Mara Lopez plays battered wife in Jay Altarejos’ ‘T.P.O.’

T.P.O. tells the story of Miguel (Oliver Aquino), an abusive husband to TERESA, a former town-beauty queen (Mara Lopez).  They have an eight-year old son, JR (Micko Laurente).  Their small family lives with Miguel’s parents (Menggie Cobarrubias and Dexter Doria). The family is shattered by the vicious cycle of domestic abuse.

After a night of beating,  Teresa, goaded by a friend (Yayo Aguila), seeks TPO (Temporary Protection Order) from the court. TPO is a legal remedy that a woman can avail of  under Republic Act  9262 (Violence Against Women and Children Law) to protect her and her child against anyone harming them. Teresa is granted the TPO against Miguel. But in this legal tug-of-war of familial rights, their son, JR, is ignored. Until, he shows aggression in school. But Miguel’s parents coax Miguel to file for Child Custody. Just like our legal system, the film slowly unravels their story. 

TPO is a cautionary tale on domestic abuse that examines the lives of a small family victimised by it.  The director employs a static-cinema approach in a non-linear narrative.  TPO is his second film on his trilogy about domestic abuse.

“My film that will be shown during the festival would be my third attempt,” Direk Jay reveals. “I’ve shot something, I have a story in my mind, [but] when I saw some of the footage, they’re so experimental that it is not the requirement of the festival, so three times nabugbog sa pelikula ko pero iba’t ibang atake.”

The character of Mara is abused emotionally, physically, and mentally. “It was pretty challenging. I’m really glad that Direk Jay Altarejos talagang natulungan niya ko sa mga eksena,” she shares. “The nice thing about this film is that maganda siya para sa mga kababaihan na takot magsalita, takot lumaban… I hope mabigyan sila ng courage to stand up for their rights.”

T.P.O. also stars Micko Laurente, Menggie Cobarrubias, and Lui Manansala.

The 2nd Sinag Maynila Film Festival will run from April 21 to 26, 2016 in select SM Cinemas. For more updates, log on to, on Facebook via SinagMaynila, Twitter and Instagram via @sinagmaynila.

The roster of SMFF 2016 films also includes EXPRESSWAY by Ato Bautista, LILA by Gino M. Santos, DYAMPER by Mes De Guzman, and MRS. by Adolf Alix Jr.

Conceptualized and helmed by CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng, together with world-renowned and internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Mendoza, Sinag Maynila gives grants to independent filmmakers so they can develop their individual material to a full-length film for public exhibition. Five chosen filmmakers closely collaborated with Tieng and Mendoza. This collaboration resulted in stories that reflect the Filipino culture while illustrating messages that will resonate globally.

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