How to save a life » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

Manila Bulletin Philippines

Breaking News from the Nation's leading newspaper

Tempo

Online Newspaper

Showbiz and Celebrity News

Sports News

World News
News Asia

The Nation's Leading Newspaper

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 25° Partly cloudy

How to save a life

Director Perry Escaño details how they were able to give his ‘Guro’ movie a second life on the silver screen without compromising artistic merit

By:

Published

Perry Escaño’s “Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa” is now in theaters with a PG-13 rating from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and the director-actor can’t be happier about it.

Alfred Vargas and Perry Escaño (mb.com.ph)

Alfred Vargas and Perry Escaño

The Cinemalaya 2017 entry was first slapped with an X rating or “not for public exhibition,” apparently due to “significantly violent scenes.”

“Ang Gurong Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa” is an advocacy film about the importance of education among kids in far flung provinces in the Philippines who, due to government corruption and ignorance, are forced to become child warriors.

At a recent press conference, Perry said they studied the guidelines for the film’s “second submission,” in order to target a wider audience especially teachers and young students.

“But ’yung mga artistic na mga scenes sabi ko, hindi dapat ito matanggal,” he said. “Ayoko din kasi na ’yung artistic freedom ko bilang isang filmmaker ay mawala kaya pinag-aralan naming mabuti lahat ng pwedeng gawin.”

“Etong bagong version ngayon, mas iniklian ’yung mga eksena na medyo mabibigat at nilagyan din ng konting cut,” the director added.

If anything, Perry hopes MTRCB would become more “open-minded” when it comes to films seemingly depicting “reality.”

“Sa palagay ko kasi mas nag-e-enjoy ang mga tao kapag ang mga eksena sa pelikula ay hango sa katotohanan. Siguro ito na ’yung time para maging open tayong lahat. Magkaroon na dapat tayo ng artistic freedom,” he said.

The team behind “Ang Guro” has been touring schools and provinces to promote the film.

Perry thanked those who continue to support the film.

“Nagpi-pitch ako sa iba’t-ibang producers at pinapaliwanag ko sa kanila ’yung film. Naniniwala sila sa material at sinusuportahan nila ito especially na ang mensahe nito ay ang importansya ng edukasyon,” he said.

Sentiments

In the film, actor-politician Alfred Vargas plays the lead character, Aaquil. He is a farmer who struggles to teach the children in his hometown to read and write despite being illiterate himself.

Alfred admitted he was disheartened that the film initially merited an X rating.

“Mabigat po talaga sa damdamin. Kasi sama-sama po kaming lahat dito eh, pinaghirapan namin ’yung film lalo na ’yung adbokasiya nito. Halos lahat kami nagsakripisyo in so many ways para mabuo tong pelikula.”

A scene from ‘Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa’ (photo by Trixie Dauz) /mb.com.ph

A scene from ‘Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa’ (Photo by Trixie Dauz)

“Tapos nu’ng sinabing magkakaroon kami ng national screening, ang saya-saya namin only to hear na X ang rating namin. Nagulat talaga kami, kasi pinaghirapan talaga eh. Mentally lalo na ’yung physical requirement ng acting namin,” he said.

If anything, the Quezon City representative shared he respects MTRCB’s decision as “ang batas ay batas.”

“So to be fair with MTRCB, humingi kami ng guidelines kung bakit naging ganu’n ’yung ratings (ng film). Lahat ng (issues) nila, inadres po ni direk isa-isa without sacrificing the artistic scenes and the artistic components of the film,” he maintained. “I totally respect their decision. Trabaho nila ’yun. Ngayon na PG-13 na, ang saya namin kasi mapapanuod na ’yung material ng mas maraming tao.”

“Ang Guro” is Alfred’s first film in four years.

Despite being busy with his political stint, the actor vows to continue doing films with “social relevance.”

“Ang priority ko talaga is ’yung public service ko. And I only accept roles which I think can better me as an actor and I can express and show my talent. Hindi pa rin ako titigil sa paggawa ng iba’t-ibang klase ng proyekto na may magandang mensahe para sa mga manunuod,” he said.

Also part of the main cast are three awarded child actors, Miggs Cuaderno, Marc Justine Alvarez and Micko Laurente, who all had to train on how to properly handle fire arms before shooting the movie.

Like Alfred, the three boys expressed dismay upon learning the film’s X-rating.

The cast of ‘Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa’ (Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz) /mb.com.ph

The cast of ‘Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa’ (Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz)

“Nalungkot po talaga ako. Nu’ng hindi na po siya mapapalabas, sabi ko ‘Ma, paano ’yun. Ano ng mangyayari?’ Sobrang kinabahan po kasi ako eh,” Miggs shared.

Micko on his part, revealed: “Pare-parehas po kami ng reaksyon kasi lahat po talaga kami ay nalungkot. Si Direk Perry din po naisip namin pero buti na lang po nagawan ng paraan.”

Loren Burgos and Mon Confiado also expressed their thought on the matter.

She said, “Naisip ko si direk kasi sayang po ’yung effort eh. Hindi lang ng cast kung ’di lahat ng nasa production team. Pero nu’ng binigyan na kami ng PG-13, sobrang tuwa po namin. Thank God.”

Mon, on his part, shared he understands the MTRCB, saying, “Isa rin kasi sa nag-e-endorse ng MTRCB na paano kung hindi na pala laro sa mga mata ng bata ang mga napapanuod nila.”

He further elaborated, “Naiintindihan ko ’yung side ng MTRCB na kailangan din magpalabas ng (mga pelikulang) hindi masyadong nakaka-influence sa mga kabataan. Buti na lang, na-trim ’yung pelikula na maging kaaya-aya sa mga bata kaya nag-PG 13 na.”

“Ang Guro” also features Lou Veloso, James Blanco, Kiko Matos, Garie Concepcion, Alvin Barcelona, Paul Sy, Lianne Valentin, Lorraine Salvador, among others.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts