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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

Director Joel Lamangan Directing A Family Drama About A Closeted Gay Dad, 'Rainbow Sunset', With Eddie Garcia & Gloria Romero Leading A Powerhouse Cast

AFTER DIRECTING the acclaimed “Binondo, Tsinoy Musical” for the theater, Director Joel Lamangan now has new projects on TV and the movies. He has starred taping the new soap “Pamilya Roces” for GMA-7 and he’s also about to shoot a movie intended for the Metro-Manila Filmfest, “Rainbow Sunset”, an explosive family drama about a political family with deep dark secrets headed by a powerhouse cast. It’s based on a true story that happened in a distant province and the full script is written by Eric Ramos.

“In the story, Eddie Garcia plays a respected senator and Gloria Romero is his wife,” says Direk Joel. “They have three kids. Tirso Cruz III is the eldest, not so bright but maabilidad. Next is Aiko Melendez, the honest mayor of their town who doesn’t know her husband is corrupt. The youngest is Sunshine Dizon, a feminist na siya lang nakaintindi sa sitwasyon ng father nila. It turns out kasi na Eddie has a long time lover, played by Tony Mabesa.”

It will be revealed that their unusual love story started when they were still young men. “It’s Tony, an educator, who financed the studies of Eddie until he became a lawyer then ventured into politics,” adds Direk Joel. “Gloria Romero, played as a young girl by Max Collins, knows about the relationship of her husband and his lover-benefactor as she sees them kissing. And she has accepted it kasi alam niya kung gaano kalaki ang utang na loob ni Eddie kay Tony. So friends sila ni Tony. In their old age, Tony, now a retired principal, got sick and his only living relative is a distant nephew, played by Jim Pebanco and his wife, Sue Prado.”

This is how their long held secret is eventually revealed. “Eddie decides to get Tony and to take care of him in the last days of his life, confessing na may relasyon sila all along,” continues Direk Joel. “Siempre, this will have repercussions in their family, lalo na kay Aiko na ayaw ibunyag ito as it will ruin her own political career in their community. Maraming iba pang conflicts sa story, kasi yung younger sons and daughters nina Aiko and Tirso, magkakaroon din ng sarili nilang problems.”

He wants to treat this family drama differently. “I don’t want my actors to do melodramatic acting kasi we already see that everyday on TV. I want it to be more subdued and I’ll use classical storytelling without any cinematic embellishments. And the actors will not wear loud colors, only dark or earth tones.”

Aside from being busy as a director, Joel is also into acting. He has finished a new movie, “School Service”, which will have its gala night at the CCP this coming Sunday. And he will be playing the title role in the PETA re-staging of the play, “Buhay ni Galileo”, which he first played in 1981 and also at its first revival last year. We tell him some friends are worried about his health and that he is stretching himself too thin. “No, I’m okay,” he insists. “I love what I’m doing. Therapy sa akin ito. I’ll get more sick pag wala akong ginagawa.”