Regal Entertainment’s “Mano Po 7: Chinoy” would have been Richard Yap’s second Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry if the movie franchise made the cut.
Naturally, Richard and movie producer Lily Monteverde are saddened by the turn of events.
“We really did everything possible na maging worthy siya as MMFF entry. But we can’t do anything about their decision. We just have to live with it and do our best. So we are showing this before the MMFF, para maging masaya pa rin ang mga tao,” Richard said at a press conference.
“Mano Po 7: Chinoy” will be shown in cinemas starting Dec. 14.
Change has come to this year’s MMFF, with the organizers revamping submission policies including the criteria in selecting the entries.
This year’s Magic 8, said to have been picked mainly for their “quality,” have gotten mixed views from industry observers.
Asked for a reaction, Richard shared, “I think it’s not fair to say na pinili nila ang mas de kalidad na film. I think hindi naman natatalo ang film namin in terms of quality. I think it’s just that their criteria has changed, what they want in this MMFF has changed, not necessarily the quality of the movie because I think we did everything to make this is as first class in terms of quality as possible.”
Despite the exclusion, Richard still looks at the situation positively.
“I’m a person who takes everything in stride. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, at least this time around. If a door closes, a window opens. So maybe this is another window of opportunity opening for us,” he said.
He hopes fans of the “Mano Po” franchise will still support their movie.
“Hopefully, we’ll do well pa din sa takilya. At least para sa producer, para naman they will keep on producing movies,” he said.
In the film, Richard plays the role of a Chinese businessman named Wilson Wong.
Was he pressured playing lead on a franchise film, we asked.
“Hindi ko na lang din masyado iniisip. I just did my best to portray the role that was given to me. Hopefully, it’s going to be good enough for audiences,” he said.
Among his co-stars are Jean Garcia, Enchong Dee, Jake Cuenca, Janella Salvador and Marlo Mortel.
“Magagaling mga kasama ko dito so it lessened the pressure on my part,” he said. “Tsaka napakasaya namin sa set. It’s like we weren’t working. It helps na may bond kami, which is food.”
Richard and the rest of the cast faced several challenges doing the movie, among them being stranded in Taiwan due to a super typhoon.
“Hindi makaandar ’yung bus ng maayos. Gumigewang-gewang siya dahil sa lakas ng hangin. We stopped over at a gasoline station kasi natatakot ’yung driver na baka mag-overturn ’yung bus. We had to stay there for four to five hours. Sobrang lakas ng hangin at nakakatakot,” Richard shared.
Richard is open to doing an indie movie in the future.
“It depends on the story pa din, depende kung ano ma-offer, indie or mainstream, I wouldn’t say no, basta maganda lang ang story,” he said.