‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ review: John Arcilla’s memorable performance

‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ is a heartwarming film that poses to bring joy and healing this Christmas season.

Official poster of SUAREZ: THE HEALING PRIEST.

Suarez: The Healing Priest is one-of-a-kind entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. It’s a depiction of the life of beloved priest, Father Fernando Suarez, who is fondly known to heal and do miraculous things to people who are physically sick. The priest became well known to many people in the Philippines because of his practice and teachings Just like any other mortals, he went through ups and downs, much to the point that he was implicated in a controversy that sparked rumors among the leaders of the church. Even so, he was vindicated and died peacefully knowing that the movie adaptation of his life story is in the good hands of director Joven Tan and Saranggola Media Productions.

The film literally brings joy and healing. It simplifies the story of Father Suarez from the building of his church, to his personal weaknesses, to his relationships to people around him. While some of the stories were shortened, the film manages to make it understandable in a good way.

It basically celebrates his gift of healing, but it also doesn’t veer away from discussing his troubles, including the many controversies that hounded him. It shows that Father Suarez has gone through human emotions and experiences and fears like any other ordinary people. The selection of cast were good and John Arcilla’s performances never fails to amaze us. He portrayed Father Suarez well enough, knowing that he was handpicked by the real Father Suarez to play the role. Everything from the film is simple and easy-going. Some parts are a bit off because of its cuts but everything else is relatable enough.

The film is no doubt a total blessing for everyone and a timely offering amid the ongoing crisis where many of us are desperately looking for hope. It’s a pleasing film for the whole family this Christmas.

SUAREZ: The Healing Priest is an official entry to the 46th Metro Manila Film Festival. Starring John Arcilla, Jin Macapagal, Dante Rivero, Marlo Mortel, Rosanna Roces, Jairus Aquino, and Alice Dixson. Directed by Joven M. Tan.

Streaming until January 7, 2021 on http://www.upstream.ph.

‘Tagpuan’ review: Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao find self-love, take second chances

Tagpuan successfully brings hope, love, humanity, and identity in a world of pain and suffering.

Official poster of the #MMFF2020 entry TAGPUAN.

Ever since the community quarantine was implemented in the country, movie theater operations become very limited, that is why the annual Metro Manila Film Festival has decided to go digital this year. MMFF makes use of the newest video-on-demand platform, Upstream.ph, where families can enjoy watching in the comfort of their own homes. Not to mention, the online edition of this film festival is not limited to Filipinos residing in the country but will allow Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)—and even foreigners—to enjoy the festival in a legitimate platform, wherever they are in the world.

One of the 10 film entries this year is Tagpuan, a story that talks about much more than love. It scales the spectrum of joy and pain, success and failure, acceptance and rejection.

Tagpuan takes us to the world of Allan, Agnes, and Tanya. Allan (played by Alfred Vargas) is a rich businessman who deems to find purpose again despite his broken past. Agnes (Iza Calzado), a simple ex-wife to Allan, wants to follow her dreams by studying arts and design in New York. Tanya (Shaina Magdayao), on another hand, is a go-with-the-flow girl, who is stuck as an immigrant in Hongkong but wants to go to New York for opportunities. All three of them are trying to find themselves and looking for second chances in life and love.

Tagpuan is the only romance-drama entry in this year’s lineup. The story and pacing is a bit slow at first but then you’ll realize that these characters are telling you their life stories in an intimate manner. They are simply people who have fallen in and out of love—fighting for love after the romance is gone. A simple story, yet a reflective one, it also manages to bring us a closer look at what life looks like as an immigrant and as an OFW in Hong Kong and New York City. The film simply puts the characters’ struggle and plight with the mix of social and economic forces that reflect and shape reactions to love and relationships.

Director McArthur C. Alejandre and writer Ricky Lee remarkably shaped a world that easily showcases love towards other people as well as self-love. It’s something that we often forget: finding ourselves amidst the noise and chaos—and losing ourselves in the middle of the silence. It is a process of reflecting in those experiences for the sake of our own second chances in life.

This romantic-drama showcases Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, and Shaina Magdayao as they put themselves in their roles with much grace. No doubt that these three equally give amazing performances in showing their emotions and fierceness throughout their respective acting careers.

Tagpuan wants us to find ourselves again this Christmas. It presents itself forward for viewers to have self-love and second chance in life. It is indeed a relatable film for Filipinos all over the world this holiday season. You want a film where you can have a contemplative takeaway? Then this is the MMFF entry film you don’t want to miss!

Tagpuan is an official entry to the 46th Metro Manila Film Festival. Starring Iza Calzado, Alfred Vargas, and Shaina Magdayao. Directed by McArthur C. Alejandre and written by Ricky Lee. Produced by Alternative Vision Cinema, Inc.
Streaming starts this Christmas on www.upstream.ph.

One ticket for the whole family! Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 goes online

For the first time in over 4 decades of its run, Metro Manila Film Festival is going online. This is made possible by the new online video streaming platform, upstream.ph, and its official ticketing partner, GMovies.

Here’s everything you need to know about the first online edition of MMFF:

  • How to buy tickets for #MMFF2020
  • Duration of #MMFF2020 as an online film festival
  • Cost of tickets for #MMFF2020
  • How to stream movies of #MMFF2020
  • List of movies showing at #MMFF2020

How can I buy tickets for #MMFF2020?

If you live in the Philippines, you can buy tickets for #MMFF2020 just by going to www.gmovies.ph/stream-now. Viewers abroad can buy tickets starting December 18.

Steps on how to buy online tickets for MMFF 2020:

  1. Go to www.gmovies.ph/stream-now to view the available movies. Click your chosen movie title (VIEW DETAILS).
  2. Click PAY to get your ticket from GMovies, the film festival’s partner ticketing site.
  3. If you still don’t have a GMovies account, click CREATE AN ACCOUNT. It’s for FREE!

When is #MMFF2020?

The online film festival will run from December 25, 2020 to January 7, 2021. You can watch anytime during that period.

Your purchased movies are under “My Shows” in your GMovies account. Once you press Play, you have 24 hours to finish the movie.

How much is the ticket for #MMFF2020?

If you’re using a PH SIM on your GMovies account (whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad), you can watch an MMFF 2020 movie for only PHP 250.

If you’re using a non-PH or foreign SIM on your GMovies account (whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad), you can watch an MMFF 2020 movie for only USD 10.

How should I stream #MMFF2020 movies?

Once you’ve booked your ticket, you can select the “Stream Now” section in the GMovies website or mobile app. Or if you prefer to watch at a later time, you can access and stream all your purchased movies that are not expired yet from My Shows.

Streaming is strictly capped to one device at a time. You can watch using your cellphone, tablet, laptop, computer, or Smart Android TV.

A movie is only valid for viewing 24 hours after you pressed Play.

What are the 10 official entries to #MMFF2020?

Instead of having the usual eight entries on its lineup, #MMFF2020 features a total of 10 movies — a mixed bag of family drama, romance, fantasy, action, thriller and horror.

MAGIKLAND (adventure-fantasy)
Starring Miggs Cuaderno, Elijah Alejo, Joshua Eugenio, Princess Aliyah Rabara
Directed by Christian Acuña

Starring Jinggoy Estrada, Sylvia Sanchez, Martin del Rosario, Edgar Allan Guzman, Vin Abrenica
Directed by Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.

THE MISSING (horror)
Starring Ritz Azul, Joseph Marco, Miles Ocampo
Directed by Easy Ferrer

TAGPUAN (romance-drama)
Starring Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao
Directed by Mac Alejandre

Starring Superstar Nora Aunor, Phillip Salvador, Michael De Mesa, Zanjoe Marudo, Joseph Marco, Sanya Lopez
Directed by Joel Lamangan

Starring John Arcilla, Jin Macapagal, with Alice Dixson, Rosanna Roces, Rita Avila
Directed by Joven Tan

Starring Vhong Navarro, Barbie Imperial, with Jaclyn Jose, Benjie Paras, Ryan Bang, Ion Perez
Directed by Topel Lee

PAKBOYS (comedy)
Starring Andrew E, Janno Gibbs, Jerald Napoles, Dennis Padilla
Directed by Al Tantay

Starring Adrian Lindayag, Keann Johnson, Iyah Mina
Directed by Dolly Dulu

FAN GIRL (coming-of-age)
Starring Charlie Dizon and Paulo Avelino
Directed by Antoinette Jadaone

About GMovies

GMovies is a mobile app and website platform that provides a seamless booking service for both cinemas and 3rd party online video streaming services.

You can register for FREE by going to www.gmovies.ph or by downloading the app on your phone.

WINNERS: UFC Reel Life short film tilt awards inspiring stories of enduring Filipino spirit

The first ever UFC Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition, an event meant to celebrate UFC’s 50th anniversary as well as highlight the talents of local filmmakers, has officially selected its top three winners. 

The competition focused on sharing stories about how ordinary Filipinos rise up and find hope despite the odds. Together, UFC celebrates these special moments of triumph, inspirations of courage, and resiliency for the coming year. 

The daunting task of selecting the prize-winning films from the 57 entries that came in fell upon an esteemed panel of judges. This panel included Kip Oebanda, writer and director of Liway, Bar Boys, and Nay; Noel Teehankee, a prolific cinematographer from blockbuster films including The Hows of Us, A Second Chance, and Crazy Beautiful You; Victor Kaiba Villanueva, the director behind films Patay na Si Hesus, My Paranormal Romance, and Ang Nanay ni Justin Barber; and representatives of UFC marketing. 

Directed by Crismel Gida, “Cancelled,” a hopeful story of two resilient Filipinos working their hardest to make ends meet after their livelihoods were affected by recent events, took home the P100,000 grand prize for Best Short Film. Gida also took home the P15,000 Best Director Prize as well as the P5,000 Best Cinematography award.

In second place, and winning P50,000, was Ken Leviste’s “How’s my Driving,” which tells the engaging narrative of a jeepney driver turned deliveryman. Meanwhile, the third place prize of P20,000 went to Marco Paulo Castro’s “Budjoy,” a light hearted story about a forgetful boy who misses his OFW mother as his family tries to make ends meet.

Aside from the top winners of the competition, excellent performances both on and off screen were given special credit. Acting citations were given to outstanding performers from the competition’s entries. The Best Actor prize of P5,000 goes to none other than young talent Sean Angelo Tutanez for “Budjoy”. Meanwhile the Best Actress prize of P5,000 goes to Andrea del Mundo for “Prank” (directed by James Edward Golla), a short film that tells the story of an innocent prank between husband and wife that takes a dramatic turn.

The competition likewise gave recognition for technical skills to highlight the immense talent that filmmakers showed behind the scenes. The Best Screenplay prize of P5,000 went to Jojo Livelo and Miko Livelo for “Anana”, a comedic tale of cheesy dad jokes made real.

The Best Editing prize of P5,000 went to Dexter de Jesus for “Ma,”, a beautifully animated film about a young man missing the comfort of his mother’s home cooking.

Special awards were also given in response to the overwhelming amount of talent on display during the competition. Best Mobile Short Film was given to the filmmaker who made the best use of simple equipment such as their very own cell phone cameras. The People’s Choice Award rewards the most popular film in the competitions as determined by the number of YouTube views. Seven honorable mentions were also selected from the shortlist of 30 as their skill and quality could not go unrecognized. 

The winner of Best Mobile Short Film was Dexter de Jesus for “Ma,”. The awardee will receive a mobile filmmaking kit that includes a Kase Four Lens Kit V2, a Zhiyun Crane M2, a Kase Phone case, a Phone Cage 2990, and a Synco Shotgun Mic M1. Lexter Taganas’s “Uli” snagged the People’s Choice Award and the P15,000 prize for getting over 22,000 views. 

UFC also awarded a P10,000 consolation prize to each of the seven honorable mentions: “Ma,” by Dexter de Jesus; “Kambal” by Yves Publico; “Rico” by Ronald John Mendenilla-Teodosio; “Tatalon” by Don Ralph Diaz; “Bato-Bato Pik” by Alejandro “Bong” Ramos; “Uli” by Lexter Taganas; and “Anana” by Quentin Tolentino.

Prize winner or not, however, each and every entry in this contest placed the prodigious talents of local filmmakers on full display. The organizers of UFC Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition take great pride in having been able to shine a spotlight on these excellent works. Congratulations go out to all the winners and to the rest of the filmmakers who showcased their abilities for the competition. 

All thirty short films that were shortlisted as finalists can be watched right now on YouTube

Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol welcomes Richard Gutierrez, Sarah Lahbati, kids as brand ambassadors

Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol continues its campaign to be Filipino families’ ally in germ protection in the new normal as they welcome newlyweds, Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, together with their adorable kids Zion and Kai, as their brand ambassadors.

Adjusting to the New Normal with Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol

Richard and Sarah, who got married in a solemn ceremony earlier this year, celebrated their new life together in quarantine. While being stuck at home was an opportunity for them to spend more time together as a family—planting, painting and playing all sorts of games, they also needed to go through a lot of adjustments as a family. 

One adjustment that they had to do was to look for better ways to protect their family against germs, with the threat of the virus still continuing up until now. They found their newest ally in Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, which promises a higher level of protection against germs and viruses. 

“We believe in innovative products. Not only does Defensil come from a company we trust, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol is also recommended by experts,” said Sarah. 

“And since we use alcohol more frequently to sanitize, I also like how it not only kills germs and bacteria, but also has moisturizer to not dry our skin,” she added. 

One way to prevent the spread of germs is regular disinfection of hands and high touch surfaces using a rubbing alcohol. To provide a higher level of defense against germs in the new normal, the Philippine Society for Microbiology is recommending Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol.

Created by Beauty Elements Ventures Inc, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol kills 99.9% of germs to give Richard and Sarah’s family the peace of mind that they are well-defended. It starts to kill germs on contact and upon constant use, provides up to 12-hour protection. 

New Normal Holidays

Celebrating the holidays is surely going to be different for the Gutierrez family this year. For Richard and Sarah, social distancing is something that they’re keeping in mind as they celebrate the holiday season, along with making sure that everyone sanitizes and disinfects using Defensil. 

The family wishes to go on a local holiday trip with family bringing their new ally, Defensil. With this, Sarah shares three simple tips to fellow parents on how to keep their family safe from germs during the holiday season. 

First, social distancing is a must. Second, always wear a mask. It is important for parents to teach their kids the importance of wearing masks, which help to prevent the transmission of the virus. And, lastly, always disinfect with an alcohol that makes sure you and the family are well-defended— like Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol. 

To know more about Richard and Sarah’s newest ally, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/defensil.philippines


*Defensil 70% Isopropyl Alcohol was tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli or E. coli and Candida albicans

UFC Reel Life short film competition names finalists

UFC’s first-ever Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition has officially selected thirty (30) finalists from the vast field of submitted entries. 

Launched as part of UFC’s 50th anniversary celebration, the competition seeks to provide a platform for gifted Filipino artists to showcase their filmmaking potentials and tell their stories. 

The Filipino creative spirit was on full display by the entrants for this contest, making it incredibly difficult to narrow down the entries to only 30 finalists. 

The finalists are as follows: “Almusal” by John Renz Cahilig, “Anana” by Quentin Tolentino, “Ang Pagsibol” by Ramil Lantican, “Asam-asam” by Michael Angelo Hernandez Valencia, “Bato-Bato Pik” by Alejandro “Bong” Ramos, “Budjoy” by Marco Paolo Castro, “Byahe Natin” by Rusty Palacio Guarin, “Cancelled” by Crismel Gida, “Crush” and “New Normal” by Niokz Arcega, “Gift Box” by John Kenneth Paclibar, “How’s My Driving?” by Ken Leviste, “Ina’Ko” by Michael John Tuclaud, “Kambal” by Yves Publico, “Ma,” by Dexter De Jesus, “Mabote Na Lang” by John Verlin Santos, “Magpadayon” by Jose Carlo Gloria, “Module Legends: Papa Sir” by Renel Ian Gacayan, and “Modules (Info Sheet)” by Marienel Calma. 

Completing the list are: “Panahon” by Lawrence Lagdameo, “Pasko sa Pandemya” by Armilane Jarin, “Prank” by James Edward Golla, “Project Blessy” by Norman Mark Boquiren, “Reges (The River)” by Jamal Baulo, “Rico” by Ronald John Mendenilla-Teodosio, “Spaghetti ni Mamu” by Raymark Estael, “Stick” by FJ Cancino, “Tatalon” by Don Ralph Diaz, “Uli” by Lexter Taganas, and “Unexpected” by Ron Garcia.

In partnership with CinemaBravo and Mobile Filmmakers Philippines, all entries incorporated one of the following UFC products as an organic part of the narrative: UFC Tamis Anghang Banana Catsup, UFC Sweet Chili Sauce, UFC Tomato Sauce, UFC Gravy, UFC Hot and Spicy Banana Catsup, UFC Hot Sauce, UFC Spaghetti Sauce, UFC Ready Recipes, and UFC Fresh Selections. The entries came in a variety of genres and mediums, proving yet again that there is an enormous reserve of local talents out there waiting to be tapped. 

The 30 listed finalists have automatically won a gift pack from UFC. All are eligible to win the following prizes: 1st Prize (P100,000); 2nd Prize (P50,000); 3rd Prize (P20,000); Best Actor (P5,000); Best Actress (P5,000); Best Cinematography (P5,000); Best Screenplay (P5,000); Best Editing (P5,000); Best Director (P15,000); and People’s Choice Award (P15,000). 

Members of the public are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award by watching their favorite short film online on YouTube. 

A panel of judges will choose winners from the finalists through a deliberation. Results will be announced on December 14.

John Arcilla, handpicked as ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ for #MMFF2020

Best known for his portrayal as a tough-as-nail patriot in the blockbuster independent movie, ‘Heneral Luna,’ John Arcilla marks his second time to portray the titular role in a biopic through the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival entry ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest.’

Before the untimely death of the 53-year old, crowd-favorite, Father Fernando Suarez was able to handpick award-winning actor John Arcilla. The latter explained in a recent intimate press conference that he researched about the life of the priest, and even watched numerous videos to study his movements and behaviors. Not to mention, he was bold in having regular discussions with the source material as well as the filmmakers.

Produced by Saranggola Media Productions, ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ is directed by Joven Tan, who is also the composer behind the film’s theme song, “Yakapin Mo Ako,” sung by John Arcilla himself.

The film will truthfully present the timeline of Fr. Suarez’s gift of healing through the years, starting in his teenage years when he first realized his special ability. Young actor Jin Macapagal, who was the grand winner of It’s Showtime’s BidaMan talent search, takes on the role of the young Suarez.

Jin remarked the importance of faith in making this movie, saying that it is through faith that he brought justice to his character that John Arcilla subsequently puts on. “I play the role of that young boy who decided to keep the gift a secret until I pursue my religious calling.”

Joining the cast is Troy Montero as Father Jeff. The last movie he appeared in was ‘Open,’ an official entry to last year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Prior to that, he had not been visible in movies. Through the years, he seldomly accepted roles in TV while juggling with his passion for car racing. Troy shared his excitement to be a part of an MMFF movie that will heighten positive through these trying times.

Also included in the cast is Jairus Aquino. Even though he is mostly with actress Rosanna Roces in his scenes, he is proud to be part of a faith-centric movie that does not only showcase the life story of Father Suarez but also brings inspiration to Filipinos here in the country and around the world.

‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ also stars Dante Rivero, Rita Avila, Rosanna Roces, and Alice Dixson in a very special role, with Richard Quan, Yayo Aguila, Alan Paule, Biboy Ramirez, Patrick Sugui, Jerico Estregan, Maru Delgado, Yñigo Delen.

Let the touch of healing bring posivity and joy this Christmas through the MMFF entry, #SuarezTheHealingPriest. Tickets are now available via upstream.ph. Online streaming starts December 25 worldwide.

Watch the full trailer here:

‘Kaibigan: The Series’ airs Saturday mornings on GMA-7

Perkinspiredflix, a local Philippine production company, has partnered with GMA-7 to air youth show ‘Kaibigan: the Series.’ It is shown every Saturday morning, starting December 5. at 8:45 AM.

It tackles the lives of four friends amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. It stars young talents Jesse Perkins, Christian Perkins, Lianne Valentin and Janina Vela.

The series will go through different themes of adolescence, such as anxiety, productivity, depression, maintaining peace in relationships, navigating family problems, love, honesty and faith.

Perkinspiredflix CEO Tarny Perkins emphasized on the hope of the Kaibigan The Series for the Filipino Youth. “The new normal, the result of COVID-19 is forcing us to face tough problems for the first time. Kaibigan brings hope and love through friendship, to help youth and families who are struggling through these changes brought about by the pandemic.”

One of the lead actors Jesse Perkins, also said he hopes the series will serve as an inspiration to today’s youth. “A friend (Kaibigan) provides strength to get through difficult times,” he added.

For more series updates, visit the official Facebook page at facebook.com/Kaibigan.ofc.

About Perkinspiredflix Inc.

PERKINSPIREDFLIX INC. is a company founded on Christian values and is designed to produce quality content via film and entertainment that is values-oriented, family-friendly, faith-based and God-glorifying – without compromise.

For more info, contact Daniel Dawal at 0916-298-9264 or daniel@perkinspiredflix.com