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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 26, 2014

Ai Ai De Las Alas Fans Will Be Shocked To See Her In A Totally Different Kind Of Role In 'Ronda'

AI AI DE LAS ALAS fans used to seeing her make them laugh as the Comedy Concert Queen will be shocked by her earnest portrayal in the Cinemalaya entry, “Ronda”. She looks gloomy and stressed all throughout and she doesn’t even smile, not even once. It’s a daring gamble to venture into serious drama acting and it pays off as she nails her role perfectly.

“Ronda” is the character portrait of a harrassed female cop and the bulk of the story is told mainly in one night where so many things happen while she's doing her usual ronda on the streets of Manila in their mobile patrol car with her partner, Carlos Morales, who gives solid support as her talkative foil.

Ai Ai herself has very few lines of dialogue. It's all acting all through her facial expressions, her body language, her silence. Even her backside is acting in scenes where she turns away from the camera out of frustration from the rigors of her thankless job. She's so subdued, toned down, totally deglamourized without make up.

The film is directed by Nick Olanka, a young filmmaker who first joined Cinemalaya filmfest 8 years ago w/ the entry 'Huling Araw ng Linggo' when he was only 23 years old. He majored on film in UP then ABS got him to direct for them. He has directed many MMK episodes and his last soap was 'Apoy sa Dagat' with Piolo Pascual. In mainstream cinema, he helmed an episode in the omnibus horror flick “Cinco”.

Also in 'ronda' are Cesar Montano as ai ai's lover, Mon Confiado as her husband who's an OFW in ubai, Julian Trono as her missing son, Perla Bautista as a vendor in their police precinct, Cogie Domingo as the victim of a mugging, Menggie Cobarrubias as the police chief, Bernardo Bernardo as a pimp in Quiapo, Kiko Matos as a street thug who bullies Ai Ai and Angeli Bayani as a TV reporter.

The city of Manila itself is a character in the film, as we see Ai Ai cruising through the streets of Quiapo and Sta. Cruz in the dead of night. The city is beautiful but there are reminders of urban blight and poverty all around. Don't miss “Ronda” in the coming Cinemalaya. Their gala screening at the CCP is on August 3, Sunday, 3 PM.