I was waiting for this, the project alone had me excited and in some way I was already so happy with the cast, but last night's reveal had us all dumbfounded. They kept it a secret for a long time, I was even there before the shoot and I had no idea he was even in the movie. We got the shock of our lives when a familiar face appeared, it was John Lloyd Cruz and I could hear the gasps from people in the back during the first teaser reveal.
The movie CULION is gunning for the last 4 slots in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival and the script from the legendary Ricky Lee, director Alvin Yapan and Producer Shandii Bacolod tells us about the life and love which happened in the leper colony in the 40's. Officially cured of it all in 2006, people had no grasp of how gorgeous CULION is. I have personally visited the place and it was just jaw dropping views, one after another, and the huge difference is its people whom the story will delve on. You will feel their welcoming vibe, much like any Filipino, they will talk about resilience, hope, of which they have shown the whole world they can do. Ms. Iza Calzado tells us how it all became so real for her, also for Jasmine Curtis Smith who plays the lead roles for the film. They got to connect with their characters and how they have shown their capacity to love despite of their condition. It showed the strength of their spirit, how they all have encompassed Hansen's disease and overcome adversities despite the stigma attached to the then incurable plight of people from around the country. There are a lot of stories which can be told, and are still being told now by residents in CULION. This should show you how they've all gone through that and become the proud people they are today. Here's part of the press conference and the reveal of the posters last night.
There will be a lot of things to watch out for especially iconic lines from characters in the film, take for example Ana (played by Ms Iza Calzado) who said "Sipingan mo ko, sipingan mo ko ng paulit ulit.." (which asks a man to make love to her again and again).
I also had the chance to talk to Papang Lee O'Brian whom I had the pleasure of asking a question about his role before they went to CULION, and I was glad to see how he got immersed with the people there after spending several shooting days in the island. He saw what we saw, what the treasure was, it was Culion's people. Their warmth and hospitality, their triumph over adversities, it was what made them all so endearing to anyone who visited the place. You will discover that too, aside from the island's beauty, when it shows on December hopefully as part of MMFF.
Heto na ang unang pasilip sa "Culion". #CulionTeaser Watch till the end. Directed by Alvin Yapan Story and Screenplay...
Posted by Culion on Monday, September 30, 2019
Oh and yes, this is so much more than John Lloyd alone, but dang, he just shocked us all.
Let me leave also what Ricky Lee told us would be the cure for the stigma, when I asked him about not being a doctor and what he thinks about curing the stigma, he replied "I am a doctor (Honoris Causa recently, everyone laughed). I could say the cure for the stigma is knowing that they are human too." I felt that.
Can't wait to see it on theaters soon!
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