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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.

Oct 24, 2023




MATTEO GUIDICELLI get his most challenging assignment ever as the new Pedro Penduko, a Metro-Manila Filmfest entry written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana.

“Penduko” is not just a remake of the old Penduko movies but a total re-imaginging of the story originally penned in Liwayway Magazine by National Artist for Literature Francisco V. Coching.

The story had previous movie versions starring the late Efren Reyes in 1954 directed by National Artist Gerry de Leon, Ramon Zamora in 1973 directed by Celso Ad. Castillo and Janno Gibbs in 1994 directed by Baby Navoa and a sequel in 2000 directed by Erik Matti. 

There was also a TV version starring Matt Evans on ABS-CBN entitled “Komiks Presents Da Aventures of Pedro Penduko” that ran from 2006 to 2007. The new “Penduko” is written and directed by hitmaker Jason Paul Laxamana.

In the newest incarnation of the character, Matteo as Pedro Penduko is a young man blessed with mystical and supernatural powers he inherited from his father and their ancestors. 

“I feel so blessed that our producers trusted me to play Pedro Penduko for todays millennials and Gen Z viewers,” says Matteo whose career is really on the roll as he also has a new action series on GMA-7, “Black Rider”. 

“It’s also a big challenge for me and I really gave it all my very best in every scene. All the dangerous action scenes here, ako mismo ang gumawa and lahat kami ng co-stars ko are so proud to have come up with a movie this big and totally entertaining.”

Of all the actors who have played Penduko, Matteo is most certainly the most buff, the most fit, the most ripped with his hunky chiselled physique. 

Playing Matteo’s dad in “Penduko”, Apo Tisot, is internationally acclaimed John Arcilla, a powerful shaman or albularyo. 

Pedro and his dad had a misunderstanding so he leaves their hometown and moves to the big city to follow his dreams.

But he cannot get a decent job in the concrete jungle and can barely make ends meet, just wasting away his supernatural gift and potential.

A secret organization called Hatinggabi, headed by Albert Martinez as Gat Blanco, hears of his inherent powers and hires him as a special albularyo agent.

In the organization, he further hones his supernatural and mystical talents. It impresses some people, but also makes a lot of other folks jealous and insecure. 

Some evil forces involving witchcraft soon surface and endangers the lives of many people, including those who are close to Pedro.

Will he be able to fight these evil elements who want to rule the world and emerge as a conquering superhero? 

“Penduko” is the first co-production venture of Epik Studios, Sari-Sari Network, Viva Films, Studio Viva and Ninuno Media. 

“We are very excited with ‘Penduko’ and we look forward to whole families watching this amazing wholesome masterpiece,” says Jane Basas, Epik Studios and Sari Sari Network, Inc. Co-Chairman. 

“Let’s make the MMFF a family tradition every Christmas once again. With ‘Penduko’, we aim to give a meaningful movie bonding experience to kids and their parents during the Yuletide season. Brace yourselves as this is just the beginning of something EPIK.” 

Aside from Matteo, John and Albert, “Penduko” has a powerhouse cast including Mark Anthony Fernandez, Phoebe Walker, Marissa Sanchez, Candy Pangilinan, Andrea Del Rosario, Arron Villaflor, Gene Padilla, 

Joe Vargas, Martin Venegas, Keagan De Jesus, Kurt Delos Reyes, Tyro Daylusan, Zombie Tugue, TJ Valderrama, Jobelyn Manuel, JC Tiuseco, Andrea Babierra and more. 

It also marks the big screen debut of It’s Showtime’s Mini Miss U viral contestant, Annika Co. 

With its formidable cast, its much energized story line full of action and adventure, plus state of the art visual effects and graphics, “Penduko” is surely the best choice for the whole family in this coming MMFF that starts on Christmas Day.