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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.

Aug 7, 2018

'Bakwit Boys' Are About Four Brothers Who Evacuated From Their Hometown After A Disaster And Start Their Own Music Career

“BAKWIT BOYS” is the other entry of writer-director Jason Paul Laxamana in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino aside from “Day After Valentine’s”. This one is a musical with six original songs. In selecting the cast members, he chose actors who can both sing and act adequately. He chose Ryle Santiago, Vance Larena, Nikko Natividad and child singer-actor of TNT Boys Mackie Empuerto to play the title rolers, four brothers who evacuated to another province after their town was devastated by a natural calamity.

Vance plays the eldest, Kuya Elias, while Ryle plays Joey, Nikko is Phillip and Mackie is Sonny. They dream of being a boy band and playing the rich city girl who helps them record their songs is Devon Seron as Rose. How did Direk Jason get Mackie Empuerto of TNT Boys?

“He won the grand prize in a singing contest for kids where I was a judge and I remembered him,” says Direk Jason. “It turns out hindi lang siya sa singing magaling kundi pati sa acting as he can shed tears on cue, can memorize his lines easily and deliver them in the most natural manner.”

For Ryle’s role, he wants someone who could play the guitar well. “I searched on youtube and I saw his video singing and accompanying himself on the guitar so pinatawag ko siya. Just like Mackie, magaling din siya sa acting.”

How about Nikko? “I remember seeing him sa Pinoy Big Brother na he was being coached by Direk Rory Quintos at nagalingan ako sa kanya kaya pinatawag ko.” And Vance? “It’s our producer, Rex Tiri, who suggested him. Okay naman ang acting niya then pinakanta ko siya and he sang a Gary V song and I was impressed.”

Vance Larena
As for Devon Seron, Jason has worked with her before in the horror flick, “Pwera Usog”. “I find her a convincing actress at galing din siya sa Pinoy Big Brother and she played the guitar while she was there kaya bagay siya sa role niya.”

Just like “Day After Valentine’s” where JC Santos’ role as a depressed young man echoes a phase in Direk Jason’s own life where he’d hurt himself when he’s feeling down, “Bakwit Boys” is also inspired by his own experiences as a refugee when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in Pampanga when he was a child. “This is my homage to that phase in my life when I became a real life Bakwit Boy myself. It’s about surviving and learning how to rise from a misfortune you encounter.”

He says it’s not true that “Bakwit Boys” is nearer to his heart than “Day After Valentine’s”. “Pareho ko silang anak, so pareho ko silang malapit sa puso ko. I really pray na sana, pareho silang panoorin ng mga tao as they’re both very entertaining.”