Visiting ‘El Presidente’By Dolly Anne Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Visiting the set of “El Presidente” at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan, transported me back to the Spanish era. Lead star ER Ejercito was in character (as Emilio Aguinaldo) when I chatted with him. “This film is grander in scale than ‘Asiong Salonga’—with a bigger budget, too,” he said, beaming.
“It’s a casting coup,” he added. “We have the finest actors—Cesar Montano, Epy and Ronnie Quizon, Baron Geisler … With the help of historians, we got the facts straight, making our story accurate and interesting.”
Isn’t ER wary that the public would think the film boring since it’s about history? “What matters to us is that we deliver the message about our heroes,” he said. “Doing well at the box office is only secondary.”
Is he pressured to bag another best-actor award?
“The recognition I got for my role as Asiong Salonga is more than enough,” he quipped. “But if I get lucky again this time around as Aguinaldo, that would be such a blessing.”
Victory would definitely be sweeter the second time around.
The cast and crew of “This Guy’s in Love with You Mare” held a thanksgiving party at ABS-CBN’s 9501 restaurant for the success of their film.
Asked if he was willing to work with a director other than Wenn Deramas, the film’s star, Vice Ganda, said: “We are comfy with each other. We jell so well. It would be hard to work with a director who’s not familiar with my style.”
Kudos, Vice! The audience is in love with you, Becky! You’ve shown that success knows no gender.
What an awesome night of music it was at Strumm’s when jazz legends Eric Marienthal and Jeff Lorber were the guest artists. They wowed the crowd with their music wizardry.
Prior to their set, Chad Borja performed. He impressed even the foreign guests around. After his triumph over the Big C, Chad is back in the groove.
“I’m working on an album,” he beamed. “And I have a great idea to have a concert with artists who are cancer survivors like me. The likes of Joey Albert, Zsa Zsa Padilla and more.”
Marienthal and Lorber thanked the audience profusely. “In other countries we just go from the hotel to our gig. But in Manila, we are overwhelmed with the warm reception and all the dinner invitations we get. Filipinos even bring our CDs and ask for our autograph, and have pictures taken with us.”
These jazz icons can vouch that it really is more fun to play (on and off stage) in the Philippines.
ABS-CBN’s “Pangako sa ’Yo (The Promise)” will soon be localized in Cambodia. It marks a milestone in Philippine broadcasting history as the Kapamilya network now joins the ranks of the world’s most competitive content suppliers with this format buy.
“Lobo (She Wolf: The Last Sentinel)” will soon debut as the first Philippine TV show to air in Thailand. “Tayong Dalawa (The Two of Us)” also made waves as the first Pinoy program in Singapore’s telenovela belt while “Sana’y Wala nang Wakas (Timeless)” was well received in Malaysia.
“Magkaribal (Rivals),” dubbed in French, is steadily gaining viewers in French-speaking regions. With its growing recognition in the global media distribution landscape, ABS-CBN International Distribution further expands its lineup of high-caliber programs worldwide.
Di lang pang-pamilya, pang buong mundo pa! Talk about extended “Family.”
PERSONAL: Thanks a mil to Mari Lagdameo for making me feel so at home at Strumm’s. Birthday cheers to one of the kindest persons I’ve ever met, Jacob Fernandez. Heartfelt thanks to my dear friend Faith Cuneta for gracing a parish event gratis et amore.
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