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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.

Oct 26, 2015

Tessie Tomas Happy To Play Lead Role Of A 69-Year Old Lola Who Goes Back To Grade School In 'Old Skool'

TESSIE TOMAS never thought she'd get to play a lead role in her own movie but the feel-good film, "Old Skool", gives her that opportunity. This is produced by Till I'm 90 Films and the directorial debut of Cia Hermosa-Jorge. "I play Lola Fely, who lost her husband and feels lost," she says. "I spent five decades of my life trying to make others happy as a wife and as a mother. But now, I'm faced with the question of my own happiness. I seek the answers by trying to fulfill a lifelong dream - to finish grade school and get my elementary diploma at the of 69. With newfound determination, I go back to school to finish Grade 6, only to discover the ruthless world of pre-teen campus life. It's hard, pero masaya. Maraming matutuwa sa experiences ko as a senior citizen na bumalik sa pag-aaral."

The movie sees Lola Fely navigating lunchroom politics, bullying, making friends and dealing with the pressures of school. Through sincere but heartfelt storytelling, "Old Skool" will make you laugh but also tug at your heartstrings with great subtlety. It is a movie with a bold message: in your journey to your own happiness, it is never too late to pursue your dreams and aspirations.

This theme resonates strongly with Cia, whose own journey to filmmaking paralleled Lola Fely’s quest. The mother of three first forayed into filmmaking only in 2010, under the direction of the late veteran director Marilou Diaz- Abaya. "Before studying film, I held a really good corporate job for over six years. At that time, my eldest son was starting to develop into his own person and that's when I knew I had to set a good example for him and follow my passion. I wanted him to see his mother put in 100 % to pursue her dream because that's how he'll learn how to soar," says Cia. "On the first day of film school, I was so nervous because I was 30 and everything was uncertain. But I was so hungry to learn. Direk Marilou taught me that being a filmmaker is a vocation, a calling. You touch people’s hearts, you inspire action, and you make people realize things through film. It is a huge responsibility. Only five years later, and of course through blood, sweat and tears, we have 'Old Skool'. There really is no end date for following your dream and reinventing yourself."

'Old Skool' also stars Angel Aquino and Buboy Villar (of Kid Kulafu) and will be shown on November 4 exclusively at SM Cinemas nationwide. Tessie and Cia are hoping you'll support their film.