This movie feels so special for me because in a way, I got involved in it so personally after visiting Culion a few months ago. I was able to talk to its residents; and see for myself what the place looks like, how the people feel now that the island is getting attention now that an entry to the Metro Manila film festival is named and being told for the world to see. It is now becoming evident that people look at it now at differently, to hopefully give the former Hansen’s disease colony a new light, as it deserves to be the new destination for tourism, for business to flourish and perhaps get the spotlight it deserves; because it is just so beautiful.
The film just recently launched it’s official soundtrack and music video sung by Ms. Joanna Ampil, a heavily awarded Filipino singer who has performed in Broadway and London’s West End in different musicals. It’s called “Kundimang Mahal”, which music was done and composed by Felipe M. De Leon Jr., Lyrics by Michael Coroza and produced by Francis Salazar specifically for the film. The music video also includes some of the participation of its cast members Yam Mercado, Denise Nayve and Mike Liwag. They also included some of the scenes of Culion the movie in it so you kinda get a glimpse of what you’ll be expecting come December 25.
Ms. Gillie Sing the Executive Producer says “This afternoon this reminded me that this is the first presscon after we got accepted in MMFF. This is also going to be the launch of our MTV which includes our much awaited theme song, thank you so much for your support.”
Broadway star Joanna Ampil says “I am very honored to have been able to sing this song entitled “Kundimang Mahal” composed by Felipe De Leon with lyrics by Michael Coroza. They gave me the story behind this song and the lyrics. They also have me insight about the movie, that’s where I saw the connection too.”
Meryll Soriano says “We treat each other as sisters, we do what we can and we are blessed as actors that we could do something of this magnitude, to be there early, we had time to bond before the shoot. We got used to prosthetics after the third day, but the shoot had challenges because we had a typhoon during the filming. Our mindset changed when we got accepted in MMFF.
Joem says “I am overwhelmed that I got to do a lot of films with high caliber actors. It was all casted, I did my best and I have a flexible schedule to do films. It just went in sync for Judy Anne, for Iza as well. We are in the stage of being happy, the pressure is off and we are celebrating for people to see this. We want them to see the story of the island and its people."
The Producer Madame Shandi Bacolod says "We gave them the possibilities, the pros and cons. It’s been a tradition (to have more family friendly movies do well at first then the heavily awarded ones second), but there is a market for people who don’t know about it. There is a story, we are tapping even government agencies like DepEd to have their students learn about it. To approve and get permits in the local government took a long time and we presented the script with the church, the mayor, the people, we will do the world premiere in Culion on December 14. That is what we promised them.”
Mike Liwag says “Honestly I am so grateful and thankful to be part of this. I have seen their work and I look up to them, this is my biggest film project and I have had advise doing these scenes. I am excited to see this.”
This song feels so painful, but it still exudes love, passion, quite nationalistic. It's an apt representation of how these all happened during war, how they remained triumphant despite what was happening that era. All the more, Culion is something you should watch this Christmas day during the Metro Manila Film Festival. Stay tuned for updates during the world premiere on December 14 as I will be there.
Hopefully, you won't see me crying while I'm there.