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Youngest screenwriter behind ‘Walwal’



JUST A THOUGHT: ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ – Aesop


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YOUNGEST SCREENWRITER: At 17, Mark Gerald Foliente became the youngest work shopper in a class of promising screenwriters held yearly by Ricky Lee.

Mark Gerald Foliente

Mark Gerald Foliente

Now 19, he has just become the youngest screenwriter for a full-length mainstream feature film.

Foliente, a junior majoring in Film at the College of Saint Benilde, has gathered real-life stories of his friends from high school and college to create the film “Walwal” (Regal Films and Star Cinema). It is said to be a throwback to landmark barkada films as “Bagets” and “Pare Ko” capturing the relationships and sensibilities of the current generation.

Walwal is derived from a popular slang that millennials frequently use. The term is believed to emanate from the phrase “walang pakialam” and its closest English translation is “to get wasted” from drinking too much alcohol.


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ELMO MAGALONA, Kiko Estrada,  Jerome Ponce, and Donny Pangilinan

ELMO MAGALONA, Kiko Estrada, Jerome Ponce, and Donny Pangilinan

LASTING FRIENDSHIP: The movie, says director Jose Javier Reyes, is centered on a group of four friends – who have forged their unbreakable friendship in high school throughout college life. The boys are bound together by the wealth of their past experiences and their natural love for the good times.

The gang is composed of Elmo Magalona, Jerome Ponce, Kiko Estrada, and Donny Pangilinan. Their first-time partnership through this film has resulted in a real-life kinship so close that they have created a genuine all-male friendship.


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BOYS OF WALWAL: Elmo plays Dondi, the prim and proper good son who lives his life pleasing people around him. His emotional anchor is his girlfriend, who dumps him for another guy.

Jerome, last seen as one of the leads in “The Good Son,” is Intoy, an athlete hoping to discover the real identity of his biological father.

Kiko is the heartbreaker Marco, whose vulnerable interior is masked by his tough exterior.

Donny, VJ on music channel Myx, is Bobby, an aspiring filmmaker, the funnyman of the group.

He considers “Walwal,” his very first film, a landmark as it reunites him with Joey Reyes, who directed some of the best films of his mother, Maricel Laxa.


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INSPIRED BY: Joey Reyes says it has always been his dream to come up with a film inspired by his 1994 movie, “Pare Ko.”

“‘Walwal’ is the story of today’s millennials as seen through the eyes of a senior citizen,’’ he said.

Shot within the CSB campus on Taft Avenue, Manila, the film also features the director’s Film students, some of whom wrote the songs played therein.

Foliente himself studied Filmmaking 1 under Reyes. He was surprised when he was offered by his teacher to write the script for this new movie.

The character played by Donny Pangilinan, a Brillante Mendoza wanna-be, is roughly based on Foliente’s own. He says it’s time people stopped demeaning artists while elevating those who lean towards technology and the sciences.

Portraying the boys’ love interests are Kisses Delavin, Devon Seron, Jane de Leon, and Sophia Senoron.

“Walwal” opens nationwide on June 27.

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