This 2014, Vina Morales and Robin Padilla take a break from their signature romantic action flicks to take on serious roles as Gregoria de Jesus and Andres Bonifacio, respectively, in the movie Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo.
This period film is one of the official entries to the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
Although the film’s main focus is the life of Bonifacio as a revolutionary hero, it also tells the love story of the Filipino hero with Gregoria or “Oryang.”
Vina says about her character: "I saw photos niya and she's a very strong woman, she's a fighter, a loving wife and her love for the country...marunong siyang lumaban. Matapang siya."
Vina's last project with Robin was the 1999 movie 'Di Puwedeng Hindi Puwede.
How would she describe Robin now?
"Ganun pa rin si Robin, sweet, maalalahanin, gentleman...
She even names Robin as her favorite leading man.
"Spoiled kaya ako sa set! Kaya favorite ko siya.
"I appreciate that na napaka down-to-earth siya and very loving."
On their first shooting day, Vina admits, “nagkakailangan kami ng konti, kasi lahat ng mata nakatingin sa amin.”
But it didn’t take long before the two became comfortable with each other again.
ON KISSING SCENE WITH ROBIN. The actress cites their wedding as her favorite scene in this historical biopic.
"One scene na talagang napakaganda ang pagkagawa ay yung kinasal kami--ni Oryang at Andres.
"Napakaromantic na ginawa.
"It was a very passionate kiss.
"Napakasimple at kita mo ang pagmamahalan nila.
"Makikita mo ang love ni Oryang at Bonifacio sa isa't isa."
Naturally, their respective roles called for a kissing scene during the wedding of Andres to Oryang.
Vina shares what it was like acting in that scene with Robin: “Simpleng eksena lang, pero pag kami ang gumanap, sa sobrang tagal namin di gumawa ng pelikula…yung sulyap-sulyap namin, pati si Direk Enzo kinikilig!
"Eighteen takes siguro yun, kasi minsan nagkakamali yung pari, yung ilaw…Pero di lahat yun umabot sa kiss!
"Na-conscious ako na nahiya ako, pero natapos naman namin yung eksena na masaya ang lahat.”
Vina even jokes that it was a ploy by Binoe (Robin's nickname) so he could get to kiss her several times.
“Feeling ko kasabwat niya lahat yun, kasi after so many years ngayon lang niya ko ulit nahalikan. On screen lang naman,” Vina said with a smile.
"Iniisip niya siguro, ito na ang oportunidad ko na halikan si Vina!"
When asked if working again together brought back memories of her past relationship with ex-boyfriend Robin, Vina laughs, “May throwback ba naman ang paghahalikan? No words can express yung throwback na yun.”
(Watch related video: Vina Morales recalls kissing scene with ex-boyfriend Robin Padilla)
ONSCREEN CHEMISTRY WITH BINOE. She feels fortunate that their onscreen chemistry with Binoe has not waned despite their loveteam’s long absence.
“Di nawawala yung kilig, yung chemistry namin onscreen. Offscreen, ganun pa rin siya, maalaga. Kung wala man siya, he makes sure na yung mga kasamahan niya, they take care of me,” adds Vina.
How exactly did Robin get Vina to say yes to their loveteam’s comeback movie?
Vina says, “Who would say no to this role? Maski second, third…sixth choice lang, walang hihindi sa role na ito. It’s really a quality film. I think it’s the best movie I’ve done in terms of story, character…and of course, the chance to work with Robin again. Siya yung partner ko sa pinakamaraming pelikula.”
This is also a project she herself is looking forward to seeing, maybe not just here in the Philippines but also abroad.
“Pang-international…with the equipment we use, alam mong big-budget film. Bigatin ang mga kasamang artista,” says the actress.
She also takes pride in the fact that they are working with staff members who have experience doing movies in Hollywood.
"Even our stunt director [Sonny Sison] he is the stunt director of Hangover III and Godzilla .
"Di ba, nakakaproud that they are doing international films and they still want to do movies here."
Director Enzo Williams decided to shoot the entire film using an ARRI Alexa camera with anamorphic lenses and a complete ARRI Raw post-production workflow, the state-of-the-art filmmaking tool and editing process used by major Hollywood movies.
In fact, Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo is the first film in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia to use this technology.
Aside from Robin and Vina, this movie also stars Daniel Padilla, Jasmine Curtis Siith, Jericho Rosales, Rommel Padilla, Joem Bascon, and Ping Medina, among others.