From Nuffnang

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Filipino Movies Having Titles that Contain the Word "Hudas"

Almost everyone knows Judas Iscariot as the Apostle who infamously kissed and betrayed Jesus Christ to the chief Sanhedrin priests in exchange for thirty silver coins. As a result, the name Judas or Hudas, in Tagalog, is typically used to accuse someone of treachery or of being a traitor.

There was even a popular saying in Taglish (mixed Tagalog and English that goes like this: "God knows Hudas not pay." (Hudas is a pun for the phrase "Who Does.") This saying is commonly seen in jeepney signage as an affront to passengers who intend to renege on paying the fare.

Many of us also remember the catchphrase, "Hudas, Barabas, Hestas!" which is regularly said by Doña Delilah (portrayed by Dely Atay-Atayan) to John Puruntong (portrayed by Dolphy) in the long-running TV sitcom John en Marsha.

We will be sharing with you posters of two Filipino action movies having titles that contain the word Hudas: Kapatid Ko si Hudas (My Brother is Judas) and Markadong Hudas (Marked Judas).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

From the 1990s: Two Movies with Religious Themes

Philippine film company Cine Suerte Inc. was known for producing religious-themed movies during the Lenten Season. In observance of Holy Week, we will be sharing posters of two of Cine Suerte's religious-themed movies during the 1990s: Divine Mercy sa Buhay ni Sister Faustina (Divine Mercy in the Life of Sister Faustina) and Kristo (Christ). Ben "M-7" Yalung directed both movies, which were also produced in cooperation with the Oasis of Love Community.

Divine Mercy sa Buhay ni Sister Faustina opened in theaters on March 24, 1993. It chronicles the life of Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska of Poland, to whom the Divine Mercy devotion is attributed. Interestingly, Filipino-American actress Donita Rose was cast in the role of the Polish saint.

Divine Mercy sa Buhay ni Sister Faustina, Cine Suerte, Donita Rose

According to the Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices, the Divine Mercy is a Roman Catholic devotion to the "merciful love of God and the desire to let that love and mercy flow through one's own heart towards those in need of it." In the Philippines, the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy is a major church dedicated to this devotion. It is located in the town of Marilao in Bulacan province.

Kristo, which stars Matt Ranillo III in the title role received general release on March 27, 1996. It details the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Big names in Philippine entertainment industry lent support to the ensemble cast.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Using a "Palaspas" Against the "Manananggal"

Today, many Catholics commemorate Palm Sunday to usher the Holy Week. On this day, parishioners attend Mass so the priest can sprinkle holy water on the palaspas or palm branches they bring with them. As the priest does the blessing the parishioners sway their palaspas in remembrance of Jesus Christ's entry to Jerusalem. Many people believe that the blessed palaspas will protect them against misfortune such as being struck by lightning.

Considering the standing of the palaspas in Philippine religious tradition and superstition, it has breached the boundaries of popular culture: A case in point is an episode in the first installment of  Shake, Rattle and  Roll, the longest-running horror movie franchise in the Philippines. The first movie was released by Athena Productions in 1984; it features three episodes entitled Baso, Pridyider, and Manananggal.

We will focus on the episode about the manananggal. In Philippine folklore, a manananggal refers to a vampire-like creature that can sever its upper torso and make huge bat-like wings appear on its back to fly into the night. (Perhaps, the need to be cut in half is motivated by the goal to fly light.) The manananggal then searches for a victim, with its lower torso is left standing.

palaspas, Palm Sunday, manananggal, Shake Rattle and Roll, Irma Alegre
From rural maiden to manananggal
Herbert Bautista, the lead actor in this SRR episode, plays the role of Douglas, who is a visitor to a rural village. Irma Alegre portrays  a local lass who transforms into the manananggal at night. Smitten with her, Douglas attempts to woo her. He discovers her secret in the process. Upon discovering the manananggal's lower torso, Douglas puts salt on it. (WARNING: A highly graphic image follows.)

This Week in Philippine History and Culture (March 24 to 31)

Mar. 24, 1934: The U.S. Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth. On November 15, 1935 the Philippine Commonwealth is inaugurated with Manuel L. Quezon as President and Sergio Osmeña as Vice-President.

Mar. 24, 1990: Film and television actor Aljur Abrenica is born in Angeles City, Pampanga. A product of the reality-based talent-search program Starstruck, Abrenica went on to become a contract artist for GMA Network. He also appears in Regal Films' productions.

Mar. 25, 1935: Internationally renowned Filipino boxing icon Gabriel "Flash" Elorde (d. January 2, 1985) is born in Bogo, Cebu. On March 16, 1960, about 30,000 spectators at the newly built Araneta Coliseum witnessed Elorde's victory over Harold Gomes for the world junior-lightweight title. Elorde held the title until 1967.

Mar. 26, 1989: Filipino-Italian film and television actor Matteo Guidicelli is born in Cebu. Prior to venturing into show business, Guidicelli was known for being a racer. Guidicelli was recently seen in the ABS-CBN series Paraiso.

Mar. 26, 1996: Film and television actress Kathryn Chandria Manuel Bernardo, popularly known as Kathryn Bernardo is born in in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. She is best known for playing the role of Mikay (later Princess Areeyah) in the primetime series Princess and I. Bernardo's most recent movie is Must Be ... Love, opposite Daniel Padilla.

Mar. 27, 1899: The Battle of Marilao River is waged. That was the only time Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the First Philippine Republic and leader of the resistance to the Americans, led Filipino forces during the Philippine-American War.

Mar. 29, 1911: Actor and musician Tito Arevalo (d. December 4, 2000) is born in Tondo, Manila. He won the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Award for Musical Scoring five times during a period spanning 1961 to 1972.

Mar. 29, 2002: Film and television actor Rico Yan (b. March 14, 1975) dies of pancreatitis in Palawan. At the time of his death, Yan was under an exclusive contract with the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network. Yan's last movie appearance was with real-life girlfriend Claudine Barretto in the Star Cinema production Got 2 Believe.

Mar. 30, 1951: Broadcast journalist Tina Monzon-Palma is born. Monzon-Palma is also program director of the Bantay Bata 163 and Sagip Kapamilya public service initiatives of the ABS-CBN Foundation.

Mar. 31, 1899: As the Philippine-American War rages on, American forces capture Malolos, the capital of the First Philippine Republic.

Mar. 31, 1976: Comedian, television and movie personality Jose Marie Borja-Viceral, popularly known as Vice Ganda or Vice, is born in Manila. Vice Ganda is a regular host/judge on the noontime variety show It's Showtime and host of weekly talk show Gandang Gabi Vice! He is also part of the main cast of two of the highest-grossing films in Philippine cinema: The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin, This Guy's in Love with U Mare! and Sisterakas.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

This Week in Philippine History and Culture (March 17 to 23)

Mar. 17, 1953: Revolutionary socialist and labor leader Filemon "Ka Popoy" Lagman (d. February 6, 2001) is born. Lagman was known for establishing the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the multi-sectoral group Sanlakas after splitting with the Communist Party of the Philippines. 

Mar. 17, 1957: Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay (b. August 31, 1907), along with 24 others, dies in a plane crash in Mt. Manunggal in Cebu. Magsaysay was on the way to Manila early that morning after having speaking engagements in Cebu City on March 16. He boarded the presidential plane Mt. Pinatubo, which was named after a then-dormant volcano in his home province of Zambales.

Mar. 17, 1973: Rico Blanco, former lead vocalist of rock band Rivermaya is born. Blanco was one of the founding members of the band, in which he also assumed the roles of keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter from 1993 to 2007. Aside from being part of the ongoing ABS-CBN drama series May Isang Pangarap, Blanco is also host-judge in TV5's Kanta Pilipinas.

Mar. 18, 1928: Fidel V. Ramos, the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998, is born in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Prior to being elected President, Ramos served for the military in various capacities for more than three decades. Ramos is also the first Protestant President to lead a predominantly Catholic Philippines. 

Mar. 18, 1994: World-renowned Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti performs at the Philippine International Convention Center. 

Mar. 18, 1996: A fire in the Ozone Disco nightclub in Quezon City kills 162 people, many of whom are young people celebrating their school graduation. The incident later became known in media circles as the Ozone Disco Tragedy.

Mar. 19, 1995: Television and film actress Mara Hautea Schnittka , better known by her stage name Julia Montes, is born in Quezon City, Philippines). She was part of the children's gag show Goin' Bulilit before portraying the role of Clara in the remake of Mara Clara (opposite Kathryn Bernardo). Montes was Coco Martin's leading lady in the recently concluded series, Walang Hanggan.

Mar. 20, 1942: General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, makes a speech in Terowie, South Australia where he says, "I came out of Bataan and I shall return." At that time, the Philippine Commonwealth was in exile in Australia following the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Army. His return happened two years later, on October 20, 1944, in the shores of Palo, Leyte. The event is depicted in the obverse side of the 50-peso bill.

Mar. 21, 1978: Film and television actress Joyce Jimenez is born in Los Angeles, California. Jimenez's career in Philippine show business spanned more than a decade since the mid-1990s. She is known for playing the lead roles in many sex-oriented films such as Scorpio Nights 2 (1999), Warat (1999), and Biyaheng Langit (2000).

Mar. 22, 1869: Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines, is born in the town of Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit) in Cavite province. Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippines in 1898. He later led the First Philippine Republic's military resistance to the Americans.

Mar. 23, 1901: Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the First Philippine Republic and leader of the resistance to the Americans, was captured in Palanan, Isabela by forces of General Frederick Funston. Aguinaldo later took an oath of allegiance to the United States on April 19, 1901, effectively dissolving the First Philippine Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.

Mar. 23,1935: The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines is signed. It provided for a unicameral National Assembly and the President was elected to a six-year term without re-election. It was amended in 1940 to have a bicameral Congress composed of a Senate and House of Representatives, as well the creation of an independent electoral commission (now known as the COMELEC).

The amendment granted the President a four-year term with a maximum of two consecutive terms in office. The 1935 Constitution was also adopted by the Third Philippine Republic from 1946 to 1972, the year when it was suspended through President Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Some Pinoy Action Movies from the Mid-1990s

Once upon a time in the history of Philippine movies, the Pinoy action genre was king. Most movies belonging to this genre follow this formula: a protagonist who lives a simple existence versus the villain who would make Satan look like a saint. Of course, there is a need for the virginal lass and the hot vixen. And who will ever forget the Johnny-come-lately police force.

Despite the repetition of this formula, many aspiring actors found fame and fortune by playing lead roles in Pinoy action movies. (One of them was even elected President!) Without any further ado, here are some action movies that were released in the mid-1990s.

Monsour del Rosario and Baldo Marro played the lead roles in Chinatown 2: The Vigilantes, a Four-N-Films that saw general theatrical release on January 12, 1994. It was the sequel to 1988's Chinatown: Sa Kuko ng Dragon, which has Ramon "Bong Revilla Jr. in the lead role. Dawn Zulueta portrays the love interest of Del Rosario's character. The movie's co-directors are Manuel Marcos and Roger Baruelo.

Chinatown, Chinatown 2 The Vigilantes, Monsour del Rosario, Dawn Zulueta, Baldo Marro

Prior to venturing into show business, Del Rosario was the country's representative to international taekwondo competitions. On the other hand, Baldo Marro was a stunt man before clinching lead parts in action movies. His popularity increased after winning the Best Actor Award in the 1988 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Patrolman.

Fernando Poe, Jr. directed himself (as Ronwaldo Reyes) in Viva Films' Hindi Pa Tapos ang Laban, (The Fight is Not Yet Over) which opened in theaters on January 25, 1994. Other cast members include Paquito Diaz, Johnny Delgado, Dick Israel, Berting Labra, Ruel Vernal, and Max Alvarado. Michelle Aldana, 1993 Ms. Asia-Pacific, was introduced in this movie.