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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.

Dec 23, 2020



JOSEPH MARCO is beaming from ear to ear these days. 

He has not just one but two filmfest entries in the Metro Manila Filmfest that starts showing today via Upstream.ph: Regal Entertainment’s horror offering, “The Missing” and Heaven’s Best Entertainment’s dramatic thunderbolt, “Isa Pang Bahaghari”. 

“I play a lead role as the leading man of Ritz Azul in ‘The Missing’, directed by Easy Ferrer, and a supporting role in ‘Isa Pang Bahaghari’ as the second son of Nora Aunor and Phillip Salvador, directed by Joel Lamangan,” he says. 

“Both films were earlier entered in the Metro summer filmfest slated last April, but nagkaroon nga ng pandemic so hindi natuloy. Now, sa Metro Manila filmfest, pareho rin silang nag-qualify, so I am blessed to have two entries.”

What’s his role in “The Missing”? 

“I play Job, an architect, at ex-girlfriend ko si Ritz Azul who plays Iris. Her family just experienced a tragedy when her younger sister was killed in a kidnapping incident. 

"I want to help get over and move on so I asked her to join me in a restoration job in Karatsu in Saga, Japan. There, we met the man who hired us, Riku Watanabe, who has a six-year old son named Aki. They're played by Japanese actors. 

"We also met a Filipino student named Leni, played by Miles Ocampo, who discovered that several people have gone missing in the house over the years.”

It turns out the house was haunted by Japanese ghosts called yureis. “As soon as we started working on the house, Ritz encouneter some hauntings and she keeps seeing yureis who are angry with our presence in the house,” adds Joseph. 

“At first, I dismissed it, saying she might just be hallucinating because of her trauma from the family tragedy she experienced. 

"But her suspicious get worse when a local worker named Fumio told her about a ritual called hitobashira, which involves the act of human sacrifice, so we didn’t know that our lives are actually in so much danger. 

"Nakakatakot ang movie. Magaling si Direk Easy Ferrer in establishing the right creepy atmosphere and sinister mood, so many scenes will surely jolt viewers and give them a good scare, so don’t watch this alone at home. 

"My advice is that be sure to be with your family para may kasama kayo sa panonood nito. For only P250, you can watch it online with your whole family."

How is it working with Ritz Azul in “The Missing”? 

“We’ve worked together before sa ‘Los Bastardos’ where we were paired with each other, so we’re already comfortable na working together,” he replies. 

“Since our movie was filmed on location in Japan, all of us involved in the shooting, including Direk Easy Ferrer and the crew, became good friends kasi kami lagi ang magkakasama. Our set was in a 100-year old house na mukhang haunted talaga.”

Joseph is also part of an HBO Malaysia crime-drama TV series called “The Bridge”. 

About his love life, he was linked last year with beauty queen Celeste Cortesi, but they have since broke up and he is now playing beautiful music with a blonde Russian model Dasha Romanova. 

You can watch “The Missing” via live streaming on Upstream.ph for only P250.