‘Labyu with an Accent’
(We are running this guide to help you plan your holiday movie-viewing activity. The 48th Metro Manila Film Festival, or MMFF, runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7, 2023)
Codirected by Rodel Nacianceno and Malu Sevilla; stars Coco Martin, Jodi Sta. Maria, Rafael Rosell, Manuel Chua, Rochelle Pangilinan, Joross Gamboa, Zeus Collins, Neil Coleta, John Estrada, Nikki Valdez, Nash Aguas, Marc Solis, John Medina, Jay Gonzaga, Bassilyo, Smugglaz, Michael De Mesa, Nova Villa and Jaclyn Jose; produced by Star Cinema
Tricia (Sta. Maria) is a US-based businesswoman who returns to the Philippines to heal a broken heart. She ends up meeting Gabo (Martin), who offers her his “ultimate jowa experience” (the girl pays him to be his girlfriend for three days and two nights). Tricia gets smitten by Gabo, but still chooses to return home. Wanting to reunite with his lady love, Gabo accepts his cousin’s offer to live with her in the United States. There, Tricia convinces Gabo to disguise as a wealthy businessman, and as her new boyfriend, in order to prevent her domineering father (De Mesa) from taking back her ex-fiance into the family business. Will true love actually blossom from a relationship that is created through dishonesty and pretension?
Martin said his goal for the film was to have it shown during the MMFF. “We weren’t able to go out for almost three years because of the pandemic. It’s been a tradition for Filipino families to gather and to watch MMFF films. We want to be able to continue that tradition. Also, we want to help the industry get back on its feet,” he pointed out.
Sta. Maria said she accepted the role because it’s different from those she did in the past. “Also, I realized that I’ve missed doing something light,” added Sta. Maria, who is more identified recently with the heavy drama projects she made both for TV and on film. “I like Tricia because she’s very chill. Why someone like her will fall in love with someone like Gabo is something that you have to see for yourself.”
Martin is known for portraying the iconic character Cardo Dalisay in the longest-running action-drama series, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” while Sta. Maria is one of the most sought-after actresses in the Philippines. One of her memorable roles is Maya dela Rosa in “Be Careful With My Heart,” and most recently, Doc Jill in “The Broken Marriage Vow.”
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