BY: Pilar Mateo


They are part of a movie about the life and times of a precocious child who later on becomes our National Hero, Dr. José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda.

Dondan Cuartz and Raffy Dinglasan Roco are singers who are part of a group called LNB or Lodi Ng Bayan.

Through a friend, they came to bond.

“Mahilig talaga ako kumanta,” said Dondan. “Did modeling stints. Nag-Japan din. As an entertainer.”

Raffy who hails from Mulanay, Quezon enjoyed belting his singing styles via the singing app, Smule.

Through their show, “Lodi ng Bayan”, people are given a program where the talk is anything and everything about their guest. Ain’t cheap! But filled with so much fun and jokes, too!

“Lodi ng Bayan” is on, Sundays from
3-5 pm in Broadstream and 6-8 pm in Channel 31.

The duo didn’t have to audition for their part in the musical megged by Dave Cecilio in celebration of the 160th birthday of Dr. Rizal. Dondan portrays the character of the author and diplomat who had a hand in the translation of the hero’s books. And Raffy, though given short dialogues share the frames with Dondan, as his companion.

Direk Dave, a graduate of Ricky Lee’s workshop and who has done several movies already is proud of his latest project.

“Here, we centered lang sa kabataan ni Dr. Rizal, who was fondly called Pepe ng pamilya niya. Marami na tayong history books, textbooks about him na in passing lang naman nasasabi a few things about his childhood.

“Naisip namin na ito ang gawin para rin siguro maipamalas sa henerasyon ngayon, kung ano at sino ang kabataan nung panahon ni Pepe. Ano kaya kung sa panahong ito siya nabuhay.

“El Genio de la Raza” (The Genius of the Race) is a fitting commemoration of the 160th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal this June 19, 2021.

The film highlights Rizal’s boyhood which reminds us about our Filipino values that need to be imbibed and relived during the pandemic. This will be streaming this June 2021 via ticket2me.net. https://youtu.be/HPNBAR1Adis.

“Most of the members mg cast, portraying the sisters and brother of Pepe auditioned for their parts. We had the privilege of having Ms. Tanya Gomez to portray the character of Rizal’s mother Doña Teodora and Emmanuel Calairo as Dr. Francisco, the father.

“Aabangan ang dalawang mahalagang eksena ni Ms. Tanya sa pelikula. As the domineering mother of Pepe, being portrayed naman by JM Estrella.”

In some scenes, Tanya was made to sing her lines.

The attractive poster shows Pepe as a kid in his time and Joshua of the present generation. Then young boy from Calamba and the Gen Z gamer. Big difference, yes! Which Direk Dave and the production hopes to impart to the kids of our time.

Celebrate the hero’s birthday right in the comforts of your home. This will be shown in Europe, USA, Africa, Asia, in most parts of the globe thru ticket2me.net/e/33384 from June 19-25, 2021.

Go back in time and learn the Filipino values and traditions from Dr. Rizal’s family. The CLIO Multimedia Productions movie is in partnership with the Order of the Knights of Rizal and part of NHCP national commemoration of Rizal@160.

Several activities are in store to commemorate the hero’s birthday.

Endorsed by the Philippine Historical Association (thru Ms. Maria Luisa Camagay), “One enduring fact is that Jose Rizal’s life and works continue to be relevant to our times. This is seen in how we intersperse our writings and speeches with words coming from Rizal. We love to quote Rizal. Apart from this, we persist in making movies about his life. The movie “El Genio de la Raza” (The Genius of the Race) is one example. What is interesting about this movie is that it focuses on the childhood of the great hero, a period in his life hardly touched by earlier movies. Here lies the strength of this movie. It would be the experiences of Rizal in his childhood that would greatly influence and mould him later in life. The death of a young sister, the incarceration of his mother, his early schooling and his closeness to his older brother Paciano – all of these Rizal remembered and wrote in his work, “Reminiscences”…

As for the wacky creatures mentioned earlier, they are deeply grateful to their manager Jeannette Marco for believing in them and giving them this chance of a lifetime. As actors in their first dib, they had to prove that yes, they can!

Ms. Marco is helping out Direk Dave to make the movie a part of several film festivals abroad, after it gets circulated in the different schools all over the Philippines.

Dondan and Raffy didn’t just get their close-ups in a very important film. They will be noticed for the surprise they shared in their performances.

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the movie!

Get to really know the young Pepe, the precocious child of his time! (30)

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