by Nestor Cuartero
JUST A THOUGHT: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
HORROR STAND-ALONE: “Pagpag,” an independent film coproduced by Starlight Films and Regal Films, is the only horror picture (out of 8) in the 39th edition of the MMFF this year.
By tradition, horror films usually rank high in ticket sales every filmfest for their unique entertainment value.
Given that rationale, lead actor Daniel Padilla refuses to feel overconfident about the chances of his and costar Kathryn Bernardo’s entry to the MMFF starting on Dec. 25. The young couple’s new film is backed up by solid performance and perfect timing. Their current series, “Got to Believe,” is among the highest primetime raters on ABS-CBN.
At “Pagpag’s” media launch, producer Enrico Santos stressed that the film marks the first time in 9 years that Star Cinema and Lily Monteverde venture in another co-production.
“Pagpag (Siyam na Buhay)” represents 9 prevalent Filipino superstitious beliefs that are associated with death and funerals. The film also stars Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao, among others.
REMEMBERING FPJ: Friends and family members remembered the 9th death anniversary of movie king Fernando Poe, Jr. with a mass and a simple celebration at the Manila North Cemetery on Dec. 14.
FPJ’s legacy in humanitarian service is being continued by his wife, Susan Roces, and their daughter, Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares. Grace is one of the most trusted senators in the present Senate.
BY THE WAY … Congratulations to Sheryl Cruz, who became the first winner of a million pesos on the new “Singing Bee.” Sheryl thanked her late father, Ricky Belmonte, and uncle, FPJ, for serving as her angels in the TV contest. On her current series, “Galema,” viewers find a more engaging performance from the former teen sensation. Alden Richards sports a moustache to project a more mature look in preparation for his partnership with Marian Rivera in forthcoming teleserye “Carmela.” Alden was one of a few actors who graced the launch of the 39th MMFF recently. (firstname.lastname@example.org)