He woke up one morning with two bumps on his back, which eventually grew wings that complicated his humdrum life as an accountant for a TV network.
The movie Paglipad ng Anghel, Sid Lucero’s film for his alma mater, De La Salle University, initially had undertones of being heavy drama.
But the De La Salle students and supporters that trooped to the Cinema 6 of SM Mall of Asia last night, June 12, witnessed an unequivocal way of telling an out of this world story.
Director Doy del Mundo—who mentored filmmakers Joey Reyes, Manny Castaneda, and Don Escudero, including theater’s prominent personality Audie Gemora and even ABS-CBN president Charo Santos Concio—slackened the heavy scenes by making the important lines forthright, and at times, injecting just the right dose of humor.
One of the highlights was the main character Gabby’s (played by Sid) monologue inside the church. He was convincing God that he wasn’t ready to fulfill the role of an anghel sa lupa.
Without being overly dramatic, he hit the spot while reciting these lines, "Patawarin niyo ako. Hindi ko kaya. Hindi ako karapat-dapat. Wala akong karapatan. Ayokong maging anghel."
THE INSPIRATION. The story was inspired by the late Manny Pichel, former entertainment editor of the Philippine Daily Express.
Del Mundo, who wrote and directed the film, shared, "It must have been before the mid-’80s. Manny saw an old beggar on the sidewalk, emaciated and dying-at least that was how the beggar looked to him.
"The beggar needed immediate help and Manny decided to carry the dying person.
"Manny was frail himself, so he must have exerted a lot of effort. There was no cab, but a calesa came by. Manny brought the beggar to a place in Tondo where Mother Teresa’s community of nuns took care of the poor and the dying."
From a short film he wrote in 1997—Ang Lalaking Tinubuan ng Pakpak—he developed a screenplay, which will figure greatly during the university’s centennial celebration, where one billion pesos will be raised for the benefit of the One La Salle Scholarship Fund.
"Nung nakakuha na kami ng funding, dire-diretso na—from the staff to crew to cast," direk Doy added.
THE CAST. This project—which had a total of 19 shooting days spread out over three months—starred La Sallistas.
Sid, whose portrayal generated kudos from his school mates, told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "I was doing Dahil May Isang Ikaw, then napunta na kami sa Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal, hindi pa rin natatapos. Last year pa ito. But I am really glad I did it."
One thing the reluctant angel learned from the film: Good deeds need not be announced.
"I really believe in whatever the film is trying to say," son of Mark Gil began, "Kung may gagawin kang maganda, kelangan nakasulat ang pangalan nila. You don’t have to advertise that you donated something for someone. You don’t need to tell the world that this is what I did," the now Kapuso leading man said.
Stephanie Henares, a graduate of Organization Communication, "felt blessed" that she was chosen to play the role of Michelle.
The daughter of Ronnie and Yda Henares related, "I actually had to audition. The first requirement kasi was you have to be a La Salle graduate. So I went to La Salle. I graduated na. I went there anyway...I got the part! I knew that I would play a girl named Michelle. I didn’t know that she to would soon become an angel."
And how did her parents find her performance?
"They congratulated me that I did a good job," the Kapuso newbie exclaimed.
And one thing her role, "na hindi niya ikinahihiya yung wings niya," taught her: Never be afraid of the consequences of helping others.
Other stars that made time for the premiere were Anita Linda and Ricky Davao. Also included in the cast were Joel Torre, LJ Moreno, Epy Quizon, and Christian Vasquez, and Cherie Pie Picache.
Paglipad ng Anghel will have a series of screenings on various La Salle campuses nationwide after the premiere night.
Tickets are sold at 300 pesos. For inquiries and reservation, please contact the DLSU Centennial Commission Office at 524-2611 local 290.