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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.

Jan 13, 2023



BELA PADILLA and Marco Gumabao are paired for the first time in “Spellbound”, an adaptation of a hit 2011 Korean film. 

It’s about magic, ghosts, and romance. “Spellbound” is Viva’s pre-Valentine offering on February 1.

 Bela Padilla (who is now based in London) plays Yuri, a beautiful woman who has become a ghost magnet after surviving a vehicular accident back in high school. 

The ghosts’ constant presence in her life also causes fear to people near and dear to her. 

Her family gets so scared they left her. Yuri is convinced that she’s better off alone given her situation, so she lives away from other people. 

But a certain magician might just change her mind.

Marco Gumabao plays Victor, a street magician. He is actually not a professional magician, but he is able to attract audience through his good looks and charm. 

When Victor sees Yuri among the crowd, she winds up being the inspiration for his horror magic show which becomes an instant hit. 

Finally, Victor gets his big break to become a stage magician.  He gets Yuri to play as a spectre in his show and it’s a hit. And then one thing leads to another.

 Rhen Escaño plays Krissy, the most prominent ghost in Yuri’s life.  She was Yuri’s best friend who died in that vehicular accident.  

As she follows Yuri all around, she’ll witness the blossoming friendship between Yuri and Victor.  

Not happy about it, Krissy will once again make herself known as the unfriendly ghost, making this an unusual triangle between a girl, a boy and a meddlesome spirit. 

 Can Krissy really scare Victor off, or does he have his own tricks to ward her off?  Can Yuri ever get rid of Krissy? Is the love between Victor and Yuri bound to fail after all?  

Bela and Marco have previously worked together in a movie (“Apple of My Eye”) written by Bela, with Marco playing the lead role. “Spellbound” is the first movie they get to act together.

“It was nice working with Marco,” says Bela. “He’s been a friend for a long time and okay siyang katrabaho lalo na this movie took so long to shoot.

"He’s very open on the set and you can share your feelings with him about how to do a scene. 

"It took a long time to finish this movie. We started on January 20,2020 and first shooting day namin sumabog ang Taal and then na-declare ang first day ng lockdown because of Covid. 

"Natigil ang shoot namin at hindi na kami nagkita. I went to London in July 2021 and we were able to resume the shooting only last year. 

"And now, finally, we’re glad natapos na rin siya at ipapalabas na.”

Bela says that this is the first time that she’s portraying a character that is close to her personality. “Pareho kaming duwag ni Yuri,” she says. 

She admits to being really afraid of ghosts and she avoids going to horror movies and listening to horror stories told during tapings on the set. 

“Kaya sa shoot, tinatanong ko na agad kung nasaan yung mga multo para hindi na ako nagugulat,” she says.

 “Spellbound” also stars Cindy Miranda, Benj Manalo, Moi Bien and Ronnie Liang. Directed by Jalz Zarate, "Spellbound" opens in cinemas nationwide on February 1.