Pink Halo-Halo shows how war in Mindanao affects a child’s innocence


Joselito "Jay" Altarejos’s entry titled Pink Halo-Halo will compete in the Director’s Showcase of the 6th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.


Ang Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival ay nasa ika-anim na edisyon, na magaganap mula ika-9 hanggang 18 ng Hulyo 2010.

Ang nasabing indie filmfest ay nagiging popular sa mga film enthusiasts, mga estudyante at maging corporate individuals na ina-appreciate ang quality Pinoy indie films.

Sa limang taong nagdaan ng Cinemalaya (mula 2005), kadalasa’y mga baguhang independent filmmakers and scriptwriters ang nagpapadala ng kanilang scripts upang makalahok sa pinakamimithing Top 10 entries ng filmfest.

Ngayong 2010, minabuti ng Cinemalaya Foundation na mag-imbita ng mga datihan nang filmmakers (nakagawa ng at least three films realeased commercially) at tinawag nila itong "Directors’ Showcase" (dating Open Category).

Kabilang sa mga masusuwerteng direktor na nakasama sa Top 5 sa kategoryang ito si Direk Joselito Altarejos, o mas kilala sa showbiz bilang si "Direk Jay." Bukod sa pagiging filmmaker ay nagdidirek rin siya ng ilang shows sa GMA-7. Pasok ang entry niyang pinamagatang Pink Halo-Halo.

Super proud si Direk Jay na napili ang kanyang Pink Halo-Halo sa prestihiyosong Top 5 ng Directors’ Showcase. Pawang mga batikang direktor ang kanyang mga "ka-level" dito—Joel Lamangan para sa Sigwa; Gil Portes, Two Funerals; Mark Meily, Isang Pirasong Buhay, at Mario O’Hara para sa Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio.

Ayon kay Direk Jay Altarejos sa Cinemalaya presscon sa CCP, ang pagkakasali niya sa liga ng mga award-winning filmmakers na ito ay isa nang malaking karangalan para sa kanya.

Ang bumubuo ng cast ng Pink Halo-Halo ay sina Angeli Bayani, Meljun Guinto, Ms. Perla Bautista, at Allen Dizon. Kasama rin ang ilang theater actors.

Si Angeli Bayani ay ilang taon na ring lumalabas sa pelikula as an underrated character actress. Nakagawa siya ng apat na pelikula noong 2009: Ang Laro sa Buhay ni Juan na dinirek rin ni Direk Jay; Aurora ni Direk Adolfo Alix Jr., Panahon Na ni Direk Sean Lim, at Ben and Sam ni Direk Shandii Bacolod (shown last month).

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Si Meljun Guinto naman ay lumabas bilang isa sa mga bida sa Baseco Bakal Boys ni Ralston Jover at siyang bida bilang bata sa political TV commercial ni Senator Manny Villar sa kantang "Naligo Ka Na Ba Sa Dagat ng Basura?"

Kilalang-kilala na rin ang veteran actress Perla Bautista, at ang former sexy actor turned actor-film producer na si Allen Dizon, na nagkamit na rin ng ilang acting awards.

SYNOPSIS. Gumaganap na mag-ina sina Angeli at Meljun sa pelikula, at ang sundalong ama nito ay si Allen. Narito ang kabuuang synopsis ng Pink Halo-Halo:

Natoy, like any other child, finds joy and excitement in the simplest of things, especially eating halo-halo filled with pink gelatin and red sago. Things change suddenly when, as he is watching television, a news report about the ongoing war in Mindanao shows footage of a badly wounded soldier waiting for rescue . That soldier almost bleeding to death is his father, Corporal Lino Bolante.

That report starts his journey as he and his mother Sonia wait for help that comes too late. As far away as the war, this story does not just show how the war in Mindanao robs a child of his innocence, but also shows the shadows of the wars that Filipino homes confront everyday.

Kung dati’y may kontribusyon lamang si Direk Jay sa stories ng kanyang past films, o may kasamang gumawa ng screenplays ng kanyang movies, ang Pink Halo-Halo ang kauna-unahang solo venture niya as a scriptwriter.

Bakit nga ba naisip ni Direk Jay ang ganitong concept ng kanyang Cinemalaya film?


"I realized that the war in Mindanao seems not to see an end," pahayag ni Direk Jay sa isang panayam ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

"Parang walang katapusan ang giyera sa Mindanao. After a number of peace talks and peace pacts, violence continues.

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"This make me wonder. Is the war in Mindanao just a show? Where the ’major players’ don’t really want to it end; disregarding the innocent victims of this conflict?

"But this conflict in Mindanao is just reflective of the wars that a Filipino home confronts everyday: hunger and poverty, abuse and battery, and other familial conflicts.

"All these will be seen thru the eyes of a child," kuwento ni Direk Jay.

Masasabi ngang ang Pink Halo-Halo ang isa na sa pinaka-challenging at espesyal na pelikula sa film career ni Direk Jay. Puwedeng sabihing "na-identify" si Direk Jay sa paggawa ng pelikulang may tema ng kabadingan, which he doesn’t mind, dahil may sense at katuturan naman ang mga ito. Bagama’t nakagawa na siya dati sa Viva Films ng ilang teeny-bopper flicks, pati na sa Viva TV.

Sinasabing na-"redefine" ni Direk Jay ang image ng Pinoy homosexuals at homosexuality sa bansa sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga pelikula. Kabilang sa controversial gay hits niya ang Ang Lalake sa Parola at Ang Lihim ni Antonio, mga pelikulang magpa-hanggang ngayon ay hit na hit sa gay audience sa video stores.

Ang kanyang huling pelikula, Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan, which he co-wrote, produced and directed, ay pinuri ng film reviewers para sa subtle ngunit epektibong social commentary sa buhay ng ordinaryong si Juan.

DIRECTOR’S PROFILE. Si Direk Joselito "Jay" Altarejos ay ipinanganak noong January 15, 1969. His films on men marked by complex narratives, desire, passion, family and identity, are among the top grossing digital films in the country.

Ang Lalake sa Parola (2007), ang first digital feature niya ay binigyan ng Grade B ng Cinema Evaluation Board. Nakakuha rin ito ng acting nomination para kay Justin de Leon (Supporting Actor sa Golden Screen Awards), at na-nominate rin as Best Production Design ng Luna Awards mula sa Film Academy of the Philippines.

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Naipalabas rin ito sa ilang film festivals tulad ng Cinemalaya (Special Selection) at sa UP Film Institute, Director’s Cut Film Festval, both in 2008.

Altarejos has incorporated elements of gay culture into many of his films, and is successful with crossover appeal, thus challenging perceptions of homosexuality in the Philippine setting.

When asked about what he thinks of his works, he quips, "At the end of the day, what we do is nothing...I’m just doing my job."

Ang Lihim ni Antonio (2008), ang kanyang highest‐grossing film to date, and has been presented with several accolades, kasama na ang Best Actor award kay Kenjie Garcia sa Festival del Sol de Gran Canaria in Spain, kamakailan lamang.

Nakakuha rin si Kenjie ng ilang mga acting nominations as New Movie Actor of the Year sa PMPC Star Awards for Movies, at ang Breakthrough Performance by an Actor sa Golden Screen Awards.

Samantala, si Shamaine Buencamino na kasama rin sa pelikula ay nominee rin bilang Best Supporting Actress sa PMPC Star Awards for Movies.

It was screened at the Image Out Rochester GLBT Film Festival (Official Selection), The Cinemarosa Queens New York (Special Screening), at sa Cinemalaya (Special Selection).

The film was described as part of "the new wave of gay cinema in the Philippines" by the Torino GLBT Film Festival when it was presented at the Panorama Section.

Altarejos is a storyteller and his films Kambyo (2008), Little Boy Big Boy (2009), and Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan (2009) told different tales of the randomness in the journey of life; discovering one’s capacity to nurture, and poverty. Juan has been selected in CPH:PIX 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ang 6th Cinemalaya 2010 ay magaganap sa Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) sa Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, nitong Hulyo.


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