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+ $ 5 / $ 1 + 2 / ' ( 1 & 2 0      3 2 : ( 5 3 / $ 1 7  6 + $ 1 * 5 , Ĺœ / $  3 / $ = $   $ ' 2 5 $  * 5 ( ( 1 % ( /7 ISSUE 93

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EYES WIDE OPEN Considering the lineage attached to the name Janine Gutierrez—all eminent igures of the entertainment industry no less—you would assume poise and showmanship ran in her blood. Coco Quizon spends an afternoon with the local TV darling and igures that maybe such assumptions are irrevocably true.

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CONTENTS No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5

A film still from Scorpio Nights, capturing a scene between Daniel Fernando and Anna Marie Gutierrez.



COITAL RECALL From censorship threats to nervous breakdowns and broken ribs, the creation of Scorpio Nights has always been riddled with hurdles, all of which Peque Gallaga and the rest of his crew charged headlong through. hirty years after it opened to a nudity-hungry public, Jerome Gomez revisits the making of what may as well be the greatest erotic ilm in Philippine movie history.

WHAT LIES BENEATH Ever since its collapse in 1981, he Manila Film Center took on an almost shadowy aura—one that screamed both for the souls left for dead underneath the building’s rubble as well as for a time when greed and a twisted sense of high art patronage took its place above the worth of innocent life. Tats Manahan makes a case for why the ruined monument, now swarming with old ghosts, was doomed from the start.



WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE Even the creators of On the Wings of Lovee didn’t anticipate the wildly ef f sive reception the show would get—from your friendly neighborhood tita to your chaufeured f college blockmate— lording over the primetime slot. Don Jaucian sits down with the teleserye’s creative team and distills the unconventional approach that led to its success. 8 NOV E M B E R 2015

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ALDUB To its followers, the “kalyeserye” known as AlDub seemed to play out organically—an unintended love story born from a sheepish hand wave. hen came the hype, then the massive machinations put in place to keep the sensation running. Paolo Enrico Melendez chronicles a day spent observing the cogs and gears turning local media’s most powerful machine.


WE CAN BE HEROES A historical biopic on a war hero starring a 40-something actor with no box-oice mettle, its director known only to those in closed indie circles. Not exactly the stuf f hits are made of this side of the world—until Heneral Luna came along. Gabbie Tatad meets the game-changers behind the biggest success story in local cinema in years.


THE UNFORGIVEN Relentlessly ridiculed by critics and cruciied by an award he never sought, Carlo J. Caparas slipped out of the movie scene and disappeared for ive years. Two years after he was stripped of the National Artist recognition, he returns behind the camera with renewed vigor and enough money to bankroll ive movies in the next six months. Dodo Dayao examines the highs and lows of being a much-hated blockbuster director. ISSUE 93

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AGENDA David Mitchell’s latest book uses the horror story platform to tackle the dread of immortality; Artist Rafy T. Napay utilizes the power of threading and weaving to translate the emotional charge of our surroundings; We give you a lowdown on the best vacation spots of every director’s dream location: Morocco.

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SPACE Shooting Gallery Studios stands as a landmark for what it means to challenge the foundations of the entertainment industry; We analyze the pros and cons of some of the country’s most promising video streaming channels; Learn how to customize your living space by emulating some of modern cinema’s most iconic sets.

Samsung’s Serif TV has a built-in curtain mode—an interface that shows an abstract image of what is going on behind the screen.


THE EYE Tommy Hiliger expounds on the undeniable allure of Rafael Nadal and how the celebrated athlete carries himself on and of the court; A collaboration by TUMI and New York fashion label Public School interprets the ideal form of luggage; Diether Ocampo talks about an upcoming ilm and his current fascination with polo.


THE SLANT Jerry Gracio defends the triumph of the most talked-about period ilm in years; Mario Cornejo regards the allure of watching movies in the most unusual places; and Sari Lluch Dalena talks about growing up in the midst of a boisterous bunch of brilliant minds, among them the National Artist, Nick Joaquin.




Creative Director MIGUEL LUGTU

Executive Editor CARMELA A. LOPA

Features Editor JEROME GOMEZ Managing Editor JACS T. SAMPAYAN Associate Editor DON JAUCIAN Style Editor GINO DE LA PAZ

On the Cover Editorial Assistant JAM PASCUAL Copy Editor ARIANNA LIM Online Editor MIO BORROMEO

Janine Gutierrez wears Uniqlo buton-down, Zara trousers, AC +632 bowler hat

Editor at Large TEODORO LOCSIN, JR.

ART Senior Designer PATRICK DIOKNO Photographer at Large MARK NICDAO

Junior Designer CHESCA GAMBOA

Photographer STEVE TIRONA


Photographed by Mark Nicdao Styled by MJ Benitez Makeup by Omar Ermita for Shu Uemura Hair by Ethan David Nails by I Do Nails Stylist Assisted by Mika Reyes Photographer Assisted by Jack Alindahao, James Bautista, Chris Soco, And Egoy


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Administrative Supervisor DEANNA GUEVARRA


This issue would not have been possible without the help of







THE EDITOR’S NOTE No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5

was lying on board a two-seat Cessna headed towards Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park when my pilot, Kaytee, called my attention to a curtain of smoke swaying faintly in the horizon. As the plane homed in, we found ourselves gliding above the thunderous lips of Victoria Falls, a mile-long gash in the emerald-green earth where the Zambezi River plummets into a churning cauldron, spraying double rainbows and columns of white mist into the sky. During an 1855 expedition to ind the source of the River Nile, it was discovered and brought to the attention of the British Empire by the Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who had the audacity to name it after his distant queen. Four hundred years ago, before colonial settlers swept into Rhodesia in search of slaves and rare elephant ivory, this gurgling gorge was a sacred site of the Tokaleya tribe, who worshipped the river god Nyaminyami, a nefarious-looking deity with a body of a serpent and the head of a crocodile.  Spellbound by the rumbling, godfearing power of the falls, the Tokaleya christened it mosi-oa-tunya (the smoke that thunders).   he Cessna plane swooped around the falls for a second look before landing in the aerodrome in Livingstone, Zambia’s former colonial capital, now a historic riverside town named in honor of the explorer who had made it famous. Like most safaris, my days at Livingstone began before the crack of dawn, while the stars were


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still visible and as the mists rolled back slowly in the sunrise. With the sun at our backs, my guide Histon and I set of every morning on a lat-bottomed motorboat to cruise the length of “God’s Highway,” as Dr. Livingstone once called the 1,600-mile Zambezi. We would drift upstream where the traic-free river, like an undeveloped Danube, would regain its composure and become almost benign. here we found carmine bee-eaters, skittish and rosecolored, perched on clif dwellings by the banks; locks of Egyptian geese with pharaoh-like eye patches; and every so often, the milky marble eyes of a Nile crocodile, virtually unchanged since the dinosaur age, which would slither up to the boat and suddenly vanish into the murk beneath us. One afternoon, feeling adventurous, we explored a narrow channel and chanced upon a band of elephants, clustered around a hole by the river where they vigorously slaked their thirst. Oblivious to our boat bobbing in the papyrus reeds, the elephants playfully fought, trunks and tusks entwined, and plucked leafy greens from a grove of acacias as the fading summer light turned golden and buttery. No visit to Zambia would be complete without a foot trek to its mythical falls—often cited as one of the Seven Natural Wonders—which I did on my inal day, a little breathless with fright, but with a kind of reckless exuberance normally reserved for teenagers. It was true. Nothing quite prepares you for the

sight of the world’s largest stretch of falling water, viewed from the brawny torso of the basalt gorges as Livingstone did. Lumbering down a steep and slippery series of steps, I made my way in rubber boots and a poncho raincoat to a dramatic vantage point carved out of a rocky promontory: a man-made terrace devoid of handrails or barbed wires to prevent me from being swallowed by smoky, thunderous jaws of mosi-oa-tunya, where the spirit of Nyaminyami, coiled like a cobra on the canyon’s carpet, would be waiting to escort me into the afterlife. But a gathering mist, like ine Kalahari rain, seemed resolved to obscure my view. I didn’t hide my disappointment from Histon. hen, somewhat biblically, a violent gust of wind whipped the white curtain open, revealing 240 degrees of waterfalls in the shape of a natural theater. It was what 19th-century Romantics would probably call a sonnet-worthy panorama; a page straight out of Dinesen. “Can you feel the energy? It’s powerful,” Histon inquired rhetorically as I stood there in my sopping jeans, soaked to the bone by the vapors of Victoria Falls, suddenly cognizant of a strange, almost umbilical connection to the wild.

Paolo R. Reyes Editor in Chief


Curtain Rises, Cue Thunder ISSUE 93

THE GUEST LIST No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5

Coco Quizon is an aspiring adult, writer-by-night, and telecommute advocate day-jobbing as a freelance social media and brand manager, all while being the Internet’s number one fan. Coco previously wrote for Rogue’s TV issue last year

Dodo Dayao, before making the transition from ilm criticism to ilmmaking with Violator, painted while making short ilms and self-published comics. His works include the independent comic book Askals and the installation ilm Entropy Machine. He lives in Quezon City and is inishing his irst book of essays while working on his next ilm.

Tats Manahan wrote everything from circus shows to beauty pageants. She has also Gabbie Tatad worked written, directed, and in the local ilm produced historical industry as a subtitler documentaries, some and an Assistant released internationally. Line Producer She currently sits before continuing on the board of the her education in the Heritage Conservation Fashion Institute of Society and the Technology in New Philippine division York City. Currently of the International based in the Big Apple, Council for she also acts as a Monuments and Sites. contributing editor for the Supreme section of he Philippine Star.

Sari Lluch Dalena is a Filipino independent ilmmaker who obtained her Master’s degree in Film at NYU under a Fulbright Scholarship. Her new ilm, Dahling Nick, a documentary-drama on the life and works of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, will premiere at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival this November.

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Mario Cornejo has been directing since 2002, but people only started paying him to do it in 2006. He’s made three feature ilms with his girlfriend, Monster Jimenez, as well as numerous television commercials. His latest ilm, Apocalypse Child, premiered in October this year.

Jerry Gracio is a poet, ictionist, and screenwriter. he numerous awards under his belt include the 2006 National Book Award for his irst book, Apokripos, and Palanca awards for his poetry, short iction, and screenplay. He studied Malikhaing Pagsulat at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He currently resides in Valenzuela.

Paolo Enrico Melendez is an awarded writer known for his satirical short iction. His books, the novella, i(Ψ)rs, and its companion short story collection, An Abbreviation Which Means Sameness Without End, are due for release this year. He is from Tanauan, Batangas. No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5






F O O D + E N T E R TA I N M E N T + C U L T U R E + T R AV E L

Camera Obscura

In the wake of his Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis biopics, photographer-turned-director Anton Corbijn follows another 21st century rogue down the rabbit hole: James Dean WORDS BY VINNY TAGLE


EVERY LEADING MAN in Hollywood owes a great deal to James Dean. His trademark sensibility of sullen disenchantment and nonconformity is woven into the very fabric of contemporary American masculinity. No one can ever be as brazen—as angry, as cool—as James Dean. His lasting cultural appeal is largely due to his sudden death at the age of 24. Life tells the story of how freelance photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) discovered the brooding young Dean (Dane DeHaan) right before his brief career tragically ended with a fatal car crash. Both men are at the cusp of blossoming careers, and Stock’s fascination with Dean leads him to trail the actor for a photo essay for the eponymous magazine. Dean, who is suspicious at irst, eventually accepts his ofer, and together the two men prowl the streets and haunts of New York City to take pictures that would later become the

THE SECRETS IN THEIR EYES Two films fated for Oscar glory focus on this year’s two hot button topics: transgender rights and corruption

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Anton Corbijn, who has worked on the music videos of U2, Nirvana, and Depeche Mode, deftly portrays the attractions and the tensions between the two men. most legendary prints of the actor. Pattinson and DeHaan act out a relationship based on scrutiny—with Stock gazing at Dean from behind his lens and Dean trying to suss out what Stock’s intentions are. hey are, in turns, enamored with and guarded against each other, with both men delivering sensual, impassioned performances as two artists whose careers will become intricately intertwined. But perhaps what this movie lacks is a sense of urgency and an attempt to situate James Dean’s signiicance in the changing cultural milieu of the 1950s. While

director Anton Corbijn, who has worked on the music videos of counter-culture heroes such as U2, Nirvana, Depeche Mode, and Arcade Fire, deftly portrays the attractions and the tensions between the two men, the movie skirts around the importance of this particular chapter in Dean’s life to his broader cultural status as an American legend. It hints at how images and symbols elevate mere actors to iconoclasts, but fundamentally, the movie is content with letting these events unfold rather than turning itself into a transcendent meditation on mortality. „

The Danish Girl


Based on the novel of David Ebershof and starring Eddie Redmayne as the titular character, The Danish Girl deals with the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Redmayne explores the sexual awakening of Einar Wegener, a married Danish man who, after having to pose as a lady for a wife’s painting, discovers that he would rather live as a woman.

Mark Rufallo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Brian d’Arcy James form a team of Boston Globe reporters tasked with collecting evidence and finding victims of priestly abuse. Under Thomas McCarthy’s subtle direction, Spotlight manages to be a portrait of how powerful institutions corrupt their own communities, and a celebration of journalism at its finest.


Clockwise, from left: Wagner Moura plays the central character of Narcos, Pablo Escobar, known as the wealthiest criminal in history, earning the moniker “The King of Cocaine”; Maurice Compte, Boyd Holbrook, and Pedro Pascal join the cast as the enforcers hell-bent on apprehending Escobar.

THE MEDELLÍN KING The ruthless drug-dealing of 1980s Colombia is the stage for Narcos, Netflix’s much lauded crime drama on Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel

A Darker Timeline


THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Narcos opens with a preamble deining magical realism, a genre where realistic settings are “invaded by something too strange to believe.” It makes for an apt introduction to the Colombian cocaine trade of the 1980s, where the audacity and ruthlessness of drug lords seemed to constantly challenge the rules of accepted reality. Created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro and directed by Brazilian ilmmaker José Padilha, Narcos zeroes in on the almost mythical igure of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura). In the course of his dealings, Escobar made himself the wealthiest criminal in history. United States DEA agent Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) narrates the series, detailing Escobar’s rise to power and the US government’s eforts to bring down the Medellín Cartel. Padilha crafts a smart, stylish take on historical events, one that never lingers in one place for too long. In this chaotic world populated by

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dubious characters, everything is anchored on Moura’s cool, magnetic performance. In coldblooded negotiations, summary executions, and tender moments with Escobar’s family, he plays the character as the perfect Machiavellian antihero—a man who inspires both ierce loyalty and pure terror. Most interesting is the show’s emphasis on balanced storytelling. In one episode, Murphy recounts, “If there’s one thing I learned in the narco world, it’s that life is more complicated than you think. Good and bad, they’re relative concepts.” Narcos itself plays by this thesis of nuance: some scenes suggest that Reagan’s war on drugs wasn’t one of purely noble intentions; others make it clear that, to many Colombians, Escobar was the good guy. Another critique against the series is that it plays out like any by-the-numbers crime thriller. Arguably, the success of Narcos is precisely its masterful command of the formula. It’s a trip you know well, but one that still gets you hooked. „

A potent mix of science iction and historical speculation, Amazon’s grity thriller The Man in the High Castle imagines the present through the lens of past atrocities


ased on the novel by Philip K. Dick and executive produced by Ridley Scot, The Man in the High Castle is a new series that imagines an alternate history in which the Axis Powers win World War II and invade the US. Here, citizens and resistance ighters ind themselves in the crosshairs of Japanese and German puppet states on either coast. With powerful visuals of a dystopian America and a plethora of themes to unpack, there’s much to look forward to here.


FINDING GENIUS Unearthed among dusty library stacks, The Early Stories of Truman Capote is a glimpse of the author’s raw talent during his formative years

This Place Is Death Slade House, the latest novel of Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell, is a nightmarish take on the nature of life and death and the chase for immortality WORDS BY ALDRIN CALIMLIM


In Mitchell’s new novel, the door to the eponymous house exists along the brick wall of an alleyway, a way of from a British pub. Passersby who enter the house do not do so alone. They are led in by a stranger, who seems to know them.

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SLADE HOUSE, THE latest novel by the acclaimed English novelist David Mitchell, has its hapless and clueless characters passing through a small black iron door set into a wall along the mysterious Slade Alley, whereupon they’re taken inside the eponymous haunted mansion. Indeed, the novel revolves around a haunted house, although what haunts Slade House is not a typical gang of ghosts ready to rumble in ways not unexpected, but rather an unusual pair of phantoms hell-bent on sucking the souls of their special guests. hey are soul vampires, if you will, in the same league as the immortality-seeking soul decanters introduced in Mitchell’s previous novel, he Bone Clocks. For all intents and purposes, Slade House is a companion piece—a relatively short one at that—to he Bone Clocks, going so far as to parallel its predecessor’s story structure with its own medley of time jumps (beginning in October 1979 and ending in October 2015) and multiple narrators (a diferent one for each of its ive chapters). But then again, Mitchell’s novels apparently take place within the same ictional realm, hence the presence in Slade House of throwback allusions not only

to he Bone Clocks but also to Cloud Atlas, he housand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, and other works by the self-confessed über-book writer. Lest you think that Slade House is only for so-called Mitchellites, make no mistake: Slade House stands solidly as an independent story that happens to be about the allure of stories, with its antagonists notably projecting scenes of simulacra to dupe their prey. If nothing else, the book is about the age-old tradition of telling stories, in spite of its provenance as a tale told in bite-sized installments on Twitter. Of particular note is its simultaneous invocation and subversion of recurrent narrative themes—short of exposing cracks and amplifying creaks in Mitchell’s machinery—with winks and nods to such tropes as waking up from nightmares and evil gloating via monologues. Slade House also opens chambers of opportunities for Mitchell to pay tribute to his precursors in upholding the literature of the fantastic and phantasmic, including John Wyndham, Stephen King, and H. G. Wells. Come to think of it, perhaps not since Wells’s he Door in the Wall has a story about, well, a door in a wall, conjured a captivating combination of mayhem and mystery. „

In the summer of 2015, Swiss publisher Peter Haag chanced on a great ind while looking for Truman Capote’s uninished novel at the New York Public Library. Haag stumbled on a previously unpublished collection of works writen by the American author early on in his life. Believed to have been writen when he was between 11 and 19, these works exhibit Capote’s developing voice and his penchant for outsiders: escaped convicts hiding out in the woods next door, African American women living on the fringes, children on the brink of death. While these stories illed with—what else—violence, crime, and racism in the Deep South show a rawness, the makings of a literary genius were already evident in them. -JACS SAMPAYAN


Lock, Stock, and Barrel

The newest local beers on the market prove that there’s more to a great craft brew than a cute picture and a snappy name WORDS BY MIGUEL ORTEGA / PHOTO BY PATRICK DIOKNO












D With a hearty copper body, this pale ale is a wonderful inebriating vessel comprising of citrusy aromas and grapefruit flavors.





A militant stout proudly bearing a well balanced, creamy, and full bodied physique that echoes long after that first sip.


N A L N O. 1 S




A rough, dark porter built on the invigorating acidity of hops and caramel malt, with a quick finish that ends just like a blur.


Like a lazy summer, this wheat ale pours a hazy gold with mild hints of fruit that’s inviting for any season. E T AL EA




A delicate floral aroma cries out from this crisp pale ale with a medium bitter taste, one that tempers an underlying sweetness.















S This exquisite tanned beauty of a scotch ale romances the mouth with its thick flavors and rouses it with a citrusy finish.





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ONE OF THE GUYS After months of much-deserved hype, Jaime and Chris Daez bring food cart sensation The Halal Guys from Manhattan to Manila WORDS BY PAMELA CORTEZ PHOTOS BY SAM LIM

LET’S CALL IT what it is—the arrival of he Halal Guys in Manila is probably the most signiicant foreign opening of 2015. Of course there is Ladurée’s irst Manila outpost, and Maisen challenging katsudon outlets in the city, among others, but the opening of the popular food cart in SM Mega Fashion Hall symbolizes something else entirely. he rapid rise of Manila’s food and restaurant culture has created a platform and market that is stable and cogent enough for the irst international franchise of the globally renowned New York staple to take root. For owners Jaime Daez and Chris YamDaez, there was no question about bringing in he Halal Guys to Manila. In the end, the team matched the superb quality and lavor expected of the street cart, creating more buzz months in advance than expected. he options are simple—chicken, gyro, falafel, or a combination, in either their infamous rice plate or wrapped up shawarma-style. he sizes go from standard to New York Size, a behemoth platter truly worth its price. here is hardly any diference between what the Manila branch has to ofer and what one would get steaming hot on the corner of a New York street in the middle of an alcohol-soaked night, save for the missing BBQ sauce. But the meats pack the same well-spiced marinade and moreishness, the garlic sauce is just

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The Halal Guys, though initially known as a food cart, remains one of New York’s most successful restaurants. Fully Booked’s Jaime and Chris Daez (top, inset) bring the same Big Apple experience to their first Manila branch in SM Megamall, which carries the same menu staples, including their best-selling chicken and beef gyro combo platter (pictured above).

as lip-smackingly potent, and the hot sauce has identical burning heat. hose who are picky might complain that a location in a mall food court reneges that “New York experience,” but our eating culture doesn’t call for it, and who really cares when the goods are this brilliant anyway? here are, however, plans to open up a take-away window somewhere in BGC, which will hedge whatever complaints there might be. It may take a while to beat the lines, but he Halal Guys (5/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong) has the potential to be as ingrained into our culture as it has become in New York. „

AGENDA ART No Strings Attached Raffy T. Napay may be known for his mastery of the unwieldy medium of thread, but his upcoming exhibit, See and Silence, goes beyond mere stitch work WORDS BY JAM PASCUAL / PHOTOS BY EDRIC CHEN


From top: Napay on the second floor of his Caloocan studio, surrounded by spools of thread; a personal project not part of his upcoming exhibit, Lovers in Frame perfectly represents Napay’s sensibilities, pushing the limitations of thread as a medium while tackling personal relationships as a theme.

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MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF ART include the notion that only dark and gritty ideas can be synonymous with intellect or depth. It’s a notion that Rafy T. Napay does well to dispel. hemes of home and family, as well as concepts that evoke a sense of stability, are generally his creative province, and he expresses them with utmost visual eloquence. His last exhibit, Sanctuary, which was inspired by the spring he spent in Liverpool Hope University on a residency grant, took its aesthetic cues from the English city’s natural surroundings and how malleable the concept of home can be. However, one would be remiss to accuse the artist of keeping to a comfort zone. In fact, his upcoming special exhibit for Art Fair Philippines, See and Silence aims to unpack these themes and push them into more enlightening territory.



From top: Sky shade, thread on canvas, 44” x 16”; detail of Hidden light, sea at night, thread on canvas, 72” x 220”; During his downtime, Napay searches for more thread and yarn to use for future works.

TransfigurationseemstobeNapay’s game,anditis uniquelyachievedbythread,whichcompelsusto considertheaestheticimplicationsofenmeshment. To explain his current thematic ixations, Napay turns to what he believes to be a mostly universal sensation. “You’ve probably experienced being in front of the sea. Night or morning. I guess you can say it’s a diferent feeling,” he says. he statement isn’t exactly airtight, and barely a dissection of one’s own style. But his ambition is lofty: See and Silence aims to capture that keen awareness of one’s environment, and how that translates to a particular emotional resonance. Fittingly, most of the pieces made for the show choose surroundings as their subjects. One diptych depicts a daytime sky. Another canvas, measuring over 18 feet long, portrays a dark sea, oddly calming despite—or perhaps because of— its sheer mass. One gets a clearer picture of Napay’s vision by referring to his thoughts on the static nature of most artworks. “[he artwork] doesn’t move. 32 NOV E M B E R 2015

You’re just looking at it. But you want to bring out the feeling that the work actually is moving.” Transiguration seems to be his game, and it is uniquely achieved by the medium of thread,

which for literal and igurative cases, compels us to consider the aesthetic implications of enmeshment. It’s tempting to say that his favorite themes perfectly suit his aesthetics. His style and chosen medium hearken back to the Arts and Crafts Movement, which during its peak in the late 1800s emphasized craftsmanship over content and favored romantic depictions of nature. Yet to hear the phrase “arts and crafts” now brings to mind a childish disposition, or a work full of heart yet lacks skill, which is not the kind of description one can rightfully give Napay’s body of work. For See and Silence, he focuses on the mundane facets of our experiences, the surroundings we bear witness to everyday, and asks us to look a little more closely in order to come to this kind of conclusion: Look, this is moving, and therefore alive. „ SEE AND SILENCE OPENS ON NOVEMBER 21 AT ARTISTSPACE, AYALA MUSEUM.


The Keys to the Kingdom


From top: The minaret of an old mosque in Chefchaouen, viewed through the city’s painted alleyways; home to a multitude of kasbahs, Ouarzazate is located in relatively close proximity to the Atlas Mountains and the Draa River.

With Hollywood classic Casablanca named after its largest city, the appeal of Morocco is rooted in its cinematic charm. Here, the Western Kingdom’s most famous filming locations WORDS BY MARIAH REODICA

f CHEFCHAOUEN he town of Chefchaouen was irst bathed in diferent shades of blue by Jewish refugees in the 15th century to relect the skies. It’s a tradition that continues until today, making Chefchaouen one of the most picturesque towns of Morocco: the mosques and public oices, down to the lampposts, are painted blue. he narrow, winding alleyways’ ever-shifting shadows make it seem like you never pass the same way twice. Reel Haul: Giorgio Armani’s commercial for “Femme Bleue,” and Jacob Cohen’s shoot for his 2016 fall/winter collection

j OUARZAZATE he capital of Ouarzazate Province is known as he Door of the Desert because it is situated right beside the Sahara. A big part of its charm lies in the fact that it seems oddly quiet and empty for a city of its size. It’s also the Hollywood of Africa, being home to one of the biggest movie studios in the world in terms of land area, Atlas Studios. he oases Fint and Zagora nearby are welcome respites from concrete and clay. Reel Haul: he Hills Have Eyes (2006), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), Gladiator (2000) 34 NOV E M B E R 2015



n MARRAKECH Marrakech is known as one of the busiest cities in Africa for a reason. You can get lost while walking through the gardens of the ancient Saadian Tombs, or navigating the labyrinthine souks of the medina where pottery, jewelry, and textiles are sold. One of the most popular markets is Djeema el-Fna, where there are snake charmers during the day and musicians and dancers at night. Don’t forget to see the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, an icon of Marrakech.


Clockwise, from left: A view into a riad, a traditional Moroccon house distinguished by its courtyard or interior garden; the fortified city of Ait Benhaddou is comprised of six kasbahs and around fifty ksars, where its old inhabitants sought refuge from intruders and the elements; aside from its architecture, the beaches of Rabat are also sights to behold.

An icon of southern Moroccan architecture, Ait Benhaddou Ksar’s magniicent sprawl of earthen buildings rise along the foothills of the High Atlas, Ouarzazate. Exploring it involves navigating its narrow, winding maze of stairs where anything could be around the corner. he structures are mainly built of clay and wood, which makes them prone to the elements, but constant, consistent conservation eforts have kept the buildings standing. UNESCO deemed it a World Heritage Site in 1987. Reel Haul: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), he Last Temptation of Christ (1988), he Mummy (1999), Babel (2006)

Reel Haul: he Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation (2015), Sex and the City 2 (2008)

f RABAT he capital of Morocco is an eclectic combination of the country’s Arabo-Muslim heritage, its colonial past, and its cosmopolitan present. Rabat features beautiful colonial architecture and boulevards lined with palm trees. he ancient medieval ruins of the Chellah Necropolis are on Rabat’s fringes, while the Kasbah of the Udayas rises on the banks of the river Bou Regreg. he Hassan Tower, which would have been the world’s largest minaret if it weren’t left incomplete, is still a breathtaking work of architecture. Reel Haul: Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation (2015), Black Hawk Down (2001), Body of Lies (2008) 36 NOV E M B E R 2015

 Dining at its Most pleasurable

114 Valero Street Salcedo Village Makati For reservations and inquiries, please call 02-8103565 or 02-5514142 No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5










Be he



From an enigmatic raconteur’s haunt to a bumbling comic’s modernist nightmare, we tour some of the most iconic sets on film with a guide on how to cop each look WOR D S BY APA AGBAYANI / COVER ILLU STRATION BY RAXENNE MANIQU IZ




n American Psycho (2000), Patrick Bateman murders people over the ink and paper stock of their business cards. Mary Harron’s adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis black comedy centers on Bateman (Christian Bale), a vain, cold-blooded investment banker—the personiication of 80s Wall Street decadence. Production designer Gideon Ponte fashions an unnervingly Spartan space as the backdrop for Bateman’s grisly murders. He ills the bachelor’s pad with monochrome furniture and jarring décor, such as an ornamental telescope or an ill-placed accent chair. Most notable, perhaps, is the art Ponte curates for the apartment. he Cindy Sherman self-portrait, the Allan McCollum sculptures, and the Robert Longo drawings round out the unsettlingly perfect world Bateman has constructed around himself.



ou won’t ind him. his house and everything in it are all part of an elaborate disguise,” a man tells Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker in a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s 2014 adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Production designer Catherine Martin, who also happens to be Luhrmann’s wife, crafts the Neo-Gothic Gatsby mansion as one man’s Disneyland castle—a place for Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) to build an elaborate fantasy for himself. Over the course of the ilm, it becomes clear that Gatsby is less an enigmatic man than someone who aspires for mystery to hide his own emptiness. Aptly, then, the mansion’s labyrinthine hallways and immense rooms feel rich and decadent when Gatsby throws his massive parties, but are suddenly cold and forbidding once everyone has left.

NOV E M B E R 2015 41




successor to Charlie Chaplin’s he Tramp and the progenitor to Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean, Monsieur Hulot ( Jacques Tati) is your classic bumbling everyman. He constantly struggles with the implements of a modern world where interactions and day-to-day activities are increasingly mediated through technology. At the heart of Mon Oncle (1958)—also directed by Tati— is the relationship between Monsieur Hulot and his nephew Gérard Arpel, who lives with his parents in a geometrically designed, modern home created by production designer Henri Schmitt. Hulot plays against spaces—his old-fashioned charm standing in contrast with Villa Arpel’s odd, impersonal design. he ilm was Tati’s commentary on the vapidity of modern design and consumerism in postwar France. In his words, “Geometrical lines do not produce likeable people.” 6




aul homas Anderson’s Boogie Nights tells the story of shifts in the porn industry between 1977 and 1983 through the career of ictional porn star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg). It begins with Eddie Adams, an unassuming high school dropout discovered by porn director Jack Horner at a nightclub. After debuting under his screen name Dirk Diggler, he is instantly absorbed into this white-hot wonderland where adult ilms are beginning to enter mainstream culture. Bob Ziembicki’s production design plays this up, even as the story takes a dark turn. It’s all neon lights, glamorous porno posters, and luxurious homes in he Valley. Even as the Golden Age of Porn ends and Diggler’s hubris takes him on a downward spiral of violence and cocaine abuse, the world of the ilm is still a beauty to behold.

NOV E M B E R 2015 43


The High Road Decked out with massage chairs, fine bone china, and a self-winding Breitling clock, the Bentley Bentayga SUV is the unprecedented king of off-road adventures WORDS BY JEFF FRANCISCO

ENGINEERED AND BUILT in Crewe, UK, the Bentayga boasts impressive igures even for a sports car. It is powered by a graceful 12-cylinder W12 TSI engine that produces 600 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque. he 6.0 twin turbo power plant catapults this SUV from 0-60mph in an astonishing four seconds. his reined power is smoothly delivered to the road via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a four-wheel drive system. Its eicient engine also allows sailing through low, almost idle rev bands while partly disengaging the transmission on steady paced stretches. Capable of treading any road condition—

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From top: The Bentayga’s interiors feature a range of seven wood accents, including dark fiddleback eucalyptus and rich burr walnut; the trunk is loaded with a dining set of custom Linley china, utensils, a fridge, and a dry goods compartment.

fording a river, mounting dunes or any rugged frontier—this leviathan enables its driver to choose from eight driving modes: Sport, Bentley, Comfort, Custom, and four other of-road modes. One of the most prominent innovations in this SUV is the Bentley Dynamic Ride, an active roll technology that counteracts rolling forces when cornering. While the Bentayga boasts an array of driver-focused technological features such as traic sign recognition, self-parking, and adaptive cruise control, it is the car’s interior opulence that places it apart from everyone else. Seven diferent handcrafted veneered wood trims, bullhide leather, and quilted diamond trimmings embellish the cabin. A Breitling Mulliner Tourbillon, which the automobile winds (yes, the car actually swinds the timepiece’s mechanical movement), is a custom interior option. Passengers can marvel at all these while they sit on 22-way adjustable front massage chairs. With prices going up to $229,000, only a privileged few will be able to enjoy the splendor that this SUV ofers. his Bentley (201 EDSA Mandaluyong; 727-1919) is an exceptionally elegant vehicle with a reined stance, but also with right amount of rugged undertone. „







JUST MY TYPE With the Serif TV, French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec make a case for a refined iteration of the television, one that brings typography into the design of everyday devices WORDS BY ARIANNA LIM

THERE WAS A time when television sets were the pride of every living room. hey were the hulking furniture pieces around which attention was centered and sofas were organized. But then the lat screen took over, and it was almost as if the presence of a TV had become ofensive. Good taste was now measured by how invisible you could get your set to be, whether it took buying the slimmest and sleekest or hiding it behind decorous cabinet doors. For French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, however, it was in understanding this trend that they went and created the exact opposite. he Serif TV, so named because it resembles a serifed capital “I” from the side, is the


From top: The Serif TV has a built-in curtain mode—an interface that shows an abstract image of what is going on behind the screen; to design the TV, the Bouroullecs studied the way typographers interact with object and space.

46 NOV E M B E R 2015

brothers’ irst foray into electronics, made in collaboration with Samsung ( he Bouroullec brothers are best known for their furniture collections, having worked with prestigious brands such as Vitra, Artek, and Hay—so naturally a partnership with the Korean electronics conglomerate raised a few eyebrows. But the bottom line is that the Serif belongs less in the realm of tech than it does in design. As with any other furniture piece, the Serif is meant to be dynamic: its optional legs give you the freedom to be imaginative with its place in the room, while its colors—unapologetic in red, ivory white, and dark blue—make a case for keeping it out in the open. Finally, its shape, unconventional but unobtrusive, encourages you to pile decorative things on it in a way that’s reminiscent of our boxy TVs that doubled as shelves and mail tables. hat’s not to say that the Bouroullecs ignored the unit’s interface. A project three years in the making, the Serif TV’s most notable feature is its “curtain mode,” which applies a ilter over the screen during unwanted content (say, disruptive commercials) to give only an abstract idea of what’s going on—literally like pulling down a curtain. All told, the Serif TV’s most important contribution is proof that sleek and safe have inally reached their saturation point. „


EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED Whether curved like a lunar disc or hovering like a UFO, these lamps provide a new take on the shape and structure of lighting fixtures





by Claesson Koivisto Rune

by Cristian Mohaded

Fontana Arte (Furnitalia; Crescent Park West, 30th St. cor Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City; 819-1887)

Roche Bobois (2100 Don Chino Roces Ext., Makati; 519-8240;





by Scott Wilson

by Tom Dixon

Artemide (Dexterton Corp. 157 Sgt. E. Rivera Street, Quezon City, 1115; 362-1111;

Tom Dixon (3/F MOs Design, B2 Bonifacio High Street, Taguig; 403-6620;

NOV E M B E R 2015 47



Shooting Gallery, a new one-acre studio complex and events venue at the corner of Zapote and Vito Cruz, has become an eye-catching structure in Makati.

The Black Box A new colossal, cubist monument in Makati, Shooting Gallery Studios is the Philippine entertainment industry’s ultimate benchmark in studio design WORDS BY JAM PASCUAL PHOTOS BY ERWIN OBCEMEA

THE STATUS QUO of Philippine entertainment, in terms of choosing shooting locations, can be summed up in six words: We’ll take what we can get. Unlike hailand and Singapore, whose entertainment industries see controlled environments as nothing new, the Philippines was a nation that, for a long while, still resorted to retroitted warehouses. here was a lack of environment control and a lack of comfort. Perhaps the lack of a world-class studio said more about our own creative economy and how hesitant it tends to be in terms of funding signiicant creative projects. Award-winning director Jun L. Reyes, the founder and CEO of Indie.Go Media (, feared that the dream to create an iconic space would only be met with pushback. But his new Shooting Gallery Studios (3317 Zapote Street, Makati; 403-7087;, a massive cubist structure well on its way to symbolizing what the Philippine entertainment industry could be, now stands tall. he 4,000 square meter, two-studio complex boasts 30-feet worth of ceiling height in each of its studios, which also

NOV E M B E R 2015 49


Foreign film outfits recognize it as the only Philippine shooting location of its caliber. Project Runway was shot in the studio for a month. Parts of Felix Manalo and Bonifacio were filmed within its complex. 50 NOV E M B E R 2015

doubles as an events venue. he purpose of the interior’s sweeping size, according to Reyes, who built the imposing building on the former site of his family’s metal and tire factory, is not just for ilming large sets, but for encouraging creativity. “We made sure the entrances to the studio are high because it automatically gives you a feeling of breathing space,” he says. “It’s meant to be an oasis.” By virtue of its size, the studio immediately eliminates what problems would be inherent in ilming inside a retroitted warehouse: the stress of a tightly-packed room, a non-malleable space, an environment that only increases pressure. In terms of designing the exterior, Reyes collaborated with architect Joseph Tan to


Clockiwse, from top right: Shooting Gallery’s architecture is both masculine and monolithic, a look that suits the organized layout joining its massive Red and Yellow studios; the logo and wayfinding signs designed by artist Dan Matutina, who added a playfulness to structure’s otherwise stern look; a regional TV commercial being filmed in the Red Studio, which has a 600-square meter floor area and a 30-feet ceiling height.

ensure its timelessness. “As far as the design is concerned, it should be an iconic landmark,” says Reyes. “he design has to be classic enough to withstand time.” For Tan, this sensibility can be achieved through emphasis on functionality, which was done through the creative decision of adopting basic geometric forms of other foreign studios. he look of the inal product, in Tan’s words, was “concluded with a cube shape impression.” his form, aside from granting Shooting Gallery a towering, monolithic feel, also gave way to efective fragmentation. he layout of the space is neatly organized, with each facility made easily reachable through eiciently planned walkways. he job of designer Dan Matutina, of Plus 63 Design Co., was to make a potentially intimidating space more accessible, to both the amateur entertainer and the industry veteran. his is apparent in the logo of the studio: the yellow silhouette of a rubber duck with a red

target branded on its side, reminiscent of oldfashioned booth games in amusement parks. he logo, present in the gallery’s wayinding system, signages and all, serves to remind those who walk down the halls that this studio, ultimately, sees the importance of playfulness. “We already knew that the structure was going to be very monolithic, very masculine in terms of look. So when we were designing the brand identity, we had to soften it a bit,” says Matutina. “he place becomes very approachable, very nonintimidating.” Today, the studio is regularly fully booked. Foreign ilm outits recognize it as the only Philippine shooting location of its caliber. Project Runway was shot in the studio for a month. Parts of Felix Manalo and Bonifacio were ilmed within its complex. he studio doubles as monumental institution—a structure that both symbolizes and directly participates in innovation. „ NOV E M B E R 2015 51


Field and Stream While we wait for Netflix to arrive on our side of the world, we hit play on four locally available video streaming channels and find out what makes them special WORDS BY SHINJI MANLANGIT


made the jump from being a myth to a household staple. By the end of 2015, more than 120 million homes are expected to use paid subscription services just to get their dose of instant entertainment. While Netlix is still preparing to penetrate the Asian market come 2016, four local streaming sites are vying for the Filipino people’s attention (and money). VIDEO STREAMING HAS

From top: Mr. Robot is exclusively on iFlix, Gotham is streaming on HOOQ, and Mad Max and Tomorrowland are available for rent on Blink; iFlix has a discovery page which shows popular and new oferings available for streaming.


Stream now: Over 300 movies and 200 hours of TV Cost: P99 for new movies; P60 for old titles; P250 for Unlimited TV streaming Features: Blink ( ofers only a limited number of films and an outdated selection of past TV shows. Signing up is only done through the Blink app and their website looks and feels like an old, unresponsive Wordpress site. Unlike unlimited streaming channels, you have to shell out up to P99 pesos to rent the latest film for a maximum of 48 hours viewing time. Blink’s partnership with Solar Entertainment allows subscribers to live stream shows from ETC, 2nd Avenue, Basketball TV, and the Home Shopping Network.


Stream now: More than 11,000 hours of television and films Cost: P129 for 30-day access; P99 for Smart and PLDT Subscribers Features: Perhaps the closest thing to Netflix, iFlix ( is open for everyone, ofering a lower price point for those tied to PLDT and Smart, unlike HOOQ, which requires you to be hooked up with a Globe account. While their collection is not as big as HOOQ, iFlix takes pride in quality over quantity, ofering exclusives such as Mr. Robot and Fargo. iFlix caters to the younger set, ofering playlists that are fun to browse. They also ofer shows from Comedy Central, MTV, and a few teleseryes and Koreanovelas.


Stream now: Everything ABS-CBN Cost: P650 monthly for unlimited content Features: TFC TV ( only serves one dish: ABS-CBN. Though that may sound like a downside, consider this: ABS-CBN is one of the biggest production companies in the Philippines. This means the app lets you in on popular shows such as On the Wings of Love or even old school greats such as Palibhasa Lalake. Their movie collection is also something to be excited about: from romcoms such as Got 2 Believe to classics like Anak and P.S. I Love You, TFC.TV can keep you locked in your house for days.


Stream now: More than 30,000 hours of television and films

52 NOV E M B E R 2015

Cost: P149 for 30-day access Features: HOOQ ( may limit itself to only Globe and TM subscribers, but the sheer amount of content found in their collection is immense. Fans of Star Cinema, Viva Entertainment, and shows from GMA 7 will revel in HOOQ’s frequently updated library. The lack of curated lists makes their website tougher to navigate and their film content is composed of your run-of-the-mill Hollywood blockbusters mixed with a baling number of Bollywood features. Also, the ability to download movies onto your devices makes oline streaming possible.






MINA GARA Advertising Sales Director

SAMANTHA ANGELES Marketing Associate

RAINIER BARIA Circulation Manager






+ $ 5 / $ 1 + 2 / ' ( 1 & 2 0      3 2 : ( 5 3 / $ 1 7  6 + $ 1 * 5 , Ĺœ / $  3 / $ = $   $ ' 2 5 $  * 5 ( ( 1 % ( /7 No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5





9 93

FA S H I O N + S T Y L E + G R O O M I N G


Tommy Hilfiger, purveyor of preppy Americana and country-club polish, talks to Rogue about tennis and the last truly original decade: the 70s INTERVIEWS BY L.A. CONSING LOPEZ


RAFAEL NADAL IS BEST KNOWN on the courts, but the international tennis player is also a fashion star on the rise. he 29-yearold Spaniard is Tommy Hiliger’s latest triple-threat celebrity endorser, appearing in campaigns for TH Underwear, the new Bold fragrance, and the label’s line of tailored apparel for men. Rogue sat down in New York City with the namesake founder of the lifestyle brand to talk about the sophistication of tennis, his obsession with 70s badass style, and why Nadal is the perfect global ambassador.

Rafael Nadal is the star of not one, but three main product launches. Can you tell us about his transition from tennis court sensation to the star of your rather risqué locker room advertisement for TH Underwear? First of all, Nadal looks phenomenal in the clothes as he does in our underwear. He looks great, there’s no doubt about that. From a brand perspective, Nadal is also an incredibly nice person. When I met him 10 years ago he was already wearing my clothes so that’s authentic to me. hat’s important.

With every major fashion brand working to cover our collective derrière, what do you hope for your underwear line to bring to the market? True, we have been doing it for a number of years, but it hasn’t ever really been sexy, modern, and cool. So we wanted to reinvent it, irst and foremost with fabric. We created a superior technical stretch fabric that would hold up well in the wash. hen you have the rest, which is the genius of marketing. We needed great packing and a great personality. here has to be a sporty





By breaking the rules of modern retail, from raising prices to tailoring clothes smaller, Tommy Hilfiger's eponymous brand is hot once again. Opposite: Hilfiger unveiled the Fall 2015 ad campaign featuring Rafael Nadal with a pop-up tennis tournament in Bryant Park.

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BETWEEN SETS WITH RAFA NADAL In an exclusive on-court interview, tennis star Rafael Nadal talks to Rogue about coming to terms with his own professional mortality, and his new foray into fashion’s most competitive arena: the underwear market

“TENNIS IS ASPIRATIONAL,” SAYS HILFIGER. “ITS MATCHES ARE MORE SOPHISTICATED THAN, SAY, A FOOTBALL GAME.” aspect to it because in this day and age, professional sports is such an inluence in our world and lives. When I was thinking of launching the underwear, I thought, “Do I take a Hollywood star, a model, a musician?” hen I thought, “What about Rafa?” He resonates worldwide. Everyone knows him. hen I thought he could be also the face of the new Bold fragrance. Our tailored clothing has some stretch in them, so we wanted to call it TH Flex, something you can move freely in—it’s modern. And we thought he would be perfect.

There’s a return to tailoring, a renewed interest to the sartorial trend globally. Men are rebelling against ill-itting suiting. here’s a new shape to the contour of our suits—it’s shorter, it’s slimmer. here’s stretch, designed for men who travel the world. You get on an airplane, throw it of and get to your destination and throw it back on. No creases, no wrinkling. I wanted it and quality to be important. Details too, like real, working buttons, good shoulder—looking like it’s made just for you— and interesting lining.

What do you think it is about tennis that makes it so stylish? Whether it’s the players or the spectators, it just seems to be one of those sports that fashion is obsessed with. I think it’s aspirational. Tennis matches are somewhat more sophisticated than, say, a football game. And it’s also not like it’s one team against the other. It’s about the individual. Mentally you have to be on your game, to be good at that game. So to watch one person play against the other is very intense.

In terms of inspiration, what would you say is your favorite decade? he 70s. I was here in New York in the 70s. I was quite young but it was amazing, a diferent kind of attitude from the city today. We were in the midst of a music revolution coming together with fashion. So it was about rock, it was authentic. It was about incredible clothes with character on musicians that inluence designers to this day, icons like Hendrix, Patti Smith. he 70s was a time when each city was totally diferent—London, Paris. here was a sense of true originality.

Your new fragrance Bold is deinitely distinct, but it distinguishes itself with an uncanny balance of the sporty and the urban. What do you personally look for in a fragrance and how does this igure into your development phase? Scent is the most important part of launching a new fragrance. he juice has to be great, so we developed a scent for a year. A little bit of citrus, grapefruit—from day to night, from the tennis court to a night on the town.

To where is the Tommy Hiliger empire headed? Last year I bought the Raleigh Hotel in Miami. It’s an architectural gem in South Beach. We’re going to redo it as an exclusive club hotel. It will really have my touch on it. I’m bringing it back to its original art deco glory and glamour—real American elegance. It’s truly a work of art. „


Can you tell us about being the face—and body—of Tommy Hilfiger? Was there any hesitation with the transition? I think I am an athlete, first and foremost. The world of sports is about values, and I feel that I am a very normal person, a person that is still humble, with feet on the ground. I’m a hard worker, so I think this relatable aspect makes me a good fit for the brand. It’s a great honor for me. Tommy and I are good friends. We have a good personal relationship—so it means a lot to me. You talk about being grounded. Is this something that helps you go through challenging times in your career? Through my career I’ve had really good and really bad moments, in terms of tennis performance and injuries. I accept everything. When things are good, I never think things are too amazing, and similarly when things are bad I don’t let it get to me. Where do you see yourself post-tennis career, after all is said and done? I don’t overthink it. It’s not worrisome to me. I think I can be happy without all of this. I like a lot of things beyond tennis. I’m still that guy from an island in Majorca. I like to be in the ocean, in the sea with a boat, fishing, and swimming. I love the calm. In terms of the future, I’m building a big tennis center in Majorca and it’s something very important to me. Like my foundation, we are growing as an organization. It’s an important part of my post-career plans. When did you start accepting that you’re not made of steel? I had to accept that in 2005 after the first big season for me, when I had that injury on my feet and some doctors told me that I may not play professional tennis again. But we found a solution and that’s precisely where my attitude of acceptance comes from. I never dreamed I’d be here today.

NOV E M B E R 2015 57


JOSEPH Birmingham Double Face Cashmere in Dark Smoke

BALMAIN FOR H&M Wool DoubleBreasted Coat

MANGO MAN Trench Coat

Designer Olivier Rousteing lends military-inspired details to the time-tested style.

Light and waterproof, the trench is made for days when the weather can’t make up its mind.

The toggle closures were made to be easily fastened and unfastened while wearing gloves in cold weather at sea.

A single-breasted coat lengthens the body and broadens the shoulders.

UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE Wool Blended Hooded Coat This outer garment is made from a material that features the superb insulation of wool but with a lighter feel.

THE BIG CHILL How to look sharp even when temperatures drop below freezing? A selection of smart coats to pack for your next cold weather trip PHOTO BY JASON QUIBILAN

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THE ROGUE ARENA Promotions and relevant items, direct from our partners

THE ART OF ESPIONAGE For the first time in the history of the franchise, James Bond’s signature Omega Seamaster 300 will be released as a limited-edition model Ever since its debut in 1995’s Goldeneye, the Seamaster has been known as James Bond’s signature watch. Its sleek design and robust build are practically inseparable from the particular brand of class the debonair Secret Service agent has come to represent. Years of top-notch ilmmaking have rendered the character a symbol of unmatched poise and the capacity to keep cool in the face of peril. Up until this point, only commemorative editions of Bond’s timepiece have been released. But for the irst time in the history of the franchise, Omega (G/L Greenbelt 5, Makati; 728-0436) will release the Seamaster 300 “Spectre,” the same watch from the upcoming Bond ilm, as a limited edition model. Omega is set to release—in honor of the spy’s iconic code name—exactly 7,007 pieces of the watch. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bond watch if it weren’t outitted with the kind of tech beitting the lifestyle of a high ranking spy. True to its aquatic roots, this Seamaster comes with

a bi-directional rotating diving bezel, black and made of polished ceramic. And not only is the watch powered by the Omega Master Co-Axial caliber 8400, which ensures that the timepiece constantly maintains total timekeeping accuracy (rendering the watch resistant to magnetic ields up to 15,000 gauss), it also features a LiquidMetal 12 hour scale, which means that the time can be accurately told in any country in the world. he limited edition model also boasts a distinct clock face. Its features include a “lollipop” central seconds hand, a broad arrow hour hand, and the ive-stripe black and grey NATO strap. And on the strap holder? “007” engraved. On top of that, wearers can have their own serial number printed on the back, accompanied by an engraving of “Spectre,” the title of the muchawaited addition to the Bond cinematic universe. his watch is an example of cutting edge timepiece technology, imbued with the kind of style only James Bond is known for.



DIETHER OCAMPO The 39-year-old film and television actor, who is currently dating equestrienne Michelle Cojuangco Barrera, shares his newfound passion for polo INTERVIEW BY GINO DE LA PAZ

concerned. “We are in the middle of putting together a film project which we are co-producing under Tandem Entertainment,” he shares. “It is inspired by true events.” What was your earliest ambition? To fly. What is your most treasured possession? Pure determination. Who are your favorite writers? Joseph Campbell, John Steinbeck, and Alan Watts (serious blokes). What do you consider your greatest achievement? Landing a plane. What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess? An enduring bloody smile. What drives you on? Unrelenting pursuit of excellence.

What are you working on now? Forbearance— trust me! What time of the day are you most inspired? At the close of the day. Favorite hotel: The Waldorf Astoria. Any pets? A Swiss shepherd. Necessary extravagance: Travel. Favorite city in the world: London. Ideal playlist:  Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 and Wagner’s Die Walküre. Favorite artists: Fernando Amorsolo and Luis Antonio Santos (genius blokes). Favorite gadget: Moral compass (I need a new one). Where do you live? 13°00’N 122°00’E. Neighborhood restaurant: A’Toda Madre (look for the infamous brothers). Favorite cocktail: Vesper Martini Favorite book: Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. Favorite dishes: Duck confit.

Jeans: Ralph Lauren. Footwear: Crockett & Jones. Watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Night & Day. Favorite designer: Hugo Ferdinand Boss. Wallet or money clip: Do I need one? Shampoo: Aēsop. Cologne: Creed Aventus. Toothpaste: Crest. Who cuts your hair? I've been hunting down the guy who recently cut my hair at John Barbers. PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO SOCIETY

IT’S BEEN A little over two years since Diether Ocampo appeared alongside Angelica Panganiban and Piolo Pascual in Apoy Sa Dagat, which aired on ABS-CBN in 2013. But it seems the film and television actor has used his time away from the limelight rather wisely, completing an entrepreneurship program while cultivating his newfound love for polo. “I value the discipline of the sport,” he says. “The horse’s relentless force fascinates me.” To train for the game, the Star Magic talent has come to value the importance of riding as constantly as possible. “Riding will keep you absolutely fit, but good quality sleep is more beneficial than any form of exercise.” He ofers nothing more than hints of his plans as far as his show business career is NOV E M B E R 2015 / I S S U E 93

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Aside from being the CEO of Philam Life, Axel Bromley’s interests include art and athletics. With painting, he is mostly self-taught, and has studied woodwork in Nepal. With sports, he specializes in fencing and high-powered rifle.

Good Life For CEO Axel Bromley, insurance isn’t just a business, but an instrument for compassion

AXEL BROMLEY, the new CEO of Philam Life, is no stranger to the international arena. The man has over two decades of experience under his belt and can speak over nine languages, his work and passion having taken him all over the world, from South America to the Middle East. But one can say that the business of insurance as a vocation truly called to him in Michigan, back when he was 23 and taking up university. Bromley will be the first to say that he did not grow up rich, and thus had to work in order to pay for his studies. When his father and two of his brothers were caught in a vehicular accident, he feared the worst, initially believing that his studies would be compromised and that his family would

have to sell many of their things to pay for medical bills. But his father, possessing a keen sense of foresight, had invested in insurance before Bromley came of age, allowing him to finish his studies and make sure that his life wouldn’t have to take a sharp turn. Today, Bromley runs Philam Life from the top of the corporate ladder, but conducts himself diferently from the average businessman. Perhaps the first thing that greets those who visit his home is a wall filled with art of his own making, ranging from wood carvings to oil paintings, the subjects of his works most being his wife and children, and memorable sights from the places he’s been. Bromley, more than being a CEO, is a well-travelled man who keeps his family close. These two facets of his character, seem to point to an underlying, holistic approach to life—one that spills into the way he approaches business and insurance. “After you travel around and really getting to know people, when it comes right down to it, we are all the same,” he says. “We all care about our families, we’re all worried about our jobs, we’re all worried about our parents, we’re all worried about the future.” It’s this sort of love born from a universal sense of anxiety that Bromley knows well, and allows him to conduct business the way he does. On his business philosophy, he notes that despite his achievements, he makes this simple disclaimer: He couldn’t have gotten to where he is if not for the help he was given. To him, the secret to success is not a vague virtue that he keeps to himself, but an understanding that the responsibilities he’s given aren’t things he can fulfill on his own. “You gotta make sure you have the right

team,” he says. “And you have to make sure the right people are in the right place.” Knowing all these, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone when Bromley says that he considers himself an artist before a businessman. In an industry whose landscape is constantly shifting, and having spent a life going from country to country, Bromley has to be creative, has to find out-of-the-box solutions, has to keep in mind that the only thing constant in life is change. And if it isn’t obvious enough, Bromley knows how to accept change, and make it work.


THE EYE ACCESSORIES THE FREQUENT FLYERS New York label Public School teams up with premium American luggage brand Tumi on a seriously slick collection of travel bags WORDS BY GINO DE LA PAZ


Public School's Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow. Below: Their Tumi collection includes a 21” carry-on, 24” check-in wheeled bag, travel satchel, backpack, day tote, and dopp kit.


collaborating after working with Tumi during their sponsorship of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Americans in Paris. We used our irst Tumi travel collection for the trip,” say Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of their clever team up with the suitcase manufacturer. “We fell in love with the pieces and it got our creative juices spinning. It was then in Paris that we started talking about possibilities with Tumi and our friend George Esquivel. Our collaborations really mean a lot because it’s another leg of our business.” During the design process, the New York duo—also creative directors of DKNY—became familiar with another facet of the fashion industry. “We learned all the ins and outs of the production of the diferent bags and all the stringent and rigorous tests they all go through. We learned how to make luggage!” he resulting “seasonless collection,” of course, evokes the spirit of their hometown New York 64 NOV E M B E R 2015

City and comprises a 21-inch carry-on and 24-inch check-in wheeled bag, travel satchel, backpack, day tote, and dopp kit. “I really love the soft weekender we did—it’s easy and looks sleek and durable. It really looks like what it’s supposed to do,” shares Chow. Osborne has a soft spot for the Tegra-Lite carry on, which is “super light and

moves so smooth.” he weave pattern efect on the exterior of the cases extends to the hardware and luggage tags of the day bags and accessories, as well as to the 2-D netting texture on the bottom of the travel satchel. As global travelers themselves, it was important for both Osborne and Chow that the collection met the requirements of whatever trip length. “Every consideration was made for the traveler: packing, being away from home, lying, traveling through airports, and being in new places. All those nuances were taken into consideration with the Tumi pieces.” But aside from paying tribute to big city life in general, the Public School boys made it a point to inject personal details. “he key chain is reminiscent of when we grew up in New York and we used to have strings on our book bags,” they explain. “We used to collect them and take other peopleӊs strings. To have a lot more strings, it was a badge of honor. his is our interpretation of strings as an adult. It’s more of a memory.” „



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Solution: Comme Des Garçons Series 8 Energy C Eau de Toilette

Pink grapefruit with a hint of musk has an energizing efect.

NOV E M B E R 2015 65 No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5







Rolling in the Deep

R In All the Strange Places

I Remember Tito Nick

Jerry Gracio

Mario Cornejo

Sari Lluch Dalena

In the face of criticism from academics about its simplistic take on our history, Heneral Luna inds a champion in a screenwriter who celebrates the small success of bringing audiences back to the movie house.

A cinematic gem may be its own reward—but discovering it outside of the cold, impersonal atmosphere of a cineplex, or the controlled comfort of your room, makes for incredible small adventures.

Two years before the centennial of his birth, National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin is given homage in a new documentary on his life and work. Its creator recalls growing up in the presence of this literary genius.

Jerry Gracio


Rolling in the Deep Responding to academics who panned Heneral Luna for what they deemed a shallow take on history and its convenient shortcut to truth-telling, one screenwriter argues that scratching the surface is the necessary first step to plunging into the deeper truths of our past


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ing to a league of visual storytellers only eager to lex their acumen in splashy Hollywood-style calisthenics. But I think it’s necessary to go back to the ilmography of its director Jerrold Tarog so that we can see the signiicance of this biopic in the contemporary times. Based on his body of work, we will strengthen our faith in his capability to articulate more complex ideas, and lesh out deeper truths as he moves onward in his ilmmaking career. Consider his mockumentary Confessional

(2007), the irst ilm in his “Camera Trilogy.” In it, Tarog used the camera to allow us to listen in on the confessions of a corrupt politician in a way that was brimming with satire and verbal wit. Next, he broke our expectations when it came to how a camera is employed in recording the truth in his follow-up ilm Mangatyanan (2009), where he invented a ictional tribe and language to tell the drama of one woman on the edge of destruction because of her past and the rituals of the tribe she belonged to. If there was any doubt in Tarog’s


ike its critics after watching the movie, I also looked for imperialist machinations in Jerrold Tarog’s Heneral Luna. I was worried that the only thing that made an imprint on the audiences was the ilm’s central thesis, which is that our worst enemies are ourselves, or as the General Antonio Luna very strongly states in Tagalog, “Mas may malaki tayong kalaban sa mga Amerikano—ang ating mga sarili.” I had a feeling that if this was the only point of discussion we’d indulge in after seeing the movie, we might not be able to glean the role America played in the suferings we had to go through early in our history as a country, or the role they continue to play in our present miseries. As a screenwriter aware of the limitations and impositions on ilms, not just by the demands of art or business (whether we like it or not), I celebrate the little moments that seduce viewers to go inside the cinema house and watch a movie. Because we have a lot of good movies that only a few of us—meaning just us ilm enthusiasts and those within the immediate ilm community—bother to watch, hence their depressing performance in the box-oice. Nilalangaw, as they say in the vernacular. And what good does a movie serve if lies are the only living things swarming in the theaters? It may be easy for some academics to dismiss Heneral Luna as just a simplistic leshing out of our history, or to relegate its director as belong- capability to tell a complex tale with the use of the camera, we need only watch the last installment of this trilogy: Sana Dati (2003). If you ask me, it is the best articulation of the concept of love we will be able to see in movies. But on the other hand, it is also a critique of our romantic comedies at a time when our notion of love is only on the level of things gone viral, like the hugots and the pabebes of the online world. Perhaps to his credit, Tarog did not hang out in the indie ilmmaking scene for long. He crossed over to more commercial projects. He scared us via Punerarya and Parola, two episodes he helmed in Shake Rattle and Roll 12 and 13, respectively. He proved he is capable of not just telling us a story but giving us a scare, and doing so using the traditional conventions of the horror genre. And is there anything wrong with that? Remember that the National Artist for Film Lino Brocka was not only capable of Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (1975) and Orapronobis (1989) but of potboilers as well, such as Napakasakit Kuya Eddie (1986) and Hello Young Lovers (1981).   And this is what I believe: that the Hollywoodstyle treatment of Heneral Luna was intentional, along with the caricaturish representation of Luna, the excesses of leshing out the story and character to the point that it bordered on hagiography—one of the points the ilm has been criticized for. If it is indeed hagiography, the ilm is a triumph. Proof of this are the students who, while many among them were required by their teachers to watch it, stepped out of the theaters discussing the ilm and our history. And what else does hagiography serve but the ediication of the love of God by way of telling the story of the lives of saints, be they true or ictionalized? Heneral Luna also touches on nationalism: bayan muna bago ang sarili. Country irst before self. hat may be shallow, yes. But for the viewers who had no idea who Luna was, or why the Apolinario Mabini character played by Epy Quizon insisted on sitting down throughout the ilm, or what President Aguinaldo’s role was in Luna’s— or Andres Bonifacio’s—demise, it is already a triumph that they were introduced to the most important personalities of our history, that their minds were opened to the notion of country and the self. Small achievement, you might say. Maybe. But it is signiicant to celebrate these little successes. Because sometimes this whole business of pushing for change, for something revolutionary, whether in cinema or society, can be a tiresome exercise, especially if we can’t even muster bite-sized triumphs from our own ranks. What I mean to say is that it’s also tiring to make movies that only we and our friends watch and understand. hat’s why, when I didn’t see the complexity I wanted to ind in Heneral Luna—imperialism,

This is what I believe: that the Hollywood-style treatment of Heneral Luna was intentional, along with the caricaturish representation of Luna, the excesses of fleshing out the story and character to the point that it bordered on hagiography.


John Arcilla, as Antonio Luna (top photo, center), lecturing his troops in the first battle scene in the biopic. While largely praised, a few pundits called the actor’s performance cartoonish.

colonialism, neo-colonialism, the whole arena of the Philippine-American war—I didn’t dismiss the movie as deplorable because of the “smallness of its mind,” as some critics did. Instead, I came out of the theater illed with hope: that we can pull our fellow Filipinos back to the theaters, that ilms that involve heroes and love of country can have an audience and a big one. And again, I have faith in the capacity of Tarog to tackle more complex historical issues in his next movies. But he wouldn’t be able to do that if no one saw Heneral Luna. he truth is, the Filipino audience has ac-

quired an allergic reaction to topics of country and nationalism, to ilms that fail to connect to them as viewers. But with Heneral Luna, something in their hearts was struck. hat’s why as soon as they left the theater, they posted statuses on social networking sites, invited more people to watch the movie, expressed their sentiments, however “babaw” they may have seemed to others. And at this moment when we have a plethora of woes, I believe we need to to celebrate this success no matter how shallow it may be. Because this can only mean we have taken the irst step to going deeper—no matter what that means. „

NOV E M B E R 2015 69

Mario Cornejo


In All the Strange Places At a time when movies have never been so accessible, there is nothing more romantic to an avowed lover of film than to discover cinematic gems in the most unusual places. For a film and commercial director, apart from the movie itself, the sideshow’s the thing


had never met Mat Ranillo III but I happened to sit next to him at he Blueroom Art Gallery in Bangkal, Makati one evening 10 years ago, as we watched a movie he had acted in some 25 years earlier. Bangkal isn’t exactly the kind of place where you’d ind an art space, much less go to catch a screening, but there we were, with the usual paintings you’d expect in a gallery, and for some reason, some custom built tube ampliiers in exquisite wood sculpture housings. he ilm we were watching was Salawahan, a comedy by Ishmael Bernal. here were less than 10 other people at this happening arranged by Marti Magsanoc, an oncologist and ilm buf. I had seen the ilm before—it is one of my favorites—but I had never seen it with Mat Ranillo sitting beside me as I drank wine from a plastic cup. At one point,

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Mat stood up and left the room, overcome with the memories that came looding back to him after seeing the ilm for the irst time since its release. He would talk to us after the ilm was over, about working with Bernal, about what the shoot was like, about what kind of person his co-actor Jay Ilagan was. Later, we would meet another member of the audience, the artist Bea Camacho, and she would describe to us what it was like to literally knit herself into a cocoon. It takes 10 hours, she said. hat evening a decade ago paints a fairly typical picture of what I go through when searching for cinema in the Philippines. It only slightly annoys me when people tell me that the Philippines doesn’t make good movies, because that is patently false and speaks more of their ignorance than their worldview.

What actually makes me angry is when people blame the ilmmakers for not making their ilms readily available to them, as if they have the right to see the movie instantly just because they want to. A good Pinoy movie, you say? Really? Why isn’t it showing at (nearest local mall)? Is it on Youtube? May torrent ba? People don’t expect visual artists to come to their homes and hang their paintings on their walls. But ilmmakers are expected to make their work available at their audiences’ convenience. You may drive willingly through hours of traic for authentic dim sum at Binondo, but heaven forefend you have to watch a ilm somewhere that doesn’t have multilevel pay parking. If you keep looking for cinema in the same mall, don’t be surprised if you keep inding Five friends decided to rent that apartment to live in and show movies that they felt needed to be seen. Upstairs was a room with maybe 40 people squeezed into 30 square meters, everyone sitting on the floor.

the same movie, with younger actors and more digital efects. And as any collector knows, sometimes you appreciate the album more when you ind it in a thrift store, surrounded by a pile of Peter Frampton. Over the years, I’ve had some strange experiences looking for cinematic gems. I watched Peque Gallaga introduce his masterpiece Scorpio Nights in the basement of Fully Booked in Taguig to a packed house of 45. I saw John Torres’ Taon Noong Ako’y Anak Sa Labas at an outdoor screening at Remedios Circle. We once went to see (parts of ) my favorite Filipino ilm, Mike De Leon’s Kisapmata projected on a wall at Makati’s Aposento as oblivious customers consumed gambas and wine, wondering what these ilthy ilm nerds were doing watching a dark, brooding psycho-drama in a bar in Salcedo Village. Around nine years ago, my girlfriend Monster Jimenez and I drove through morning rush hour traic to catch a 9 A.M. screening of Lav Diaz’s Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino at the oice of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. hat’s in Intramuros. We live in Makati. We had been drinking heavily the night before. We had less than three hours of sleep between us. hat ilm is nine fucking hours long. After mentally cursing the director for the irst two hours, I fell into the rhythm of the ilm and had a real moment of transcendence. It was one of the greatest cinematic experiences of my life. here were around six other people in the


A screening of Life of Pi in Paris’ Piscine Pailleron where the audience sat in lifeboats equipped with life jackets. Opposite: Going way beyond plush seats and popcorn.

theater, and we didn’t acknowledge each other, but I like to imagine they were as transformed that day as I was. Maybe we’ll all meet again one groggy morning and talk about Puring, Fernando, Hilda, and Reynaldo, and what their lives meant in the grand scheme of things. I thought I saw Lav at the back of the theater at some point, but I can’t be sure. Being (occasional) ilmmakers ourselves, Monster and I have shown our movies in the strangest places as well. A few years ago, we showed our ilm, Kano: An American and His Harem at a place called Cinema is Incomplete, which was essentially an old house in Sikatuna with no air-conditioning. Five friends decided to rent that apartment to live in and show movies that they felt needed to be seen. We walked up the narrow creaky wooden staircase, each step bringing us into higher levels of heat and humidity. Upstairs was a room with maybe 40 people squeezed into 30 square meters, everyone sitting on the loor. I don’t think there was a single chair. And though our ilm was about an American convicted of rape and the women in his life, the Q&A afterwards developed into a discussion on polyamory and feudalism in a Philippine context. hat was another special moment that only happens when you actively look for cinema. Nowadays, things are much better for lovers of cinema. here are numerous ilm

festivals that show a breadth of new and old ilms. I’ve watched special screenings of Raya Martin’s Buenas Noches España, Lav Diaz’s Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan, and Brilliante Mendoza’s Taklub at Greenbelt Mall. his is what progress looks like, and I’m all for it. here are less excuses now, more opportunities for ilmmakers and audiences to ind each other in the dark, in places that serve popcorn. And yet outside the multiplexes, there are still magic moments to be found, happening everywhere in strange venues, and you never know where your search for cinema will take you, or who you’ll ind there. Ten years ago, after we made our irst feature, Big Time, a young man named Pepe Diokno said he was a fan of the ilm, and could he please show it at his 18th birthday party. So of we went to New Manila where he had rented a tent and played our movie for his birthday guests. Our faulty DVD stopped before the ending, I think, but no one was watching anyway. hey were busy getting drunk and hooking up with whoever was closest. Last month, I went to a small art gallery/ photography studio sandwiched among apartments in Poblacion, Makati called Pineapple Lab. Pepe had become a ilmmaker in the ensuing years, and I was there to see his second feature, Above he Clouds, in a large white space illed with 60 other people. he ilm was a fable about a boy and his grandfather bonding as they climb a mountain. he following night, there was a bondage exhibition in the same space, where a naked woman was tied up and hung from the ceiling. Or so I hear. I didn’t go. „

NOV E M B E R 2015 71

Sari Lluch Dalena


I Remember Tito Nick As a new documentary on Philippine literature’s jolly good fellow Nick Joaquin opens this month, its creator recalls growing up in the presence of the beloved titan of letters who was more family to her than literary icon, more St. Nick than National Artist


y little terrorists” is what our Tito Nick would call us three sisters whenever he would visit the house. It wasn’t just us that he would heckle at; he would afectionately f call my dad, the artist Danny Dalena, “Bingengot,”” which means he’s hard of hearing. Tito Nick’s delightful booming voice would be accompanied with several P100 bills that he’d hand to each of us girls. To us he wasn’t Nick Joaquin, the National Artist. He was Santa Claus. “Daaahling, gimme a beer!” During those evening visits, the clink of San Miguel beer bottles would ill the air. And my sisters and I would “terrorize” him with our little sagas. Aba would present him her newly sculpted clay animals. My other sister Kiri, and our childhood friend Kris Lacaba, would bother him with a Humpty Dumpty stufed f toy, and I would push the buttons of my dad’s Wurlitzer jukebox, which

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was equipped with magically changing lights. Tito Nick’s voice would roar above Frank Sinatra’s crooning voice. Filipino writers present would turn boisterous revelers, among them Tito Pete Lacaba and his wife Tita Marra,Tito Ding Nolledo, Tito Greg Brillantes, Tito Recah Trinidad, Tito Erwin Castillo, Tito Jolico Cuadra, Tita Chiqui (Auggusta de Almeidda) and Tita Elena Roco.hey would down endless bottles of Pale Pilsen and belt out songs by Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart. hese sessions of drink and song would ill our house in Kamuning until the wee hours of the morning. My father served as Tito Nick’s editorial cartoonist—irst at the Free Presss and then at the Asia Philippines Leader. hose drunken evenings were a testament to what a tightly-knit bunch of journalists they were, together with Tito Pete and Tito Greg, who were with Tito Nick at the oice all day and after hours as well.


Raymond Bagatsing—as Nick Joaquin of Dahling Nick—on the steps leading to the main lobby of the CCP, flanked by the author and her sister and co-writer Kiri Dalena. Inset: The real Nick wearing his National Artist medal.

Christmas time and birthday parties were unforgettable. My dad would set up a long table and wooden benches. Cases of beer would be stockpiled in the garage and soon imbibed and Tito Recah, the known sports writer, would bring pulutan. After many rounds of hilarity, Tito Nick During his evening visits, the clink of San Miguel beer bottles would fill the air . . . I would push the buttons of my dad’s Wurlitzer jukebox, and Tito Nick’s voice would roar above Frank Sinatra’s crooning voice.



A N D P R O B L E M A T I C L E G A C Y O F L E A N D R O V. L O C S I N





would take his leave. Oftentimes, our dad would tell us to see him of to the gate, where a taxi and its driver would be found snoring from the long wait. My sisters and I would suppress our giggles at the sight of Tito Nick relieving himself by the wall outside. I was nine years old when Tito Nick gifted us with his two-box set of red and green largeformat books, Pop Stories for Groovy Kids. Oh boy, my sisters and I went crazy with Kulas Kulasito, Johnny Tinoso, Elang Uling, Juan Tamad, Sarimanok, Ibong Adarna, and Lilit Bulilit! We would spend long hours poring over those magical stories for many days. Aba’s favorite was Kulas. Kiri would mimic Juan Tamad’s lazy yawns. I secretly put straws in my hair, just like Lilit Bulilit. We loved Elang Uling’s dollhouse, as it reminded us of our family house in Pakil, Laguna. hen one day, a theater actor came by our house to borrow the red and green magical books for a story-telling and children’s workshop. It broke our hearts to see this man take our books away from us. I guess we had a premonition that we’d never see those books again. To this day, my dad’s mouth seethes in anger whenever he thinks of that actor who never returned our precious books. Tito Nick’s “May Day Eve” and “Guardia De Honor” came into my life when I turned 13. hey were stories I was immediately taken by. One balmy night during a blackout in Kamuning, like Agueda, his heroine in “May Day Eve,” I

wanted to see what lay before me. So I reenacted the famous ritual so sumptuously detailed in the short story: I held a candle, peered at my relection in my mother’s mirror and I swore that if I saw a handsome devil, I would name my son after Nick Joaquin. Like Agueda, I think I saw both my future husband and the devil—they looked the same, by the way. I kept my vow and named my irstborn Joaquin. Tito Nick wasn’t just a fun personality to be around, he was encouraging as well. At one of my mother Jullie Lluch’s art exhibits, he marveled at her sculpture of poet Jose Garcia Villa, a portrait she created with a unicorn’s horn protruding from his forehead. “Julie, dahling” he said, “this is proof that it takes a genius to make a portrait of another genius!” It’s a privilege that I am now able to make a ilm about Tito Nick together with his favorite godchildren, my sister Kiri, Tito Pete’s son Kris, and my husband Keith Sicat. Channeling our memories of our childhood, recalling Tito Nick’s spirit and brilliance, and seeing how his literary works have changed our lives, we created Dahling Nick, a documentary-drama melding his life story with cinematic adaptations of his works. It premieres this month during the CinemaOne Originals festival. It is our tribute to Tito Nick, who in two years will be celebrating his birth centennial. It is a gesture of gratitude, a heartfelt gift—albeit long overdue—from us, his little terrorists. „





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Or, to be more exact and safe about it, the closing year of its second golden age. Nineteen eighty-ive was the year its most revered living masters did most of their last, least commercial undertakings—Ishmael Bernal gave us Hinugot Sa Langit and Gamitin Mo Ako, and Lino Brocka his White Slavery and Bayan Ko: Kapit Sa Patalim. It was also the year we irst shook hands with this new kid named Chito Roño, whose spare, gritty, and quietly potent Private Show made us think a new ilm visionary had arrived It was an exciting time to be in the movies, but also the worst. Censorship was at its most ridiculous. Outside the ilm industry, leftist demonstrations were gaining escalating fervor, sparked no doubt by the Aquino assassination that took place just two years prior. Imelda Marcos, to divert the people’s attention from the social unrest, gave the masses what she thought they’d always wanted: bomba. Or to be more faithful to the era, bold. Eager to preserve the operations of her doomed ediice, the Manila Film Center, she opened it to foreign skin licks, in the process encouraging local producers to make their own, with the promise that it wouldn’t be touched by censorship. hus was born Peque Gallaga’s Scorpio Nights. At the close of 1984, Gallaga sufered a major heart attack. Only three years into his directing career, the maker of Oro, Plata, Mata (1982), who was heralded for his remarkably fresh new vision and style, felt his time was over. Which producer in his sane mind would gamble on a director who might just croak in the middle of production? It was time for the punk mestizo who couldn’t speak decent Tagalog to pack his bags and return to Negros. Turns out he was just waiting for the right person to call. And that person turned out to be Douglas Quijano, the talent manager who was also doing project management work for Lily Monteverde’s Regal Films. Monteverde

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and Gallaga weren’t exactly on the most ideal of terms at that time, surprised as she was that her Virgin Forest—which he directed and which she thought was going to be a bold ilm—was actually “a period movie,” a love story set against the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo, with two or three sex scenes thrown in. But Quijano surely saw something in Virgin Forest that Monteverde chose to overlook. “Hey Peqs, there’s this thing that’s coming up,” Quijano told Gallaga on the other line.“We’re actually gonna be doing porn. Full frontal, penetration if you want, no censorship whatsoever, and I’ve got Orestes Ojeda and Anna Marie Gutierrez signed up. Are you interested?” Gallaga was, on two counts: he needed—and wanted—the opportunity to work again. Second, he was titillated with Quijano’s proposition. “I was a porn enthusiast,” he tells me in his home in Bacolod. He can’t tolerate watching porn now, but in 1985 there was a new wave of the genre being made in other parts of the world, way more craftily done than the usual Behind he Green Doors and Linda Lovelace stuf, more invested with story and imagination that went beyond the usual in-out, in-out. here was a Swedish ilm called V he Hot One, about an elegant housewife who turns out to be obsessed with kinky sex, that got embedded in his mind. “hey had porn sequences inside a movie house where you don’t actually see genitals but they’re just fucking inside a movie house with people around them. And there was one with the two skyscrapers, and they were having sex across the window, with a street in between them.” Gallaga became attuned to what he thought was a paradigm shift in adult ilmmaking and he wanted to explore it. At the time of pre-production, which was in December of 1984, the director was still tied down to a hospital bed. Production manager Lore Reyes had plotted a tight shooting schedule of 13 days for the project, and Gallaga




wanted to shoot as soon as possible, cause no delays that would mean additional expense. hey had a budget of P1 million, and they had to start grinding by January. “If I’m not mistaken, he actually escaped from St. Luke’s,” Reyes recalls. “He didn’t properly check out. Kasi I remember sa emergency room kami nagdaan with his assistant director at that time, si Jenny Luber. If he was released oicially hindi naman kami sa ER dadaan.” Immediately, he gathered his creative posse which included, at that time, the production designer Don Escudero, the writer Uro dela Cruz, and Reyes, who was also his production manager for Virgin Forest. hey were a team that went by the name T.E. Pagaspas, which would appear in several Gallaga productions. Dela Cruz told Gallaga that one of their art directors, Rommel Bernardino, a painter who worked under Escudero, had an idea for a story, one which he read about in a tabloid, about a policeman who killed his student border for having an afair with his wife. hat short pitch sparked an explosion of ideas from the foursome: from the molding of the characters, the possible compromising situations they might ind themselves in, to the milieu they would inhabit. Before the Scorpio ofer came up, Gallaga had gone on a location hunt for a movie about a bunch of rural manananggals that migrated to the city, establishing residence in these little rooms in a tenement, or what is called an accesorya. Escudero remembered they had found an old mansion in Binondo that had been divided into tiny little apartments; he thought it would be great to recreate something akin to it for Scorpio Nights. “At that point, it developed already from a pure porn ilm to, ‘Wait a minute! What if we make a statement, that this is like a microcosm of Philippine society?’” Gallaga recalls excitedly, as if he were back at the brainstorming table. “We never leave that house. We just open it outside just to show where it is and we go in and we stay there. “And then that became a springboard for the sound design: each neighbor had a distinctive radio thing, like somebody would always listen to Mario Lanza records. hen we could hear all of Binondo through the sound of karetelas outside. Every night there will always be somebody being killed by an M16. You could hear the rat-tat-tat-tat-tat.” What started as a gist for a porn lick was little by little evolving from the expectedly garish and vulgar to a piece becoming more subtle and seductive. Gallaga realized that while he had the license to show real sexual penetration, that road was not the one he would take. “Let’s go into frontals,” he told his team, “but the frontals will be a sense of discovery. he irst time he [the border] lifts her dress, he is discovering it for himself, as much as the audience is discovering for themselves the thrill, the peekaboo. Instead of just, ‘Here’s a puke.’” Gallaga has always been fascinated by human behavior revealing itself at the dining table, but he’s already successfully tackled that in Oro, Plata, Mata, the ilm about rich Negros families holding onto dear life and lifestyle during the Japanese-American war. In its most basic form, he says, most likely exaggerating, Oro is “about what they ate, and how they ate it, while a conversation is going on.” In Scorpio, he would move the discussion to the marital bed, which he would employ as the stage to unravel the sexual politics involved between a married couple, and the stranger that comes between them. Hence, unlike in his Virgin Forest, there was no need to shoot gratu-


From top: The third sex scene in the film where the character of Daniel Fernando is ushered back into the pink mosquito net, the first which the wife fully participates in; Gallaga directing the starlet Amanda Amores in one of the ensemble scenes in the film (with Mike Austria in the background). Opposite: Gallaga, with wife Maddie, who is the film's assistant project coordinator, and production designer Don Escudero.

itous sex scenes for the purpose of inserting them into the ilm when it went out to provincial theaters, a not-so-secret practice in those days. Every sex scene in Scorpio was there to move the narrative along, slightly open doors that hinted at character and motivations. From the almost mechanical irst fuck, when the security guard (Ojeda) comes home and planks himself on top of his sleeping wife (Gutierrez); to the irst time the young neighbor Danny (Daniel Fernando) is made aware that his neighbor’s wife (the married couple does not have names in the movie) knows exactly who is fucking her, and they go from kinky to fetishistic after he ushers her back inside the pink mosquito net; to the inal set piece where the sikyo, in tears, penetrates his wife after shooting her—before shooting himself. Perhaps the only sex scene that might be called gratuitous is the one where wife and neighbor make love while wrapped in a plastic raincoat, a suggestion from Escudero who thought that since they were already practically doing an encyclopedia of sex, why not shoot one that was just there because it was potentially beautiful and cinematic. APART FROM RANDOM street scenes shot by cinematographer Ely Cruz that open the ilm, only the irst real sequence was shot in the Binondo tenement, an outdoor scene showing Danny sending his boardmates of to their destinations for the semestral break. Everything else was shot in an old depot owned by Monteverde across the Cubao overpass, beside what was already a dilapidated Maya heater, a repository for the the movie studio’s discarded vehicles, generators, and movie set paraphernalia. In this compound, Escudero created his own accesorya, a patchwork of used wood, tin sheets, and plastic, where fractions of walls and loors came of easily to allow camera lenses to come in. Building an entire set—that

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included a basketball court, a welding shop, a sari-sari store, a staircase, and a common bathroom—ate a good part of the budget, but it proved more eficient. here was no need to egress at the end of the day and build again the next, no need to transport props. “We would come in at six in the afternoon, shoot the whole evening, and then we would leave by six in the morning,” recalls Maddie Gallaga, Peque’s wife, who was assisting Quijano, the ilm’s project coordinator. “Para kaming pumapasok sa opisina,” Reyes quips. Because most of the ilm required an evening efect, the entire set was wrapped in black cloth, making the shooting environment at times oppressively hot, especially with the huge ilm lights on. his was made worse by the heat coming from the constant torching of aluminum and metal, courtesy of the Genio character (Eugene Enriquez), a welder who becomes the ilm’s voice of reason, privy as he is to his friend Danny’s potentially lethal shenanigans. Hence, the sweat we see in the actor’s faces is not sprayed-on water, and Gallaga, still too weak to constantly move around, especially in the warm conditions of his set, directed mostly from his bonbon bed beside an electric fan, giving detailed instructions to his assistants. hese he reinforced with sketches of the shots, which he drew himself. Gallaga was especially meticulous with his shot lists. A simple sequence could take as many as 50 set-ups. If he needed a breather, he would step out of the set and get whatever fresh Cubao air he could get, then he would return to his bonbon bed. “I was lying down 80 percent of the time,” Gallaga tells me. He would come into the room, the security guard’s apartment, to choreograph the sex scenes himself, with a little help from second assistant director dela Cruz and second unit director George Ledesma, who would sub for the main actors during the pre-roll demonstrations. Dela Cruz would play the male parts, while Ledesma would take on Anna Marie’s. he two would enact the movements while the actors watched. In the beginning, Anna Marie resented the fact that there needed to be someone to act out a scene for her, but eventually she acquired an appreciation for Ledesma’s very feminine, “very Japonaise” ministrations, and she started to follow him while adding her own touches when the cameras rolled. “Anna Marie was such a good mimic,” recalls Reyes. “May mga actions siya na bading na bading, kunyari may inaabot sa loor. Baklang-bakla! Nag-concentrate siya talaga.” All three main actors knew from the onset the ilm required full frontal nudity—Quijano took care of convincing them before they signed up. Still, they had to undergo a workshop irst, in one of the function rooms of the CCP, where they were asked to undress in front of each other, a suggestion from acting coach Mario Taguiwalo. “He said, ‘his is unfair. We’re gonna ask these three people to be naked in front of us. I think there should be one session in the workshop where they have to be naked so that they’re used to each other—but so do we,’” recounts Gallaga, who later would chicken out from said session, giving an excuse that he was sick, while letting his cinematographer and assistant directors go through the ordeal. he exercise made a huge diference, according to Gallaga. When in the beginning the actors would put on their robes or wrap their privates with a towel as soon as

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While some call the film antifeminist, others point out that it is actually the woman who quietly orchestrates the narrative's turn of events. The idea for the film is based on a true murder story of a policeman who shoots the male border for having an afair with his wife.


“pump cinematically.” After several takes, the director was already getting frustrated. Soon assistant director Uro dela Cruz’s hands were on the actor’s buttocks, forcefully ramming them onto Anna Marie’s body.“We would slam his back so he would really ‘fuck’ her. ‘Fuck her! Fuck her hard! No, no, FUCK HER!’” says Gallaga, recalling his directions to Fernando. “And so we’d shoot it, but there was one hand really pushing the small of his back." he newbie would learn the ropes later on and deliver an unexpectedly mature performance in the ilm, inside or away from the ubiquitous kulambo. So did Gutierrez, whose only claim to fame in those early days was that she was part of a group of sexy screen nymphets called “Dolphy’s Angels” (not for anything but for the fact that they appeared in the Comedy King’s actioncomedy potboiler of the same title).“Anna Marie was a darling to work with. Ang galing niya umarte. We didn’t know anything about her [before Scorpio]. A very decent person, matalino, magaling, mabait, ang sarap katrabaho,”recalls Reyes. She had no qualms about anything, even when Gallaga asked if the stylist Denis Tan could trim her pubic area, to prettify it for the camera, on her irst shooting day. She only had that one rule, of course, which had come out in a few interviews many years back. “She said, ‘You can do anything you want,’” Gallaga begins, “‘I’ll do a frontal, no problem. I have only one condition: you can’t touch my boobs.’” She never explained why. As for Ojeda, who is now an art dealer, Gallaga says they had dinner early this year after the director had his one-man-show in his gallery Art Verite. hey talked about Scorpio, of course. “He feels it’s one of his best. [He was telling me] he’s considered, like, the patron saint of security guards! hey see him as an idol. A hero!” Gallaga says, amused. “He felt that that was one of Gallaga yelled “Cut!” naked bodies would be casually walking around the set his best performances that he ever gave. Because he thought he was gonna later into production. do a sex ilm, and then we were doing psychology [pala [ ]. And really, he’s Fernando, who came in straight out of Bulacan, an acting neophyte, had a wonderful there.” real baptism of ire in Scorpio. He was picked by Gallaga from an audition set up in his house in New Manila. Gallaga had no intentions of showing male IN JUNE 18, 1985, close to ive months after production wrapped,Scorpio Nights genitalia in the ilm, except in the last sequence where the security guard inally premiered to the public at the Manila Film Center, but not without character is shown rubbing his penis with a gun. But Fernando’s inexperience controversy. Trouble was brewing between the ilm’s director and his friend changed all that.“Of course now people remember the nudity of Daniel Fer- Johnny Litton, then a top honcho at the Experimental Cinema of the Philnando, which was all accidental kasii even Peque has instructions to Ely Cruz ippines, and who Gallaga used to direct in a talk program called he Johnny [for his camera] to keep avoiding the penis of Daniel,” Reyes recounts. “So and June TV Show with June Keithley. Gallaga had learned that the ECP had Ely kept avoiding it, but during the irst shooting day—remember Daniel ordered for an edit of Scorpioo without his knowledge and consent. he direcwas not an actor—so can you imagine you’re 18 years old tapos nakahubad sa tor questioned the move in a letter to Litton dated June 15, 1985. harap mo sii Anna Marie?” Gallaga would include the accidental shots in the “I have always been open and reasonable about any cutting or editing inal edit anyway, but recalls that Fernando needed help in another aspect to be done to the ilm for its exhibition at the ECP, as long as it was done of the celluloid-style intercourse: they discovered the young man couldn’t by me and with my full approval or at least foreknowledge,” the letter said.

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Clockwise from top left: Gallaga and Reyes discuss production details on the set (the two first worked the year before in Regal Films' Virgin Forest); the poster for the 1985 film; a draft of the letter Gallaga wrote to the ECP's Johnny Litton; a publicity shot of Fernando and Gutierrez; the correspondence between Litton and Gallaga on censorship and lack of invitations.

“Now I am told that someone from your oice had my editor delete portions from the ilm that were not discussed beforehand.” he portions he was referring to were the exchange of saliva between Fernando and Gutierrez and the violent sex sequence in the inal reel. In a very businesslike tone, Litton responded to Gallaga, saying Monteverde “ofered Scorpio Nights to the ECP for exhibition at the Manila Film Center. After previewing the ilm, we informed Mrs. Monteverde that the ilm will be acceptable for exhibition if certain conditions are met. We were assured that she was going to take care of everything to meet ECP’s conditions—part of which was the editing of certain scenes which we felt were not compatible with the existing criteria in the Manila Film Center. . . . hese commitments by Mrs. Monteverde were incorporated into a formal contract, wherein the conditions presented to her were accepted.” he disagreements between the two men, however, quickly went beyond the propriety of correspondence. On the day of the premiere, according to Gallaga, he got a call from the ilm’s editor Jess Navarro who was at the ECP oice at the Manila Film Center, informing him that the ECP oicials were asking for more cuts on the ilm, including the word “nagbabate,” the colloquial word for masturbation, which was part of actor Pen Medina’s line. Gallaga was fuming. “Why, I thought there was no censorship?!” he told Navarro. “What the fuck is going on?!” Gallaga quickly got in touch with Reyes, ordered him to load their editing machine into a car and drive to ECP in Pasay. “Sabi ni Peque, ‘Let’s steal the print. Let’s put everything back!’” Reyes recalls. Navarro had apparently told Gallaga that the ilm was just lying around in one of the projection rooms unguarded. It would be too easy to get their hands on it if they wanted to. “Ako nagnakaw, tsaka I was with two others, I don’t remember who,” says Reyes, smiling, recalling the incident as if it was one of his high school shenanigans. “Dalawang ive-thousand-footer, binaba namin sa parking lot. Binalik ni Jess Navarro yung cuts. Tapos binalik namin kung saan namin ninakaw.”    It was a packed theater that premiere night, with everyone excited to see the most talked about bold ilm of the year. Also in the audience were the ECP people who Gallaga says were responsible for deciding on the edits: Zenaida “Bibot” Amador, Litton, and Boy Noriega, who congratulated the director before the screening proper, “Great ilm, I saw it!” But no one expected Gallaga’s planned one-two punch. He began with a speech to introduce the movie. He spoke about the ilm and how amazing it was, and how it shouldn’t have been meddled with by the censors. “Pero gusto ko lang sabihin kay Johnny Litton, the head of ECP,” the speech continued, “Putangina mo, Johnny Litton!” And the crowd, even though most of them did not know who Litton was, went wild, broke into applause and cheers as soon as they heard the cuss word. According to Reyes, Gallaga said the same to Amador and Noriega in the speech. “And of course they were still sitting in front,” Gallaga recalls, “wondering exactly what the fuck was going on. And then the movie comes on, and all of their cuts were back in!” Gallaga and Litton would talk after the screening, apologies would be said. But it turns out their evening was far from over. Gallaga and Reyes have slightly diferent versions of this story, but here is the gist, essentially. Back home after the screening, Gallaga got word from Reyes that Hammy Sotto, the ilm critic who at that time turned out to be also working for ECP, was at Regal Films, which was also  Monteverde’s residence in Valencia. Sotto was ordering edits on Scorpio to Jess Navarro. “Sinulsulan ko si Peque, ‘Peqs, takutin mo, wear your boots,’” recounts Reyes, who picked Gallaga up to go to Regal, which was a short drive from the latter’s home in New Manila. “I had British tank boots that were steel-toed. I put them on. I knew what I was going to do. And I brought my cane,” recalls Gallaga. He always had a cane back then, a necessary accessory after his heart attack. “Hammy claims

that I brought a bodyguard to do the dirty deed, but I did not, I just went on my own. But of course I had a caregiver, who was a stuntman, because of my heart condition . . . I was rehearsing in my mind how I was going to confront Hammy. Was it gonna be intellectual? ‘Hammy, what are you doing? You’re a critic, why are you cutting somebody else’s work?’ When I opened the editing room, he was sitting down, cutting it with Jess, and he had three young people watching. He was explaining what he was cutting. I had no time to plan or anything, I went there, I hit him with my baston, he fell down. I kicked him really hard in the ribs. I think I cracked one rib.” And then, theatrically, he continues, “he reel fell down, cinematically, it rolled to [the length of ] three rooms, all the way out!”   “Dumugo yung cheekbone ni Hammy,” says Reyes. “Ang lakas ni Peque. Hawak ko sa isang kamay, si Jess Navarro sa kabila. Eventually we were able to push him to the other editing room, tapos sinubuan ko ng Valium, tsaka yung, meron siyang poppers noon, yung mga ginagamit ng mga na-heart attack that I had instructions from his wife to give him when he’s stressed.” Gallaga calmed down soon enough. Monteverde came down from her room and called the security guards. “Sabihin mo kay Johnny, wala na,” Reyes recalls Monteverde saying. “Wala na. Huwag na tuloy showing ng Scorpio.”  Litton would soon threaten to sue Gallaga for what he did to Sotto, and Gallaga threatened Litton that he would sue the critic, “for cutting an artist’s work.” Consequently, however, Douglas Quijano requested for his director to apologize. “And since Douglas saved my career because of Scorpio Nights, I apologized,” says Gallaga. It happened in a breakfast meeting at the Mandarin Oriental in Makati. “I told Johnny, ‘I apologize, Johnny. But I apologize because of Douglas. . . . Please send my apologies to Hammy.” he ilm, of course, would go on to show at the Manila Film Center, despite Monteverde’s words the night there was a brawl in her editing room. Scorpio Nights became a mammoth hit, staying at the Manila Film Center for a good three months, inspiring enterprising individuals to open shoe rental operations outside the building because slippers were not allowed in the theater. “You would see a mountain of tsinelas!” recalls Gallaga, his tone thick with pride. “I actually went there during a typhoon, and there was a sea wall coming in with waves 10 feet high, and people were shivering. I’ve never seen anything like it.”     Manila had never seen anything like Scorpio Nights until then. Nor has it seen anything with its combined daring and poetry since. It pushed the boundaries of the porn genre into something close to art, invested as it was with an actual story, remarkable cinematography and art direction, and a vision. It is credited for bringing the adult ilm genre from the sidelines into the forefront, sparking a discourse about art and pornography. Now three decades old, its maker is unsure if today's audiences will relate to it. “I’ve lived with these movies,” he says, “and now they’re ancient history.” He doesn’t watch his own movies, he tells me. Although his friend and now directing partner Reyes does, and would sometimes tell Gallaga that, “you know, we didn’t do so bad on that one.” Not that Gallaga has ever doubted the achievements of Scorpio Nights. “I’m not gonna be modest. People think that Scorpio is the best Filipino sex ilm. Nothing comes close to it.” Don’t you agree? I ask. “Sure I do!” Some have called it art, but to some it’s just porn with better lighting. Some people thought it anti-feminist, others noted that, hey, the woman keeps getting what she wants. Gallaga gave everything to Scorpio. Studied its every microscopic detail, risked his life and career. “But a lot of people said,” he says, “‘here’s only one thing that bothered me with that whole movie. Every time they fucked, she never wiped herself. She just goes back to sleep. I could never go back to sleep with sperm inside me. ’ " He pauses. "I missed out on that one.” „


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WHAT the Location sheet for t o o h s day's


Director Antoine tte Jadaone

e Nadine Lustr receiving directions





It’s easy to dismiss On the Wings of Love as more love team fodder. But beneath the veneer of kilig and network contentions is an idea of romance hinged on the real and the possible, grounded by the struggles of the everyman. Don Jaucian sits down with the show’s creative team and distills the unconventional approach that led to its success





crew Jadaone and her preparing a shot


o n se t J a m e s R e id


Reid re hearsin g his line s

P H OTO G R A P H E D BY PAT R I C K D I O K N O NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD NAME A FOOD ESTABLISHMENT AFTER AN INLET CANAL BUT APPARENTLY, ESTERO FAST FOOD IS AN ACTUAL THING. Devoid of ine china, cushioned seats, or a wait staf wearing starched uniforms, Estero Fast Food in Binondo is an open-air carinderia that houses several Chinese food stalls, next to an actual estero. hey have all the yang chows, frogs legs, and hot pots that can stretch your meager date budget— an ideal set up for a couple such as Nadine Lustre’s Leah and James Reid’s Clark, the doe-eyed leads of ABS-CBN’s top-rating primetime series, On the Wings of Love. It is unlikely that you’d ind both of them here on a regular basis, but today, a sweltering Monday morning, they are surrounded by a lean TV crew hankering to get their sequences done. You hear “Quiet on the set!” almost every 10 minutes, even when the camera’s not rolling, as a crowd slowly builds up. Oice drones from the surrounding banks and oices are getting out for their lunch hour. It’s already 11:30 a.m. and the place will soon be packed with curious and hungry people, looking to take photos of and with the two actors. Antoinette Jadaone, one of the show’s two directors, is fussing around the small table where Leah and Clark’s date is taking place. Lustre, in a short white dress, and Reid, in jeans and a checkered shirt, are talking to Jadaone, who is clutching her own bottle of Coke and a pastry, probably fuel for the rest of their 20-hour shoot. She instructs Lustre to burp loudly, to which Clark would later respond with both slight disgust and fascination. On the table is a spread of dishes—frogs legs, chicken, pancit, etc.—that the couple is supposedly consuming. Later, when the actors are in the safety of their tents, Jadaone will meticulously craft a top shot of the table with the food slowly being whittled down to leftovers. Afterward, they have a 30-minute lunch break before they head to the next location. People are gathered outside Lustre and Reid’s tent, trying to hand their phones to some of the crew members milling around, hoping they’ll be kind enough to take photos for them. On the Wings of Love is, foremost, a rom-com. Leah lies to San Francisco, pursuing her American Dream and perhaps retrace her late mother’s steps. Clark has been working in San Francisco and, one fateful day, bumps into Leah.he usual hateship-loveship ensues.he two eventually become locked in a green card marriage, but destiny—or in this case, the showrunners— have bigger things in mind. heir relationship shuttles from the Bay Area to Manila Bay, with a few bumps along the way, one of which is Leah’s ex-boyfriend Jigs (Albie Casiño in a breakout role), who actually travels to San Francisco to win her back. On paper, this whole scheme sounds like your tired and typical teleserye formula. But On the Wings of Love, from the beginning, has been hyper-aware of the genre conventions that they are trying to break. “Yung rom-coms, for me, it’s a genre [about being] real. Siyempre may mga blown up storylines pero kung papasok ka sa sobrang real na pwedeng mangyari sa totoong buhay, parang rom-com ’yun,” says Jadaone, who confesses that she is one to obsess about the authenticity of the story and the characters in her ilms. But On the Wings of Love sets itself apart from its primetime brethren by being a character-driven show rather than a plot-driven one where conventional villains conspire and bust out kidnapping tactics for the hapless damsel and her prince. “We try to veer away from clichés,” head writer Benedict Mique says. “Minsan, sasalubungin mo, pero most of the time [you’ll get the feeling of ],

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‘Tsk. Masyadong soap [opera] eh.’” An example of a non-cliché trope is Jigs, a foil originally poised as the resident villain but was then transformed into a lovable dork whose temper tantrums have earned him his own following. During a recent fans day, Casiño even played up his role, taunting James Reid’s standee on stage as if to inally wrest Leah out of Clark’s cardboard hands right then and there. “Hindi ko in-expect yung reaction nila kay Jigs,” Jadaone says. “Okay ’yung pagkasulat ng writers sa On the Wings kasi yung kontrabida wala yung pinanganak na masama. Usually sa [ibang soaps] masama lang talaga siya. Pero yung characters dito, kung meron man masamang tao, meron silang pinanggagalingan bakit ganun yung decisions nila. Like in real life, wala naman yung papatayin ka na lang.” here were a few things considered while laying the foundations of the show. One: it still had to be family-oriented (ABS-CBN is known as the “Kapamilya” Network), hence situations such as Leah working abroad to support her family and Clark’s building debt. Second: it had to carry JaDine’s trademark kooky-kilig. For this, Jadaone perfectly its the bill, mastering a new approach to romantic comedies after a string of successes such as Relaks, It’s Just Pag-ibig and the runaway hit, hat hing Called Tadhana. hird: it had to depict the lives of Filipino workers abroad. Much like Jadaone’s pursuit of realism, the show’s writing team took great lengths to ensure that the depiction of Filipino workers in the story is authentic. “Nakakatakot naman na hindi kami mag-research kasi napapanood ’yan ng mga OFWs sa ibang bansa, so we have to be accurate,” explains writer Mariami Tanangco-Domingo. “Yung details, nakipag-usap kami sa mga kamag-anak namin na sa America, speciically para ’yung mga experience nila, mag-echo doon sa lumalabas [sa show]. Kasi kung [they'll say] ‘Hindi naman nangyayari ’yan. Ay, hindi naman totoo ’yan eh.' 'Di ba? Wala naman sa amin ang naging OFW.” It’s also unusual to have 20-something leads playing migrant workers in a primetime series. Audiences are used to having their heroes without the weighty economic baggage, their employment concerns (usually a ranch hand, tindera, house help, etc.) only secondary to their stories. But to make lives for themselves in another country, things begin to become more complicated. When we irst meet Clark, he is juggling several jobs and is constantly pursued by a loan shark, from whom he borrows money for his brother’s tuition. Leah and Clark’s situations are grounded in realities of Filipinos abroad, the kind of stories you hear from your tita or your neighbor’s mother-in-law—a semblance that has made the show relatable not only to the love team’s followers. Putting Lustre and Reid in a character-driven show could have been a recipe for disaster. On the Wings of Love is Lustre and Reid’s irst teleserye. he JaDine team-up is only a year old. Prior to this, they had only starred together in three ilms. A teleserye relying on its leads requires immersion from its actors: they will have to inhabit their parts for several months, unlike in ilms where they only need a few short weeks to sink under the skin of their respective roles. “Every character has to be as relatable as possible,” says co-director Jojo A. Saguin. “Every audience should connect with them. Where everyone will say ‘Ay, ako yan!’, ‘May kakilala akong ganyan’ or ‘Nangyayari sa amin ’yan eh.’” Lustre and Reid admit that they have been too attached to their characters, to the point that Lustre empathizes with Leah’s struggles even after Jadaone

, Reid, and Lus tre in Este ro Fast Food

It sets itself apart from its primetime brethren by being a character-driven show rather than a plot-driven one where conventional villains conspire and bust out kidnapping tactics for the hapless damsel and her prince. the cameras have stopped rolling. Her fans were recently concerned when she posted an image on her Instagram account (which hauls 1.2 million followers) with a caption that read: “I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate, I can’t even think straight. I am a mess. I’m coming apart at the seams and it scares me.” Lustre admits she has been feeling problematic since her character recently found out the truth about her mother. “Simula yung nangyari yung eksena na ’yun, naging afected ako,” she tells Jadaone during the shoot. “Kahit wala ako sa set. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Parehas. . . . Heath Ledger na to! (laughs). Pero wag naman sanang umabot sa ganong point.” Reid, too, admits to being frustrated with Leah, after all the efort he’s gone through to win her over. “Leah is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. It makes no sense to me, to Clark. Me, I understand where she’s coming from, but me as Clark I’m just like, [sighs],” he tells Lustre and Jadaone. he director, though, sees this as a good thing. “hey get the story. he story is two strangers na magpapanggap na magasawa. Feeling ko bilang open-minded sila as people—as actors, actually. Si Nadine and James are very collaborative, hindi sila yung parang pag tinignan nila ’yung isang eksena, gagawin na lang nila. ‘Direk, I wouldn’t say this’ [referring to his character]—si James ‘yun. Para sa akin, as a director, sobrang saya ko na ganun ’yung actors ko, hindi yung alam mo na raket lang. Inaalagaan nila yung characters nila. Kasi kung raket lang ito for them, they

won’t care,” Jadaone says. On the Wings of Love is a show that takes monumental collaboration, from the writer’s loor, to the production crew on set, to the actors themselves. he kilig factor can be relatively easy to pull of if you have stars with indelible chemistry. But making the audiences watch and actually care for them past their romantic inclinations is another matter altogether. It seems that the show has hit a sweet spot among the viewers. Merchandise has been sold out, from pillows, to scrapbooks, to shirts; the show consistently rates highly and ranks among the trending topics on Twitter; and it spans a larger demographic than the usual rom-com audience. he writers cite a recent outcome study with responses from young professionals, maton husbands, and 70-year old lolas. he trick, it seems, is to end the day—it airs around 9:30 p.m.—with lighter material, none of the melodrama and mistress-snagging that has plagued primetime TV for several years. “Personally, I want to sleep with a smile on my face, hindi ’yung galit ka dahil ang bigat nitong ginawa [nitong character na to], na pumapatay. [Laughs]. I think it’s still the kilig,” shares Reggie Amigo, the show’s creative manager. “I guess it never leaves no matter how old you are; not that kinikilig [lang] sila kay James and Nadine at crush nila. It’s the feeling—you sell the feeling of the romance, and they remember it. It’s the memories that they stored long ago that resurface . . . ang saya ng buhay, ang saya main love. Ang saya!” „

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More than three decades after the tragedy that beset the Manila Film Center, no ritual has fully exorcised the ghosts said to inhabit it, not least the burden in the hearts of some of those who used to be in its employ. Speaking to three women who used to walk the building’s haunted halls, Tats Manahan revisits the grand vision for its founding and the delusions that turned a dream into an enduring nightmare PHOTOGRAPHED BY FRANK CALLAGHAN

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“he wise man built his house upon the rock” was obviously a point of wisdom ignored, giving way to blind ambition and persistence. he structure stood on reclaimed land, was designed by Froilan Hong, and conceptualized by Ramon M. Ignacio, then Senior Technology Oicer at the Technical Resource Center. he original plan was consequently trimmed down to house only an auditorium and ilm archives. In the design of the archives, the team requested for the assistance of experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientiic and Cultural Organization. After several ocular visits in 1981, UNESCO ended up playing a major role in the ultimate erection of the structure. Consultations and technical drawings, however, are only as good as they get. he tight construction deadline, which was the grand opening in January of 1982, with a starting construction date of more or less three months prior, was a feat to be realized. To achieve this impossibly tall task required some 4,000 workers taking three shifts across 24 hours. As a result, where six weeks of labor would be required to construct the lobby, it took 1,000 workers just 72 hours to complete. And the race to beat the clock was on. Nena Benigno, former Public Relations Oicer for he Experimental Cinema of the Philippines and the Manila International Film Festival; daughter of former press secretary and columnist, Teddy Benigno: Rush, rush . . . it was like you would see a building full of cats. Rushing, rushing. he goal was to open on opening day. Imelda wasn’t going to move it, and all the guests were coming. We were at the PICC watching everything that was going on . . . ” Marianne (not her real name), an usherette: I started as an usherette on call, and they got girls from Maryknoll, Assumption, St. Paul’s . . . . We were also being rushed with our training. Personality development, all of that . . . sukat ng mga uniforms . . . we were given a kit. We were given three sets of uniforms: a balintawak, then there was the blazer, beige from top to bottom . . . make-up, Clinique kit. Italian shoes . . . stockings, the whole thing.


part from an occasional gaggle of garishly dressed, giggly transgenders reveling in lamboyant poses for selies, the building stands strategically set apart like a modest spinster of elegant faded glory. Its design emulating the lines of the Parthenon, the grand vision of former First Lady Imelda Marcos was for an ediice housing a 360-degree theater showing panoramic views of Philippine tourist spots, a ilm inancing/loan program that would fund choice ilm projects, a digital archive for ilms in an era where it was yet unheard of, a number of audio visual rooms, a ilmmaking and blow up laboratory. In short, a ilmmaker’s wonderland. Today, the Manila Film Center stands desolate and decrepit, with nothing to its present credit but being home to a production company that stages elaborate gay revues. A distant and sad cry from its original noble, albeit extravagant, intent. When the Film Center opened in January 1982 at the cost of $25 million, its irst international ilm festival was poised to rival the festivals in Cannes and Venice. It seemed, at that time, that the glitz of the whole world—or Hollywood, at the very least—conglomerated in full force, truly an outsize spectacle for a hird World island nation. Brooke Shields, at the height of her legendary beauty, Jeremy Irons dressed in the cape he wore in he French Lieutenant’s Woman, Robert Duvall, George Hamilton, who had just been nominated at the Golden Globes for his performance in Zorro, he Gay Blade, were among so many other ilm luminaries present. And not to be outdone, Madame Imelda, stealing the combined glitz from everyone, loated in wearing a couture terno by Joe Salazar, its hemline generously endowed with peacock feathers. If anyone noticed the squish beneath the red carpet, no one was saying. To those in the know, the cement underneath the carpet was still a trile wet; evidence of the rush job the building went through in trying to beat the deadline; a deadline that claimed lives of an unquantiied number of construction workers whose bodies lay buried underneath celebrity feet shod in expensive designer shoes, some caked in wet plaster.


Clockwise from top left: Th he Film Center facade in 19822; meee Imelda, Ferdinand, and Im Marcos at the inauguration off the first MIFF; tickets for two n; of the films in competition m Kathleen Turner and William Hurt in Body Heat, one of the films in competition that year; the festival office housed at the PICC; festival director Johnny Litton with festival vice v chair Betty Bantug Benitez. Opposite: Presenters George Hamilton and Vilma Santos with President Marcos.


There was a news blackout on the tragedy in 1981; reports about the Film Center collapse would surface only after the EDSA revolt of 1986. Above: Imelda accepting a bouquet of owers during the festival inauguration. Left: Guest Brooke Shields being interviewed by news reporter Dada Lorenzana. Below: Snaps from what might be the only video footage existing of the rescue eforts of November 17, 1981, taken by a GMA 7 cameraman. ON NOVEMBER 17, 1981, TWO MONTHS BEFORE ITS SCHEDULED OPENING, A SCAFFOLDING COLLAPSED WITH A RUMORED NUMBER OF 169 WORKERS FALLING INTO A MIRE OF WET QUICK DRYING CEMENT, SOME HALF BURIED, SOME COMPLETELY DROWNED IN THE RUBBLE.


Money was simply never an object to one who was set on her ostentatious dreams. But at  3 A.M. on November 17, 1981, two months before its scheduled opening, a scafolding collapsed with a rumored number of 169 workers falling into a mire of wet quick drying cement, some half buried, some completely drowned in the rubble.

From January 18 to 29, 1982, 17 international movies competed. India’s 36 Chowrighee Lane won best picture; Lumila Gurchenko and Bruno Lawrence were named best actress and actor, respectively, and Goran Markovic of Yugoslavia won best director for Majstori, Majstori! Marianne: he chismis was there were construction workers who were still alive but were not rescued anymore because it was already crunch time. We couldn’t get anything, kasi di ba there was a [news] black out during that time? It was still Martial Law . . . So I was backstage. he walls had cracks. Ay, we could smell! . . . At the back, our uniforms were very malalim . . . and [a] balintawak is thin, and I remember it was a satin kind of white cloth. I will never forget that blowing on my skin . . . it would transfer from person to person . . . ‘What was that? What was that?!’ Eh di ba Maryknollers, Assumption . . . lahat na atang mura, namura na ‘ata doon backstage, lahat ng kolehiyala na mura . . . We were like 10 or 15 lined up. Siyempre backstage there was no light, ‘di ba? And the smell was so strong! here was a presence of something there . . .

Nena: And then my father (Teddy Benigno), called me and said, “You go to your Film Center because I heard it collapsed.” My father was [then] with Agence France Press;, he was bureau chief. So he wanted to write an article about this that went abroad and he wanted more details. I was there good and early. I don’t know who else knew . . . . What I understood was the fourth loor, they had put quick dry cement on each loor, and you’re supposed to put that layer by layer until it dries, then you put another layer. Because of the rush, they poured over too much cement and it fell over the night shift . . . the workers. hat was the fourth loor. From a distance I could see people in stretchers being carried out, frozen in cement. When I got there, they were still digging out people; it [the cement] was not completely hard. And there was a guy that they were trying [to] keep from going into shock. Half of his body was buried. He was alive, but half buried. I don’t know what it was, but to keep him awake, alert, not to go into a coma or shock, they kept him singing Christmas songs. I was watching this.

Haunting story after story circulated the city and beyond, prompting the Film Center authorities to resort to all sorts of rituals to pacify the rumored angry spirits of the abandoned workers unceremoniously entombed in the building’s foundation.

Security measures were taken by the Marcos administration to keep the press away. No oicial rescue teams were allowed on site, not until nine hours after the incident. Betty Benitez, festival vice chair for inance and administration, wife of Human Settlements Deputy Minister Jose Conrado Benitez, received a request for jackhammers to dig out the workers.

Mila: We had the exorcism rites. We had the pagan rites. We killed a pig. We killed a chicken. hen we had the entrails of the pig. We had a Catholic rite. We had a Chinese rite. So after every rite, the oicers would be given something to ward off evil, like an anting-anting. At one of them [rituals], it was a rice in a cone. he Chinese had these envelopes with writings.

Nena: All she told me was 'Nandiyan ba ang media? Did you see them? Go and keep them out'.....She used to be . . . like the administrator of the Cultural Center of the Philippines? She was the shadow administrator . . . she was the practical . . . the go-getter . . . the one that made things happen. She was the one who mobilized the people, who met the deadlines. She made Johnny [Litton] and Imelda’s . . . dreams. She was the enabler.

Nena: We had so many rites. Because Imee refused to occupy the building. She said, ‘Ayoko pumasok diyan.’ She ordered all these exorcism rites. Or else she would never step in there. Mila: But she never did anyway. Nena: But she did for the exorcism rites.

Mila Llorin, marketing head, Manila International Film Festival: Because she was the inance person. Benitez eventually sent the jackhammers hours later, after an oicial statement from the administration was posted. Nena: What are you going to do after that? I didn’t want to go back . . . I felt so . . . Do you know what happened to the guy who was half-buried? Mila: I was told that they just cut up all of the ones that were exposed . . . remove and build over . . . which is why the seats are very steep. It was a rush job. So these people were just, you know, they had to inish it, period. And the show went on. But not without a sideshow.

Mila: Yeah, but she was told that she was going to die there, if she steps in the building. Some manghuhula or something [told her], so she never did. So I was very happy she didn’t, because if she did, I’d die too because I was holding oices in the building. Sabi ko good, wag ka mag-opisina dito. Nena: On inauguration day of the Film Center, they did an exorcism at ive in the morning . . . there were Igorots, very old Igorots with tattoos all over their bodies . . . a real Canao. hey had been killing animals and cooking them in that pot for a whole week. It was like they read the entrails to see what the spirits were saying . . . and they said they had talked to the spirits and the reason why they were still there was because it happened so fast . . . so the mediums and the Igorots told them, ‘No, you are no longer with us. You are dead’ . . . So the spirits agreed daw. And so we were going to have a farewell ceremony.

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he whole staff showed up at 5 A.M. Imee was there, Johnny Litton, Marichu Maceda . . . part of the ceremony was to drink the wine, and there was a big canoe in the lobby with unthreshed rice. And those who were leaders will have to take a palo-palo, dance around the canoe and thresh it . . . and then came the tapis dance . . . ” And after all that, it was time to feast on the very animals they had killed to use as conduits to the spirit world. Nena: Sabi ni Imee, ‘Ah! I asked Via Mare to cater upstairs. You eat your thing but we’re going up.’ So we ate Via Mare and supposedly the spirits were happy to go. Mila: But they never left. It never stopped. here was never a period when it was all quiet. When we left the building in 86 after the revolution, that building was already condemned. It was closed. Because it was tilting. I was surprised when I learned it was put to use.

EPILOGUE Financial setbacks followed the tragedy. A $5 million subsidy allotted for the festival was disapproved by then Prime Minister Cesar Virata. To augment

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the funding, a contingency plan devised by the First Lady created what was later known as the Movie and Television Review and Classiication Board (MTRCB), which allowed leniency in censorship laws for soft porn ilms to be shown during the festival. Embodied in Presidential Decree 1986, the law further exempted all ilms to be shown during the festival to be free of censorship, opening wide the doors for pornography, camoulaged in artistic license. Nena: Cardinal Sin wrote a letter . . . it was in all of the churches, denouncing what was going on. Marianne: I remember Virgin Forest. hey had to do a lot of showings of that . . . Grabe the Filipinos, they would kill just to get in . . . parang sobrang maniac na they would kill each other, the glass was shattering because they were pushing each other, and we were not set to open the gates yet . . . I remember the faces of these Filipinos, na talagang . . . ano yan, beast? Maniac. Just to get in! As a young girl it disillusioned me . . . parang bumaba ang tingin ko sa Pilipino. he Ostentatious One stood to protect her brainchild no matter what, which extended the life of the Film Center for a few more years. Imelda got what she wanted. She always does.


to Baguio and get lowers and bring them down here. And how many lowers? Enough to cover the colonnade! Crazy. hen about an hour later, I get another call. ‘Hey Mila it’s okay. She changed her mind na.' Nena: hat was life. Mila: Ako talaga at that time I really hated her with a passion. Nena: Remember when it was Imee’s birthday and she sat like a queen on a throne at the steps of the ilm center? And all of us danced? A few days before the interview, Nena Benigno and Mila Llorin, now both Christians entrenched in biblical wisdom, found their way back to the controversial ediice, deeply aware of their participation in the horriic events surrounding the activities of the Film Center. Nena: I asked for forgiveness for the money spent, millions spent, taken away from the Philippine General Hospital’s new wing; it was put there. For the workers that were killed; for the expediency; for the occultic rites done there; for the bad examples that our leaders were. Nena: She had all these wild ideas that she would toss and they would come back to her with the feasibility. For example, cover Roxas Boulevard with white sand. She really seriously considered that. Except she was advised that if she did that, import the sand from Australia or something, it will wash away in three weeks. And she’ll have to import another batch, which will also wash away.

Mila: I was part of the team that approved the pornographic ilms . . . . he real story behind that was we needed to make money . . . in order to survive. Obviously our art ilms weren’t going to bring in money. In fact, in order to accommodate the population who wanted to see the ilms, we showed it at the Folk Arts heater. [It was] enough to pay our salaries. It was never enough to pay off our debts.

Mila: here’s normally a big reception. A formal dinner. At the time it was done at the ballroom of the PICC. Invitations were sent out. Transportation had been arranged. Everything is set. Two o’clock in the morning, I get a call. Wakes me up. ‘Mila, Imelda is here at the Film Center.’ It was the second year of the festival. We had one in ‘81 [the prelude to the MIFF] and ‘82. And she was walking at the colonnade level, and moonlight was streaming in. It was so lovely and breezy. And she decided to have the reception there. At the colonnade. And she had this dream of covering the colonnade with lowers. So I get this call. ‘hat’s what she wants. Do it.’

Nena: She sprinkled oil, I sprinkled water. Or was it the other way ‘round?

Mila: I called up Baguio. I called up everybody. I said, ‘Wake up, transportation change!’ . . . She wanted candle lights. Eh breezy eh! So I was going bananas, calling up [people]. I was really getting a heart attack. his was two o’clock in the morning. I was frantically trying to reach anybody who can go up

Up until the Film Center closed, outstanding debts to Philippine Airlines for lying in celebrities and other Imeldiic caprichos were never paid. After the revolution in 1986, Rustan’s Department Store took back all of its paintings and furniture. After the 1990 earthquake, the center was abandoned, pronounced unstable. After its rehabilitation at the cost of P300 million, it was leased out in December 2001 to Amazing Philippines heater producers of he Amazing Show. After this lease expired, the Philippine Senate considered moving there, but the move never materialized. In November 2012, the Amazing Philippine heater regained their lease. hen on February 19, 2013, a threehour ire caused damage to the building, calculated at P1.2 million. hrough it all, the grand illusion still stays where it stands to this day. „

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      And her face? She has her mother Lotlot de Leon’s eyes, and her grandmother Pilita Corrales’s strong, deined features, passed down by way of her father, 80s heartthrob turned character actor Ramon Christopher. She has the easy charm of Eddie Gutierrez, her grandfather, and it wouldn’t take long now before we ind out if somehow the acting chops of her other set of grandparents, Christopher de Leon and Nora Aunor, had in some form seeped into her veins. Janine Gutierrez’s story doesn’t start as anything out of the ordinary. She was a young adult with a newly minted college degree from a good school. A 20-something not quite knowing what her place was in the real world just yet. Like many others in her position, she tried her hand at the family business—and lucky enough for her, she comes from a family that is a constellation of sorts, a collection of movie stars and cultural institutions who have contributed to the richness of Philippine arts and entertainment. She stands on the shoulders of giants, and it doesn’t really hurt that these giants are her grandparents. No pressure. Compared to her gutzier aunt and uncles, she’s lived a fairly normal life away from the spotlight, until four years ago when she came out singing on noontime television. A year later, she landed her irst role as part of the main cast of the drama series Makapiling Kang Muli, where she plays the role of a loving daughter, unlovingly killed by her own brother. Her next role saw her as the older sister to a co-actor who would later be cast as her love interest in Villa Quintana, the show that would catapult her from background player to an almost-household name. She now appears as the lead in an ensemble cast for the show Dangwa. She plays Rosa, an enigmatic lower vendor who helps cure the woes of her lovelorn customers. With a new show and her irst ilm recently wrapped up, everything seems to be coming up roses for the girl born from a stable of stars. “I really didn’t want to [join showbiz] at irst, but of course people kept asking. here was a point where even my mamita [Pilita] and my Tita Anabelle [Rama, wife of Eddie Gutierrez], these two Cebuana women, were asking me when I would ever join,� she tells me when I meet her at a toy store for a ceramic-painting session. She gravitates toward an unpainted jar that looks like soft serve ice cream. She needed something new for the pad she’s due to move into in December. his will be the irst time she’s been away from home and she’s keen to learn new things. We sit down with our subdued palettes, both disappointed that the shop no longer had any pink paint. I ask about her family, and if any of that star-wattage afected her upbringing. She giggles and paints on. “I really didn’t know when I was young, until I went to school and saw my lola’s name in a sibika book under contributions sa sining.� She’s talking about her father’s mom, Asia’s Queen of Songs, whose achievements have become part of the curriculum. “It really wasn’t much diferent. I’d sometimes get pinched by strangers on the street. Or sometimes, I’d have to stand in for pictures with my parents’ fans kasi naaaliw sila sa’min. “I was already approached by someone in second year college, but it was important for me— important to my mom also—to inish school irst.� Janine, who studied European Studies, wanted to be a diplomat and travel the world. “I didn’t have a passport growing up . . . I got my irst one last year!�

In between TV and ilm work, Janine has played cover girl to high-proile magazines and muse-slash-model to young upcoming designers. Her appeal is not one of an enigma. She has the look—a nod to the golden-era classic beauty from the dawn of cinema when ilm reel was not wasted on anyone who was less than a sight to behold. I tease her about being an It girl in the fashion world, landing cover after cover of esteemed magazines. She credits her supportive group of friends who work behind the scenes. “I used to just go to events because I had to, but now they’re fun. I appreciate all the people I’ve met that have made all this fun.� We talk about a friend who she’s known from high school who ended up working in fashion: “It was weird, we never thought this was what we would do. Now we’re in shoots together and I’m grateful.� hings were just falling into place. She admits that her foray into show business was a case of career turned passion more than passion turned career. At the start, she says, she didn’t feel the need to be competitive and just took the opportunities as they came, like a part-time job at the family’s store. But in an industry that is hypercompetitive, she never felt compelled to compete, which she admits may be a fault at times. Janine eventually realized this was really something she wanted and would do anything to improve. “When I make mistakes, like natalisod or nabarok ako, those are things I can just laugh at. But if it’s like a scene and it’s not something I can do over and over, I really beat myself up over it and work to improve so I do it better next time.� I asked her how her shoot for the cover went on the weekend past and how she felt about getting the call to do it. “I was scared at irst� she says. “Rogue covers are usually medyo sexy, and I didn’t think that’s what I was. But the theme was the movies of Stanley Kubrick, so I kinda felt more comfortable about doing it.� It was strange to see someone like Janine be shy. She is beautiful without question. She seems like the type of girl that, if you had decided to bet against her, you would lose. “I don’t know, I guess I’m just really shy.�  She feels lucky, however. While she’s not on the path to becoming a diplomat, as she initially set out to be, the things she’s wanted she’s now able to have. “I went to Hong Kong Disneyland and it was my irst time out of the country. I’m lucky to still be able to do the things I want, like travel and work with really great people.� She knows she is lucky, and that the opportunities aforded to her were made possible in part by her background. She knows she started a bit late and has some catching up to do. She knows she hasn’t been in as many projects, for someone who has been around showbiz for four years. She recently did her irst indie ilm, a horror lick under young director Gino Santos, a start to a string of ilm projects she is working to have. She worries a lot, this Janine. She’s a self-described second guesser, but she’s working on it. Show business, at least in what I’ve seen of it, can make or break a person, and Janine navigates the treacherous waters of celebrity with grace and inesse, backed by a supportive network of family and friends who keep her in check. She is a real girl with a surreal life and she knows it. She plays up the shyness but doesn’t give herself much credit for what she really is—and that is brave. It takes a diferent kind of bravery to repeatedly confront intimidation and uncertainty, especially in a public domain where every move is subject to scrutiny—and this is exactly what Janine does, without afectation. „

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ALDUB The no-talk, all-lipsync TV love afair between a dubsmashing nanny and a reluctant hearthrob is the year’s biggest surprise hit. Paolo Enrico Melendez spends a day in the life of the “kalyeserye,” which continues to break trending records on Twiter and beat competition to a pulp A R T B Y PA U L I N A O R T E G A

9:00 - 11:00 It’s a drab weekday in the city, but you wouldn’t know it from looking around this particular barangay in Caloocan. Colorful pennants, of the kind used in iestas, hang overhead. here are telco promo booths. Instant cofee brand standees. he roads are narrow with great big OB vans and speakers and camera equipment. And cables. Meters and meters of thick black cables lying on the ground in coils. Neighborhood kids weave about the cables as they would an obstacle course. Tropical cyclone Lando, a strong but dawdling category 4, has just made landfall in the East, and classes are out. he storm isn’t the star right now, however. Eat! Bulaga’s Kalyeserye is in town, and the words “AlDub” can be heard all around.    I see the set and am reminded of evictions. Bar stools dull with rust. Shabby table runner. Wooden pink chair of the kind one would see in an underfunded school. Even the AV equipment looks abused. he crew is at breakfast. he producers, initially cordial, turn somewhat curt when I tell them of my coverage. hat’s understandable. Eat! Bulaga is no stranger to the power of a secure, well-built mythos. For instance, founding hosts Joey de Leon and Tito and Vic Sotto to this day insist that they are bound by no contracts, and maintain loyalty to the show out of pure good faith. Mystique likewise plays a key role in Kalyeserye, the subprogram within a subprogram that has bludgeoned competition and captured public consciousness so thoroughly these recent months. As the TV romance of atypical lovers Yaya Dub and Alden Richards, it is unremarkable, tedious even. As parody, its lows average out its highs. But as a measure of reality as we experience it today, it is unmatched, giving the show a sum that is wholly transcendent of its wonky parts. he drivers prove more chatty. One of them tips me of that Yaya Dub is inside one of the SUVs nearby. he windows are tinted much too dark for me to see inside. Like an idiot, I wave anyway. hat van was there when I arrived, and any main star who turns up at the same time as the technical crew has my respect any day of the week.

11:00 - 11:45 A crowd is gathered in the main set. Wireless mic in hand, the director briefs the contestants of Barangay Bayanihan, who will rush about to gather items speciied by the hosts in a neighborhood-size version of Bring Me. he teams are instructed to wear daytime TV-appropriate clothes. No tank tops. No wife beaters. No short-shorts. No shirts endorsing politicians running for oice next year. As I listen, I am reminded of the cliché about witnessing the fabrication of sausages. Near the producer’s tent, about a hundred members of MaiDen Heaven, Malabon Chapter, converge. Area teachers, with a few students in weekend best, join them. Shortly after, one of the hosts arrives and enters the tent. Security tightens. Bouncers begin to mill, and my press credentials are checked for the irst in what will turn out to be four instances. Obviously, nobody wants to risk anything. his show is Eat! Bulaga’s current prize. In the weeks previous, Kalyeserye increased the noontime 106 NOV E M B E R 2015

behemoth’s viewership by double, triple by some accounts. hree million AlDub tweets on the day the couple almost met for the irst time beat the Papal visit hashtag record. And today is the last Monday before the mammoth AlDub live show, Sa Tamang Panahon. Selling out over 20,000 tickets in two days, this show dangles the hope that Yaya Dub and Alden will inally, formally come together as a couple. Fan expectation is at its highest. Back in the main set, with a barricade now separating crowd from crew, the director rehearses the barangay in looking camera happy. It takes ive tries before the director is satisied. here is nothing spontaneous here. Which is not to say there is no connection. Earlier that morning, I took a tricycle into the barangay. It felt like usual fare, brisk and transactional. But things changed when the driver found out I was heading for a shoot, and a Kalyeserye one at that. “Dadating si Yaya Dub?” he said, like a child told he was about to receive presents. “Daan kayo mamaya,” I replied, as if I were the giver.

12:00 he show goes live and the crowd goes mad. Loud thumping beats. Searing high notes. And the mass of smiling, shrieking people parts for the lolas Nidora and Tinidora, escorted to the cameras by their Quando Quando henchmen. hey dance under the camera, smiles matching the crowd’s. But then the show cuts back to the studios one city away and the lolas rush back behind the barricades, their expressions suddenly lat and slack. he change is surprising, almost shocking, particularly because the music has not stopped, and only the crew has heard the signal to cut.

13:00 After a full hour of nothing, Yaya Dub inally walks into view. She is not the conventional idea of what a star should look like, as summed up in the problematic term artistahin. In her trademark red and white apron she looks almost as if she has simply slipped through the cordon into the area reserved for the crew. And yet when she makes her trademark wave, at once teasing and coy, the crowd begins to scream as though in tongues. he bouncers can barely hold their line. Yaya Dub on Youtube, Divina Ursula Bokbokova in Kalyeserye, Nicomaine Mendoza in real life: she is clearly the main draw, both live and on TV. Willing, almost eager, to look silly, she may be the partner but is also the foil to the brittle and at times self-conscious Alden. Even the dubsmashes she performs are ironic, often unlattering. Compare that to Alden’s romantic soundtracks, calibrated to make fans swoon instead of laugh, and one will begin to appreciate the multiple tensions driving the Kalyeserye narrative. And there are many of these tensions. Which bit is performance, and which is candid? What obstacles loom, and will AlDub overcome them? Lola Nidora’s traditional, even reactionary values; the couple’s more modern angle to relationships. All driving a narrative held in a postmodern shell of media, technology, and relentless pop culture references, punctuated with the kind of sound bites the Internet generation uses to criticize and approve, communicate and withhold. It’s all very contemporary.

One can practically see the genuine parody drain from the show like lifeblood from a once vibrant thing after a mishap— which in this case is phenomenally high ratings. 14:00 - 14:45 he ambient temperature is now 30 degrees, but it feels exponentially more uncomfortable. he crowd has not thinned, despite having no line of sight on the secondary set, where the stars have gathered for the Kalyeserye proper. Over the speakers, we hear the latest revelation in Yaya Dub’s backstory. She turns out to be the granddaughter of someone or another, whose mother had died of something, and who was adopted to avoid the whatever of pregnancy out of wedlock. What drivel. I tune out, smelling the odor of network squares moving in to take over the story. One can practically see the genuine parody drain from the show like lifeblood from a once vibrant thing after a mishap—which in this case is phenomenally high ratings. Yaya Dub does a dubsmash. Silly kazoos and weird whistles and bouncing ball sounds blare from the speakers. his helps salvage the scene, however barely.

But then I remember the one time that there was pure spontaneity in the show. Yaya Dub, dragged into a shotgun wedding, had straight up fainted from exhaustion and was rushed to a hospital. Alden, already on his way from the studio to foil the wedding, was forced to ad lib with the wedding principals. It was to me the lowest point in the show, descending into the tired punch and scream pattern of the run-of-themill noontime soap. Even the comedic bits fell back on formula rather than charm. Forty minutes later and it’s all over. he crowd disperses, although a few are left behind. hey look confused. I approach one of them and ask what she’s waiting for. “Nothing in particular,” she says in Tagalog, “I’m just too tired to go anywhere.” I turn to watch the crew egress. hey are brisk and professional, taking about half the time it took to put the set together. he SUV is long gone. Only the pennants remain, midway on its journey from ornament to trash. „

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Who would have thought a historical biopic without a single major league star would stay in theaters for seven weeks? Certainly not the men behind what has turned out to be the biggest success story in local cinema in years. Still lying high on the triumph of Heneral Luna, the country’s entry to the 2016 Oscars, producers Nando Ortigas and E.A. Rocha and director Jerrold Tarog recall to Gabbie Tatad their initially depressing, generally exciting, largely all-consuming journey to their P250 million box-office victory P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y J L J AV I E R


Above left: Producers E.A Rocha, Nando Ortigas, and director Jerrold Tarog. Rocha met Tarog when the director took interest in his script about the life of Antonio Luna. Opposite right: Luna, played by John Arcilla with the ensemble cast and Tarog during a battle planning scene. Inset: Ortigas (center) r as a bit player on the set of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

he two were commissioned to pen a TV special by famed director Cirio Santiago, to celebrate the centennial year of the declaration of Philippine Independence. Most guys in this spot would go one of two routes: a story on Jose Rizal, or a story on Andres Bonifacio. Rocha and Francia had something else in mind. “I was tired of seeing our heroes portrayed as victims,” says a very lively and spirited Rocha. “I wanted to hold a mirror to our nation. I wanted to say, did we really earn our freedom? I wanted to ind a rogue, a guy who’s as close to a Shakespearean tragedy as I could ind, and that was Luna.” Rocha is of course referring to General Antonio Luna, a historical igure best marked by both his brilliance and his temper. he choice in itself is somewhat genius, as Luna deies the popular convention of what a bayani should be. For decades, we had been told by mainstream media that you were either an intellectual or a warrior; a Rizal or a Bonifacio. Luna happened to be both. He was educated—a proliic writer as well as an acclaimed scientist, but he was also brusque and impassioned about the need to ight for freedom with physical means.

he project fell through after several attempts. What at irst seemed like a brilliant script with a cinematic goldmine for a central igure became weary and, for years to follow, became the little script that couldn’t. he material was shelved, stuck in a igurative baul by Rocha. hen one day, an unassuming Jerrold Tarog appeared. “May nabasa ako sa Wikipedia na maganda yung buhay nii Antonio Luna, and then I wanted to write a script,” says Tarog. He caught wind of Rocha’s script and requested a meeting. Tarog, respected among his colleagues of independent cinema artists, is most known here and in some parts of the world for his Camera trilogy:

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For decades, we had been told by mainstream media that you were either an intellectual or a warrior; a Rizal or a Bonifacio. Luna happened to be both. Confessional (2007), Mangatyanan (2009), and Sana Dati (2013). In this series, he explores the use of the camera as an avenue for redemption, for escape, and as means of dealing with the memory that redemption and escape leave behind. Tarog is also humorously labeled by peers as an auteur, as most of his ilms clock him in as writer, director, composer, editor, and sound designer. He counters that it isn’t a product of ego, but that it transpired out of necessity. “I didn’t study to be a ilmmaker. I majored in music, so I had no connections, no network when it came to ilmmaking. I learned to do everything myself, and then eventually I learned the joys of being able to do what I wanted myself.” At their meeting, Rocha requested for Tarog’s reel. “I saw everything. When I started one, I binged. I said, ‘his guy’s a genius.’” (To this, Tarog laughs airmatively, saying, “Every two hours, after niyang manood, tinetext niya ako ng opinions niya.”) he two made an agreement to rewrite the existing little script that could into a little script that could speak Filipino, with the help of director Alvin Yapan. Here lay the beginnings of what would be the ilm Heneral Luna. he inished script then made its rounds, in search of ample inancing. Mainstream producers veered away from the historical ilm concept. Rocha approached a few family friends and, serendipitously, the script landed in the hands of one Fernando Ortigas.

Fernando Ortigas is the stuf of legend, and is one of those truly respected igures in the business community. His contribution to Heneral Luna, a reported P70 million, comes as a surprise to, well, everyone. he investment has been questioned at length, with everyone asking what Tarog and Rocha did to convince the mogul to take such a huge inancial risk on a creative endeavor. To this, Ortigas smiles, and simply says, “I’ve always wanted to make a ilm.” To be clear, he wasn’t just sitting around vetting scripts or waiting for the dream project. In fact, Ortigas is often quoted as saying that had the Luna script arrived a week earlier than it did, he might’ve passed. But something cosmic shined on this little script. “As soon as I got it, I inished the whole thing. I loved it. I said, ‘Let’s go to the next step,’” says Ortigas. “I told them that whatever the cost may be, my self-interest would be if I can stick that ilm in my DVD player for the rest of my life, I would love it. hat would be my selish goal. If everyone else in the world loves it, for me, it’s a bonus.” he team fully assembled, a production company was formed that would irst produce Heneral Luna, but would go on to co-produce the likes of the independent ilm K’na he Dreamweaver, and last December’s Robin Padilla-starrer, Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo. On the recommendation of Tarog, the group called themselves Artikulo Uno, an article prominently featured in Luna. “Like in the movie, it says, you follow me or you’re gonna

NOV E M B E R 2015 111 John Arcilla had gone straight from a day-long shoot to the set of Luna without any rest. During one of the breaks, he dozed off and could not be woken up. “I had to check his pulse. I really thought we killed him!”

get shot,” Ortigas says, laughing. Rocha chimes in, “Well, I wanted it to be Artikulo X.” A sort of pre-pre-production period for Luna was instated by Ortigas from May to November of 2013, for Tarog to bring in his team and for that team to be able to research thoroughly how much making the ilm would entail. Casting took months, with boards containing photos of the actual historical igures placed side-by-side with headshots; the group was trying to balance talent with historical accuracy. here was a unanimous decision to forego the possible heavyweight name for the lead ( John Lloyd Cruz’s name came up in the beginning) in favor of someone who simply it the bill. It came to a hairline split between musician Marc Abaya and the actor John Arcilla. While the team decided to go with the latter, Abaya would go on to play young Luna in the ilm. Principal photography began in March 2014. “I can’t tell you what it’s like to watch [Tarog] work,” Rocha recounts with admiration. “he irst shot of the irst day, I knew it was going to be a masterpiece.” Tarog laughs, having an entirely diferent recollection of the irst day. he scene being shot was the initial cabinet meeting at the top of the ilm, and Arcilla had gone straight from a day-long shoot to the set of Luna without any rest. During one of the breaks, Arcilla dozed of and could not be woken up. “I had to check his pulse,” Tarog laughs. “I really thought we killed him!” (Rocha jokingly quips, “We could’ve called Marc.”) Ortigas, who was unable to join the fun on the irst day due to health reasons, recounts his irst day on the set. “I had to pinch myself. We were shooting Luna’s funeral in a beautiful church in Taal,” he begins, and already Rocha and Tarog are lost in a sea of laughter. Apparently, the church had mixed up the schedule of the shoot with an actual wedding taking place at the premises. A very surprised bride descended to ind an aisle covered in dirt and a casket instead of a groom. “Poor girl. But it was a funny day,” recalls Rocha. Ortigas adds, “Well, now that the movie is a big hit, at least she can say, ‘I was there!’” Production was completed in June 2014. “Once we got into post [production], I said, ‘I don’t want rushed CGI for a month. I want you to take the time you need and do it right,’” says Ortigas, once again asserting his status as every ilmmaker’s fantasy producer. he team sat in high hopes as its freshly minted ilm sat in 100 theaters around the country awaiting an audience. he audience came, but sparingly. Artikulo Uno had planned tours around 35 diferent schools within the irst week of screening, but was unsure of the kind of diference the efort would make. As was predicted, a good number of theaters pulled out within the irst week—62 to be exact—to make room for Hollywood ilms and more commercial local fare. “We were totally depressed with the igures of the irst week. Totally, totally depressed,” recalls Ortigas. “I could already hear it: ‘Nando, this is that kind of ilm, it really won’t make money.’” Rocha, shaking his head, adds, “Everyone was like, ‘I told you so, I told you so, I told you so.’” Tarog, ever so cool and unfazed, says, “I was hoping for the best. But when we saw the igures of the irst week, I was like, ‘Eh. Okay. Mas sanay ako sa disappointment. Okay, nothing new.’” He pauses. “he second week was like, ‘Wow, anyare?’ Hindi ko pa rin maintindihan.” he ilm’s social media team, following the irst week slump, sent out as many blasts as they could to keep the ilm in remaining theaters. hey

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Opposite, clockwise from top left: In the Mandaluyong warehouse and offices of Artikulo Uno, various props from the Heneral Luna set are stored, which includes plastic containers of costumes, uniforms for both the Philippine and American soldiers, worn luggage, a bloodstained flag (not the one burned during the final shot of the film), guns, swords, and buttons and insignia for the soldiers' uniforms; Arcilla with Tarog on the set. Another actor considered for the lead was Marc Abaya, who eventually appeared as the young Luna in the film's one-take flashback sequence.

made use of the blurbs from ilm reviewers who loved the movie. Fans of the ilm rallied, and lit an Internet irestorm. Heneral Luna became a trending topic on Twitter, and Tarog has a theory as to why. “Two things saved us,” he says. “he students we met in those 35 schools and the fans of Paulo Avelino. Seriously. He has about a million followers, and when they found out that the ilm was about to be pulled out of theaters, nag-band together sila on social media.” he tide turned and it turned swiftly. he little script that could became a hit, staying in cinemas for seven weeks (as of this writing), earning over P250 million on its ifth, with widespread praise from critics, fans, and historians alike. Heneral Luna has established a record, falling easily within the top 20 highest grossing Filipino ilms of all time, and is being referred to by critics as one of the greatest Filipino ilms ever made. (Tarog is also being hailed as one of the most important directors of his generation, a title he dismisses as utter foolishness.) he praise has crossed continents, with the ilm being the Philippines’ oicial entry to the Oscars Foreign Language category. For many, if not most ilmmakers, this is the dream. “he issues the ilm addresses are purely in a Filipino context, it’s very Filipino, so I can’t foresee the reaction of the Academy,” says the ever-pragmatic Tarog. “Kung matuwa sila, eh di okay!” He adds, “It’s not the dream for me. he dream depends on the ilm. And for me, the dream for this ilm was for Filipino audiences to come see and appreciate it. We achieved that. Everything else that comes after that is a bonus.” Now with a proverbial feather in its cap, the Artikulo Uno team seems set on pursuing their vision, which is to provide entertainment that reaches far beyond your usual mainstream mistress-oriented dramedy. he company has since invested in ive out of eight entries in the recent QCinema Film Festival. hey’re also producing a ilm penned by Carlo Obispo called 1,2,3, a movie called Bird Shot by Mikhail Red, and are invested in the romantic comedy Walang Forever. Tarog will be at the helm of developing a psychological thriller, a ilm adaptation of Arnold Arre’s he Mythology Class, and of the follow-up biopic to Luna, which will be on Gregorio del Pilar. Rocha puts it succinctly when he says, “Most studios are there to make a proit, and in some ways, so are we. But we are focusing all our energy not on just making a proit, but on the art, so that audiences can come and get what they’re paying for.” Which is what they did with Luna. Rocha adds, “he week that we thought this ilm was going to be a miscarriage, I asked Nando, ‘Do you regret doing it?’ And he said, ‘Not one bit.’” “Well,” Ortigas says with a smile, “I already got what I wanted. I had a ilm I could watch for the rest of my life.” Well, Mr. Ortigas, so do we. „

l JJ. CCaparas hibernatition, CCarlo rss off hib yea five r afte and rd awa st Arti l iona Nat the of d ppe stri g Two years since bein g to Dodo Dayao as he akin Spe s. nth mo six t nex the in vies mo r fou out roll to is back. Reactivated, he is set master of the massacre genre opens and e gor of u gur the , do rka Ma ela Ang ed agin reim the wraps up work for is excitement , sta k roc the as rs yea ak -fre war his , ets up about growing up in the stre at connecting with an en PORTRAITS BY GE


is is t e rst t ing I t in o as I m wa ing into t e property, own awa s much by the immense sprawl as I am by the thought that all this is his. I ssume all this as fact, with a smug certainty on my part. Because of course Carlo J. Ca aras would own a ranch. A ranch is recisely the sort of loft investment a ru ed man of means like him would make. He alwa s came nd this des ite rocking a baseball ca rather than a Stetson. It’s the rs time I’ve ever been to a ranch. I am more than a little overwhelmed. Rollin reens as ar as you can crane your nec to see. Horses everyw ere, an suc handsome beasts horses are up close. Fighting cocks, too. We are smack dab in Man ountry. ar o J ountry, i you wi s is t e wor e e ongs in. Onl he doesn’t own it HE MA KED ONE I was ri ht about one thin , thou h. He does have his own share of loft a orone n t e or na man o ies. He an is entire roo , or one t in , are icense ivers n h l mmakin were most y spent wit is ami y un erwater. at inc u es 10 ays cut civilization in the irate-infested waters of Tubbataha on a boat im ed ou ith a 0 caliber machine gun. What he’s doing at the ranch is nowhere nea s peri ous. W at e s oing, actua y, is emerging rom t at i ernation wit oose. Komi n ela Markado the st salvo of what his wife and producer mi Donna Vi a re uses to ca a come ac an ic e wou rat er ca a im m n “reactivation.” A reactivation with a dauntin slate and an even more daun ing ro out: our ms and two TV shows, all before next year’s elections He crac s o es a out ein too o or t is, ut ou can sense t e secon ind in his ait ad one, mostly because he wrote straight to script. ent usiasm o someone w o ca t wait to wor again an e nonc a ance of someone who’s used to over- roduction and the toll it can take on a man For Ca aras, it almost cost him the love of his life. ure ow e u e it Li e any re u escent or o ive in t e su ur s, my comic oo consum tion—an rea y, my entire cu tura consum tion—was severe o hegemonized. But I also spent half my childhood in my grandmother’s r e ran a ot an ot run a ot an ot into run en tuss es a ot. Bas r r komik which I read as voraciousl as the merican ones Ca aras name u ero a o nun a ataan o. Paran emin wa , e sa s, c ee i . s as as a over t ose omik . Horror stories me o ramas screw a come ies he way men settled their scores on the mean streets of Pasig he grew u in: secon wor antasies, weir super eroes. It was a vast corpus t at ran t e rou t eir s was t e wa o t at wor e u is tem erament e mac o uster, it was a a co uence o is amin out an t e street hole amut of enres and nearl ever one of them was a hit oa uin Bo n is veins. n Panda An Babaen Hinu ot Sa Akin ad an rmitan oto B akekan H r I haven’t re-read the Ca aras B this time, too, his name had become one of the industr ’s mos c i , not sure ow t ey o u , ut I remem er t e o ey a on m r able brands, ractically a license to rint money to the oint tha e started commanding his own rates—unheard of back then. You make over-active imagination ac t en. Hig once t Heaven, no ess. But it was a ot o enemies t at wa . He a so transitione to mma in , w ic the Ca aras name on all these stories that had a more vivid, more im osin runt. It was as indelible to this other universe o ushed everything to even more insane levels. t the height of all this over Pablo Gomez, only more ubi uitous, more ram ant ro uctivity, t en-gir rien V a ai own t e aw: ee writing an ose er orever, or ro everyt ing an come wit er to e u. a aras Rope in y is pu is er to in t e eart o writer vacancies, ap roppe veryt ing. ras, i e an g ing writer ungry to prove is mett e in w at was t en a ainful industry, said yes without realizing he had signed up to do the work ome say t e voi e e t w en e qui omi of several men all b himself. “ ura a lang ko nun e. Naisi nila siguro ic it got suc e in. course, economic co apse may ave argua een in t e car s or t e in ustry, as it was or many in ustries, an a aras makakati id sila,” he laughs, before crediting fear as his sole im etus for ta n t on. ere y got out e ore it came tum ing own, ta ing im wit it as it too p poor ave a stronger rive akot kami magutom ulit any of his peers and colleagues. What’s a little more d ult to refute is stor ’s the thin . A ood stor will make a star e cu tura ermen omi omi ould ultimately become his own rags-to-riches narrative. Ca aras became ear on rea ers. Remem er t a omi , in its ey ay, was t e stap e iterature a su erstar. Everybody wanted a iece of his action. But all he wanted was to f the country, even if it was mostly consumed by the underclass. But its et out o e o e e was stuc in omiks as t e crow ar t at prie im m cations are a ot more ro oun an it s given cre it or. n a ure






Clockwise from top left: Caparas with his two kids, CJ and Peach, now both grown up and contributing to the Carlo J. set (she assists with directing; he is starting out as an actor); Caparas at work; Dante Varona in the title role of Ermitanyo, a Caparas komiks character whose ďŹ lm incarnation Fernando Poe Jr. thought would go to him; a couple of the director's early works in the komiks industry; the cast of Angela Markado, version 2015, led by Andi Eigenmann; and longtime partner Donna Villa. DURINGGTHE N ARTISST IN A



objective level, there are probably several generations, mercifully untethered to any manner of cultural hegemony, whose iconic touchstones are neither Star Wars nor Transformers but rather Bakekangg and Ang Panday. hese two works could not be more diametrically opposed, but they’re both undergirded by the same thematic strand: the oppressed deserve redemption and they will get it.his may be the one story Caparas is telling in nearly all his stories, because it is his story, too.he story of the young Grade Four student who had to quit his studies because his sister couldn’t aford f his tuition anymore, but who was canny enough not to surrender his library card so he could keep borrowing books. he story of the security guard at a publishing company who staved of f his boredom by ransacking his employer’s stockroom and reading everything in it. During the National Artist brouhaha, Caparas made a remark that he

118 NOV E M B E R 2015

was a true national artist in a very literal sense because the reach of his work was nationwide. hat’s the sort of soundbite that digs a hole for yourself then pushes you in. It fast became the butt of jokes from critics. But when he talks about how the komiks he and his cohorts made back in the day all but bridged the regional divides, and without having to be translated into speciic dialects at that, how ishermen and farmers would rhapsodize nostalgically today about the golden age when komikss were published in weekly heaps, about how bodies of soldiers in foxholes would be found with folded copies of his komikss in their back pockets, the quip—if it was a quip—starts making sense. Caparas, of course, has always been the easiest of easy targets. Everything from the way he dresses, his trademark cap and shades, to his insanely proitable Massacre Movies gets raked over the coals by his detractors. It doesn’t



For a good part of the 1990s, the local harvest of crime dramas was lorded over by Caparas's massacre movies, based on stories straight out of the day's headlines, and starring the biggest stars of local cinema. Clockwise from top left: The Vizonde Massacre, Victim No. 1: The Delia Maga Story, Lipa Massacre, Antipolo Massacre, Humanda Ka, Mayor, The Maggie De La Riva Story, The Myrna Diones Story, and the Lilian Velez Story.

help that his reaction to criticism is to provoke even more. It’s like he paints a target on his chest and supplies his enemies with ammo to better pelt him with. He says the arrogance with which he carries himself when he deliberately feeds the ire of his own infamy is merely a front. He cast Kris Aquino as Carmela Visconde in Visconde Massacre as a left-ield gambit, then deliberately made outrageous claims that it would not only make her a star but out-gross every ilm in that year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, making his showbiz enemies seethe. It did out-gross every ilm in that year’s MMFF and it did make Kris a star, making his enemies seethe even more. Humanda Ka Mayor!, his thinly-veiled ictionalization of the Eileen Sarmenta rapeslay, also starring Aquino, was slapped a Temporary Restraining Order when the distinctively coifured then-Mayor of Calauan Antonio Sanchez, who was hotly contesting his arrest for masterminding the crime, added the ilm to his list of complaints, claiming it was a defamation of character. Caparas had to sit next to the fuming, handcufed Mayor in a screening to determine if it was. Caparas eventually shot a scene showing Dick Israel, as the Sanchez surrogate, taking of a wig. He resents having to do that a little. But at least he got the ilm shown. “I owe my success to both my lovers and haters anyway,” he grins. And when it comes to his lovers and haters, the line between love and hate is anything but thin. he intervening years, though, have helped him move past all that. “I just want to work again.” he Angela Markado ilm we all know is the Lino Brocka one, a Bride

Wore Black rif that was more giallo than noir, yet tinged with the social realist and melodramatic urges endemic to both Brocka and his writer Pete Lacaba. To remake something as canonical verges almost on the blasphemous. Caparas has a lot of good things to say about the Brocka ilm, not least being the hefty payday it gave him. But he insists he’s not remaking the ilm but rather the ilm’s source, his own revenge porn comic novel. “I respect Lino’s work. But I have this impulse to always outdo myself. My original story is too tame for today’s standards.” In other words, there will be blood in the new Angela Markado. Lots of it. he ilm is halfway through post production. Caparas, ever the journeyman, will go straight into the next one, which could either be the new Panday series or the two Andres De Saya ilms in what he and Villa hope will be a franchise-in-waiting. “Art is full of whims,” he says when he talks about how he’s adjusting to the new protocols of digital technology and independent ilmmaking. “But you have a covenant with the producer. Compromise is necessary.” He does seem visibly enthused at the prospect of recharging his old work for a new generation. We’re almost done and I’m still trying to reconcile the many aspects of this much loved and much reviled man, who learned to plot from reading, who siphoned his dialogue from the streets he grew up in, who wrote out of fear of the bite of poverty, who rose above his station by putting on a show. Perhaps he’s putting on a show now. Because I didn’t expect the kinder, gentler, more relaxed, more cavalier Caparas I talked to all day. Being away from the grind has mellowed him some, he admits, not to mention the persistence of age and the mollycoddle of family. A prominent senator once called him a “plebian intellectual,” but his impulses are really more populist than anything else, a cross between a paperback writer and a pidgin folklorist. If he had his way, though, he’d rather be known for something more than just his craft. “I am a warrior of life.” „

NOV E M B E R 2015 119 NOV E M B E R 2015 / I S S U E 93

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SECOND SERVE Tennis champion Serena Williams plays for the Philippines in the second season of the IPTL at the Mall of Asia Arena Last year, over 30,000 people locked to the Mall of Asia Arena for the inaugural leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), a team competition that had the stars of the sport playing in key cities in the region. Four teams participated in the irst season, with the Micromax Indian Aces emerging as the irst ever champion. he event was a dream fulilled, according to IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi. “We wanted to create a new tennis tradition, or a new world for our players outside of the formal coninements of tennis, with an out-of-the-box format, a diverse and entertaining kind of player participation,” he says. And judging by the crowd reaction inside the Arena, the local tennis fans took to these changes enthusiastically. “he fans in Manila were amazing. hey made the players feel like rock stars. hat set the momentum for the rest of the season. It was the perfect start we were hoping for,” Bhupathi added. Going into this year’s edition, Bhupathi says that they made additional changes. A new team and leg will be hosted by Japan, and a slight tweak will be made to the format. “We will have a grand inal this season. he inal will be rotational, and it will be held in Singapore. he top two teams in the league format will play for the gold trophy on December 20,” he says. Our home team will go through changes as well. Last year’s Manila Mavericks, led by Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray, will be replaced by the Philippine Mavericks. he team will be bannered by world number one Serena Williams. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mark Philippoussis, and Treat Huey make a return while Richard Gasquet and Sabine Lisicki are key additions to a solid Mavericks roster. he 2015 IPTL player draft was held last April in Dubai, with over 80 players taking part in the pool. “We have a stellar list of players for 2015. Nadal will inally be able to join us this year,” Bhupathi says. He adds that a lot more players became interested after the irst season. “hey really enjoyed the team atmosphere and

World number one Serena Williams is part of the Philippine Mavericks this year. Inset: IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi.

ighting for every game. Because of the league, the players developed chat groups and stay in touch more these days.” While Bhupathi and the rest of the ITPL management are aiming for the league to get “bigger, better, and louder,” they are just focused on putting out a successful second season. “We do have ambitious plans, which we will slowly roll out in the coming months and years. But, irst and foremost, we need to make sure that everyone will have a great time at our upcoming matches in December,” he says. he Philippine leg of the International Premier Tennis League will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena on December 6 to 8, 2015. For inquiries, log on to NOV E M B E R 2015 / I S S U E 93

THE ROGUE ARENA Promotions and relevant items, direct from our partners


Tudor announces new models along with technological developments at Baselworld 2015 In the 1950s, members of the British North Greenland Expedition would go on scientiic journeys to some of the harshest places on Earth wearing Tudor Oyster Prince watches. he reliability of the timepieces was key on these trips, crucial to their way of life. his became the inspiration for the make of the 69-year-old watch brand’s latest model: the Tudor North Flag. Introduced in Baselworld 2015, the Tudor North Flag presents a turning point. Along with the Tudor Pelagos, the pieces are the irst two models to be itted with movements developed by the company itself—a rarity for the watch industry in which the norm is hiring a third party Swiss supplier. he new Tudor (G/F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Drive corner Estrella street, Makati) movement retains the standards set by these suppliers, yet lends a feeling of exclusivity to the new models. he North Flag is powered by Tudor MT5621, and has a reserve of approximately 70 hours, allowing the timepiece to go on for a weekend without winding. he 40mm monobloc middle case has an open back with a sapphire crystal and screw-down winding crown. he strap is either stainless steel with a satin inish, or black leather with yellow stitching and yellow leather lining. With these developments, the Tudor North Flag reiterates its core goal of marrying heritage with technology.

A TOAST TO THE ARTS Gallery H and Golden Wines collaborate for an intriguing week of art and drink at Proscenium Art X Wine, an art exhibit and wine appreciation event, was recently held at the Kirov model unit in the Proscenium Showroom in Rockwell Center. It was done in collaboration with Gallery H and organized by Brylliance Design Studio ( “I have been living in the Philippines for a number of years now. What I’ve discovered is that there is an abundance of artistic talents in the county,” says Jonathan Gee, co-founder of Gallery H. “Because of this, we decided to organize an Art Exhibition that features these talents.” he event featured artists Charlie Co and Cezar Arro. A recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ 13 Artists Award back in 1990, Co runs Gallery Orange in Bacolod, while Iloilo-based Arro specializes in artistic depictions of celebrities. Golden Wines Inc. kept the drinks lowing for the week-long event, serving up Australian and Spanish wines. Guests tried out Peter Lehmann’s Portrait Cabernet Sauvignon and Art & Soul Chardonnay 2011, and Enate’s Rosado Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, among others. Proscenium ( at Rockwell is inspired by the arts, and it proved to be a perfect location choice for the event. Designed by Carlos Ott, the soon-to-be luxury address of choice in the city has a unique architectural design, posh retail shops, a world-class performing arts theater, and a museum. No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5

SHOP LIST Where to buy the products featured in this issue

Shangri-la Retail Arcade Ayala Avenue 1226; 830-2230; Zanotta Kuysen Enterprises Inc., 236 E. Rodriguez Senior Ave., cor. D. Tuazon, Brgy. Don Manuel, Quezon City; 740-7509; Natuzzi Wilcon Home Depot,

EYES WIDE OPEN, PAGE 94 PAGE 95 Uniqlo Button-down; SM Aura Premier, 26th Street cor. McKinley Parkway and C5, Bonifacio Global City; 808-5325. Zara Trousers; G/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 729-0845. AC +632 Bowler Hat; 2/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 758-2564.

THE BIG CHILL, PAGE 58 Joseph Birmingham Double Face Cashmere in Dark Smoke (P48,985); SM Aura Premier, Taguig; 887-0188. Balmain for H&M Wool Doublebreasted Coat (P10,990); 2nd Level, SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong; 531-5374. Mango Man Trench Coat (P4,950); Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati; 625-0026. Tommy Hilfiger Melange Wool Dule (P32,500); Greenbelt 5 Mall, Ayala Center, Makati; 501-3073. Uniqlo and Lemaire (P8,990); SM Aura Premier, Taguig; 808-5325.   UNDER THE COLLAR, PAGE 62   Perry Ellis Pima Cotton Striped Polo (P1,350); Glorietta 5, Ayala Center, Makati. Original Penguin Earl All Over Print Polo Shirt (P3,650); Anthem, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 728-4049. Fred Perry Printed Pique Shirt (P5,398); Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 7290949. Florentino Button Down Polo Shirt with Chest Pocket (P3,950); Adora, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 217-4030. Lyle & Scott Camo Polo (P3,290); Bratpack, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 728- 4028. Jaspal Man All Over Print Polo Shirt (P2,850); Adora, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 217-4030. Marc by Marc Jacobs Tech Collar Polo (P6,500); Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 729-9607.   FIXER UPPERS, PAGE 65

PAGE 96 Ines de la Fressange x Uniqlo Turtleneck; uniqlo. com/ph/ines/. Call It Spring Sandals; SM Aura Premier, 26th Street cor. McKinley Parkway and C5, Bonifacio Global City; 808-5325. PAGE 98 Uniqlo Tank Top; SM Aura Premier, 26th Street cor. McKinley Parkway and C5, Bonifacio Global City; 808-5325. H&M Trousers; 2/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong; 531-5374. Topman Suspenders; G/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 756-2015. AC +632 Bowler Hat; 2/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 758-2564. PAGE 99 H&M Robe Coat; 2/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong; 531-5374. Louis Vuitton Pumps; G/F Greenbelt 4, cor. Dela Rosa Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 756-0637. PAGE 100 Givenchy Corset Jacket from Adora; G/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 0917-557-7405. Float Swimsuit; floatswimwear. com. AC +632 Choker; 2/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Ayala Center, Makati; 758-2564. PAGE 101 Float Maillot; floatswimwear. com. iKonic Sunglasses;; G/F Shoppesville Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Avenue, North Western Street, San Juan. PAGES 102-103 Float Maillot; floatswimwear. com. Charles and Keith Platform Sandals; G/F Glorietta, Ayala Avenue cor. Pasay Road, Ayala Center, Makati. PAGE 104 Ines de la Fressange x Uniqlo Turtleneck; uniqlo. com/ph/ines/. Lemaire x Uniqlo Belted Coat; uniqlo. com/uniqloandlemaire/us/. Call It Spring Sandals; SM

122 NOV E M B E R 2015

Aura Premier, 26th Street cor. McKinley Parkway and C5, Bonifacio Global City; 808-5325. PAGE 105 Float Swimsuit; THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, PAGE 39 PAGE 40 Knoll, Bo Concept G/F MOs Design, Bldg. 2 Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 856-2745 extn 1; mosdesign. Bang and Olufsen 2/F EDSA Shangrila Plaza Mall, East Wing, 1650 Metro Manila; 654-2240; bangandolufsen.

com. Cassina Furnitalia, 30th St., cor. Rizal Drive, Crescent Park, West Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 819-1887; info@; PAGE 41 Minotti G/F Units 106 and 107 Fort Victoria, 5th Avenue cor. 23rd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 830-2230 or 506- 5068; Roche Bobois 200 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati; 519- 8240; Cassina Furnitalia, 30th St., cor. Rizal Drive, Crescent Park, West Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 819-1887; ph; Giorgetti Furnitalia, 30th St., cor. Rizal Drive, Crescent Park, West

Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 819-1887; info@furnitalia.; West Elm Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig; westelm. com. Veblen Furnitalia, 30th St., cor. Rizal Drive, Crescent Park, West Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 819-1887; info@; PAGE 42 Campeggi, Hay Casa Bella, G/F AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Avenue cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig; 470-6250; Arper One Parkade, 28th St., cor. 7th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 736- 3728, arper. com. Herman Miller Unit

C224-C228 2/F Serendra Retail, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 659-6449; ph. Vitra Mezzanine, Citibank Center Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati; 817-0886; PAGE 43 Ikea, Tom Dixon 3/F MOs Design Bldg., B2 Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 856- 2745 extn 1; mosdesign. Poltrona Frau Furnitalia, 30th St., cor. Rizal Drive, Crescent Park, West Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 819-1887; ph. Barovier and Toso Living Innovations Corp, 2/F Makati

Susanne Kaufmann Intensive Power Serum Line; Univers d’Homme et Femme, East Tower One, Rockwell, Makati; 553-6811. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1; Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 728-9561. Aveda Men Pure-formance Grooming Cream; Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 2329071. L:A Bruket Thyme/ Marjoram Foot Cream; Univers d’Homme et Femme, East Tower One, Rockwell, Makati; 553-6811. Penhaligon’s Quercus Hand & Nail Lotion; Adora, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 217-4030. Comme Des Garçons Series 8 Energy C Eau de Toilette; Adora, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 217-4030. No ve m b e r 2 0 1 5

DON DRAPER, ad man

“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”


DON DRAPER IS, in many ways, both a dissectible caricature and an impenetrable enigma. Born Richard Whitman in 1920s rural Illinois, circumstances during his service in the Korean War allowed him to untether himself from a tumultuous past by assuming a new identity: he emerged as a Madison Avenue irebrand, building himself into a frighteningly formidable force in the ad industry. Perhaps he owed his talent for perfect pitches to a life spent selling this invented persona, one that could tap into the psychology of wanting. Only he could convince you that Lucky Strikes were safe to smoke because they were toasted. Only he could sell you a Kodak Carousel with an impassioned spiel about old wounds. And only Draper, practically engulfed by the capitalistic pulse of 1960s America, understood the true nature of desire and how to exploit it. Cue what is perhaps his greatest work, created after cutting short his attempt to retreat from the corporate world that made him: a group of people from all walks of life singing on a hilltop in Italy, about world peace and Coca-Cola. “It’s the real thing / What the world wants today.” Yes, Draper’s name and image may resonate with society’s understanding of the cold, calculated adman—one whose business acumen was fueled by the vices and trappings of an unstable private life. But Don Draper did it best, and operated on the belief that dissecting our perceptions of a happy, fulilled life was just part of the job. Only a mad man could pull that of.








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   !                he proliferation of mobile entertainment has encouraged us to watch video content on our phones, tablets, and computer screens. One minute you’re chatting with your friend about the new Drake video, the next thing you know you’re watching the actual footage again (for the nth time), your phone screen keeping you entranced and entertained without you having to lift your line of sight from one device to another. Still, now that content is continuously, and competitively, getting produced in glorious high deinition, it is still better to watch ilms and TV shows on a full-scale television screen built to deliver an intense and immersive cinematic experience. Ever the innovators of home entertainment, Sony’s new line of TVs are meant to usher in a new way of


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delivering dynamic video that runs the range of high-quality colors. he new Bravia 4K models, which measure from a sizable 43 inches to a massive 75 inches, run with Google’s latest Android Lollipop OS. hey also feature Google Cast connectivity, for when you want to continue watching from your phone to the TV. Two of the highlights of the new 4K TVs are the powerful 4K Processor X1 and the Ultra Slim Design. Colors burst to life on screen, ensuring you appreciate the painstaking production design that goes into elaborate shows such as Game of hrones or the new Marvel movie, all while viewing it on a sleek, 4.9mm thin device. he slimmest model, the X9000C is thinner than a regular smartphone, similar to a painting you can easily hang on the wall, and allows users to mount the screen with minimal gap.


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THE HAPPY HOME                 


o The Samsung SUHD TV signiďŹ es a true leap forward in technology to ofer a superior viewing experience. Its nano-crystal technology sets and its re-mastering picture quality engine produces 64 times more color expression than conventional TVs and 2.5 times brighter than conventional UHD TVs.

8 NOV E M B E R 2015


o Samsung Curved UHD TVs include a re-mastering engine that delivers an unrivaled lifelike picture quality. The Smart TV is powered by a new operating system called Tizen, which provides for efortless access of content and services 4x faster with its Quad core processor and gives viewers better content and greater exibility than Android.


o Whether it’s in the center of your living room, by the TV or anywhere else, the Samsung Wireless Audio 360 is a beautiful looking object that enhances your interior design. It creates the perfect ambience in your home satisfying your eyes as well as your ears.


o Blast out tunes, whether you’re into Carly Rae Jepsen or Frank Sinatra, with the Samsung GIGA MX-HS8000, which in many ways can be called the ‘light’ of the party with its illuminating speakers that pulsate with each beat. This Giga Sound System is equipped with dual 12� woofers and packs 2300 watts of wall shaking power designed to deliver a deeper and richer bass sound.

he dream home is built on simple pleasures. From the painting hanging on the wall to the machines that operate the household, each object that we choose should ultimately help us enjoy our time with our family. As a brand focused on fostering memorable moments, Samsung recognizes the value of an eicient product to


S A M S U N G R H 57


o The Samsung RH57 has a digital inverter technology that allows it to have 33 percent more space while being 46 percent more energy efficient. This upgrade provides for maximum storage space while saving money and keeping energy consumption to a minimum.

o Old washing machines may have produced clean clothes, but they failed to prevent the user back pains. The Activdualwash finds a solution to this problem with its dedicated built-in sink, washboard, and water jet built right into the washer, putting everything within reach.

provide comfort and ease. “With its latest innovative, smart, and high quality digital products line-up, Samsung is once again ofering a whole new home experience for the Filipino family. We hope to let more Filipinos know how Samsung can it their everyday needs and help enhance their lifestyles,” said Chad Sotelo, Samsung Corporate Marketing Head.


o Samsung AR7000 air conditioner features a triangular design enabling quicker, further, and wider cooling. Its digital inverter system will let consumers enjoy a powerful and optimized cooling system, without increasing electricity usage and expense. It also has Virus Doctor and an easy filter to keep the air clean.


o The Samsung Smart Oven has features that make it the all-in-one cooking solution, veering away from just the usual “reheating” feature of microwaves: it has the SLIM FRY Technology that allows oil and fussfree frying, grilling, and convection function.

NOV E M B E R 2015 9


PICTURE PERFECT                                 



The new TCL D2710 series is TCL’s ďŹ rst builtin Digital Tuner LED TV. It is equipped with a receiver capable of streaming broadcast without the use of any external set top boxes, ready for the Philippines’ shift from analog to digital broadcast.

A host of pre-installed apps—from social media, music, and gaming—are just a few clicks away on the remote button. Switch from listening to your favorite songs to battling it out with your friends or loved ones in these pre-installed apps right at the comfort of your own couch.

SLIM PICKINGS The slim border design and two leg stand makes the TCL D2710 series a stunning addition to your living room. TCL’s design team envisioned each TV as a seamless part of the home’s interiors, one that provides a host of entertainment options for the family,

NATURAL ORDER The TCL D2710 series features TCL’s signature Natural Light Engine II, which ofers more energy-saving, economical features as an innovation that is ideal for home entertainment. This technology transcends the technical limitations of passive luminance in LCD TV by creating the visual efect of natural light.

THE NUMBERS GAME Breaking the D2710 in numbers—from HDMI ports to screen sizes






Multimedia formats that can be accesed, including MPEG4 and H.26

The largest screen size of the D2710, in inches

HDMI terminals available

Available colors for the screen display, in millions

Available sizes of the TCL internet TV

NOV E M B E R 2015 13

Profile for Rinzon

RM Ph 11/2015  

RM Ph 11/2015  


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