Cheer Factor: Why Nora is going back to Tawi-Tawi


NORA Aunor’s portrait at SM Lanang cinema lobby

DAVAO—In the van, on her way back to the hotel after gracing the Philippine premiere of Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” on Friday night, actress Nora Aunor couldn’t contain her joy—and surprise.

“Who knew I would win in Australia, while I was in Mindanao?” she asked. Aunor was named best actress and Mendoza, best director, at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Apsa) held in Brisbane that night.

Apsa organizers had sent over their trophies so they could receive the honors at the premiere screening held in SM Lanang during the second Sineng Pambansa, mounted by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

Bittersweet memory

Aunor recalled that the last time she was in this southern Philippine city decades ago, she had a jampacked concert. She recalled, sadly: “There was a stampede and a child died.”

Mindanao was unforgettable for her, she said, and not just because of the tragedy. Last summer, when “Thy Womb” was shot in Tawi-Tawi, she grew even more fond of the region.

“I hope to go back to Sitangkai (a Tawi-Tawi town) soon,” she said. “I promised to build a health center there.” She said she had discussed with Manny V. Pangilinan, head of her home network TV5, the possibility of aiding the province.

“We could hold a fund-raising show for Tawi-Tawi,” she said. “I have personally set aside a small amount, P100,000, for medicines. But the people there badly need doctors and nurses, so that when a villager gets sick or gives birth, life is not necessarily put at risk. As it is, they have to take a long boat ride to the nearest hospital or clinic.”

The Apsa trophy is Aunor’s second for “Thy Womb.” She won the Bisato D’Oro given by an independent group of critics when the film competed at the Venice fest last September.

AUNOR (second from right), Brillante Ma. Mendoza and Briccio Santos meet the press in Davao.

Mendoza, who got the La Navicella and P. Nazareno Special Mention honors at the same top-tier festival, admitted that he was initially apprehensive about filming in the south.

The Cannes winner related: “We had heard only negative things about Tawi-Tawi, but during the 14-day shoot, we hardly even noticed the security group assigned to us. We felt at home.”

Mendoza said he had felt strongly about making a film that would highlight the peace-loving nature of the people of Tawi-Tawi, “to empower them, to give them importance.”

Briccio Santos, FDCP chairman, agreed that “Thy Womb” had a positive impact on the island-province.

“The economic landscape changed for the better,” Santos noted. “Hotels are now often fully booked, and there are now four flights weekly to Tawi-Tawi (from Zamboanga), where there used to be only one. According to Tawi-Tawi Vice Governor Hadja Ruby Sahali, there will soon be an international flight from Malaysia. All of this after just one movie.”

This was proof, Santos said, that cinema and the arts could play a significant role in the peace process.

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  • Alexander Aamproz

    Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, what a wonderful place and peoples,

    was there in 1986, rode an pam-boat to go to Simunul and some other dreams Islet’s.

    The only hotel owner pass away the day before we land there,
    on the grass with an small old Fokker plane.

    Stay with Apigon family, what a wonderful stay by a charming family I will never forget !

    Filipino’s should be proud of the Tausug, they never surrender to the Spanish unable
    to follow their admirable sailing skill.

    Genocide by the Colonel Sherman who can’t control them.

    With more Tausug’s. Philippines will not have an atrocious colonial destiny.

    Sikatuna Bohol, got glass beed’s bribe from Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in exchange of slavery
    for his peoples and country, probably the first corrupt traitor, unlike Lapu-Lapu, first Hero !

    A treacherous Aquinaldo became first President of a Monkey Republic.

    What a sad destiny becoming Cultural thank’s of the Clergy !

  • Rasol A

    So BANGSAMORO or Muslims majority at last are good people.

    • Alexander Aamproz

      Never met any bad Muslim with me in the Philippines,
       Administration clerk, uncountable’s, mostly the rotten intra-muros and Mandaue Immigration and PAL, before going Public !

  • Misty Blues

    the sea is so awesome-can feel so much peace in my heart 

  • Ma Lourdes Macuno

    Tawi-tawi and the whole Mindanao … a beautiful place…the Land of Promise. Thy Womb is a beautiful movie. Congratulations to Superstar Nora Aunor for winning APSA Best Actress and Brillanta Mendoza for Best Actor.

  • amy ling

    Charity begins at home….and I really admire Ms Aunor’s decision to help the people of Sitangkai…what an admirable gesture coming from the superstar of Philippine Cinema, Ms Nora Aunor! And again, my hearful congratulations….

  • panaloangtotoo2

    Di ba tutulong ang mga Obispo at kaparian sa Pro-life na project na ito ni Ms. Nora?

  • selinaKyle2012

    Maganda itong proyekto na ito. Maipapakita ng mga malalaking personalidad sa Manila tulad nila Nora, Manny Pangilinan at sana ang komunidad ng mga Kristiyano  na handang tulungan ang mga tila napabayaan nang mga kababayan natin sa dulo ng Pilipinas. Sigurado akong ito ay magkakaroon ng mabuting epekto sa sinasagawang mga kilusang pangkapayapaan sa Mindanao.

  • hustlergalore

    what i like about this is decentralization. LOL

  • Eileen Lackey Rodriguez

    When Nora sets out to do something, she does it…I commend her in her decision, Her Heart of Gold extends out to the world…My Admiration Towards Nora goes far and wide…Congratulations Nora on the Film “Thy Womb”, Always Knew you were the Best Actress! Love you Nora…..Always Eileen Lackey Rodriguez

    • adscity_info

      Yeah, kaya naubos ang pera nya noong kasikatan nya, kasi sa pagtulong nya sa ibang tao, di nya namamalayan nauubos na pera nya.

  • Albin

    Dapat si Nora at Vilma huwag nang isali sa nomination as best actress, kasi magagaling na sila. hall of fame na yata sila on all award-giving bodies.

    • Chaps

      Mali ka naman don. Dapat siempre, i-recognized pa rin sila kung karapat-dapat na manalo. Kahit saan namang endeavor o trabaho man, mahalaga na nabibigyan ka ng award para ma-boost yung morale mo na mag-trabaho ng maigi. Pareho silang hall of famer ng famas lang. Dahil famas lang naman ang nagbi-bigay ng hall of fame na award after manalo ng 4 na beses. Sa ibang award-giving bodies locally, pwede pa rin silang ma-nominate.

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