‘Parade of Stars’ kicks off film fest


FILM FEST PARADE Superstar Nora Aunor, who stars in “Thy Womb,” waves to fans during the Metro Manila Film Festival Parade of Stars. RICHARD A. REYES

For celebrities, there’s nothing quite as exciting as being on a float and seeing a sea of fans wanting to catch a glimpse of them.

That’s why the annual “Parade of Stars” that kicks off the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)—now in its 38th year—is an event show biz neophytes aspire to be a part of, and a tradition for seasoned actors and actresses.

On a sweltering Sunday afternoon, eight eye-catching floats representing eight competing entries delighted the fans who lined the parade route, which started at  Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park and ended at SM Mall of Asia.

Despite the ominous clouds, the participants were generally upbeat, such as “Sosy Problems” star Bianca King, who was dressed comfortably in a pink tank top and shorts.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the beautiful faces in the parade. I don’t mind if it rains or if it gets hot,” she said.

But the skies turned sunny. Smiling, the stars blew kisses, threw goodies and waved at some 300,000 people as the motorcade moved on.

Singer and former child actor Makisig Morales of “Shake Rattle and Roll XIV” said being in the parade was a dream come true. “Not a lot of actors get a chance,” he said.

Actress Mercedes Cabral of the indie drama “Thy Womb” was likewise excited about her first time joining the parade. She said the event reminded her of her college days in the University of the Philippines Diliman, where she used to help create floats for the yearly Lantern Parade.

“The Strangers” star Janice de Belen isn’t exactly new to joining the MMFF. The Kapamilya actress, who’s also in “Shake Rattle and Roll XIV,” said she couldn’t remember if she had actually ridden on a parade float before.

“This is a whole new experience for me, and I’m quite nervous!” she exclaimed.

‘A great feeling’

For veterans, the festivities have become an indelible part of their careers.

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., a star in  the fantasy-adventure flick “Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako,” said in an earlier interview: “As a celebrity, it’s my job to entertain and make people happy. Seeing the fans is such a great feeling.”

It’s been 15 years since Nora Aunor joined the festivities and the Superstar was excited to be once again part of the celebrations. She told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that “I’m happy that we were able to get in.”

Aunor holds the record for the most MMFF best actress wins with seven. This year, critics are touting the 59-year-old actress as the one to beat for her performance in the indie drama “Thy Womb,” which already has won for her acting trophies at the Venice Film Festival and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

8 floats

Dressed in traditional Badjao clothing, Aunor, “Thy Womb” director Brillante Mendoza and costar Cabral were aboard an oversized replica of a lepa, a Badjao boathouse.

They were joined on by mock rowers and dancers, who regaled the people with Badjao dances. Fans chanted “Nora! Nora!” as she ascended the float.

The float of “Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako”—reportedly worth P1 million—carried Vic Sotto, who sported a warrior costume. A monster octopus was prominently featured at the front of the float, while its sides were decked with colorful wild flowers and plants. Revilla and Judy Ann Santos joined Sotto on the float later.

Ai Ai de las Alas, Kris Aquino and Vice Ganda led the cast of “Sisterakas” on a bright and loud float adorned with photo cutouts of lipsticks, diamonds and perfume bottles.

The float of “The Strangers” was a simple red and black rectangular vessel. On it were Enchong Dee, Julia Montes, Enrique Gil and JM de Guzman.

Rose petals

Faux rose petals were sprinkled on the sides of the float of the drama “One More Try.” Angel Locsin, Zanjoe Marudo and Dingdong Dantes waved as the float inched slowly.

The fully costumed cast of “El Presidente” was led by  Jeorge “ER” Estregan, Cristine Reyes, Christopher de Leon, Cesar Montano and Baron Geisler. Their float had a replica of Emilio Aguinaldo mounted on a horse.

The orange and black float of “Shake, Rattle and Roll XIV” featured an ominous-looking insect. On it were Dennis Trillo, De Belen, AJ Dee, Eula Caballero, Mart Escudero and Albie Casiño.

The 38th MMFF runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8, 2013.

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  • Florencio Chua

    I saw Thy Womb here in Rome Italy together with some Filipino friends and Italian film critics and students during the Rome Independent Film Festival . Thy Womb is the movie to watch with a beautiful cinematography , the life of our brothers/sisters in Tawi-Tawi , the Philippine Culture and Arts, educational docu-drama  with the superb acting of Nora as a childless wife and to give the happiness her husband she is the one who look for it . Higly recomended by European Film Critics to everyone to watch this magnificant movie from the Philippines .

  • Gilbert Guy Ferrer

    im fell so fortunate to watch THY WOMB… and i must say na mahusay ang mga pinoy sa larangan ng pelikula… sana at umaasa akong mas maraming pinoy ang makaappreciate nito… isang matalino, dekalidad at kahanga hangang paglalahad ng kwento!!! not to mention great performances headed by NORA AUNOR…  

    • Ma Lourdes Macuno

      Agree Gilbert manood tayo ng matinong pelikula na worth watching…

  • Malana Agnes

    Thank you so much Direct Brillante, Superstar Nora Aunor and all the cast of THY WOMB, kundi po dahil sa inyo DI MAGNININGNING AT LILIWANAG ANG MMFF sa taong ito.  MABUTI NA LANG AT DININIG NI LORD ANG PRAYERS NAMIN NA BUMALIK NA SI ATE GUY SA PINAS, AT GUMAWA ULIT NG PELIKULA.  Ang
    kanyang pelikulang THY WOMB  ay tiyak na isang anyo na naman ng konteksto sa
    kasaysayan ng pelikulang Pilipino. Kailangan ng ating industriya ang mga
    artistang magmumulat at kailangan natin ang isang Nora Aunor na
    yumayanig sa kinagawiang pasibong pagharap sa mga larawang nagkukuwento
    sa puting tabing. Mapapalitaw lamang ang kahalagahan ng mga pelikula kung ang isang NORA AUNOR lamang ang gaganap!!!!

  • Renato S Velasquez

    Panoorin po natin ang THY WOMB starring  Nora Aunor, who reaped awards
     including the Bisato d’Oro
    award at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy, and the Best Actress award
    at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Australia. 

  • selinaKyle2012

    Walang masama sa sinabi ni @akimaxx:disqus. Hinahamon lang niya ang mga Pilipino – ang mga manonood at ang mga artists – na itaas ang level ng ating mga pelikula. Ang Korea ay hindi lamang about Gangnam dance craze, it is one of the topnotch producers of quality films in Asia right now. Based in an article in Time Magazine, the government invested millions in film academies and grants to enable the production of independent style films that would otherwise have no chance againts the mainstreams. Kulang na kulang ang suporta ng government sa ating mga artists sa totoo lang. Harapin natin ito. Ang the biggest travesty? The Metro Manila Film Festival was originally conceived to promote quality in Filipino films. Insiang, Himala, Kisapmata, Itim. What happened? The greedy producers saw a cash cow. Using their money and power, they hijacked the festival and turn it in their money making schemes. They fooled the people by calling it a “festival for the children”. Children???? Who are these people fooling? Kung pambata ang filmfest bakit nila rejected ang Magnifico? They rejected it because it is an independent film then it went on to win the Children’s Section Best Picture at the Berlin International Film Festival. Pambata ang filmfest? Bakit puro katangahan, slapsticks, stereotyping ng screaming faggots, teleserye style and pinapalabas nila? Ito ba ang pambata? Matagal na tayong niloloko ng mga producers na ito. Panahon ng pumalag. Kamkam sila ng kamkam ng pera ng masa. Pero anung natututunan natin sa kanilang mga pelikula? Katangahan at katangahan. Thy Womb is a breath of fresh air. Ang nangyari sa Magnifico ay hindi na dapat maulit. Suportahan nating lahat ang Thy Womb

  • Renato S Velasquez


  • Marshall

    sabi ko na nga ba lalangawin pelikula ni Nora mabaho kase ang bida dehins goli….

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