Lance Raymundo encounters specters from the past, on and off the setBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Singer-actor Lance Raymundo found it strange that he was the only person in the cast and crew of Khavn de la Cruz’s latest film, the sci-fi musical “Edsa XXX,” spared from reported hauntings on the movie’s set on Corregidor Island—a famous World War II battleground.
“Costar Sheree Bautista set up an altar in her hotel room,” Raymundo recounted. “She brought along an anti-aswang kit—rock salt, garlic and holy water.”
He surmised that he was snubbed by the specters because he had grown up in a haunted home.
“Maybe the ghosts didn’t find me challenging since I was used to them,” he said in jest. “My mom also prayed for me before I left for Corregidor.”
As a kid, he and his family witnessed all sorts of paranormal activities in their old house, which they eventually abandoned. “We learned from a psychic that our old home stood on burial ground dating back to the last war, just like Corregidor.”
In an ironic twist, he and costars Bautista and Epy Quizon play pale-faced spirits in “Edsa XXX.”
Raymundo had to juggle various characters in the film—including three female roles. He said: “I play an activist, a vampire, internationally celebrated filmmaker Ishmael Brocka, townsfolk, MMDA warrior, arnis fighter, rock star, mermaid, bar girl and bored housewife.”
Needless to say, it was a “challenging” task—specifically, crossing gender lines. “I had to keep in mind that I wasn’t a cross-dresser, but a real woman.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, he was cast as the epitome of Filipino machismo—Lapu-Lapu in Peque Gallaga’s documentary “Images of Nation: Botong Francisco,” which was produced by Ayala Foundation Inc.
Gallaga said that “15 or so” murals of the late National Artist had been recreated in the docu. The esteemed filmmaker handpicked Raymundo to play the hero who killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
Raymundo went to the “Botong” audition on a cold call after receiving a tip from fellow indie actor Leon Miguel. “Leon just told me to drop by and try my luck because Direk Peque was looking for long-haired actors,” he recalled.
In his pre-Hispanic costume and makeup, he later realized that he bore a striking resemblance to the National Artist’s rendition of Lapu-Lapu. “Perhaps that was why I won the role,” he said.
“Lance has the look and attitude to play the part,” the director confirmed.
Even though Gallaga is one of the most acclaimed directors in the business, he didn’t make the actor feel intimidated at all.
“While Khavn was like a kabarkada, a friend, Direk Peque was more paternal. Like a mentor,” Raymundo said.
He considers himself lucky that he was given the chance to learn from maverick filmmakers like Gallaga, De la Cruz and previously the late Mario O’Hara in “Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio,” where he played another historical figure, Emilio Aguinaldo.
For his work in the O’Hara film and other indie movies, he won the Recreative/Reinventive honor from the Gawad Amerika Awards, which will be handed out on November 3 in Los Angeles. According to its site, Gawad Amerika is a Filipino-American foundation that recognizes excellence in various fields. Another honoree this year is Manny Pacquiao.
While in the United States, he hopes to meet up with American filmmaker Nathan Adolfson, who directed Raymundo and Quizon’s international film “the thief, the kid and the killer.” “I heard Nathan is editing the movie,” he said.
In Hollywood, he also plans to pose for fashion photographer David Christopher Lee, with whom he last collaborated in 2005.
On his return to the country on November 7, he will shoot the music video of “Anna Marie,” a song from the “Edsa XXX” soundtrack.
“The song was written by Khavn and arranged by Dan Gil of Chillitees. I hope to collaborate with Dan in my future music projects,” he said.
(E-mail the author: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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