The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) won't be complete if we don't see three familiar faces among the movies to be shown this year. Whatever films they choose to act in, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., "Bossing" Vic Sotto, and Judy Ann Santos are always sure to delight fans with their usual memorable roles.
Two years ago, we've seen how the combined forces of "Agimat" and "Enteng Kabisote" has transformed box-office history in MMFF 2010. This year, Agimat and Enteng teams up with another character named AKO to bring audiences a bigger, grander, and more spectacular fantasy-adventure in MMFF 2012.
I had the chance to hear what Vic has to say about their newest film during a press conference held earlier tonight. As a backgrounder to those who are not familiar with this film series, Entering started to become known during OK Ka Fairy Ko TV series many years ago.
The character came back as Enteng Kabisote on the big screen. "Kids of OK Ka viewers accepted Enteng and, hopefully, even future generations would have fun with [the movies]," shares Vic who reveals they had no more plans of bringing the story to TV. "Mawawala ang magic during Christmas. I want it to be [included] in the once-a-year festival."
Asked how long it took to come up with Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote, at si AKO, Vic confides that it took them a long time, "Practically the whole year, tinatrabaho namin s'ya. Hindi biro ang gumawa ng isang pelikula. Dapat naka-planong mabuti. [Kaya] naka-storyboard kami para sakto lahat."
As to the movie's biggest competition, Bossing says there is none. "Unang-una, hindi kami nakikipag-compete. Ang gusto namin, matagumpay na festival. Ayoko slang tawaging kalaban. Kung pwede nga lang, number one lahat."
The comedian further adds that aside from being entertained, he hopes movie-watchers would get the story's message. "We tackled problems about the environment. Juday is the encantada assigned to protect Mother Nature. Sana, kahit papano, we can do our share to be socially relevant." I finally found out why Judy Ann is referred in the movie title as AKO. Vic announces that her character is actually named Angelina Kalikasan Orteza.
Having three big names in the movie, one would wonder if there had been internal rivalries about billing and demands for more moments to shine. "Walang sapawan. Una naming iniisip, how to execute the scenes and paano papagandahin ang mga iyon," insists Vic. "Ganun ang professional, it doesn't really matter sino ba ang magaling sa eksena. Siniguro namin na ang istorya ay bigger ang scope at worth ng ibabayad ng manonood."
Vic is all praises about Judy Ann whom he got to work with for the first time. "In this movie, I found out bakit marami s'yang tagahanga. After working with her for four months, I saw how she is with her fans, with the crew, and with fellow actors. Maayos s'yang makitungo."
He also only has good words about Eat Bulaga's newest child sensation Ryzza who is part of the movie. "She never ceases to amaze me. [Despite her quick rise to stardom and the many perks that come with it], she still enjoys the simple pleasures of life."
Jose and Wally, the comedic duo who are also EB mainstays, are described by Vic as "funny guys with good timing" which is why "we try to give them good breaks kasi alam namin kaya nila. Kahit supporting roles, okay lang sa kanila kahit nag-bida na sila dati."
Vic was also asked how he keeps himself looking young and he answers that he doesn't take problems to heart and enjoys what he does to the fullest. "It's also in the company you keep. Nakakabata yun."
Since the MMFF parade is moved from the traditional December 24th to the 23rd this year, Vic expresses that he's glad it'll give him more time to freshen up before the midnight mass and to prepare for his family's Noche Buena the next day.
Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote, at si AKO is jointly produced by Imus Productions, OctoArts Films, M-Zet TV, APT Entertainment, and GMA Films. It is directed by Tony Y. Reyes who observed that Vic and Bong are the same in a lot of ways starting with being more concerned about giving the best they can offer to Filipino audiences above the rivalries and showbiz politics that affect other actors. "Their utmost concern is to make the movie into something that will give them pride and honor because it helps uplift the movie industry. This movie is one such example."
The big-budgetted movie was shot in some of the most spectacular places in North Philippines, had dedicated sound stages during the entire filming, and had CGI effects done abroad to make the film grand in every aspect.
The heavyweight support cast is composed by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo, Sam Pinto, Gwen Zamora, Aiza Seguerra, John Lapus, child stars Jillian Ward and Ryzza Mae Dizon, Yassi Pressman, Jolo Revilla, Oyo Boy Sotto, Ruby Rodriguez, Amy Perez, Barbie Forteza, Alden Richards, and Anton Revilla.
All the Enteng movies are known to espouse values about family, marriage, friendship, responsibility, forgiveness, love, respect, and environmental protection. This year, come to the cinemas with the whole family starting Dec. 25 and expect to have a roller coaster ride drama, action, magic, visual effects, production design, cinematography, and unlimited laughter.