Culion: In Full Throttle!

pilar mateo sni THE “P” TALKS!
BY: Pilar Mateo

EYES, even ears are turned to controversial producer Shandii Bacolod. As his “Culion” gets chosen to be part of this year’s MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) 2019.

For Shandii’s TeamMSB, the long wait is over! After the first four films were announced in July this year, major, even new companies rushed to have their projects get completed for the final four that was named last month.

It was nerve wracking for the team, alright.

iOptions Ventures producer Gilie Sing was early at the Club Filipino during the announcement.

“Ganito pala ang feeling. Sobra’ng nerbiyos na. First time. But thanks to Shandii, the production and the stars, Iza (Calzado) especially, kina-kalmanila ako. Feeling ko nagkakasakit ako na ewan. Kasi, wala hindi ako makatulog. But now is the time!”

We witnessed the triumph of Team Culion. The hardships faced. But the fun and celebrations after Direk Alvin Yapan called it’s a wrap on location in Culion.

If the people who got picked in the auditions could talk, the very first impression which etched in their hearts and mind was how Team MSB treated everyone who went to the audition to get an importsnt part.

Food was served. Everybody partook in the catered services.

“Doon lang po kami nakakita kasi na sa Auditions pa lang, makuha ka o hindi kasama ka sa kainan. Non-stop ‘yun. Kaya busog lahat ng nag-audition. Hindi man nakuha ang iba, maganda ang pakiramdam nila sa pag-uwi,” said a mother whose child became an integral part in the role assigned to him in “Culion”.

Actor Mike Liwag shared that, “During the shoot na, pagpunta namin there sa island, ang hirap kasi sumama ang panahon. Hindi makababa ang plane. Pero kung talagang meant nga na magawa at matapos namin ang proyekto, after the storm sabi nga, the calm. Nung gumanda na ang panahon, may manaka-naka na mga pag-ulan but everything went smoothly. And Direk Alvin and our DOP Neil Daza captured the best moments in the film.”

Iza as a producer had her best learnings in the project.

“Akala ko saling ket lang ako. Pero ‘yung mga natututunan ko while we were shooting, ibang klase. Ang dami mong goals you want na maibahagi, lalo sa mga manonood to whom you are dedicating the movie. Para pa lang makuha ng henyo’ng scriptwriter na si Ricky Lee ang istorya ng Culion eh dumaan na sa butas ng karayom. We were favored. Nakita ng mga taga-Culion ang malinis na intention kung bakit ‘yun ang proyektong gusto naming gawin.”

The “palaban” in Shandii concentrated day and night in the project’s completion. He knew the works. The tools that a project like “Culion” needed. Not just the push. But the pull to trigger off the “noise” it can make.

From pictorials. To interview. The launches. Here and in Culion itself. Poclet interviews. Set visits. To make known to one and all that Culion exists. That therr is a stigma that eeds to be broken. That they have a story to tell.

Questions will be answered. About Hansen’s Disease. Leprosy. Ketong. What is that?

Their backburner has been churning since two years ago. The Universe conspired to make them meet. Now, everyone involvednin the project is stirring awareness. And to know that a National Artist for Literature like the Bienvenido Lumbera who is part of the Selection Committee gave high praises for the movie is already a big bonus. Pumalakpak! Umiyak! His stamp of approval made the team’s day!

Everyone is looking forward to the merriest of season, Christmas when Culion will be shown in the cinemas.

Producers Gilie, Shandii and Iza are bringing it to Culion for its people to see and look back at their history and the story that it offers.

The envious eyes, the green-eyed monsters continue to wag their tongues of negativity in trying to break and bring down “Culion” with the nasty remarks being hurled in social media’s rumor mill.

The actors aren’t even affected by them. Because they know they made a movie of great magnitude.

Box-office or Awards. Who wouldn’t want to have them both?

Shandii’s accomplishment is where his heart is. Making his artists and staff at home and be like family.

Meryll Soriano. Jasmine Curtis Smith. Joem Bascon. Suzette Ranillo. Nicolo Fowler. Lee O’Brian. Mai Fanglayan. Joel Saracho. Andrew Legados. VJ Mendoza. Jack Falcis. Culion Kalinangan Ensemble. Big stars. Supporting ensemble. Everyone played their parts so well.

“Not naman spoiled-rotten. Alam ko naman kasi ang kailangna ng mga tao. Recently, binigyan sila ng bakasyon ni Ms Gilie and Sir Peter sa Taiwan. Alam mo ‘yun. Hindi lang food sa tyan but food for the soul pa rin. Kasi this week, sabak na sa sunud-sunod na promo ang lahat. Maganda na naka-rest para laban na in the days to come! Pero like what Direk Alvin always says “Tandaan niyo, maging mabuting tao muna bago maging magaling na filmmaker!”

True enough. Respect is earned. Love begets love. Food symbolized Dignity!

Just wait and keep Culion part o
Just wait and keep Culion part of your Christmas wish list! Be in full force with the whole fam!

Watch the 8 entries at the MMFF. Have a meaningful Christmas!

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