uncool kid since this film brought me to tears. The film directed by Dennis Bots tells the story of Akkie (Hanna Obbeek), a soccer obsessed twelve year old girl. She, along with her friend Elize, Lauren and the rest of her eight grade class prepare for an upcoming soccer tournament. But a life threatening illness not only spoils Akkie and her friends’ tournament preparations but also shakes up their lives as well. Akkie remains positive despite undergoing arduous treatment and her optimism spills over to her class, even the bully Joep (Nils Verkooijen) who earlier believed that girls like her shouldn’t be playing soccer. Since Akkie was very well liked by everybody, it was hard seeing her go through what she had to go through in the film. What I really liked about this film was how it had the coolest teacher, Juf Ina (Eva van der Gucht) and doctor, Dokter Snor (Loek Peters) ever. I have to admit that I had to fight back tears earlier on in the film when Miss Ina had to explain to her students Akkie’s situation. She is everything what I wanted a teacher to be since she not only taught academics to her students, but she also guided them through life the proper way. Dokter Snor aka Doctor Moustache also had a brilliant way of explaining to Akkie the nature of her illness without resorting to a lot of medical jargons. The film is based on the best-selling novel by Jacques Vriens but I am not sure if an English translation is available locally. Seeing the film made me curious to see if I can get myself a copy of the novel.

Here is the Cine Europa 16 screening schedule at the Shang Cineplex:

September 5, 2013
12:00 PM A Royal Affair (Denmark)
3:00 PM Barbara (Germany)
5:30 PM Almanya - Wilkommen in Deutschland (Germany)
8:00 PM O xenagos/The Guide (Greece)

September 6, 2013
1:30 PM Made in Hungária (Hungary)
3:30 PM Pranzo di Ferragosto/Mid-August Lunch (Italy)
5:30 PM La stanza del figlio/The Son’s Room (Italy)
8:00 PM Les bien aimes/Beloved (France)

September 7, 2013
1:00 PM Achtste-Groepers Huilen Niet/Cool Kids Don’t Cry (The Netherlands)
3:30 PM Tatal Fantoma/Phantom Father (Romania)
5:30 PM Silencio en la nieve/Frozen Silence (Spain)
8:00 PM Nedodržaný Sl'ub/Broken Promise (Slovakia)

September 8, 2013
12:30 PM Svinalängorna/Beyond (Sweden)
3:00 PM Project NIM (UK)
5:30 PM Dreams of a Life (UK)
7:30 PM Kautokeino-opprøret/The Kautokeino Rebellion (Norway)

September 9, 2013
12:30 PM Operation Libertad (Switzerland)
3:00 PM Musíme si pomáhat/Divided We Fall (Czech Republic)
5:30 PM A Pas de Loup/With Wolf’s Gait (Belgium)
7:30 PM Стъпки в пясъка/Footseps in the Sand (Bulgaria)

September 10, 2013
12:30 PM Das Pferd auf dem Balkon/The Horse on the Balcony (Austria)
2:30 PM O xenagos/The Guide (Greece)
5:30 PM Almanya - Wilkommen in Deutschland (Germany)
8:00 PM A Royal Affair (Denmark)

September 11, 2013
12:30 PM Made in Hungária (Hungary)
2:30 PM Les bien aimes/Beloved (France)
5:30 PM Pranzo di Ferragosto/Mid-August Lunch (Italy)
7:30 PM Achtste-Groepers Huilen Niet/Cool Kids Don’t Cry (The Netherlands)

September 12, 2013
1:00 PM La stanza del figlio/The Son’s Room (Italy)
3:30 PM Barbara (Germany)
6:00 PM Tatal Fantoma/Phantom Father (Romania)
8:00 PM Silencio en la nieve/Frozen Silence (Spain)

September 13, 2013
1:00 PM Svinalängorna/Beyond (Sweden)
3:30 PM Kautokeino-opprøret/The Kautokeino Rebellion (Norway)
6:00 PM Das Pferd auf dem Balkon/The Horse on the Balcony (Austria)
8:00 PM Operation Libertad (Switzerland)

September 14, 2013
1:00 PM Dreams of a Life (UK)
3:00 PM Стъпки в пясъка/Footseps in the Sand (Bulgaria)
5:00 PM A Pas de Loup/With Wolf’s Gait (Belgium)
7:30 PM Nedodržaný Sl'ub/Broken Promise (Slovakia)

September 15, 2013
12:00 PM Les bien aimes/Beloved (France)
3:00 PM Project NIM (UK)
5:30 PM Made in Hungária (Hungary)
7:30 PM Musíme si pomáhat/Divided We Fall (Czech Republic)

Cine Europa 16 Educational Component Schedule

September 8, 2013
10:00 AM Archiving Filipino Film Heritage
2:00 PM Genghis Khan
4:00 PM Oro, Plata, Mata

September 14, 2013
10:00 AM New Pinoy documentaries
2:00 & 4:00 PM Jazz in Love

After the Shangri-La Plaza leg, the film festival continues at these venues:

September 17-22, 2013
Cinematheque Baguio City

September 22-29, 2013
Cinematheque Iloilo City

October 4-6, 2013
Ayala Center, Cebu City

October 10-13, 2013
Liceo de Cagayan University

October 15-20, 2013
Cinematheque Davao City

Cine Europa 16 is organised by the European Union Cultural Group in Manila which gathers together the Embassies and Cultural Institutes of the European Union (Representations in Manila including the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines and the European cultural institutes (Alliance Française, British Council, Goethe-Institut, Philippine-Italian Association, and Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Independent Film Cooperative, the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Arts Council of Cebu and Liceo de Cagayan de Oro. Porsche Design supports Cine Europa 16.

Free admission. First-come, first-served basis.

For inquiries:
Shangri-La Plaza 370-2597, 370-2598

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Violinist Jeline Oliva opens MCO Foundation’s Young Artists Series 2013

September 5, 2013, 7:00 PM
Ayala Museum
Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street
Greenbelt ParkMakati

Maria Jelina Llorin Oliva, violin
Mary Anne Espina, piano

Tomaso Vitali Chaconne in G minor
Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24 Spring
Niccolò Paganini Caprice No. 20 in D major
Camille Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28 
Pablo de Sarasate Introduction et Tarantelle, Op.43

It’s now time for the young ones to shine as the MCO Foundation opens its Young Artists Series 2013 by presenting 16 year violinist Maria Jeline Oliva in a solo concert this September 5, 2013, 7:00 PM at the Ayala Museum. Collaborating with Jeline for this concert will be pianist Mary Anne Espina.

Violinist Jeline Oliva

Jeline first burst into the scene by becoming a finalist at the first season of ABS-CBN’s Pilipinas Got Talent in 2010. Now mentored by Manila Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Gina Medina, Jeline has shown tremendous growth, polish and finesse as a violinist when compared to her PGT days. This growth enabled her to come out as the runaway winner during the 2011 National Music Competitions for Young Artists for Violin Category B. Now, people can see truly how much she has developed in her first ever solo concert.

For this evening, Jeline has prepared Tomaso Vitali’s Chaconne in G minor, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24 Spring, Niccolò Paganini’s Caprice No. 20 in D major, Camille Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor and Pablo de Sarasate Introduction et Tarantelle, Op.43. Jeline is only 16 years old and is currently a fourth year high school student but the pieces she will perform for the concert are usually played by much older violinists.

The rest of MCO Foundation’s Young Artists Series 2013 will include concerts by tenor Ivan Niccolo Nery on September 18, soprano Myramae Nemeses on October 2 and pianist Matthew Calderon on October 16. All concerts will be held at the Ayala Museum.

Pianist Mary Anne Espina

MCO Foundation Young Artists Series 2013 is made possible through a special partnership with Ayala Museum, together with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, BusinessWorld, Lyric Piano and Organ, DZFE.FM 98.7 The Master's Touch, Her Word, Highlife, Development Bank of the Philippines, Sheaffer Fine Pens, National Bookstore and Titania Wine Cellars.  

Ticket prices:

For inquiries:
MCO Secretariat at 750-0768, (0920) 954-0053
COEA 782-7164 or (0918) 347-3027
TicketWorld 891-9999

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Cinemalaya 2013 Experience Part 3

Althea Vega from Amor y Muerte

By this time, I’ve decided just to watch a couple of films per day since I would not be able to survive the remaining days of Cinemalaya if I decided to push myself to the limit. And I was also forced into doing it since getting in the late night Gala Screenings at the Cultural Center of the Philippines were not as easy as in previous years. But I considered this a blessing in disguise since I was able to go home earlier and get much needed rest.


Porno got a lot of hype not just because of the expected nudity brought about by the title but also due to filmmaker Adolf Alix’s decision to pull out the movie from satellite venues. Sadly, it didn’t live up to the hype for me. Told in three parts, Porno told the story of an assassin (Yul Servo), a porn film dubber (Carlo Aquino) and a transvestite (Angel Aquino) whose lives are connected through a porn film. One stars in it, one dubs it and then the other watches it. All I can say that the film didn’t climax. There was no peak and it went limp during the third part. The characters were not that sympathetic and engaging. There was a bit of mystery with the dubber (Did Carlo become Angel during the third part?) but I still couldn’t wrap my head on the idea that secretly taped sex footage would require post production work.

Angel Aquino from Porno

David F

David F was supposed to be a film that would shed light to one of the Americans who sided with the Filipinos during the turn of the 20th century. This film by Emmanuel Palo also served as a commentary on how racism and bigotry exist in Philippine history up to the present time. The story begins with Dave, a dark skinned drag performer with deciding to search for his African-American father who was once stationed in the country. This search triggers the story to go back in time during the turn of the 20th century and also during the time of World War II. The first part recounted the tale of David Fagen, the African-American solider who defected to the Filipino side. The second part chronicled the life of who could’ve been her daughter as she and the rest of her husband’s family struggled during World War II. The link between these two generations was clearly established but how all this could be linked to Dave in the present was left hanging in the air, since the third generation was never explored. The film had some very uncomfortable moments when Dave’s fellow drag performers went too far with their racist remarks. It’s sad to realize that the Philippines is still a racist society as having dark skin is considered as a punchline in comedy bars. It is also sad to note that as a whole, David F was another let down. I never got to be emotionally involved with any of the characters and I didn’t even care at all for Dave’s search for his father. And Dave’s song in the end which I think was supposed to be a poignant moment didn’t do anything for me.

Quester Hannah from David F
Mariella Castillo from David F
Rocky Salumbides from David F
Will Devaughn from David F

Sana Dati

This film by Jerrold Tarog was another film that relied on a lot of flashbacks and they actually served to make the story more engaging. Sana Dati tells the story of Andrea (Lovi Poe), a bride whose wedding jitters is multiplied by the dozen upon the arrival of a mysterious videographer Dennis (Paulo Avelino) who is tasked to cover her wedding to Robert (TJ Trinidad). The film starts with Andrea getting engaged with a different man, Andrew (Benjamin Alves) and this started the ball rolling as to what happened to him, to them and how Dennis figures in all of this. What transpires is a cleverly crafted romantic film that I think will appeal to mainstream audiences. Lovi Poe, Benjamin Alves and Paulo Avelino are still considered up and coming stars but this film can serve as a major highlight in their career. Nico Antonio, playing a wedding coordinator delivers the most memorable performance out of his handful of appearances during this year’s Cinemalaya.

Benjamin Alves from Sana Dati

Amor y Muerte

I thought that Amor y Muerte by Ces Evangelista was an erotic period drama but what I saw was more of an erotic period comedy. The film came out as surprisingly and enjoyably camp. Althea Vega, in her first leading role, plays Amor a woman from the 16th century who still remains uninhibited. This lack of reserve delights her husband, the Spanish Diego (Markki Stroem) but disturbs the nights of Fray Santiago (Kuya Manzano). Fray Santiago then attempts to tame the wild nature of Amor in the name of Christianity and morality. One of the most hilarious scenes for me was the unexpected turn of events coming out from a confession by Apitong (Adrian Sebastian). This was supposed to be a serious development in the story but the hilarity of it had the whole theater laughing out loud. I don’t know if the director intended it to be that way but many did like the film because of the unexpected laughs. But one thing that isn’t a laughing matter is the fact that this film is the last by Ama Quiambao who passed away just a few weeks before the festival started.

Markki Stroem from Amor y Muerte
Adrian Sebastian from Amor y Muerte
Kuya Manzano from Amor y Muerte

I was glad that Sana Dati broke the run of underwhelming films and it joined Transit as the best films with only four films in competition left to be seen. The last blog entry for this Cinemalaya will tell if any of the remaining films matched or even surpassed these two frontrunners.

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