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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.

May 3, 2016

Director Quark Henares Comes Back In 'My Candidate', Doesn't Want To Live Under Mom Vicki Belo's Shadow

QUARK HENARES debuted as a director in 2002 in Viva’s well made sex drama, “Gamitan” starring Maui Taylor, which did well at the box office. Unfortunately, his follow up project, “Keka”, which is an edgy romcom about a serial killer played by Katya Santos in 2003, was not as successful and it will take 8 long years before he was able to direct again in “Rakenrol” in 2011, an indie film about the local rock and roll scene which had very limited viewership.

He then went to the States to study business at the University of Southern California, and now, Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films gives him a chance to direct anew in “My Candidate”, with ace romcom director Dan Villegas as his supervising creative producer. So how did this project start?

“I wrote the script in December,” he says. “It actually started as a joke. We were having a drink with other directors when the idea for this came out, like sino ba ang tipo kong katipunero o kandidato? Pero romcom ang treatment. We were laughing about it kasi the story is about people who know how to help other people, but ironically, not themselves. Ganyan yung character dito ni Shaina Magdayao who is a life coach. She helps other people put direction in their lives but siya mismo, she cannot get her own life together. We pitched the idea to Quantum Films and they fell in love with the project at ngayon, heto, pelikula na at nataon pang bagay na bagay sa darating na elections.”

In the movie, Derek Ramsay is Sonny, a young congressman who’s running for senator. “Shaina is hired to train the shy Derek in public communications so he’d have more charisma in his campaign rallies,” adds Direk Quark. “Derek is not a trapo here. He honestly wants to serve the public and not just be like other politicians. We show the good show of politics here, not just corruption kasi too heavy yung ganoon and we want something very light for ‘My Candidate’.”

Obviously, he went to business school in the U.S. to help his celebrity beauty expert mom Dr. Vicki Belo manage their beauty business. “But actually, mas na-miss ko ang job ko as a director. I don’t see myself na nagpapatakbo ng business ng mom ko na Belo Medical Group. What I want to do is to put up my own film outfit. I refuse to be known as just the son of Dr. Belo and be forever in the shadow of my parents.”
“My Candidate” will open in theaters on May 11. Aside from Derek and Shaina, also in the cast are Nico Antonio, Ketchup Eusebio, Al Tantay, Ricci Chan, Jun Sabayton and, in a very special role, Tirso Cruz III.