Costanilla: ‘Mana’ stars Cherie Gil, Epy Quizon

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


DELIGHTFUL. We watched two stage plays in one night last week at the University of Cebu’s (UC) audio-visual room in Kalubihan. We commend the UC Theater Workshop Company for mounting them as a delightful cultural treat for all the members of the audience.

The first play, titled Bisikleta, had Kenan Diamante and Vianney Cadungog II playing the lead roles while the second one, titled Rayna-Rayna, starred Eldryn Padigos, Gian Corpuz and Jef Maun. The two plays were fast-paced and credit goes to birthday boy Rudy Aviles for the excellent directorial job.

Improvement. Actually, the two plays were originally staged seven years ago (which we failed to see) and all those who watched them again last week were one in saying that both Bisikleta and Rayna-Rayna were an impressive improvement in terms of overall presentation. We agree with the observation of some viewers that the two plays should be re-staged in a much bigger venue and before a much larger crowd. And we appreciate Aviles and his staff for producing the props by recycling used materials that were simply dumped backstage over the years. Kudos to all of them for a splendid cultural treat!

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Films. We were also able to attend a press conference organized by Bambi Beltran, Marlon Hofer and Roxanne Duron, all of the Cebu Film Connection (CFC), who talked about the upcoming Cinema Rehiyon 7 to be hosted by Cebu in February next year. The aim is to help promote and distribute Visayan films as another step to reviving the “sleeping” regional movie industry.

Project. So as CFC’s maiden project, they are helping promote the screening of Mana (Inheritance), an indie movie produced by the De La Salle College of St. Benilde, starting this Wednesday, March 19, in local cinemas. Gabby Fernandez directs a powerhouse cast of seven of the country’s top stars like Tetchie Agbayani, Ricky Davao, Jaime Fabregas, Cherie Gil, Mark Gil, Epy Quizon and Fides Cuyugan-Asensio.

Festival. Back to CFC’s venture next year, we were informed that there will be over a hundred short and full-length movies from all over the country to be screened here in four days. There will also be workshops to be conducted by some filmmakers. If this plan pushes through, Cebu will surely be placed on the movie festival map. If only for this reason, we challenge all local government units here to support Cinema Rehiyon 7 next year.

Envoys. Retired ambassador Frank Benedicto invited us to attend a welcome dinner that he hosted for over 20 newly confirmed Philippine ambassadors to several foreign postings. There, we met Ambassador Ma. Angelina Sta. Catalina, deputy director-general for conference management of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation whose mother is from Bogo City.

Writer. We also shook hands with a long-lost friend, the Cebuano literary writer and poet Butch Bandillo, who is now our ambassador to Bangladesh. According to him, this designation is a big challenge on his part but he is ready to accomplish whatever his ambassadorial posting entails. And he vowed to continue composing poems even in Bangladesh.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2014.

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