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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 3, 2018

Bela Padilla & Jc Santos Of '100 Tula Para Kay Stella' Reunited In 'The Day After Valentine's Day', Still Written & Directed By The Prolific Jason Paul Laxamana

IN THE FIRST Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino last year, “100 Tula Para Kay Stella” starring Bela Padilla and JC Santos, written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, emerged as the topgrosser and also the most well reviewed entry. This year, the same team has another entry, “The Day After Valentine’s”, which was just graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and will be shown from August 15 to 21. How different is this from “100 Tula”?

“‘100 Tula’ is parang puppy love compared to this which is more adult, darker, edgier,” says writer-director Jason. “I got the title from the idea na kapag Valentine’s Day, kasama mo yung tunay na mahal mo and, the day after Valentine’s, iba namang mahal yung kasama mo. JC here is Kai, a broken hearted man. He harms himself, sinusugatan niya ang arms niya. He goes to a store kunsaan si Bela as Lani ang nagbabantay. Bibili siya ng arm socks to cover his wounds, pero nakita ito ni Bela at doon nag-start ang friendship nila.”

Is the story based on his experience? “Yes. I took up broadcast communication in UP and it took me nine years to graduate. There were time na when I’m disappointed with myself, I also cut my arms using ballpen covers. Masyadong mataas ang standards ko, I’m very competitive and easily get depressed. But I’m over that now. Hindi ko na yun ginagawa ngayon sa sarili ko.”

He says the movie is an acting piece for Bela and JC. “Sila lang dalawa halos ang laging nasa screen. They’re both so good kaya pinababayaan ko na lang sila most of the time. Binabago ko na lang kapag may hindi ako gusto. But they always give their best. JC here is part Hawaiian so there are scenes na nagpunta sila sa island of Lanai near Maui. I was invited there last year as a resource speaker at naisip kong mag-shoot doon. We stayed there for six days and got a local actor there, Rayton Lanay, to play JC’s brother. Playing Bela’s younger brother naman is Jordan Castillo. And we have a surprise guest star.”

Aside from this, he has two other completed films: “Bakwit Boys” for Rex Tiri Productions (which is also an entry in the PPP) and “To Love Some Buddy”, a romcom for Star Cinema starring Maja Salvador and Zanjoe Marudo. Definitely the most prolific filmmaker today, he has also pitched a new movie with Regal, “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love”, about five male and female friends and their relationships about getting a college degree.