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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 7, 2018

Two First Time Directors In Cine Filipino Filmfest, Rod Marmol Of 'Mata Tapang' & Alpha Habon Of 'Mga Mister Ni Rosario', Follow In The Footsteps Of Jun Lana & Perci Intalan In Making Good Films

TWO PROMISING Cine Filipino Filmfest entries that start showing tomorrow in selected theatres are “Mata Tapang (Brave Eye)” written and directed by Rod Marmol and “Mga Mister ni Rosario” by Alpha Habon. Rod and Alpha usually collaborate as writers, like in the forthcoming comedy “Pinay Beauty” starring Maxine Medina and Nico Antonio and directed by Jay Abello, but in the Cine Filipino festival, they’re rivals or competitors. In case you’re not aware, they’ve been live in partners for eight years now, making them the younger version of Directors Jun Lana and Perci Intalan.

“Sinuwerte lang kaming nakapasa at parehong pinalad matanggap ang individual projects namin sa Cine Filipino,” says Rod, a spoken word artist with his own Facebook advice column, “Utot Catalogue”.

“Wala namang problema kasi suportahan pa rin kami,” says Alpha. “We consult each other about our projects. After shooting, kinukumusta namin ang progress ng work ng isa’t isa. Di naman namin itinatago ang relasyon namin. Nakakatawa lang kasi may mga nagpe-predict, magbe-break na itong dalawang ito. But we just feel lucky we are given this break to direct our own films.”

Rod’s film is based on the true story of his own dad. “I was 8 years old when my father, a soldier, lost one eye in the war. Even if he has only one eye, he tried his best to give us, his children, a good life, so this is my tribute to him and to all the soldiers who fight selflessly for us.”

Playing the lead role in his movie is Edgar Allan Guzman as Sgt. Hardrock, who loses his left eye in an ambush. But this opens his third eye that gives him the chance to see the spirits of his dead soldier friends like Aaron Villaflor, Jerald Napoles and Miguel Almendras to help them fulfill their duties to the family they left behind.”

Alpha (whose real name is Ronald Allan, ala-FPJ) started as a scriptwriter in “Star Na si Van Damme Stallone” starring Candy Pangilinan as a mom with a mentally challenged son, a Cine Filipino entry two years ago. He also wrote sitcoms on TV like “Home Sweetie Home”. He now directs his own script in “Mga Mister ni Rosario”, with Joross Gamboa as a method actor who internalizes the roles he is assigned to play and takes them home to his wife, Kate Alejandrino, who plays along with him.

“It’s a romantic comedy na naging suspense-thriller when Joross plays the role of a murderer and he really wants to kill his wife,” says Alpha. “It shows how we can all do crazy things in the name of love. I feel so blessed to get Joross and Kate in the lead roles and I couldn’t think of anyone else who could do the roles as effectively as they did in the movie.”