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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 9, 2023



AFTER THE film “Secrets” and the series “An/Na”, acclaimed writer-director Jose Javier Reyes now comes up with another full length film about a summer that a young man will never forget, “Tag-init”.  

Newcomer Clifford Pusing (best known for the Boys Love mini-series, “Sakristan”) gets the plum role of Martin, a 17-year old boy who joins his older brother Chino (Ali Asistio) as they stay in a beach resort. 

With them are Chino’s best friend, Paolo (Aerol Carmelo) and his girlfriend Nadine (Yen Durano.) 

While Paolo and Chino are preoccupied with the sexy and liberated Nadine, Martin wanders on his own and spots another beach house.  He meets Adele (Franki Russell), a beautiful young woman with a sad story.

Martin finds out that Adele is the kept woman of a politician’s son, Robbie (Marc Acueza), and she’s hoping, but helpless to break free.  

In that short period of time, they make a connection and Martin falls hopelessly in love with her. The experience will change his life forever. 

We tell Direk Joey that his cast consists mostly of newcomers, how did he deal with them? 

“Hindi na bago sa akin ito as I’m used to handling newcomers, andami ng nagdaan sa akin, from Ruffa Gutierrez, Aiko Melendez and Carmina Villaroel, sina Mark Anthony Fernandez, Claudine Barretto at marami pa,” he says. 

“Masuwerte ako kasi matatalino ang mga artista ko. Mahirap kapag ang katrabaho mo walang utak. 

"I’m happy na sina Franki and Yen are such smart young women, they understand their roles as a kept woman and as a liberal young woman perfectly. 

"When I’m doing this kind of movie na may sexy scenes, maingat ako, lalo na sa mga babae kasi kailangang alagaan mo ang pagkababae nila so they can maintain their dignity.”

How about the guys? 

“Si Clifford, I saw him in ‘Sakristan’ and I want an actor who’d be believable as a 17-year old innocent young man who’ll experience an unforgettable summer. 

"Cliff calls me tatay and I explained to him his role, kunsaan ang pupuntahan ng character niya at wala kaming naging difficulty. 

"‘Tag-init’ is about the passage of a young boy into becoming a young man with his experience with this lonely woman. 

"The movie asks: ibinibigay mo ba ang iyong katawan dahil sa pagpaparaos lamang o dahil sa pagmamahal? Do you give love out of sex or out of love? Sa nangyari kay Clifford, he shows that he is more of a man than his brother and his friends because he gave love and care to this lonely young woman.”  

How about Marc Acueza who’s been gone for a while and the rest of the cast? 

“Si Marc, this is the first time he does sexy scenes and he asked the permission of his wife first. 

"Sina Ali Asistio and Aerol Carmelo, no instructions dahil mga animal talaga yan at ako nga ang nagugulantang sa mga ginagawa nila sa harap ng camera. 

"We all had a grand time while shooting it on the beach in Batangas.”

Witness how a young boy transitions to being a man in this touching and sweet coming-of-age story. “Tag-init” streams on Vivamax starring January 20.