Filmography: Haplos (1982)

“…Al! Natatako ako, umalis na tayo rito!…Kapag sumama ka sa kanya mamatay ka…” – Cristy

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Basic Information: Directed: Antonio Jose Perez; Story, screenplay: Ricardo Lee; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Rio Locsin, Delia Razon, Eddie Infante, Rez Cortez, Juan Rodrigo, Jaime Fabregas; Original Music: Jun Latonio; Cinematography: Romeo Vitug; Film Editing: Edgardo Jarlego, George Jarlego, Ike Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Laida Lim-Perez; Sound: Rolly Ruta; Theme Song: “Haplos” performed by Eva Eugenio

Plot Description: Al (Christopher De Leon) is a balikbayan who returns to his former hometown where his mother is buried. There he meets his childhood friend Cristy (Vilma Santos) who works as a counselor for family planning. Eventually they develop a romantic relationship and end up as a couple. However, a mysterious lady appears one day while Al tends to his mother’s grave. Al falls in love with the stranger and is now torn between her and Cristy. Haplos is another cinematic masterpiece by famed screenwriter Ricardo Lee. It is the official entry to the 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival. With Vilma Santos and Christopher De Leon in the lead roles and supported by Rio Locsin, Haplos is a brilliant movie with a mind-boggling twist in the story. It’s a must-see for all Pinoy film buffs. –  neTVision

Film Achievement: 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival 3rd Best Picture; 1982 FAMAS Nomination Best Supporting Actress – Rio Locsin

Film Review: “…The movie’s first major flaw is the relationship between Cristy and Al. Virginal Cristy has her first taste at the hands of Al. In one scene, Cristy says that she views the event as isolated, but in another scene, she says she has fallen in love with Al. Between the two scenes, however, she never sees Al. Does perception change with time? In general, yes but only if there is cause to change. Al, for all intents and purposes has disappeared from Cristy’s life after the isolated bed scene. The second major flaw involves the time frame of Auring, the ghost. She was supposed to have been raped and killed during the Japanese occupation. She reappears to select men, in this case Al, in order to seduce them. That was the only logical explanation for the fact that she allows herself to be kissed so quickly. Since she is dead, she should not die again. When the house burns down in the end, therefore, her house should reappear as it does and Auring should reappear but she doesn’t. Where’s the logic?…Because the director does not know how to direct his actors, they end up delivering uninspired performances. Rio Locsin is the best of the leads, with Christopher de Leon a poor second. Vilma Santos apparently cannot decide how to approach her role. Haplos, simply put is a bad horror film.” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Medyo mabagal ang unand bahagi ng pelikula, lalo na kung isa kang viewer na alam nang tungkol sa multo ang istorya dahil sa sunod-sunod na press releases na isinasaad ng buod nito. Sa simula pa lang ng istorya ay inaabang-abangan mo na agad ang multo na kay tagal bago unang lumitaw. Medyo nagda-drag na nga at bigla na lamang na-revive ang aming atensiyon nang lumabas na si Rio Locsin sa eksena. Biglang nabuhay ang pelikula and from thereon ay naging absorbing na. Isang malaking dahilan kung bakit nagtagumpay ang pelikula ay ang pagka-casting kay Rio sa papel na Auring. Ibang-iba ang aura ni Rio sa pelikulang ito. She looks so ethereal, out of this world, ibang-iba kaysa sa mga taong cast din ng pelikula. Terrific ang screen presence ni Rio at talagang she is oozing with sex. Na-eclipse niyang talaga si Vi at Boyet. Kung iisipin mo’y maikli lamang ang role but her memory lingers kahit wala na siya sa eksena. ‘Yung mga pangiti-ngiti niya at patakip-takip ng bibig, very effective talaga. Magaling din sina Vi at Boyet in their respective roles, pero talagang getting attention ang role ng multo at perfect pa ang casting ni Rio rito…Somebody from the ECP script’s screening committee told us na mas maganda raw ang orihinal na script ni Ricardo Lee sa naisapelikula. Isang istudyanteng nagbabakasyon sa lalawigan si Cristy at naging takilyera sa isang sinehan. Pero ipinabago raw ito ni Vilma kaya’t nagmukhang propaganda para sa family planning ang papel niya. Ang orihinal na Cristy ay mahilig mag-fashion model kaya’t hindi katakataka nang isuot niya ang damit ni Auring na nakita niya sa kama nito. May nag-aakalang sa ending ng pelikula ay na-possess si Cristy ng kaluluwa ni Auring but the writer never intended it to be like this…” – Mario E. Bautista, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, 1982 (READ MORE)

“…Halloween may not be that big of a deal on our tropical shores, but Philippine cinema has had its wealth of scary features in the last 50 years or so. Sure, we have our unique superstitions, supernatural mythology and homegrown ghost stories; yet it is safe to presume that local moviegoers go for cinematic chills due to this universal fact: horror/suspense movies are downright entertaining, if in often perverse ways. The alphabetical list below gathers just 10 of the more memorable Filipino films that are scary in varying degrees — some straight-up gory, others disturbing or creepy; some tacky, others funny; all generally reflecting a sense of moviemaking adventurism that has been lacking in Pinoy filmdom of the last decade or so…Likewise an MMFF entry in its year of release, this Ricky Lee-scripted, Antonio Jose Perez-helmed drama is topbilled by Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon, a tandem whose prolific body of work together is, in the view of former Philippine Free Press contributing editor-writer Ricky Torre, “akin to the wealth of collaborations between Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The Vi-Boyet oeuvre ably tackled the nuances of human relationships.” Haplos’ key players essentially form a love triangle (Rio Locsin plays the 3rd wheel) but, in the story’s traversing between its present time and the era of the Japanese occupation, it is also, as Torre muses, “a far-out take on the time-space continuum.” The horror element in Haplos is also its twist, one best realized by the uninitiated by scoring it on video CD…” – Bert B. Sulat Jr., Rappler, 10 Oct 2012 (READ MORE)

“Nasa ikatlong araw na ngayon (Monday, Dec 27) ang 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival na nagsimula noong Dec 25, Saturday, at ngayon pa lamang ay nadarama na ng mga producer ang kanilang kapalaran sa takilya. Nakangiti na ‘yong mga nangunguna at lulugo-lugo naman ‘yong kulelat. Subalit hindi pa tapos ang festival. Ngayong gabi, Dec. 27, Monday, ay ang Gabi ng Parangal sa Cultural Center (Main Theater) at dito’y tiyak na lalabas na naman ang dalawang mukha na simbolo ng show business. Isang nakatawa at isang umiiyak. Makikita ngayong gabi ang simbulong ito sa paggagawad ng karangalan sapagkat tiyak na ang mga magwawagi ng mga pangunahing karangalan ay nangakangiti at ‘yong mamalasan ay tutunganga na lang. Sa gabing ito ibabatay ang tunay na kalalabasan ng festival sa susunod pang pitong araw. Dikasi ang magaganap ngayong gabi ang siyang magdudulot ng pagbabago sa takbo ng labanan sa takilya….Sa sampung pelikulang naglalaban-laban, di lang sa takilya kundi sa karangalan, ang unang paboritong magta-top gross ay ang Santa Claus is Coming to Town ng Regal, Panday Ikatlong Yugto ng FPJ, Himala ng ECP, Moral ng Seven Star Films at Haplos ng Mirick Films. Ang mga paborito namang magwawagi ng awards: sa Best Actor, mahigpit ang labanan nina Robert Arevalo sa Santa Claus at Christopher de Leon sa Haplos. Sa Best Actress, labanang umaatikabo rin sina Vilma Santos sa Haplos, Lorna Tolentino sa Moral at Nora Aunor sa Himala…” – Movie Flash Magazine, 1982 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Ipagpatawad Mo (1991)

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Basic Information: Directed: Laurice Guillen; Story: Olivia M. Lamasan; Screenplay: Olivia M. Lamasan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Charito Solis, Bing Loyzaga, Amy Perez, Delia Razon, Ruby Rodriguez, Joonee Gamboa, Johnny Wilson, Vivian Foz, Jinky Oda, Terence Baylon, Bennette Ignacio, Eddie Albert Ramos, Lorli Villanueva; Executive producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.; Cinematography: Eduardo Jacinto; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Production Design: Edgar Martin Littaua; Sound: Gaudencio Barredo

Plot Description: A married couple who try to make their marriage work despite the fact that both of them are career-oriented and that there are tensions created by the prescence of their first-born child, Mike Jr., who turns out to be autistic. – RV

Atty. Mike Esquivel (Christopher De Leon) is a very successful lawyer who feels he has everything and the world is at his feet for the asking. He doesn’t know failure and how to deal with it. Mike is married to Celina (Vilma Santos), an equally successful T.V. personality. When Celina gives birth to their firstborn, Mike becomes ecstatic for he is now complete. But as their son grows, the doctor finds he is autistic. Mike is indignant. He cannot accept a feeble minded son as he worries about his reputation like his parents who suggest an institution. The situation is breaking up their ideal marriage for only Celina can understand and love her autistic son unconditionally. – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievemetns: 1991 FAMAS: Best Actor – Christopher De Leon; Best Child Actor – Terence Baylon; Best Director Nomination – Laurice Guillen; Best Picture; 1991 FAP: Best Actor – Christopher De Leon; Best Child Actor – Terence Baylon; Best Editing – Efren Jarlego; Best Picture; Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos; 1991 Gawad Urian: Best Actress – Vilma Santos; Best Picture; Best Screenplay – Olivia M. Lamasan; Best Actor Nomination – Christopher De Leon; Best Cinematography Nomination – Eduardo Jacinto; Best Direction Nomination – Laurice Guillen; Best Editing Nomination – Efren Jarlego; Best Production Design Nomination – Edgar Martin Littaua; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Terence Baylon

Film Reviews: Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos, the box-office love team of more than a dozen dramas, including “Pakawalan Mo Ako,” “Paano Ba ang Mangarap,” “Relasyon,” “Broken Marriage” and “Imortal” are reunited in this Laurice Guillen drama written by Olive M. Lamasan. They portray a married couple who try to make their marriage work despite the fact that both of them are career-oriented and that there are tensions created by the pres¬ence of their first-born child, Mike Jr., who turns out to he autistic.

At first, their marriage is close to being one made in heaven. Mike Esquivel (Christopher) is a successful lawyer, while Celina (Vilma) is a popular talkshow hostess. Celina gives up her career to devote fall time as mother to Junjun, the autistic child, played well by both Bennett Ignacio (when Junjun is three years old) and Terence Baylon (when the boy is seven years old). The husband, however, is totally unsympathetic and even considers the child a disgrace. With the wife spending practically all her waking hours to attend to her “special” child, the marriage expectedly begins to crumble. They only give themselves a second chance when Celina finds out that she is again pregnant. The second child – to father Mike’s relief – turns out to be a normal, healthy boy. But with Mike still unable to accept the first child, the marriage is on the rocks once more.

The situation worsens when Mike -driven by the abnormal conditions at home and his own self-centeredness – starts an extramarital affair with a balikbayan named Monique (Bing Loyzaga). Finally, a near tragic incident gives Mike another chance to prove himself a worthy husband to Celina and even worthier father to his kids, especially the autistic one. The movie is poignant, nevermushy. It isnotthe run-of-the-mill tearjerker that relies on maudlin theatrics and melodramatic devices to touch the hearts of moviegoers. Surprisingly, despite the frustrating problem facing the movie couple, moviegoers did not seem to be depressed by the movie.

Attempts to “commercialize” the film may be seen in the comic relief provided by the protracted spats between the two kids’ yayas (Ruby Rodriguez and Jinky Oda). But the heavy subject and the conditions in the local film industry allow us to accept the filmmakers’ decision to inject such crowd-pleasing elements. Though the late Lino Brocka has made a posthumous telemovie on the same subject autism — with a similar dramatic situation in the still-unreleased “Lampang Kerubin,” this is the first time in recent memory that a Filipino movie tackles the subject with seriousness and compassion. Beyond the subject of having an autistic child, the movie also deals with the intri¬cacies of family relationships, as indicated by the ties between Celina and her mother (Charito Solis) and a wayward sister (Vivian Foz), and between these folks and Mike’s parents (Delia Razon and Johnny Wilson). “Ipagpatawad Mo” is a major film event of the year, with quiet and restrained per-formances by the cast that erupts in emo¬tional outbursts only periodically and judiciously. – Butch Francisco, The Philippine Star (READ MORE)

“…The 1990s saw Charito Solis graduate to mother and grandmother roles, which she had done with frequency in the 1980s. In another nod to her age, she finally allowed herself to be billed above Vilma Santos, then acknowledged as the Longest-Reigning Box Office Queen of Philippine Movies, albeit above-the-title in films such as Ipagpatawad Mo (1992) and Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993)…” – Gypsy Baldovino and Yolly Tiangco (READ MORE)

“…Christopher redeems himself from his bad performance in the movie Huwag Mong Salingin ang Sugat ko, shown last week. He is in top form here, and portrays a gamut of emotions, as a father who could not accept that his son is autistic; as comfused husband who turns to another woman for comfort; as a desperate man who implores his wife to give him another chance; and as a transformed father who finally accepts his son is autistic. Vilma is exceptional, as usual. The two stars look good together. (I cannot imagine Christopher and Nora Aunor together). Although, they looke visibly – dare I say it? – old. Not even the soft-focus lens could disguise the bags under their eyes and the lines on their cheeks. Good thing Ipagpatawad Mo is a movie which deals with a more sophisticated subject, other than a man who meets a woman and they fall in love, or a married man falls-in-love with another woman and vice versa. In the future, I would like to see less cellular phones and more mature movies like this, please.” – Elvira Mata, Manila Standard, Oct 23 1991 (READ MORE)

“…Ninety percent of these autistic children are very good-looking and are good in numbers but they have a world of their own. If you teach them something, yon kung ang alam nila, no other world exists. Autism is like virus and it is not hereditary. Hindi malalaman na autistic ang isang bata until they are about three or four years old. But doctors know, when a baby is born that he or she is autistic, only they don’t dare tell the parents about it. This movie should be an eye opener for such doctors and parents.” – Nena Z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, Oct 28 1991 (READ MORE)

“…The wife was a popular talk show host. The husband was a top executive in the field of advertising. They were the ideal couple and the envy of all their friends. They seemed to lead the perfect life more so when the birth of their baby boy completed the picture of a domestic paradise. But time brought a realization that their son was not like the other normal children. He was diagnosed as autistic. The wife gave up her career to give her son every possible chance to lead a normal life but the husband could not accept his child. He thought that it was a massive blow on his masculinity. How they came to terms with the presence of this autistic child in their lives is the gist of this wonderfully crafted film…” – Mav Shack (READ MORE)