Culion for MMFF 2019!

pilar mateo sni THE “P” TALKS!
BY: Pilar Mateo

THE premise.

The story of Culion and the people living in the island have been told in so many ways, in so many times.

That for a while, the people in the island just wanted to shut their lives from the outside world who mostly continued to put the stigma in the disease that existed a long time ago. In war-torn years. In time of war.

The medical pages would describe Hansen’s Disease (also known as Leprosy) as an infection caused by slow growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose (nasal mucosa). However, if left untreated, the nerve damage can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness.

Residents of Palawan, new producers whose focus are in doing advocacy films, Peter and Gilie Sing knew about Culion.

Everything fell into place when iOptions Ventures asked Shandii Bacolod and her Team MSB to be their Executive Producer, get Ricky Lee to write the script and go to Culion to talk with the Mayor and the Doctor handling and in the know of the Island’s history, culture and more.

They didn’t know if they would be allowed to do the project and had to assure the Mayor and the Doctor of what the story is about and how it could help Culion rise and Break The Stigma.

Auditions. Casting. Story Conference. Costume fitting. The works.

The shoot. In the heart of Culion.

The teaser. The trailer. The ad campaign.

Wishing. Hoping. And praying. That it gets a slot in the forthcoming MMFF (metro Manila Film Festival) this Christmas Season.

Iza Calsado, one of the leads came onboard to invest in the project. Sharing stellar roles are Meryll Soriano and Jasmine Curtis Smith with Joem Bascon and Mike Liwag. Actor in hiatus, John Lloyd Cruz gets a special appearance and creates stir when it was announced.

A formidable supporting cast-Suzette Ranillo, Simon Ibarra, Lee O’Brian, Andrew Legados Figueroa, Raflesia Bravo (who sang the theme song), Joel Saracho, Nicolo Fowler, VJ Mendoza, Yam Mercado, Aaron Concepcion, Jai Puno Astor, and cast of a hundred including the Culion Kalinagan Ensemble.

An award-winning cinematographer, Neil Daza and director Alvin Yapan.

Cuilon had a very successful teaser/trailer and ad campaign launch in Manila. And it had the same impact when some members of the cast, the producers and media friends flew to Palawan for the teaser/trailer and ad campaign and a sneak preview of one of the important scenes in the movie.

The movie will be shown in Culion for the real “bidas” of the story to see.

Apart from that, Ms. Gilie and Sir Peter shares their advocacy of helping students from Culion enroll in courses like Medicine (2 students), IT related courses (3 students) and Agriculture (3 students) not just as scholars but aid in achieving their goals in life. A very good start.

Love is truly contagious.

Sharing the film. Culion The Movie. Breaking the Stigma. Helping Culion Rise.Giving hope and love. Especially to the youth!

What more can be asked of a film of great magnitude?

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