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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.

Jul 24, 2023




AI AI DE LAS ALAS has appeared in past two films of Director Louie Ignacio where her performances got much acclaim. 

First is “Area” where she played an aging prostitute and second is “School Service”, a Cinemalaya entry where she played a con artist who exploits little children.

Now, she gets to shine again in another Louie Ignacio film, “Litrato”, a drama written by Ralston Jover about dementia and old folks living in a nursing home.

We’ve seen the film and it’s biggest asset is Ai Ai’s remarkable portrayal of an “ulyanin” and pitiful old woman searching for her missing relatives.

The opening scene shows Ai Ai as Lola Edna, crying for help inside a “bodega”: “Tulong! Bakit nyo ako ikinulong dito?” 

But it turns out no one put her there, as she is the one who locked herself in as she refuses to mix with the other oldies in the home for the aged where she lives.

Why did she accept the totally delamourized role of a grandma who’s really much older than her real age?

“I enjoy playing challenging roles to help broaden my experience in acting,” she says. “But when I read the script of ‘Litrato’, sabi ko, parang sobra naman yata ang challenge nito sa akin, a. 

"I was afraid baka hindi ko kaya, but I want to do it. With the help of a lot of prayers, naitawid naman as only God can make miracles.

"Also with the help of Direk Louie. I trust him kasi nga, marami na kaming pinagsamahan at ang best actress awards ko came from him, kaya mahal na mahal ko yan, e.”

In “Litrato”, Ai Ai is given a great cast of competent supporting players and the whole ensemble gives commendable performances in the movie. 

This is led by Ara Mina as Ai Ai’s long lost daughter who sells fishball in the street and Quinn Carillo as her caregiver, who turns out to be someone else as there’s a very big surprising twist in her character that will surely shock viewers.

Also in the cast is Liza Lorena as the mistress of a judge who is the enemy turned friend of Ai Ai in the nursing home. 

Bodgie Pascua gives a heartwarming performance as Ai Ai’s love interest, an old man who professes constant love for her with his poems, even if she continues to find him annoying.  

The cast of oldies also include Joe Gruta, Lui Manansala, Ermie Concepcion, Tabs Sumulong and many more.

Ai Ai says she is thankful to all her co-stars in the film.  

“Everyone is highly motivated in giving their best in the movie,” she says.

“Lahat kayong mga may kamag-anak na matanda, kahit ama o ina nyo, or lolo or lola, tiyak na makaka-relate dito sa movie at siguradong maaantig ang damdamin nyo sa mga pinagdaanan namin ng mga kasama ko rito. 

"Napakagaling ng lahat, lalo na si Ara Mina as my daughter doon sa eksenang humihingi siya ng patawad sa akin kung bakit niya ako iniwan sa home for the aged.

"At si Quinn Carillo as the caregiver, nakaka-challenge din siya sa scene na may mahaba siyang aria to explain kung sino ba siya talaga sa buhay ko, na siyang big secret sa movie.”

And lastly she wants to thank their director. 

“Si Direk Louie, vision niya ito. May gusto siyang ipakita tungkol sa buhay ng matatanda, ng relationships between mothers and daughters, at nailarawan niya yun ng maayos dito sa ‘Litrato’, kaya don’t miss it when it opens in theaters this Wednesday na po, July 26.”