Despite tattoos, Lovi is lovely Lakambini | Inquirer Entertainment

Despite tattoos, Lovi is lovely Lakambini

/ 12:05 AM April 20, 2015

LOVI Poe describes Gregoria de Jesus as “the heart and soul of the revolution.” INQSnap this page for additional content!

LOVI Poe describes Gregoria de Jesus as “the heart and soul of the revolution.” INQSnap this page for additional content!

First things first: There is that slight matter of tattoos. Mercifully, actress Lovi Poe’s body art will be concealed when she portrays Gregoria de Jesus, wife of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio and a revolutionary heroine in her own right, in the historical biopic “Lakambini (Woman Leader).”

“The tattoos will not be a problem,” principal director Jeffrey Jeturian assured the Inquirer.


Still, assuming the traits of a 19th-century woman like Oryang (De Jesus’ nickname) can be a mighty challenge for this thoroughly modern girl.


Good actress

“Lovi is a good actress,” Jeturian pointed out. “She can easily adapt to the persona and aura that the role requires. You see that even in the teaser.”

Codirector Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil related that the teaser was shot on March 1 and unveiled in the Women’s Day festivities spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the film’s copresenter, on March 8.

“[Actor and good friend] Ricky Davao recommended Lovi to us,” Marfil volunteered. “True enough, on our first meeting, she exuded Oryang’s quiet strength.”

Poe is keenly aware that Oryang, considered “Mother of the Philippine revolution,” is a much-coveted part among young actresses of her generation.

“I feel honored and blessed to have been chosen,” Poe told the Inquirer. “This is an important and significant film for all Filipinos.”


Poe hailed De Jesus, who took the nom de guerre Lakambini (Muse) when she joined the Katipunan, as “a true heroine of the Filipino people. She symbolizes the heart and soul of the revolution…of women in Philippine society.”

ORYANG played a vital role in the Katipunan.

ORYANG played a vital role in the Katipunan.

Poe said De Jesus blazed the trail for female leaders, tracing a line “from Ka Oryang to [late President] Corazon Aquino.”

Poe has been reading up on Philippine history of late. “I am doing a lot of research on the time period and on Ka Oryang herself. I am certain that I will be guided well by my two directors, whom I respect so much. I have complete trust in them and I promise total concentration on this film.”

Filming soon

Filming starts soon, said Marfil, in time for “PCW’s 40th anniversary and Oryang’s 140th birth anniversary in May.”

Marfil recalled that she started working on this dream movie in 2012, when she tapped Rody Vera to write the screenplay, which won first prize at the Palanca awards.

As luck would have it, Oryang’s granddaughter Jamie Oakes, who is based in London, was visiting Manila then. “Jamie, who is our friend, brought us to the clan’s ancestral home, Bahay Nakpil,” Marfil recounted.

Dangerous missions

According to Marfil, the screenplay is based on historical documents, as well as on interviews with descendants who fondly remember their grandmother’s culinary skills.

The film will emphasize Oryang’s role in the 1896 revolution, for which she went on several “dangerous missions.”

A SCENE from the historical film’s teaser shows the heroine’s culinary skills, as remembered by her descendants.

A SCENE from the historical film’s teaser shows the heroine’s culinary skills, as remembered by her descendants.

“She was entrusted with the Katipunan’s documents, seals, paraphernalia and revolvers,” Marfil said. “After Bonifacio’s execution, she married another Katipunan leader, musician and Bonifacio’s trusted aide, Julio Nakpil.”

Marfil hopes the film “will unravel history’s secrets, along with the secret to our future…it’s a story that needs to be told, one that hasn’t found closure.”

Completing the creative team are Neil Daza as director of photography and Lutgardo Labad as musical director.

In spite of his hectic schedule, Jeturian, director of the ABS-CBN series “Dream Dad,” made time for this project. “It’s my first historical film. I share Ellen’s goal: To shed light on some gray areas in our nation’s history. Oryang’s story serves as a good vehicle to clarify certain issues.”

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TAGS: Entertainment, Gregoria de Jesus, Lakambini, Lovi Poe, Showbiz

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