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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.

Apr 17, 2022



DIRECTOR REAL FLORIDO is an indie film director who finished masscomm at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. 

His first movie, “1st Ko si Third” (which he also wrote), was an entry in the Cinemalaya 2014. 

Dante Rivero won the best actor award for his performance in the lead role. The film later joined the QC International Filmfest and won the gender sensitivity award. 

It was also exhibited and gained acclaim in various international filmfests in London, New Jersey, Canada and Hawaii. It was later shown on Netflix.

Direk Real then branched out into television and directed such shows as “Protege”, “Party Pilipinas” and “Taste Buddies” for GMA. 

He is now back directing a full length film for Vivamax. This is the romantic-drama, “Habangbuhay”, starring real life couple Mccoy de Leon and Elisse Joson in the lead roles. 

Did he have any difficulty in directing them? 

“Not really,” he says. “From the start, nag-usap kami and may understanding kami na we’re working as a team. 

"Very open sila in telling me na Direk, ito ang puede naming gawin, at ito ang hindi. They definitely know what they’re doing and it turned out to be a very beautiful partnership for all of us. ”  

What is “Habangbuhay” all about?  

“Love story ito about two young people with perfect emotions but in imperfect settings kasi Elisse is sick with a disease na wala siyang immunity while Mccoy is their houseboy. 

"When we found out from Viva that it’s Mccoy and Elisse, sumakto yung kuwento para sa kanila. Perfect ang ingredients at mas nagkaroon ng buhay yung story about young lovers crossing into adulthood.”

So did the two stars deliver? 

“I was really floored by their performances, kasi ang lalalalim pala nila. Not just as actors but also as persons. They know their craft, mababait sila, walang ego sa set at para lang kaming magbabarakada na magkakasamang gumagawa ng isang project.”

He has high hopes for both of them. 

“Si Elisse has all the qualities to be the next Bea Alonzo. Si Mccoy naman, napakalaki pala ng range na kaya niyang ibigay. 

"I’m sure na mahaba pa ang itatakbo ng kanilang career and i’m so happy na sila ang nakuha naming leads for this project as they really gave life to the characters.” 

He says their real life experiences as a couple definitely helped them become more mature actors. 

“Marami na silang pinagdaanan sa buhay nila together. They now have their own baby. 

"‘Habangbuhay’ is really something to look forward to, specially for their fans, kasi ang layo na ng naging progress ng work nila nito kaysa sa mga ginawa nila before.”

At the movie’s presscon, many writers noticed that Direk Real is good looking enough to be an artista himself. Does he see himself working before the cameras later?  

“Hindi siguro,” he says. “My passion is really to work behind the camera and be a filmmaker. 

"Pero kung minsan, may director friends ako who get me to do cameo roles for their films, okay lang yun. But yung aarte talaga ako, it’s not for me.”  

“Habangbuhay” will start streaming on Vivamax this Friday, April 22.