WATCH: ANG BIYAHE NI MARLON (2018) TRAILER

I was pleasantly surprised the other day when the organising committee informed me that the poster and trailer of our film will kickstart the social media campaign of the festival leading to the gala and awarding night.

In case news didn’t reach you yet, I’m talking about the first-ever Istorya ng Pag-Asa Film Festival, which is organised by the Office of the Vice President and Ayala Foundation.

Our film tells the story of Marlon Fuentes, a driver with Tourette Syndrome (T.S). Instead of being discouraged by people who look down on his condition, Marlon is motivated to continue working to support his family and to serve as an inspiration to the people who have T.S. This film aims to raise awareness about Tourette Syndrome in the Philippines.

And I’m actually very excited and nervous at the same time because it will have its premiere on June 12 at Glorietta!! I’ve never experienced showing my film to that many people, I mean equivalent to the size of a commercial theater based in Makati! But I’m all out positive with this one!

Please see below the trailer of our film:

ANG BIYAHE NI MARLON (2018) TEASER POSTER

Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon is our official entry to the first-ever Istorya ng Pag-Asa Film Festival organized by the Office of the Vice President and Ayala Foundation.

This is a documentary short featuring Marlon Fuentes, a driver with Tourette Syndrome (T.S). Instead of being discouraged by people who look down on his condition, Marlon is motivated to continue working to support his family and to serve as an inspiration to the people who have T.S. This film aims to raise awareness about Tourette Syndrome in the Philippines. It’s a movie sponsored by TOSS Travel and Tours.

Below is our teaser poster! This is made by my friend, Ran Perez, who is a brilliant graphic designer! I’m excited to share this with all of you. It’s going to have its premiere on June 12 at Glorietta Cinema. I’ll keep you guys posted! 🙂

Istorya-ng-Pag-asa-poster-v5

 

WATCH: Lani Misalucha singing Anak

Interesting things have come up lately since I had more leisure time to pursue my passions. Coming from a very hectic schedule at work, I am taking time off to focus on my studies. Don’t worry, it’s just a week-long vacation. I am not a certified bum. Yet.

As I was ‘cleaning’ my hard drive, I’ve managed to pull out some videos I took years ago. And the one I’m sharing with you today is shot around 2013 during Christmas time. And it’s pretty amazing because I’ve forgotten that I actually wrote for Lani Misalucha, the Asia’s Nightingale, during her guesting in Mars.

In this video  — it’s just a short one! — it features Lani singing her version of the uber popular Freddie Aguilar song, “Anak”. I’ve seen Lani perform on TV and onstage, but this is the only time I’ve watched her sing live that close and in a very intimate setup. So imagine the goosebumps after the musical performance. It’s amazing! Sharing this with you now.

WATCH: IKAW PA LANG ANG MINAHAL digital restoration at TRINOMA

ikaw-palang-ang-minahal
Maricel Soriano for “Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal” via Maricel Soriano Official Fan page/Facebook

I posted a video last month about the digital restoration of this 1992 award-winning film called IKAW PA LANG ANG MINAHAL. It’s an adaptation of William Wyler’s THE HEIRESS, an American drama film released in 1949. It’s directed by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, starring Maricel Soriano and Richard Gomez.

In an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the movie is “a story about a privileged young woman named Adela who has everything in life but love. Living in a mansion, she is the sole heiress to her father’s massive riches. However, she grew up enduring her father’s animosity toward her. This then strained their relationship making the already shy and aloof Adela confine herself in their mansion.

Her world changes when she meets the handsome and appealing David who she’d quickly fall in love with. Her father disapproves of their relationship doubting the man’s intentions for his daughter. But just as Adela decided she would give up everything for the man she loves, David backs out upon learning Adela won’t inherit her father’s wealth anymore.

Adela’s vengeance starts when she returns to their house to get back at the two men who caused her grave pain.”

Below is a very short video I made. Emphasis on the ‘very’ part because my phone died that night! Haha. Sorry!

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Making it as Finalist in the 2018 Istorya ng Pag-Asa Film Festival

Okay, okay, aminin ko na. I’ve been waiting for the announcement since May 1. :)) The finalists were supposed to be announced on Labor day but according to their official Facebook page, the selection team had to move it on May 4 due “to the huge volume of entries sent their way.”

Three days later, on May 4, at 10 pm, I read through Facebook that our film was chosen as one of the finalists in the first-ever Istorya ng Pag-Asa Film Festival! (INPFF). It’s unbelievable! It was mindblowing. I’ve never been a ‘suki’ of film festivals. Honestly, I don’t like the idea of joining for the sake of competition. But this one’s different. I had this burning desire to join because I wanted everyone to know the utterly inspiring story of our subject. I also believed in the vision of the film festival, which is to showcase inspiring stories of hope. This was an advocacy I couldn’t afford to miss.

istorya ng pagasa finalists

Our docu short is entitled “Byahe Ni Marlon”, it’s about Marlon Fuentes, the Uber driver who went viral on January this year. It was because of his condition called Tourette Syndrome (T.S). A passenger named Hazel Alvero took a photo of the cardboard sign displayed inside his car which stated his condition. Sir Marlon did this so that passengers won’t be worried the moment they step inside his car and see him ‘acting weird’ or ‘twitching’ while driving. Some even thought he was on drugs when they saw him, especially those who were quick to judge and unaware of T.S.

When I read about his story, I was moved. And I was sure everyone who would come across it would experience the same. So I decided to join and submit our docu short. As an amateur filmmaker, this was sort of a baptism of fire. 🙂 I’ve never directed and produced my own film before. Difficult days were faced. Many moments of exhaustion were endured. But instead of losing hope or giving up, I knew this had to push through because we had this moving story to tell. I know it’s going to be worth it. For me, it’s not about winning the competition. It’s about telling this story so that people will get inspired, so we can spread good vibes and positivity all around. We all need that in these times. And I’m glad we took that leap!

With only a few weeks left before the deadline, we rushed to complete the project. We barely had a month to pull all these off. But I guess the Universe conspired to make things fall into place because we managed to interview and film the people involved in this story within the timeframe. That’s also one of the reasons why I’m very motivated to finish this project no matter what happened. And I’m so lucky that I get to meet these bunch of individuals who are all generous and trusting of us. Thank you to Sir Marlon, his family and friends. Thank you to Mr. Marlon Barnuevo and the Philippine Tourette Syndrome Association. Thank you to Ms. Hazel Alvero.

I’m glad that I had passionate people with me who believed in that vision. Thank you to my production team! Meika, Clare, Jonnie, and Nel. Thank you Sandro and JJ for the last minute help. Thanks, too, Bennel. Thank you to Ma’am Ludz Labagnoy for the endless guidance and support. Thanks also to our sponsor TOSS Travel and Tours.

team ovp2
Post prod with Jonnie, Nel and Meika.
marlon barnuevo
Me, Mr. Marlon Barnuevo, Jonnie and Nel
team ovp
Post prod on Chinese New Year with Jonnie, Nel, Meika and Clare, who generously sponsored the pizza party!!
mr marlon2
Mr. Marlon Fuentes with his wife, son and best friend.
mars2
Sir Marlon and wife Rio were also invited to guest in the GMA News TV show MARS hosted by Camille Prats and Suzi Abrera.
mars
Sir Marlon and wife Rio were also invited to guest in the GMA News TV show MARS hosted by Camille Prats and Suzi Abrera.
hazel alvero
Me, Meika and Clare with Ms. Hazel Alvero

I am yet to receive an email from the INPFF for further instructions but I’m already delighted with the fact that Sir Marlon’s story reached them, no less than the Ayala Foundation and the Office of the Vice President. So thank you, too, AFI and OVP for opening an avenue for this kind of cinematic storytelling!  Here’s hoping that more people will get to see our film so that we can spread awareness and understanding about Tourette Syndrome and the PTSA. Here’s also hoping that more people will get to see it because we need inspiring stories of positivity in our lives. 🙂  Will update soon! To God be the glory!