FILM REVIEW: THE HEALING

The Plot: – “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “…Created in the same campy mold as Chito Roño’s other horror “Feng Shui”, the film gambled on giving Vilma Santos a project that was expected to earn money and provide cheap thrills. I am not sure about the box office returns but it did provide some scares when I saw it. Plot is about a neighborhood who is embroiled in a karma-like situation. The neighbors are having a second lease on life with their own set of illnesses after a life insurance agent’s dad was attended to by a faith healer named Elsa (who happens to be the name of Nora Aunor’s character in the masterpiece “Himala”). It may be low in coming up with a compact and weighty story to connect with but at least it gave its main chunk of meat a good production value and execution. The one involving a Chinese temple is my favorite. I also have to note that Jerrold Tarog did a wonderful job in the editing department. The ending, for instance, did not linger much on the drama and the realizations. Star Cinema also released two versions of the film. One is R18 which contains more gore and the other, to reach to a wider audience (read: more money), R13. Friends who might appreciate it: Vilmanians, no less…” – Manuel Pangaruy Jr., Tagailog Specials Presents, 28 October 2012 (READ MORE)

“…We are glad director Chito Roño has found his mojo in making effective horror flicks. After “Feng Shui,” which was truly scary, his next works like “Sukob,” “T2” and “Bulong” were quite inferior. He’s now back in top form in “The Healing,” which really works as a thriller. After seeing it, we’re no longer surprised the MTRCB gave its uncut version a rating of R-18 (although there’s an expurgated version that’s R-13) as he really upped the ante in the violence factor. It has a decapitation scene right in the middle of a busy street, a self immolation scene, necks being slashed, a stomach split open with the intestines spilling out, a bloodbath in a massage parlor where several defenseless people were killed and in a Chinese temple were monks were massacred, and most ruthless of all, a little girl being impaled in a flagpole. Those scenes are already shocking and horrifying enough as they are. In “Feng Shui,” the series of terrifying events was triggered by a cursed bagua. This time, the killings take place after Vilma Santos as Seth, an insurance executive, takes her ailing father (Robert Arevalo) to a faith healer (Daria Ramirez).

Her dad gets healed overnight so her ailing neighbors ask Seth to accompany them to the same faith healer: Ces Quesada who can’t speak, Ynez Veneracion who has a breast tumor, Janice de Belen’s blind daughter, Pokwang and Cris Villanueva who are afflicted with skin disease and Kim Chiu, who has a kidney problem. They do get healed, but the healing also doomed them and turn them into violent killers. We won’t go into detail as to why this happened, so as not to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that Roño and his scriptwriter, Roy Iglesias, try their best to come up with a believable explanation of its root cause that stems from the concept of “huwag mong buhayin ang bangkay.” Chito manages to sustain the feeling of dread and anticipation throughout the movie. And of course, it works because we feel for Ate Vi as Seth. It’s not her fault that the series of gory incidents happened but she’s the one being hounded by the ghostly spirits in the story since she’s the one who brought all the patients to the faith healer. Running against time, she then tries to reverse the curse by going to its source. All the graphic killing scenes are staged convincingly for maximum gruesome effect and it’s effective as all the actors deliver.

Pokwang is truly quite chilling when she turns into a monstrous entity with superhuman strength throwing people down from a tall building. Even perennial Roño actor Jhong Hilario stands out in a short but menacing role, the nature of which we can’t reveal here. The special effects involving the bulging and rotating left eye of all the killers is a touch of genius. Vilma is subjected to a lot of stressful scenes in the movie as she fights for dear life. We have to suspend our disbelief a bit in the scenes where she gets violently mauled, stabbed, hit by a chair, repeatedly hurled down into the floor, but it did elicit a lot of deafening screams from the theatre crowd. Some of her fans feel she should have just done another drama but we can understand her desire to flex her wings and do a vehicle of this sort. When we saw the movie, a lot of viewers were young people who enjoy watching scary films like this. With this, Ate Vi has successfully reached out to a new demographic, with the help of a young star like Kim Chiu, who in all fairness, also does well in her dual roles. For us, it’s a very wise decision indeed. And Chito Roño shows here to younger horror directors like Topel Lee, Richard Somes and Jerrold Tarog (Tarog did a fine job of scoring and editing the movie) that he remains to be the master of the genre who can be even playful with the orchestrated color scheme of the costumes worn by his characters in the movie…” – Mario Bautista, Malaya, Aug 6 2012 (READ MORE)

“…Director Chito S. Roño is a veteran in doing horror movies. In 2004, he helmed the box-office hit Feng Shui, an answer to the Asian horror movie phenomenon. The Healing, on the other hand, can be considered an answer to Hollywood’s torture-and-gore horror movie phenomenon. It may be the first local horror film to do so, and thus it is refreshing to watch. There is no shortage of shocking gore in The Healing. There are lots and lots of blood; horror movie fans will not be disappointed. The movie is also made more fun by moments of fan service, that recalls several niches of pop culture that seem to be taboo in Philippine mainstream cinema. There’s a small child wielding a ninja weapon killing groups of monks, before jumping to her death. There’s a beheading using a giant knife. There are many more. The story also offers something new, away from familiar themes like haunted houses and vengeful ex-girlfriends. It exploits the Filipino tradition of faith healing, and the consequences of tapping this alternative form of therapy. What’s most admirable is the fact that The Healing’s actors went to great lengths to provide credence to the story. Vilma Santos, for instance, gets stabbed multiple times that you’d wonder how she can take these intense physical scenes at her age. Kim Chiu should also be praised for her handling of her character, Cookie. Her early scenes when she needs to act sick are believable and downright affecting. In summary, The Healing is suited for Pinoy horror fans. It is fun as it is shocking, and non-squeamish viewers should have no problem having a good time…” – Mark Angelo Ching, PEP, July 30, 2012 (READ MORE)

“…Santos’ spine-tingler is far from original, but as it tweaks the narrative conceit that has made “Final Destination” a box-office-busting film franchise, the movie finds innovative ways to establish an atmosphere of impending doom that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats: You feel that something gruesome is about to transpire, you just don’t know how it will play out—or when! The Star for All Seasons decided to make the film because she wanted to add something “new” to her formidable oeuvre—and, with “The Healing,” Santos accomplishes exactly that. The role doesn’t require her to do much except run in circles or look worried or scared. But, she displays flashes of dramatic brilliance when she is hounded by guilt, a motivation that presents her with forks in the road that just might lead to the resolution of the horrifying story’s main conflict. More than anything, it’s a treat to see the durable actress on the big screen again. The horror-thriller genre she dabbles in effectively introduces her to a younger (and wider) viewing demographic that derives pleasure from getting scared out of its wits…” – Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 28, 2012 (READ MORE)

“…The reason I like Chito Rono’s horror movies, and the reason I see most of them in the theatre, is because suspense-horror is a completely original genre, completely divorced from the hang-ups and expectations of movies that involve real people doing somewhat credible things. I remember when Chito Rono did a suspense project DAHAS, topbilled by Maricel Soriano and Richard Gomez. It was one of a kind. Very engaging just like the Healing. Kim Chiu, among other characters has lesser exposure here but a huge revelation. She epitomizes the typical Asian character on every horror films we watched. Her make-up was perfect and she looks so fresh on the movie. Pokwang, Janice and Martin Del Rosario did a great job as support role. Their characters are very important and happy to see Janice De Belen again on the big screen. Pokwang gave a little taste of comic on her dialogues, which gave everyone to catch their breath in preparation to next scene. Martin Del Rosario is a real charmer. Again the focus of the film is the story, its suspense package and for Vilma Santos, which they succeeded. I suggest everyone should watch the uncut version, brave the director’s cut as there seems to be obvious reason why some of the scenes are not included on R13. DISLIKE: There’s one thing I don’t like, they are trying to blur some of Vilma Santos physical feature. That looks very obvious on the big screen. But you will love the color coding (that’s for you to find out). Star Cinema gave another reason for everyone to go back to movie houses and appreciate local films. It’s another excellent film of 2012…The Movie is in honor of Vilma’s 50th anniversary, Star Cinema gathered an all-star highly acclaimed powerhouse cast composed of Kim, Janice de Belen, Mark Gil, Martin del Rosario, Allan Paule, Cris Villanueva, Daria Ramirez, Ces Quesada, Ynez Veneracion, Simon Ibarra, Abi Bautista, Joel Torre, Chinggoy Alonso, Mon Confiado, Carmi Martin and Pokwang. I am giving THE HEALING 10 out of 10…” – Rod Magaru (READ MORE)

“…After the first character dies, you already know how the story would go. The suspense you feel as you watch grows, but this is in anticipation of the gory way the next character will die, not because you do not know what will happen next. To Rono’s credit, each “death scene” would top the last one as far as gore and blood are concerned. The cast did well, too. Vilma Santos is Vilma Santos. She will always be bigger than her roles. This is not to say that she did not perform well; she did. But, watching her, you see Vilma more than Seth – too strong to ignore. Kim Chiu appeared in very few scenes despite her second billing. As with her performances on TV, she would have done better if she injected more energy into her role. I did not know Martin del Rosario before this movie, but he delivered very well in his crucial role as Jed. I’m not really sure why Ynez Veneracion had to show her right boob in a scene – maybe for old times’ sake.

Several camera angles used by Mr. Rono were very well-planned and executed, maximizing the tension onscreen. Like other productions (movies and theater plays) I watch nowadays, there was color coordination in the outfits/costumes of the characters onscreen. In “The Healing,” though, I did not quite get why a certain color was chosen to be the “theme” of a scene. It was too obvious, that when a scene’s color scheme continued into an unrelated scene, it became distracting. Many common scare tactics and music were employed in the film. Thankfully, there was no Sadako-like creature in this one (if you still don’t know who Sadako is, Google “The Ring” Japanese version — or search on YouTube). Overall, “The Healing” is okay. It is similar to other horror films in the way the friends of the lead female character are dying around her and it is up to her to break the curse. If it was Kris Aquino who played Seth instead of Vilma Santos, the movie would just be “Feng Shui” all over again…” – Fred Hawson, Rappler, Aug 12 2012 (READ MORE)

“…The movie has a cohesive plot. The editing is brisk. The story telling is to the point. The jolts, the surprises, the building tension as the plot thickens makes you squirm from your seat. You can’t take your eyes off the screen so as not to miss the details, the foreshadowing, the conflict resolution. From the impressive opening credits, to the alternate theme colors of blue, red, yellow & white, you know the movie is special. The ensemble acting reminds you of such sleuth movies as Murder on the Orient Express & Death on the Nile, where Rono is able to flesh out the best from each actor or actress, no matter how small the role is, whether in a group or singly . I particularly like Janice De Belen, Pokwang, Robert Arevalo (in a groovy role that Sildenafil users could relate to), Kim Chiu, Joel Torre & Martin Del Rosario. Vilma Santos is in almost every frame. It is a most restrained performance, akin to her Urian winning Amanda Bartolome character in Dekada 70 where she has mastered “doing less is more.” As the key figure or the cause of the sad fate of her friends, Vilma is able to effectively use her eyes to show fear, guilt, sadness, even remorse. Her best scenes are when she tells her son Martin to not leave Kim from his sight, while calling from a cell phone, her confrontation scene with Kim in a car while Martin is driving the van & her hair raising, thrilling confrontation scene with Kim, the evil twin…” – Mar Garces (READ MORE)

“…The film is, by turn, violent and the sexy episode given clinical treatment. The breast of Ynez Veneracion (as Greta) is fondled matter-of-factly to show that the cancerous lumps are no longer there. The series of death – suicide and murder, keep the moviegoers on the edge, screaming here and there and up to the very end when the ‘sanib’ victim Kim Chiu (as Cookie) opens her eyes. Rono has a perfect acting ensemble to make this film credible and engaging. Even with the limited exposure and dialogue that she had, Daria Ramirez was great acting personified in The Healing. Pokwang (as Alma) was another revelation. Here, Rono doesn’t allow her to take another crack at her comic talents and emerges a natural performer. Everyone has defining moments in this film from Kim Chiu (as Cookie), Janice de Belen (as Cita), Robert Arevalo (as Odong), Martin del Rosario (as Jed), Mark Gil (as Val), Carmi Martin, Cris Villanueva (as Ding), Allan Paule (as Ruben), Ces Quesada (as Chona), Chinggoy Alonzo and Simon Ibarra (as Rex), among others. Joel Torre -as the healer’s brother- turns in another winning performance. This is my first horror film with Vilma Santos in it and I must say that she acquitted herself very well. Her subtle acting in The Healing was reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark. I think she should do more horror film with Rono. Like it or not, The Healing is my Horror Film of the Year…” – Pablo A. Tariman (READ MORE)

“…The movie queen has also reached out to new media. In the weeks leading to the movie’s showing, and during its entire run, the blogosphere is abuzz with news and features on its star. Bloggers, who are slowly eclipsing the legit press in prestige, a powerful bloc who are not paid purveyors of gossip and publicity stunts, are one in their admiration and praise for the screen icon. One thing that “The Healing” has achieved is it gained for Vilma Santos a new following. Not only has Vilma encroached on the horror-suspense niche, but with the film’s R-13 rating, she has also reintroduced herself to the younger segments of the population. Vilma’s insistence on challenging herself by doing different projects paid off, she has just made herself current, still, and very much a big, dominant fixture in popular culture, notwithstanding the new crop of stars that have come up and populated the scene. One palpable proof is her movie has set a trend in Philippine cinema: a slew of horror-suspense flicks followed suit after its huge success in the box-office. Philippine horror-suspense is usually associated with Kris Aquino, but Vilma has given the genre a new meaning and dimension…” – RRI Espinoza (READ MORE)

“…Whilst the script is somewhat threadbare the vistas, cinematography and overall presentation feels on par with that of its contemporaries. It’s just a shame that the screenplay fails to capitalize more on its own interesting premise. Whilst some light is shed upon the peculiar push-pull of Healers and the country’s strong catholic heritage; more time seems to of been placed upon moving the characters to the next set piece, complimented by some overly expository dialogue and a few to many ham-fisted deliveries. Having said that though, The Healing marks the mid-point of an exciting time for the Filipino horror industry. With titles such as Feng-Shui, Ouija and The Road seeing some overseas success, one hopes that a marriage of script, production and budget isn’t to far away. For now though The Healing represents a curio for the discerning viewer, or perhaps instead, a seed from which greater films will eventually flourish…” – John H. Marshall, Japan Cinema (READ MORE)

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The Healing (2012)

“…Gagawin ko po lahat kahit ano, gumaling lang po ako…” – The Healing

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Basic Information: Direction: Chito Roño; Cast: Vilma Santos, Kim Chiu, Pokwang, Mark Gil, Martin del Rosario, Allan Paule, Cris Villanueva, Daria Ramirez, Ces Quesada, Ynez Veneracion, Simon Ibarra, Abi Bautista, Joel Torre, Chinggay Alonso, Mon Confiado, Carmi Martin; Production Co.: Star Cinema; Release Date: July 25 2012

Plot Description: “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: PMPC Star Awards 2012: 11 Nominations – Movie of the Year – Star Cinema; Movie Director of the Year – Chito Roño; Movie Actress of the Year – Vilma Santos; Movie Supporting Actress of the Year – Kim Chiu; Child Performer of the Year – Abby Bautista; Movie Screenwriter of the Year – Roy Iglesias; Movie Cinematographer of the Year – Charlie Peralta; Movie Production Designer of the Year – Erick Torralba, Richard Somes, Fritz Silorio; Movie Musical Scorer of the Year – Jerrold Tarog; Movie Editor of the Year – Jerrold Tarog; Movie Sound Engineer of the Year – Mike Idioma; Film Academy of the Philippines – Luna Awards Best Picture Nomination – Star Cinema; Best Direction Nomination – Chito S. Rono; Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos; Best Cinematography Nomination – Charlie S. Peralta

Vilma Santos’ 50th Anniversary Movie; The Cinema Evaluation Board of the Philippines gave this film a “Graded A” and MTRCB rated this film Rated-13 (censored version) and Rated-18 (director’s cut) – Wikipedia (READ MORE).

Film Review: “…Created in the same campy mold as Chito Roño’s other horror “Feng Shui”, the film gambled on giving Vilma Santos a project that was expected to earn money and provide cheap thrills. I am not sure about the box office returns but it did provide some scares when I saw it. Plot is about a neighborhood who is embroiled in a karma-like situation. The neighbors are having a second lease on life with their own set of illnesses after a life insurance agent’s dad was attended to by a faith healer named Elsa (who happens to be the name of Nora Aunor’s character in the masterpiece “Himala”). It may be low in coming up with a compact and weighty story to connect with but at least it gave its main chunk of meat a good production value and execution. The one involving a Chinese temple is my favorite. I also have to note that Jerrold Tarog did a wonderful job in the editing department. The ending, for instance, did not linger much on the drama and the realizations. Star Cinema also released two versions of the film. One is R18 which contains more gore and the other, to reach to a wider audience (read: more money), R13. Friends who might appreciate it: Vilmanians, no less…” – Manuel Pangaruy Jr., Tagailog Specials Presents, 28 October 2012 (READ MORE)

“…Director Chito S. Roño is a veteran in doing horror movies. In 2004, he helmed the box-office hit Feng Shui, an answer to the Asian horror movie phenomenon. The Healing, on the other hand, can be considered an answer to Hollywood’s torture-and-gore horror movie phenomenon. It may be the first local horror film to do so, and thus it is refreshing to watch. There is no shortage of shocking gore in The Healing. There are lots and lots of blood; horror movie fans will not be disappointed. The movie is also made more fun by moments of fan service, that recalls several niches of pop culture that seem to be taboo in Philippine mainstream cinema. There’s a small child wielding a ninja weapon killing groups of monks, before jumping to her death. There’s a beheading using a giant knife. There are many more.

The story also offers something new, away from familiar themes like haunted houses and vengeful ex-girlfriends. It exploits the Filipino tradition of faith healing, and the consequences of tapping this alternative form of therapy. What’s most admirable is the fact that The Healing’s actors went to great lengths to provide credence to the story. Vilma Santos, for instance, gets stabbed multiple times that you’d wonder how she can take these intense physical scenes at her age. Kim Chiu should also be praised for her handling of her character, Cookie. Her early scenes when she needs to act sick are believable and downright affecting. In summary, The Healing is suited for Pinoy horror fans. It is fun as it is shocking, and non-squeamish viewers should have no problem having a good time…” – Mark Angelo Ching, PEP, July 30, 2012 (READ MORE)

“…Santos’ spine-tingler is far from original, but as it tweaks the narrative conceit that has made “Final Destination” a box-office-busting film franchise, the movie finds innovative ways to establish an atmosphere of impending doom that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats: You feel that something gruesome is about to transpire, you just don’t know how it will play out—or when! The Star for All Seasons decided to make the film because she wanted to add something “new” to her formidable oeuvre—and, with “The Healing,” Santos accomplishes exactly that. The role doesn’t require her to do much except run in circles or look worried or scared. But, she displays flashes of dramatic brilliance when she is hounded by guilt, a motivation that presents her with forks in the road that just might lead to the resolution of the horrifying story’s main conflict. More than anything, it’s a treat to see the durable actress on the big screen again. The horror-thriller genre she dabbles in effectively introduces her to a younger (and wider) viewing demographic that derives pleasure from getting scared out of its wits….” – Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 28, 2012 (READ MORE)

“…The reason I like Chito Rono’s horror movies, and the reason I see most of them in the theatre, is because suspense-horror is a completely original genre, completely divorced from the hang-ups and expectations of movies that involve real people doing somewhat credible things. I remember when Chito Rono did a suspense project DAHAS, topbilled by Maricel Soriano and Richard Gomez. It was one of a kind. Very engaging just like the Healing. Kim Chiu, among other characters has lesser exposure here but a huge revelation. She epitomizes the typical Asian character on every horror films we watched. Her make-up was perfect and she looks so fresh on the movie. Pokwang, Janice and Martin Del Rosario did a great job as support role. Their characters are very important and happy to see Janice De Belen again on the big screen. Pokwang gave a little taste of comic on her dialogues, which gave everyone to catch their breath in preparation to next scene. Martin Del Rosario is a real charmer. Again the focus of the film is the story, its suspense package and for Vilma Santos, which they succeeded. I suggest everyone should watch the uncut version, brave the director’s cut as there seems to be obvious reason why some of the scenes are not included on R13. DISLIKE: There’s one thing I don’t like, they are trying to blur some of Vilma Santos physical feature. That looks very obvious on the big screen. But you will love the color coding (that’s for you to find out). Star Cinema gave another reason for everyone to go back to movie houses and appreciate local films. It’s another excellent film of 2012…The Movie is in honor of Vilma’s 50th anniversary, Star Cinema gathered an all-star highly acclaimed powerhouse cast composed of Kim, Janice de Belen, Mark Gil, Martin del Rosario, Allan Paule, Cris Villanueva, Daria Ramirez, Ces Quesada, Ynez Veneracion, Simon Ibarra, Abi Bautista, Joel Torre, Chinggoy Alonso, Mon Confiado, Carmi Martin and Pokwang. I am giving THE HEALING 10 out of 10…” – Rod Magaru (READ MORE)

“…Vilma is subjected to a lot of stressful scenes in the movie as she fights for dear life. We have to suspend our disbelief a bit in the scenes where she gets violently mauled, stabbed, hit by a chair, repeatedly hurled down into the floor, but it did elicit a lot of deafening screams from the theatre crowd. Some of her fans feel she should have just done another drama but we can understand her desire to flex her wings and do a vehicle of this sort. When we saw the movie, a lot of viewers were young people who enjoy watching scary films like this. With this, Ate Vi has successfully reached out to a new demographic, with the help of a young star like Kim Chiu, who in all fairness, also does well in her dual roles. For us, it’s a very wise decision indeed. And Chito Roño shows here to younger horror directors like Topel Lee, Richard Somes and Jerrold Tarog (Tarog did a fine job of scoring and editing the movie) that he remains to be the master of the genre who can be even playful with the orchestrated color scheme of the costumes worn by his characters in the movie…” – Mario Bautista, Malaya, Aug 6 2012 (READ MORE)

“…Roño elevated gore in this horror. From a decapitation scene in the middle of the street to a massacre inside a temple, the director inspired the MTRCB to give the film dual versions: The director’s cut rated R-18 and a trimmed R-13 that allows the fans of Kim Chiu into the cinemas. While the spooks work (including a stroke of brilliance of a popped, moving left eye when the victim becomes possessed), acting was also solid in “The Healing.” Vilma, who owns most of the frames, is convincing whether consoling her friends, guilt-ridden, confused, terrified. She’s even perfect as the ex-wife who, despite the fact that she was the one left behind for a new family, remained careful and concerned when dealing with her son and the daughter of her ex-husband because she always consider how her ex and his new wife would feel. Supporting performances are as engaging. Kim Chiu, whose Cookie is also healed but scheduled to die if Seth fails to stop the terrifying chain, traded convincing scenes with the actress/politician. Robert Arevalo and Allan Paule (Greta’s husband) offered moments of laughter and chances to exhale from the jolts and gore. Joel Torre and Jhong Hilario stole bits of the thunder in their moments leading to the climax…” – Kaye Villagomez, Manila Bulletin, Aug 07 2012 (READ MORE)

“…Vilma Santos is an icon and it is cool that she is accessible to a new generation of movie-goers. Ate Vi, this time without the benefit of long monologues or cinematic crying, proves her virtuosity as an actor in a horror movie, a genre she’s not really known for. But the good governor is indisputable as the leading lady within a great ensemble cast, including Joel Torre, Alan Paule, Janice de Belen, Cris Villanueva, Kim Chiu, and Pokwang among others. Look closely and you’ll find her photographed lovingly (by cinematographer Charlie Peralta) in almost soft-focus -is that what they call a two stocking shot? -running around in her platform mules and designer handbags. She’s awesome at looking surprised and seemed suitably spooked when a black crow flies in her face. (I will not mention any plot spoilers because the story is way too convoluted to summarize here, but I will say that yes, there is an ugly black bird in this movie)…” – Ria Limjap, Spot.ph, Aug 03 2012 (READ MORE)

“…The movie has a cohesive plot. The editing is brisk. The story telling is to the point. The jolts, the surprises, the building tension as the plot thickens makes you squirm from your seat. You can’t take your eyes off the screen so as not to miss the details, the foreshadowing, the conflict resolution. From the impressive opening credits, to the alternate theme colors of blue, red, yellow & white, you know the movie is special. The ensemble acting reminds you of such sleuth movies as Murder on the Orient Express & Death on the Nile, where Rono is able to flesh out the best from each actor or actress, no matter how small the role is, whether in a group or singly . I particularly like Janice De Belen, Pokwang, Robert Arevalo (in a groovy role that Sildenafil users could relate to), Kim Chiu, Joel Torre & Martin Del Rosario. Vilma Santos is in almost every frame. It is a most restrained performance, akin to her Urian winning Amanda Bartolome character in Dekada 70 where she has mastered “doing less is more.” As the key figure or the cause of the sad fate of her friends, Vilma is able to effectively use her eyes to show fear, guilt, sadness, even remorse. Her best scenes are when she tells her son Martin to not leave Kim from his sight, while calling from a cell phone, her confrontation scene with Kim in a car while Martin is driving the van & her hair raising, thrilling confrontation scene with Kim, the evil twin…” – Mar Garces (READ MORE)

“…The movie queen has also reached out to new media. In the weeks leading to the movie’s showing, and during its entire run, the blogosphere is abuzz with news and features on its star. Bloggers, who are slowly eclipsing the legit press in prestige, a powerful bloc who are not paid purveyors of gossip and publicity stunts, are one in their admiration and praise for the screen icon. One thing that “The Healing” has achieved is it gained for Vilma Santos a new following. Not only has Vilma encroached on the horror-suspense niche, but with the film’s R-13 rating, she has also reintroduced herself to the younger segments of the population. Vilma’s insistence on challenging herself by doing different projects paid off, she has just made herself current, still, and very much a big, dominant fixture in popular culture, notwithstanding the new crop of stars that have come up and populated the scene. One palpable proof is her movie has set a trend in Philippine cinema: a slew of horror-suspense flicks followed suit after its huge success in the box-office. Philippine horror-suspense is usually associated with Kris Aquino, but Vilma has given the genre a new meaning and dimension…” – RRI Espinoza (READ MORE)

“…Whilst the script is somewhat threadbare the vistas, cinematography and overall presentation feels on par with that of its contemporaries. It’s just a shame that the screenplay fails to capitalize more on its own interesting premise. Whilst some light is shed upon the peculiar push-pull of Healers and the country’s strong catholic heritage; more time seems to of been placed upon moving the characters to the next set piece, complimented by some overly expository dialogue and a few to many ham-fisted deliveries. Having said that though, The Healing marks the mid-point of an exciting time for the Filipino horror industry. With titles such as Feng-Shui, Ouija and The Road seeing some overseas success, one hopes that a marriage of script, production and budget isn’t to far away. For now though The Healing represents a curio for the discerning viewer, or perhaps instead, a seed from which greater films will eventually flourish…” – John H. Marshall, Japan Cinema (READ MORE)

Kim Chiu in The Healing – July 25 2012

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Gerald Anderson – “…Abala muna si Kim sa shooting ng horror film na The Healing, kung saan gumaganap siya bilang anak ng Star for All Seasons na si Vilma Santos. First time ni Kim na gumawa ng isang horror film kaya aminado siyang nahirapan. “Medyo mahirap lang kasi horror ‘tapos may mga effects-effects, kaya ayun, nakakapanibago,”sabi ni Kim nang makausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kahapon, March 11, pagkatapos ng ASAP 2012. Aminado si Kim na noong una ay medyo nahihiya siya sa mga eksena nila ni Ate Vi, pero ngayon ay wala na raw siyang ilang na nararamdaman dito. “Mabait naman kasi talaga siya, e,” pagtukoy niya sa Batangas governor. “‘Pag na-meet mo siya, close na kayo agad. Parang ganoon. Ganoon ang personality niya.” Si Chito Roño ang director ng The Healing. Kamusta namang katrabaho si Direk Chito? “Maayos naman siyang magdirek. Nakakatakot, pero at least, matututo ka,” sabi ni Kim…Kasi siyempre, two years na rin ang nakalipas. “Kaya ayun, kailangan na rin ng inspirasyon.” Ang ibig sabihin ni Kim dito ay dalawang taon na ang nakalipas mula nang mabalitang naghiwalay sila ni Gerald Anderson. Posible ba na si Xian na ang susunod niyang maging boyfriend? “Ay, ayoko namang sabihin kasi nakakahiya. Basta!…” – Rommel Placente (READ MORE)

Fuller and Gorgeous – “…Everyone gushes that pretty as she was, the new fuller Kim Chiu is now even more gorgeous. It all started with her role in the 2011 ABS-CBN television series My Binondo Girl where she likened her role to Disney’s Mulan. She had to appear stronger, fiercer. She was determined to gain weight and so she went to the gym. It was in the same show that the public warmed up on her team-up with Xian Lim, also a Star Magic talent. I invited myself to one of the photo shoots featuring the famous love team and they filled me in on how they keep fit. My daughter reminded me to tell Kim and Xian that I am one of the avid fans of their team-up. Endearing as they were on television, I walked out of the shoot liking them a lot more. Star Magic, now celebrating its 20th year in managing talents, has done a remarkable job not only in developing talents but also in nurturing great character. Kim was everything she was on TV – sweet, kind, friendly, charming, real, and funny. Her personal trainer Boyet Trinidad describes Kim as a model client. “She is very committed. She hits the gym thrice a week despite being extremely busy. She follows the exercise regimen without any complaint. She has gained pounds already, improved her cardio, strength, and has developed muscle endurance. She can now run 3k on the treadmill…” – Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (READ MORE)

The Ultimate ‘It’ Girl – “…Kim looked exhausted from taping, but still agreed to do the photo shoot on a Sunday when she should have been resting. She arrived on time and smiled at everyone on the set, even to some fans. Kim showed energy posing for the camera, changing outfits, and sitting down for an interview…She considers having legions of fans, most of which are young girls, as a great blessing. Being famous, she is often allowed to cut into the front of the line or avail of a discount when she shops in stores. But in spite all these, Kim doesn’t see herself as a superstar. “I’m an actress,” as she prefers to be called…Kim confessed that when she has nothing else to do, she would splurge on shopping. She also revealed that when she chooses items, she doesn’t look at the price tag. Kim doesn’t have a stylist, so she relies on her own taste to come up with a look from head to toe. “I mix and match my own clothes. I like colorful dresses that are unique.” She admitted she feels uneasy if she doesn’t have lipstick in her purse. “Kahit maiwan na ang powder o ang concealer, basta huwag lang ang lipstick.”…Kim is constantly on her cellphone and the Internet to keep in touch with family and friends. “I ask them (older brothers) what they are having for dinner and what are they doing. For my friends, I invite them to join me at tapings to keep me company…” – Napoleon Quintos (READ MORE)

The Role – “…While filming the movie, there were moments wherein she felt intimidated by Vilma’s stature as an actress, which made it a bit difficult for her to deliver certain scenes. But Kim was grateful to Vilma because the latter encouraged her to stay focused in her role. “Sabi niya gawin mo dapat mong gawin sa isang eksena. Huwag mong sasayangin. Paulit-ulit niyang sinasabi na sayang yung eksena.” Vilma was equally very taken with Kim ever since they did a sample of a confrontation scene for Vilma: A Woman For All Seasons (a five-part TV special in 2009). In the meantime, Kim is gearing up for her newest soap Ina, Kapatid, Anak which also top-bills Maja Salvador, Xian Lim, and Enchong Dee. Aside from her easy camaraderie with fellow young stars, she is also excited to play Cherry Pie Picache’s daughter in the story. “It’s different dynamic. First time namin magkatrabaho ni Ms. Pie na mag-ina kami. Madaming beses na kaming nagkasama sa teleserye pero hindi siya yung kakampi ko. Yun ang isa sa mga dapat abangan ng viewers dito…” – Rachelle Siazon (READ MORE)

Kim Chiu (born Kimberly Sue Yap Chiu on April 19, 1990 in Tacloban/Chinese name: Zhang Jinzhu, Chinese characters, is a Filipino-Chinese actress. She lived in Cebu City before she went to Manila for Pinoy Big Brother. Chiu was the first winner of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition and is currently part of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic contract artists. She is also a recording artist, having launched her only album entitled ‘Gwa Ai Di.’…Chiu is slated to do a horror film with Vilma Santos titled, The Healing and a reunion movie project with perrenial leading man, Anderson tentatively titled, For The Sake Of Love. Chiu will also be starring in a new upcoming drama entitled, Ina, Kapatid, Anak with Xian Lim, Maja Salvador and Enchong Dee and set to do a romantic-comedy movie with Xian Lim. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Kim Chiu and Vilma Santos

The Healing (2012) – “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

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Martin del Rosario in The Healing – July 25 2012

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Challenging Roles – “…It’s “those eyes” that became Martin’s asset in fleshing out his roles that are more daring than those young stars like him would take the risk of doing, such as a teener raped by his own father, an autistic, a drug addict, a teenager who takes his father’s mistress as his lover to save their family and a gay sampaguita vendor, all in Charo Santos Concio’s long-running, top-rating 20-year-old ABS-CBN drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK). Martin was nominated for that gay role. Then, he won Best Supporting Actor for the indie Dagim, directed by Joaquin Valdez for Cinema One, not just once but twice, first in the Star Awards for Movies of the Philippines Movie Press Club (PMPC) and then from the Golden Screen Awards given by Enpress (Entertainment Press, the movie reporters’ breakaway group). In Dagim, Martin plays one of two brothers looking for their missing father until they end up with a tribe that turns out to be cannibals. “I love doing challenging roles, ‘yung mga off-beat,” said Martin whose father Robert del Rosario, and late uncle, Joey del Rosario, briefly did supporting roles (in Waywaya and Bagets) during their high school days at Aquinas in San Juan City. Martin has other showbiz relatives: Connie Sison is his aunt (Martin’s father’s youngest sister) and his mom, Maria Teresa Mangay, is the younger sister of Ces Quesada. After winding up work in the just-concluded ABS-CBN soap Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin (where he played Coco Martin’s rival for Andi Eigenmann), Martin is now cast in the reteam-up yet untitled movie (for Star Cinema) of Sarah Geronimo and Gerald. A Sagittarian (born Nov. 25, 1992), Martin stands 5’7.5”; weighs 130 lbs.; and wears small-size shirt, medium-size briefs and size-9.5 shoes….” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

First Award – “…Sa ginanap na press conference kahapon, Abril 5, para sa endorsement niyang BNY Jeans, lubos pa rin ang pasasalamat ng 18-year-old actor sa natamong pagkilala sa kanyang kakayahan sa pag-arte. “Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi first time ko ‘yon na-receive. Unang acting award sa buhay ko ‘yon!” nakangiting sambit ni Martin…Pero parang nawala lahat ng hirap noong nalaman ko na nanalo ako ng Best Breakthrough Performance as an Actor. “Parang nakaka-inspire na ipagpatuloy, pagbutihan pa ‘yong mga ginagawa kong project.” Sa halip na kabahan sa mga susunod pang trabaho dahil sa nakuhang award, mas nagiging inspirasyon pa raw ito upang paghusayin pa ang kanyang kakayahan bilang aktor. Para kay Martin, “Siguro hindi ito pressure, but more on to inspire. As of now, medyo fresh pa ‘yong award na ‘yon, puro congratulations pa lang ang natatanggap ko. “Wala pang ‘dapat i-maintain,’ wala pang gano’n sa utak ko. Pero more than pressure, it’s an inspiration talaga…Aminado ang binatang artista na mahirap pagsabayin ang pag-aaral at trabaho. Gayunman, ginagawan niya ito ng paraan upang maiwasan ang sobrang pagod na dulot nito. Kuwento pa niya, “Kahit na pagod na pagod, wala akong magagawa. “Sina Mama pa, kunwari kahit makita na nilang hinang-hina ako, ‘Pasok ka sa school.”…Hangga’t maari, iniiwasan ni Martin na huminto muna sa pag-aaral upang maibigay ang kanyang buong atensiyon sa pag-arte. Aniya, “Basta ayaw ko totally na mawala ‘yong school. “Kasi, sabi ng ibang artista, nakakabobo raw kapag hindi ka na bumalik, tatamarin ka. “So, ako, kahit eight years pa akong nasa UP, basta masasabi kong nag-aaral ako…” – Nerisa Almo (READ MORE)

Dramatic Actor – “…Martin recalled his enthusiasm when he learned that he was working with his idol, Coco Martin. “Kasi before [our teleserye] nakita ko [na umarte] si Coco, ang galing na aktor talaga,” beamed Martin. “Grabe ang galing-galing niya.” Tinuturuan din nga niya ako eh. Kunwari sa scene sinasabi niya sa akin, ‘Huwag mag-monotone ‘pag character.’ ‘No, hindi mo character ‘yan dapat ganito ka.’” The 18-year-old actor continued that one more thing he admires about the versatile actor is his humility despite his stellar status. While he is flattered to be called the next Coco Martin, Martin pointed out that he prefers to carve out his own niche in showbiz. “Ayoko namang maging Coco Martin talaga. Siyempre gusto ko rin bago, although gusto ko rin makilala as a dramatic actor. Pero siyempre ayoko naman ‘yung parehong pareho, baka isipin, ay parang si Coco lang.” Martin has already bagged two awards for his portrayal in the indie film Dagim, the Breakthrough Performance by an Actor trophy from the Golden Screen Awards and New Movie Actor of the Year award from the PMPC Star Awards for Movies. Martin has yet to be paired with a leading lady and the closest he has gotten to that was when he played the third wheel in the Coco Martin-Andi Eigenmann love team in Minsan Lang Kita Iibigan. However, the young actor said he prefers to be teamed up with different leading ladies. He explained that apart from getting the chance to work with different actresses, this will also enhance his versatility as an actor. Given the chance, he would like to be teamed up with friends Jessy Mendiola and Julia Montes, whom Martin described as both pretty and good actresses…” – Bernie Franco (READ MORE)

Most Beautiful – “…Kabilang si Martin sa pinarangalan sa nakaraang 100 Most Beautiful Stars ng YES! magazine para sa Filmfest Stars category, along with Paulo Avelino, Rocco Nacino, and Edgar Allan Guzman. Aniya, “Second time ko na ito, last year nasama din ako. “Actually nakakatuwa, nakaka-flatter kasi iba ang category ko ngayon. “Kung before heartthrob, ngayon Filmfest Stars category. “I’m overwhelmed. Sobrang nakakatuwa kasi pinili pa rin nila ako. Nakaka-inspire lang…” – Melba Llanera (READ MORE)

Martin del Rosario (born November 25, 1992) is a Filipino actor. Martin del Rosario met Jun Reyes, his manager, on his way to Lourdes School of Quezon City, his highschool alma mater -in the summer of 2007. Reyes, who was in the area at that time to buy lechon for Gerald Anderson’s birthday, came to him and asked if he wanted to be an actor. He replied ‘No’ but Reyes left him a calling card and asked for his phone number. He gave Jun Reyes his mom’s phone number. He then went to ABS-CBN for acting workshops. After this, he was launched as one of the new talents launched of Star Magic on its 15th anniversary last May 2007. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Martin del Rosario and Vilma Santos

“…Tinanong namin ang aktor kung anong preparasyon ang ginawa niya para sa series. “Siguro studying the script, tapos magpapayat, magmukhang bata. Nag-gym ako, new hairstyle, pampa-bata.” Since may pagka-sexy nga ang tema ng “Pintada,” nangangahulugan kaya ito na handa na rin rumampa si Martin sa Cosmpolitan Bachelor Bash? “Okay naman sa akin kung rampa lang. Di pa ako nakaka-rampa, sa akin wala namang problema. Open ako to that,” aniya…Tinatapos ni Martin ang pelikulang The Healing ng Star Cinema kung saan makakasama niya sila Kim Chiu at Governor Vilma Santos. Nagbigay siya ng update sa pelikula. “Tapos na. Malapit na siyang ipalabas. Siyempre nakakatuwa kasi matagal-tagal naming shinoot yun. Since last year pa, magkakasamana kami. “Two weeks ago, natapos na kami. It’s a horror movie na talagang nakakatakot. “Halos lahat ng eksena ko kasama ko si Ate Vi. Sobrang bait niya. Tinuturuan niya ako sa bawat eksena,” ang sabi ni Martin. “Madalas ko ring kasama si Kim Chiu sa mga scenes. Masaya. Naging close na rin kami. Nakilala namin ang isa’t-isa kasi kapatid ko siya [sa pelikula]…” – Melba R. Llanera (READ MORE)

“…Pero ang mas ipinagmamalaki nga ni Martin ngayon ay ang pagkakataong ibinigay sa kanya ng Star Cinema para makatrabaho sa isang pelikula ang Star for All Seasons at Batangas Governor na si Vilma Santos-Recto. The Healing ang working title ng horror movie nila kung saan kasama rin sa cast si Kim Chiu. Anak ni Vilma ang papel na ginagampanan ni Martin. Nakapag-first shooting day na raw sila at kaeksena niya kaagad si Ate Vi. Ano naman ang pakiramdam na makatrabaho ang Star for All Seasons? “Natakot po ako nung una kasi kaeksena ko agad si Ms. Vilma. “Tapos may eksena po kami na hihilahin ko siya. Horror po kasi yung ginagawa namin e.” Ipinagmamalaki ba niya na kasama niya si Ate Vi sa pelikula? “Very proud kasi bihira namang makatrabaho ng mga artista si Ms. Vilma. “Ang alam ko po kasi matagal na rin siyang hindi gumagawa ng movie. Ngayon na lang po siya yata gumawa ulit. “Tapos kasama pa ako. Bumilib po talaga ako sa kanya. Magaling po siyang umarte.” Nakakausap ba niya si Ate Vi sa set? “Opo, napakabait po niya. Ang dami rin po naming pinagkukuwentuhan e…”Nagbibigay din po siya ng advice sa acting. One time nga nag-sorry ako sa kanya kasi hahatakin ko siya sa hagdan. “Sabi niya, ‘Hindi, okay lang. Dapat nga ganyan e…” – Glen P. Sibonga (READ MORE)

The Healing (2012) – “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

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Janice de Belen in The Healing – July 25 2012

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Rebuilding Relationship – “…There was never really an issue” between the two of them, Janice maintained, even when Charlene married Aga in 2001. “Siguro nagkakaron lang ng issue whenever it’s being talked about that way kahit wala naman talaga. “Seriously, it was okay. Ako kasi, ‘pag tapos na, ‘di ba, move on na… ‘Pag may kinasal, wala nang drama. Kasi ‘yun na, ‘pag naghiwalay kayo, naghiwalay na kayo. So dapat maisip mo na ‘yon na, ito na ‘yung mga posibleng mangyari. It’s really fine,” she said. The returning Kapamilya actress also encourages Luigi, who now has a family of his own, to “rebuild” his relationship both with Aga and Charlene. “I have no problems with that. I tell Luigi, ‘Go to your dad, go to your Tita Charlene. Always be there, because [it’s making up for] lost time. We’ve been together for a long time, I think it’s time you start rebuilding your relationship with your dad and with your Tita Charlene and with your brother (Andres) and sister (Atasha),’” she said…Aga and I have no problem. Whatever differences we may have had in the past, tapos na ‘yon. I guess we’re mature na rin. Diyos ko, matanda na kami eh. May mga apo na nga kaming dalawa, ‘di ba?” she said…” – Rowena Joy A. Sanchez (READ MORE)

Innate Sensitivity and Warmth – “…Interestingly enough, at this early stage, the most exceptional performance in “Budoy” is turned in, not by Anderson, but by Janice de Belen as his surrogate mother. The new drama series benefits greatly from having De Belen play her pivotal role, because the actress has the vast experience and innate sensitivity and warmth to make her scenes with Budoy moving and memorable. It’s instructive to note that De Belen played a TV waif for years (on “Flordeluna”), so she knows how those handkerchief teleseryes operate. But the quality and affective worth of her portrayal go beyond TV smarts-they’re more the result of her acute “emotional understanding” of her character’s own loneliness, thus her ability to feel for and with the “reject” she’s chosen to mother…” – Nestor U. Torre (READ MORE)

Floredeluna – “…Dahil sa TV soap opera na “Flordluna,” ang longest running at most popular TV soap opera sa buong Pilipinas sa kasalukuyan, nakilala si Janice ng masa. Hindi lamang siya nakilala kundi higit sa lahat, siya ay hinangaan at minahal. Si Janice bilng “Flordeluna” ay simbolo ng kabutihan sa makasalanang daigidig. Siya ay sagisag ng pag-asa hindi lamang sa mga kababaihan kundi higit sa lahat ay sa mga kabataan. Sa gitna ng cass materialism at kalupitan ng mga tao sa kanyang kapuwa, na siyang tema ng ibang mga soap operang paatuloy na nilalason ang isip ng masa at ng mga kabataaan, si “Flordeluna” ay isang mood. Isang pedestal na kumakatawan sa lahat ng bagay na mabuti at maganda. Ang sweet at immaculate image ni “Flordeluna” (bagama’t mayroon ding sumpong at kapintasan) na buong katapatang binibigyan ng buhay ni Janice sa loob ng halos tatlong taon ngayon ay isang hiyas. Isang brilyante sa lipunang pinapamayagpagan ng mga huwad. Ang kanyang pagiging matiisin at makatao ay siyang ikinikintal ng mga educators sa mga estudyante sa elementary at high school level. Ang kanyang mga positive values na winawasak ng ibang soap operas sa ngalang ng sensayonalismo at realismo (raw) upang sila’y panoorin ay kailangan-kailangan sa ating kasalukuang henerasyon. Si “Flordeluna” ay catalyst ng kabitihan, ng anumang bagay na mabuti at maganda. Ganyan si Janice…” – Fundador Soriano, Artista Magazine, September 17, 1981 (READ MORE)

Farmhouse – “…Hindi ba tatlong buwan pa lamang ang nakalilipas mula nang buong kadramahan niyang ipinahayag sa madla na she is quitting showbiz for good? Marami siyang pinahanga sa deklarasyon niyang iyon: na sawa na siya sa mga intriga, gusto naman niyang magbalik sa dati niyang buhay na normal, gusto niyang tumawa’t sumimangot kung kailan niya gustong tumawa’t sumimangot at hindi ‘yung lagi siyang nakangiti…sikat na sikat siya, she’s at the peak of her career, tapos, buong tatag ng loob na tatalikuran niya ang showbiz…Siguro ay pinili niyang maging isang mabuting anak at sundin ang payo na kanyang mga magulang (lalo na ng kanyang ama) na ipagpatuloy na lamang ang kanyang pag-aaral…Pero lahat ng mga iyan ay tubig na lamang na dumaan sa ilalim ng tulay sa ngayon. Paano’y biglang kumambiyo si Janice at nagbago ng kanyang pasiya. Tiyak na lahat ng mga humahanga sa kanya ay mata-turn off. At kahit itatwa pa niya, lalabas at lalabas na nanggi-gimmick lamang pala siya, na niloloko lamang niya tayo. Such a kid, mautak na pala sa ganitong klase ng panlilinlang! But ultimately, she might find out that the rug she pulled off was not from under our feet but hers. Ngayong nagdeklara na siyang babalik sa showbiz through a TV show in such a short time…”I want a farmhouse. This will cost so much so I’ll have to work hard to have money to buy it with. I will have a swimming pool in front, a stable of hourse in the back…” – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash Magazine, October 6, 1983 (READ MORE)

Her Karma – “…Janice started as a child newscaster in “Newswatch Junior Edition” and hit it big as a child star in “Flor de Luna”. At 18, she had son Luigi with Aga Muhlach. She later married John Estrada and they have four kids. It was not an easy ride for Janice as a mom. She admitted in “SIR” that Luigi got into drugs, sent into rehab and she was not in favor when he became a dad and got married at 22, but having his own family no doubt straightened out Luigi. We cannot blame him if he went astray as he comes from a dysfunctional family. He saw his mom having her own family and also his dad with his own family, and no matter what you say, he must’ve felt like an outsider hovering somewhere in between. Janice was honest enough to admit that her problems with Luigi must’ve been her karma for her own sins that made her parents cry when she got pregnant out of wedlock. “It was so hard for me as a parent na tanggaping hindi ko siya napalaki nang maayos. Kasi ‘pag single parent ka, ‘pag maayos ‘yung nangyayari sa anak mo, hindi mo naman nakukuha ‘yung credit nang solo eh. Pero ‘pag napariwara ‘yung anak mo, ikaw lang mag-isa ang may kasalanan niyan.” But somehow, it ended well for Luigi, who finished culinary arts and now has his own restaurant. He has given Janice two grandchildren so far….” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

Catherine Janice Yap de Belen or Janice de Belen is a Filipina actress, commercial model and television host who was a GMA Network contract artist. She returns back to ABS-CBN via Budoy. She is currently part of ABS-CBN contract actresses. She was born November 9, 1968 to Philip de Belen and the former Susan Yap. She has a younger sister Gelli who is also an actress. At the age of nine, she became a newscaster for the RPN 9’s Newswatch Junior Edition. She got her biggest break from the same channel when she got the lead role in the soap opera Flordeluna. Two years later, she entered the movies via her launch movie Mga Basang Sisiw. Janice is also credited as co-writer of Joey Albert’s smash hit It’s Over Now. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Janice de Belen and Vilma Santos

“…Ang nasabing pelikula ay ang The Healing, tungkol sa paniniwala ng ilan sa atin sa faith healers. Kuwento ni Janice, “It’s with Vilma Santos. Ang role ko rito ay friend of Vilma. Makakasama rin namin dito sina Kim Chiu, Pokwang, Mark Gil and Chris Villanueva, directed by Chito Roño.” Na-miss kaya niya ang paggawa ng mga ganitong klaseng pelikula? Tugon nito, “May mga indie ako, pero ‘yung mainstream film parang ngayon lang uli ako gagawa ng mainstream film.” Hindi naman daw ito ang unang pagkakataong makakasama niya ang Star for All Seasons, pero excited daw siya dahil si Ate Vi ang pangarap ng karamihan na makatrabaho kahit isang beses man lang sa kanilang mga career. Masayang sagot ni Janice, “I worked with her before ‘di ba? Dati may show siya ‘yung VIP, pagka mga holidays, meron silang parang nagda-drama sila, I worked with her there. “Iba ‘tong movie na ‘to saka many years after, sobrang many years after I think mga 20 years ago na ‘yun, so to work with Vilma now na parang napaka-exciting, ‘di ba? Oo, masabi ko man lang na nakatrabaho ko si Vilma Santos, si Ate Guy (Nora Aunor) nakatrabaho ko na siya. Gusto ko man lang once in my career masabi ko ‘yun…” – Arnel Serato (READ MORE)

The Healing (2012) – “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

Payaso (1986) – “…The 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival may have been the worst in the 12-year history of the annual 10-day festival of local films, but it set a precedent; it did not give out the traditional first and second best picture awards…Romy Vitug won the best cinematography award for Celso Ad Castillo’s Payaso and Chris Ad Castillo, the director’s son, ran away with the best supporting actor award…The unprecendented move, according to another juror, Nick Deocampo, was arrived at after a heated discussion. An insider said it was spearheaded by Deocampo and another juror, Justino Dormiendo of the Manunuri. In a prepared statement read by Cojuangco during ceremonies, the board of juror annouced: “We, the members of the Board of Jurors of the 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival, would like to express our concern over the current state of the Philippine movie industry as reflected in the entires to this year’s MMFF. It added that the entries “failed to reinforced and inculcate positive Filipino values by portraying negative stereotypes, imitating foreign films and perpetuating commercially-oriented movies…” – JC Nigado (READ MORE)

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Pokwang in The Healing – July 25 2012

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Reincarnation of Aruray – “…In 1998 while she was working in Abu Dhabi, Pokwang received the sad news that her son died of a congenital brain ailment. “Of course, I felt guilty na wala man lang ako sa tabi ng anak ko nang kailangang-kailangan niya ako,” admitted Pokwang, the wacky comedienne (suspected to be the “reincarnation” of Aruray) who in real life is a serious mother. She changed moods from sadly reflective to hilariously comedic. “Shin was made in the Philippines, pero assembled by a Japanese. I met his father here before I went to Japan. Magulo ang relasyon namin. Away kami nang away, nagbabatuhan kami ng kung anu-ano, nagsasakitan kami talaga, that’s why the baby inside me was badly affected. Kawawa naman siya. When the baby was born, kami ng ama niya nagbabatuhan kami ng crib.” Ria Mae was also sired by a Japanese whom Pokwang met in Japan where she worked as a dancer. “I never lived with my children’s fathers,” Pokwang said. “Nabuntis lang nila ako.” Still haunted by the death of Shin, Pokwang is over-protective of Ria. In the four-storey house that she has built in Antipolo City, Ria has her own room but she’d rather sleep with her mom — “Malambing siya because I’m always out of the house working and we seldom see each other.”…” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

Komiks Character – “…The name Pokwang (given to her by a friend who got it from a Universal Komiks character) must have proven a lucky charm to the woman who was born to make people laugh. “According to my mother, I was so malikot inside her stomach that when I was born, nahulog ako sa sahig.” Her victory as the Clown in a Million has radically changed the life of Pokwang and that of her family. They used to live in a humble hut several minutes walk (they couldn’t afford to ride the tricycle, you know) from the highway but near the Hinulugang Taktak. That has drastically undergone an overall improvement. Pokwang doesn’t have to walk the distance now nor ride the tricycle. She now goes around in an Adventure bought on installment basis. “That’s why I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas,” she said. “And I’ll start by giving orphans a merry Christmas…” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

Hard Work – “…“It’s Pokwang’s time to shine. Nora Aunor made an OFW film, ‘The Flor Contemplacion Story,’ in 1995. Vilma Santos did ‘Anak’ in 2000. Eleven years later, Pokwang comes up with this. We want to update the stories of OFWs. A lot has happened including the 9/11 bombing that brought major changes.” In spite of favorable reactions from viewers abroad, Pokwang says she’s still nervous to know how the local audience would react to the film. “I kept thinking, people know me as a comedienne, so how would they respond to seeing me doing drama? It helps that I’ve done five episodes of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya.’ I learned a lot from the experience,” she says. “Even though I gave this project my all, I’m still feeling the pressure.” Pokwang claims she is not expecting an acting award for her performance. “Our focus right now is to let the people know that a film like this exists. We want to open the eyes of OFW parents about the repercussions of leaving their kids alone at home. We also want to teach kids of OFWs to give importance to their parents’ hard work…” – Marinel R. Cruz (READ MORE)

Aruray ni Dolphy – “…Aruray pala ang binansag ni Mang Dolphy kay Pokwang. Ito ay ikinuwento ni Pokwang sa preskon ng The Healing kung saan si Governor Vilma Santos ang bida. Aru kung tawagin ni Mang Dolphy si Pokwang. Sino nga ba si Aruray? Siya po ang komedyante noong araw na matagal na ring namayapa. Kahawig nga ni Pokwang si Aruray pero siyempre mas maganda si Pokwang, in all fairness. Bumunghalit ng tawa si Governor Vi nang marinig ang kuwento ni Pokwang na binansagan siyang Aru ni Mang Dolphy. Hindi naman makapag-react si Kim Chiu dahil hindi niya kilala si Aruray. Hindi pa yata siya ipinanganak nang mamatay si Aruray…” – Joe Barrameda (READ MORE)

Pokwang Marietta Subong (born August 27, 1970), better known by the mononym Pokwang is a Filipina comedienne, actress, TV host, singer, impersonator and salon co-owner. She started in a reality show in ABS-CBN and subsequently appeared in dramas and sitcoms of the network. She also received the Best Comedy Actress award from the Philippine Movie Press Club for her portrayal in the sitcom Aalog-Alog and the Best Female Comedian award from People’s Choice Awards. She became a host of the variety show Wowowee,”Pilipinas Win na Win” and “Happy Yipee Yehey”. She is also known for impersonating actress Annabelle Rama, Dionisia Pacquiao (Manny Pacquiao’s mother), and Marlene Aguilar, the sister of singer Freddie Aguilar. Pokwang is a member of ABS CBN’s Star Magic group of entertainers. She is currently residing in Antipolo. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Pokwang and Vilma Santos

“…Nakaka-amaze siyang ka-trabaho (Vilma Santos). Madami kang matututunan hindi lang bilang artista kung hindi bilang tao,” Pokwang said. “Natutunan ko sa kanya ‘yung talagang magandang pinaghihirapan mo ang lahat ng bagay. At kita naman sa na-achieve niya. Alam mo napakagaan niyang ka-trabaho, ang sarap sarap. Tapos ang hilig pang magpakain. Makuwento din siya,’ yung mga masasayang nangyari sa buhay,” she added. Asked if she feels intimidated working with Santos, Pokwang replied: “Noong una. Pero ipaparamdam niyang kumportable siya kapag ka-eksena mo siya…” – ABS-CBN (READ MORE)

The Healing (2012) – “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

D’Lucky Ones (2006) – “…Then there’s the silly subplot where the two friends, while trying to search for Lucky Girl, somehow fall in with a handsome young man, and both of them are fighting each other for his attention. It’s clear that he has no romantic interest in either one, who are both old enough to be his mother, but he’s hanging around as a friend. The two mothers go to a bar and join in a dance contest to impress the young man. They make their two children look incredibly mature by comparison. There’s one intense scene between Lucky Girl and her mother where Lucky Girl learns that her South Korean father abused her mother, and all the inlaws hated her because she was Filipino rather than Korean. Many times they would not allow her stay in the house with her daughter, but she begged for food on the streets. Watching Vilma Santos movies was her escape from this reality. This may also make Lucky Girl rethink her preference for living in South Korea over The Philippines (she’d been planning to return to the only country she knew as home. Heck, she only knew how to speak Tagalog from her mother forcing her to watch Vilma Santos movies.) The ending is obvious. Send the Vilma Santos fans to a Vilma Santos reunion party and get Ate Vi (Older Sister Vi) to patch up the two friends. And then everybody gets to dance. Hey, it’s The Philippines…” – That Awesome TV (READ MORE)

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Allan Paule in The Healing – July 25 2012

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Brocka and The System – “…Naririto pa rin nga si Allan, pagkatapos na mailunsad siya noong 1987 sa Macho Dancer, nakalabas pa siya sa ilang mahahalagang pelikula ni Brocka noon bago ito mamatay sa isang vehicular accident noong 1991. “Buhay na buhay pa rin sa akin ang ideyalismo ni Brocka,” sabi na lang ni Allan. “Kumbaga sa pamilya, siya ang naging magulang ko. Nanay at tatay kumbaga, siya ang nagsasabi sa akin ng mga dapat at hindi dapat. “Masalimuot ang showbiz without Lino Brocka. Magulo, pero hindi mo basta maiiwan dahil masaya, e. Pero, minsan, kailangan talagang i-detach mo ang sarili mo sa sistema. “Mahirap magpalamon sa sistema. Yung showbiz lifestyle na baka hindi mo makayanan, doon papasok yung magda-drugs ka na. Magiging alcoholic ka. Kailangang humiwalay ka muna sa ganoong mundo at tratuhin lang ang showbiz bilang trabaho. May iba pa tayong buhay,” patuloy ng aktor. Para nga raw mga doktor na nasa ospital, pero sa paglabas, puwedeng makipag-inuman. “Normal lang. Kumakain sa labas. Ganoon lang ang ginawa ko. In-enjoy ko lang, para hindi naman sumama ang loob ko,” aniya pa. Inamin ni Allan na may mga sama ng loob pa rin siya sa showbiz. “Hindi na maiaalis yun,” sabi pa niya. “Ayokong maging ipokrito. Lalo sa trabaho natin, feeling mo kaibigan mo, hindi pala. Just go with the flow…” – Archie de Calma (READ MORE)

Responsibility to the Audience – “…Allan Paule, on the other hand, feels indebted to the late, great director Lino Brocka, who gave him challenging roles and made sure that he deliveredexceptional performances in “Macho Dancer” and “Gumapang Ka sa Lusak.” But while doing “Macho Dabncer” in 1987, Allan had other things in mind. “Sabi ko nga sa kanya,” he recalls, “isang movie lang ako, Direk.” It took a long while before Allan accepted his “destiny,” when he discovered theater and joined Tanghalang Pilipino in 1994. “Before kasi, ang pag-arte sa akin, laro lang,” he admits. “Hindi ko naisip ‘yung pagigign artist. then I realized na, as an artist, may responsibility ako sa audience. meron na talagang pagmamahal sa trabaho.” He now imparts the precious lessons he’s learned from his 13 years in the acting business to newcomers. “Lahat ng bagay napag-aaralan,” he shares. “Dati, mahiyain ako. Hindi ko akalain na makakaiyak ako sa harap ng camera perso kaya ko palang gawin ‘yun. Natuto rin akong makisama sa iba’t-ibang klaseng tao.” Allan is thankful that he’s able to work in both theater and mainstream entertainment (particularly TV). He’s in “Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon,” which Tanghalan stages in different government offices, as well as in Channel 7’s Sunday-afternoon soap opera, “Kahit Kailan,” with among other stars, Rita Avila…” – Jocelyn Valle (READ MORE)

Family Life – “…Habang panay rin lang ang taping at shooting niya. “Korek! Pero pang-tatay na [ang roles]. Okey lang. Ayos lang,” sambit ni Allan. Sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, bilang isang may pamilya, masasabi ni Allan na ito pa rin ang pinakamainam na panahon ng kanyang propesyon bilang artista. “Well, masasabi nating gano’n dahil yung mga dumarating na projects, nagkakasabay-sabay. At yun ang mahirap sa trabaho natin. Minsan, meron, minsan, wala. Pero ang mahalaga, meron at nandiyan pa.”…Noong PEP interview, nagmamadali ang aktor dahil kailangan niyang tapusin ang school project (art work) ng bata. Ganon ka-focused ngayon si Alan bilang ama. “Kailangan, nag-iisa lang ‘yon, e. Magtatampo naman ‘yon,” katuwiran niya. Nasanay na siya sa maayos na pagbabalanse ng oras, para sa trabaho at family life…” – William R. Reyes (READ MORE)

Allan Paule is Filipino film and stage actor who was first introduced by the late Lino Brocka in his 1987 film Macho Dancer.

Allan Paule and Vilma Santos

The Healing (2012) – “…Stories about the Filipino tradition of going to faith healers for guidance and treatment of ailments have not yet been tackled in-depth in movies. And in our film, the viewers will not just be horrified, they’ll somehow be challenged to think as to how faith healing has already been part of our culture…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

Mano Po III: My Love (2004) – “…As a love story, it is romantic as romantic can be – passionate even. And you really have to give it to the durable love team of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon to be able to pull off a material like Mano Po 3 and give the kilig effect of expected by most viewers and fans of love stories. It is handsomely-mounted, glossy and very entertaining. Its production values are far more superior compared to other local movies…” – Butch Francisco, Philippine Star (READ MORE)

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