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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 12, 2013

Lorna Tolentino Delivers A Quiet But Solid Performance In Joel Lamangan's 'Burgos'

DIRECTOR JOEL Lamangan thanked the Bautista siblings Herbert, Harlene and Hero for producing the true to life drama, “Burgos”, under their own company, Heaven’s Best, that also produced the coming comedy, “Raketeros” (we heard they’re changing the title.) Hero was there at the press preview, along with their dad, former Director Butch Bautista, and they’re both very pleased with the film.

“Burgos” is based on the travails of Mrs. Edith Burgos, wife of the late publisher-editor Joe Burgos, and her search for her son, Jonas, who was abducted by armed men in 2007 while having lunch in a restaurant at Ever Gotesco Commonwealth mall.

“Sila ang matapang na producer who agreed to finance this project,” says Direk Joel, a former political prisoner during martial law who’s noted for doing acclaimed political and socially significant films like “Dukot” (about political abductions), “Migrante” (about OFW’s), “Sigwa” (the 1st Quarter Storm), “Deadline” (killings of media people) and “Patikul” (coffee farmers arming themselves in Mindanao.) “And I’d like to thank Mrs. Burgos for allowing me to make me a movie about her experiences.”

After the screening, Mrs. Burgos went up on stage and also thanked Direk Joel for making a faithful screen adaptation of her family’s search for the missing Jonas. She said she cried while watching the film as it brought back the painful memories of the suffering and indignities they had to go through as a family. In one scene, the wife of a general (played by Lollie Mara) even brazenly accosted Mrs. Burgos on the street and reprimanded her for accusing the military as the culprits in the disappearance of her son.

Lorna Tolentino gives a very quiet and controlled but sterling portrayal as Mrs. Burgos. The film has many touching scenes. The most moving for us is when Lorna recounted her sad experiences with people who made fun of her son’s disappearance. “May tatawag, sasabihin, nakita po namin ang anak nyo, tapos biglang tatawa, joke lang po,” she says.

Among those who portrayed her children, the one who registered the most for us is Kerbie Zamora as the photographer. He had a moving scene with Lorna, who he calls Moms, inside a bus while they are on their way to search for Jonas. He said he’s afraid he’s forgetting how his missing brother looks, which is what the military wants them to do: just forget about Jonas. Another poignant scene shows him in a mental hospital in Bataan where it’s reported that an inmate might be Jonas. He was so full of excitement and anticipation, then it turned out to be another case of mistaken identity.

Also giving good support are Rocco Nacino as Jonas, Allen Dizon, Dimples Romana and Bangs Garcia as his other siblings, Ina Feleo as his wife, Tirso Cruz III as Joe Burgos and Jim Pebanco as the human rights lawyer who helps the family in their fight for justice probono. “Burgos” will be the closing film of the Cinemalaya Filmfest and will be shown at the CCP Main Theatre on August 3, 9 PM. It will have a special whole day advanced screening on August 26 with proceeds going to the Free Jonas Burgos Movement and Karapatan office. Then it will have its regular screening starting August 28.