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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.

Dec 13, 2023



ALESSANDRA DE ROSSI plays Elay, the mother of child actor Euwenn Mikaell as Tonton in GMA Pictures and GMA Public Affairs’ entry in the coming Metro Manila Filmfest, “Firefly.” 

In the story, Alex would often tell whimsical stories at bedtime to her son and it is about the fantastic pulo ng mga alitaptap. The boy Tonton will then search for that fabled island of the fireflies somewhere in the Bicol Region. 

This is written by Angeli Atienza and directed by Zig Dulay, who admits Alex is his favorite actress ever since they worked together in the indie film “Bambanti”, which won a best actress award for Alex in the Sinag Maynila Film Festival in 2015. 

Also in the powerhouse cast of “Firefly” are Dingdong Dantes as the narrator who frames the story while narrating it to Max Collins, a writer who is initially hostile to Dingdong while interviewing him and doesn’t believe that he is really the author of a children’s book about fireflies that won a national book award.

Also in the supporting cast are Cherry Pie Picache as the boy’s grandmother, and Miguel Tanfelix, Ysabel Ortega, Epy Quizon, Yayo Aguila and Kokoy de Santos as the kind people Tonton meets while searching for the island of the fireflies who eventually help him in locating it.

Also appearing in special roles towards the end of the movie are Gary Estrada, Bernadette Allison, Jaime Fabregas, Raquel Villavicencio and Lui Manansala.

This year has been quite a busy one for Alessandra. Aside from “Firefly”, she was also seen in the movies “Walang Kaparis” with Empoy Marquez and “What If” with JM de Guzman, and the six-part mini series on Netflix, “Replacing Chef Chico” with Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby.

Alex seems successful in her decision to no longer accept villain roles when, honestly, she’s the most effective Valentina ever, as seen in the 2005 version of “Darna” starring Angel Locsin. She was an effective contravida so she got more villain roles in soaps after that.

“Ayoko naman talagang magkontrabida from the start but I have no choice kasi kailangan kong magtrabaho,” she says. 

“But after a while, I got annoyed when people tell me in public na umiinit ang ulo nila sa akin dahil sa kontrabida roles na ginagawa ko. 

"So tama na, ayoko nang bigyan pa ng anumang negative vibes or sakit ng ulo ang viewers who are affected by my villain roles. 

"Siempre, sino ba naman ang may gusto na naiinis ang viewers sa kanya, gayong sa totoo lang, wala naman akong ginagawang masama sa kanila. 

"So huwag na, baka dahil sa init ng ulo nila sa’kin, nabibigyan ko pa sila ng cancer cells, kaya I decided na tigilan na ang paggawa ng nega roles. Gusto ko na lang ng touching stories.”

And as far as touching stories go, she is indeed very effective in her role as Elay, the caring mother of Tonton in GMA’s Metro filmfest entry, “Firefly”.

The movie is so constructed to obviously inspire viewers to follow their dreams with the help of people who care for them.

It’s designed to tug at your heartstrings and it does succeed in touching the hearts of viewers who want to have a good cry.

But it’s not only Alex who gives a sterling performance as the mother but also child actor Euwenn Mikaell who has previously appeared in GMA soaps like “Cain at Abel”, “My Special Tatay”, “One of the Baes”, “Nakarehas na Puso” and “The Write One”. 

He’s now 9 years old and will no doubt steal your heart as Tonton in “Firefly”, where his performance is so effective we won’t be surprised if he’d bag the best child actor award come the Metro Filmfest awards night.