Apr 24
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Judy Ann Santos brings life to the folk song "Ploning"

Judy Ann Santos (inset) is expected to shoot her scenes in Cuyo Island, Palawan. The pier of Cuyo (above) is one of the breathtaking locations of the movie Ploning, which is expected to open in theaters in April 2008.

Author: Jocelyn Dimaculangan

Judy Ann Santos and Iza Calzado are slated to shoot the movie Ploning in Cuyo Island, Palawan, by the end of this month. Panoramanila Pictures Co. is expecting Juday (Judy Ann's nickname) to tape her sequences on the picturesque island from January 25 to February 11, 2008. Iza will be joining her co-stars during the last week of January.

Director Dante Garcia is a close friend of Juday who has been styling the young superstar for the past 16 years. He tells PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) how he got the idea for the movie Ploning, which he conceptualized around seven years ago.

"Ang inspiration ko kasi yung kanta na 'Ploning,' isang folk song sa Cuyo na naririnig ko na noong bata pa ako. Usually naririnig ko siya, ang kumakanta isang lalaki. Nung una siyang ni-record, ang kumanta isang babae. It's a promise of undying love, lalaki ang kumakanta so normal. Pero nang kumanta ng babae, parang nire-recall yung promise na binigay sa kanya. Dun nagsimula yung concept ko.

"Maganda yung concept na para sa mature role ni Juday, isa siyang provincial lass."

How has his concept changed after seven years? "After seven years, affected siya ng experiences namin together [ni Juday]. Yun pa rin ang concept ng babaeng ibinigay ang sarili at naghintay."

The character played by Iza is a nurse who is serving the community of Cuyo. "The movie is set in the year 1982, yun yung time na bata ako sa Palawan. Meron pang YCAP yung mga nurses... Marcos campaign iyon, e. Ang role ni Iza isang nurse na nandun para tumulong sa mga taga-Cuyo. It provides contrast sa pagiging probinsyana ni Juday. Isa siyang woman of the world na dumating sa island."

YCAP (Youth Countryside Action for Progress) was a government-funded program during the martial law years. Former president Ferdinand Marcos encouraged the youth to participate in activities that supported national development.

Other key characters of the story are to be played by Meryll Soriano and Eugene Domingo. "Yung characters ni Meryll as Meme and Eugene Domingo, sila ang iba-ibang layers ng babae, how I understood women. Ploning is a movie about women from the point of view of a boy," explains Dante.

Meryll accompanied the crew of Ploning during one of their ocular visits and she met a young boy who was eventually cast as a main character of the movie. The adolescent Cuyonon (native of Cuyo) will be playing the younger version of Jhong Hilario in the movie.

Comedienne Eugene is tapped to play the half-paralyzed mother Juaning while another local, Ogoy Agustin, will play Veling. The older version of Veling will be portrayed by character actor Ronnie Lazaro.

In Ploning, the women talk about their lives while producing cashew nut brittle, a product similar to the popular peanut brittle of Baguio City. "Kuwento ito ng mga babaeng gumagawa ng kasoy. Yun ang ginagawa nilang kabuhayan. Nag-uusap-usap sila habang gumagawa ng kasoy brittle."

The movie features Juday speaking in the native language called Cuyonon. Around 40 percent of the movie will be using this language, which is similar to the Malaysian language.

"First time niya [Juday] na magsasalita ng hindi Tagalog sa pelikula. Ang unique naman dito, parang sina Tita Gloria Romero nagsasalita ng Ilokana, sina Nida Blanca nagwa-Waray, si Nora [Aunor] nagbi-Bicolano. First time ito na isang mahabang pelikula at major actress na magsasalita siya ng foreign lengguwahe para sa kanya.

"First time rin ito na walang leading man si Judy Ann. You will hear about a man in her past but you won't see him," he points out.

The movie is expected to open in theaters nationwide on April 2008. Since the movie is about an unmarried woman who is about to reach 30, which makes her an "old maid" by rural standards, Panoramanila aims to release the movie before Judy Ann turns 30 on May 11.


Source: Philippine Entertainment Portal