This month has fun days and quiet times.
For college students, they graduate – then it’s off to the beach, to the airport, wherever summer-y, natch.
It is also when Filipinos commemorate the fall of Bataan during World War II. For Catholics, there’s Holy Week.
Let’s do pranks
April 1, as most people know, is the most “non-serious” day of the year. On that day, we play practical jokes on each other, spread “hoaxes” but all in the name of good fun (“Happy April’s Fools!”).
But for some celebrities, pranking is an all-year thing.
Couple Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil recently went on a jeepney ride and pulled pranks on their fellow passengers. The two did some hilarious stuff such as leaning on a stranger’s shoulder while pretending they were asleep. They even intentionally meddled in the payments of the passengers to get their attention. Of course, the “victims” easily forgave as soon as Liza and Enrique took off their masks.
Many Filipinos were in stitches when Hashtag member Nikko Natividad targeted Vice Ganda with a prank in the MOR 101.9 segment “Heartbeats.” In that episode, Nikko called the comedian and told him he is struggling with his gender identity.
“Ikaw lang ’yung naisip ko pagsabihan, kasi feeling ko, ikaw ’yung makakaintindi,” Natividad began, referring to Vice Ganda being openly gay and an advocate of LGBT.
He explained: “Nahihirapan na kasi ako, eh. Ate Vice, hindi ko alam kung bisexual ako o ano. Nahihiya ako, pero nahihirapan na ako sa gender ko… Hindi ko masabi kung bakla ako. Naguguluhan ako.”
However, the trick resulted in a heartwarming conversationout “coming out.” Vice Ganda gave Nikko some meaningful advice that eventually made the newbie actor feel guilty over the prank.
“Baka ma-suspend ako (sa ‘It’s Showtime’),” Nikko quipped.
Then there’s Alex and Toni Gonzaga.
The sisters nearly moved their mother Pinty to tears as they quarreled in front of her to the point of getting physical.
But of course, all of it was just part of a recorded prank uploaded on Alex’s YouTube channel.
Alex and Toni pretended to shoot a question-and-answer episode.
After several minutes, the prank unfolded when Toni started castigating Alex for the supposed lack of substance of her answers.
It eventually transitioned to harsh words and resulted to hurting each other, with Alex pulling Toni’s hair, and the latter hitting the former on her arm.
Saddened by the situation, Pinty scolded the sisters. And that’s the cue for the two actresses to reveal it was only a prank.
“Naiyak na nga rin ako eh! Artista talaga ang mga ito,” the relieved mother said.
Remembering Bataan Day
April 9 is Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor. It used to be known as Bataan Day, which marks the fall of Bataan to the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942.
Approximately 10,000 soldiers were killed in that battle, and the survivors were made to march all the way to Tarlac.
Although it was tragic, this event inspired the creation of some films that proved a hit to moviegoers.
One of these is “Back To Bataan,” produced by RKO Radio Pictures in 1945.
It starred John Wayne and Anthony Quinn. The first played the role of a Filipino resistance fighter named Andres Bonifacio. Wayne, on the other hand, portrayed the heroic Col. Joseph Madden. The film depicts events (some fictionalized and some actual) that took place after the Battle of Bataan (1941–42) on the island of Luzon.
Then there’s another simply titled “Bataan.” It was produced by MGM in 1943 and starred Robert Taylor. It follows the defense of the Bataan Peninsula by American forces in the Philippines against the invading Japanese. One character named Corporal Juan Katigbak was played by Filipino actor Roque Espiritu.
“So Proudly We Hail!” is another American film on Bataan released in 1943. It follows a group of military nurses sent to the Philippines during the early days of World War II.
The movie was based on a book written by Lieutenant Colonel Juanita Hipps, a World War II nurse – one of the “Angels of Bataan” – who served in Bataan and Corregidor during the time when McArthur withdrew to Australia which ultimately led to the surrender of US and Philippine troops to Japanese forces.
Paulette Goddard – one of Charlie Chaplin’s muses – won an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Lt. Joan O’Doul.
Movies for Holy Week
Holy Week 2019 starts on April 14 and ends on the 20th.
It is the most important week in the Church year in observance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Of course, it is not complete without watching one of cinema’s greatest movies.
Aptly titled “The Ten Commandments,” the 1956 American biblical epic film is produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
It is about the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his real people, the enslaved Hebrews. He leads their Exodus to Mount Sinai, where he receives from God the Ten Commandments.
“The Ten Commandments” was the highest-grossing film of 1956 and the second most successful film of the decade. By April 1957, the film had earned an unprecedented $10 million from engagements at just 80 theaters, averaging about $1 million per week, with more than seven million people paying to watch it.
It stars Charlton Heston in the lead role, Yul Brynner as Ramses, Anne Baxter as Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson as Dathan, Yvonne De Carlo as Sephora,Debra Paget as Lilia, and John Derek as Joshua, among others.
“End Of Days” is a 1999 American fantasy-action-horror thriller film directed by Peter Hyams. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger, CCH Pounder, and Udo Kier, among others.
The film follows former New York Police Department detective Jericho Cane (Arnold) as he saves a banker (Gabriel) from an assassin. Finding himself embroiled in a religious conflict, he must protect an innocent young woman (Robin) who is chosen by evil forces to conceive the Anti-Christ with Satan.
The film was released by Universal Pictures on Nov. 24, 1999. It has grossed $66.9 million in North America and $145.1 million elsewhere, for a worldwide total of $212 million.
Mel Gibson’s adaptation of what Jesus Christ went through before he died as man is a must-watch. “The Passion Of The Christ” (also known simply as the “The Passion”) is a 2004 American film written and directed by the actor himself.
The film covers the final 12 hours of Jesus’ life, beginning with the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the insomnia and grievance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the brutal scourge and crucifixion, ending with a brief depiction of his resurrection. It was shot in Italy, and the dialogue is entirely in reconstructed Aramaic (Jewish dialect), Hebrew, and Latin.
Despite being a major commercial hit, grossing $612 million during its theatrical release and receiving three Academy Award nominations in 2005, “The Passion Of The Christ” has been controversial and received mixed reviews. Some critics find the extreme violence distracting and excessive, with others even alleging it promotes anti-Semitism.
April is the best time to go to the beach.
And while Palawan and Boracay are the most popular destinations in the country, some local celebrities have shown there’s more to the Philippines than those two.
Ella Cruz and Sam Pinto ride the waves in Baler.
La Union is a perfect spot for sunset as shown in Kim Jones’ Instagram photos.
If you want a place to chill out with your friends, check out Lauren Young’s social media and you’ll see how enjoy they are in Capones Island in Zambales.
Who would want to miss Siargao?
Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Bela Padilla, Erich Gonzales, Maxine Medina, Kryz Uy, and many more have already explored this island like a local.