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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.

Feb 9, 2022



XIAN LIM gets to work for the first time with international award-winner Director Brillante Mendoza in Vivamax’ horror-thriller, “Bahay na Pula”, that starts streaming on February 25. 

So how is his experience working with Direk Brillante?

“It’s inspiring to work with him,” he says. “I like the way he inspires and motivates the people around him. 

"When he speaks, makikinig ka talaga because he’s knows what he’s talking about. His filmmaking style is really unique and we learned so much ng co-stars kong sina Julia Barretto and Marco Gumabao working with him.”

And how is it to work with Julia and Marco? 

“It a joy to work with both of them. It’s my first time to work with Julia but I didn’t have a hard time establishing rapport with her. Si Marco naman, we worked na before in a TV series so we know each other. 

"But very memorable every single day na magkakasama kami sa shooting, kasi we’re on location in Mindoro and nag-connect kami agad kasi we shared common stories. 

"We opened up to each other and we all felt people see us as suplado, but when they get to know us, they find out hindi naman pala.”

They also found out that working with Direk Brillante is a different kind of adventure. 

“We didn’t know what to expect sa shoot dahil kakaiba ang style ni Direk, e. He just tells us what to do kapag nasa set na. So hindi namin alam kung ano na mangyayari sa susunod. 

"He even trusts us to come up with our own dialogue. But I enjoyed doing the collaborative process with him as the filmmaker. It’s unique.”

How is it doing a horror flick? 

“Kakaiba siya kasi, yung horror vibe, mapi-feel mo na talaga pagpasok pa lang doon sa bahay na pula where we shot the movie. For ten years daw, walang pumapasok doon. 

"Naka-locked lang siya. May caretaker, pero ang mga may ari, nandito na sa Manila. Yung may-ari, pinauwi pa nila from Manila just to open the house. 

"Nagpamisa muna kami sa bahay bago mag-start ng shoot. Creepy yung house kasi the caretaker said maraming namatay roon, lalo na raw nuong panahon ng Hapon.”

He had a strange experience with the house. 

“When we first got there, nag video ako. Dala ko yung camera ko, kasi I take footage for my vlog. Tapos, nang bumalik na kami sa hotel, I checked yung video, wala, nabura lahat ng files ko. 

"Sabi ko Direk Brillante, ayaw yatang magpa-video. And he said, baka nga, kaya huwag mo nang i-push.”

It’s actually his first time to do a horror film. 

“I did something scary, yung ‘Untrue’, but it’s more of a psychological thriller. Unlike here na we’re dealing with something supernatural. Mahirap palang gumawa ng horror film. Kasi when you do a 

love story, you just ask, is the scene working? Nakakakilig ba ito? Dito sa horror movie, you’re not sure if what you’re doing is effective. Nakakatakot ba itong ginagawa namin? 

"Will we really scare the audience? So you really just have to trust the director. Kami nga ni Julia, after doing a scary scene, then nagtatawanan kami and we ask si Direk, tama ba ang ginagawa namin? So we’re hoping that viewers will really get scared when they watch ‘Bahay na Pula’.”

It’s Valentine’s Day on Monday. What are his plans? 

“I don’t really like planning for Valentine. I think mas gusto ko siya i-celebrate the day before. Or even two days before para mas matagal ang time to spend with the people closest to me, my mom and my grandmother. 

"I’m at this point na gusto ko silang ipasyal, iikot, specially because of the pandemic na hindi sila lumalabas. Life is really short so I just wanna give them all the love and attention that they deserve from me. 

"And or course, with my special someone, alam nyo na kung sino yon, para sama-sama kaming lahat.”