Paul Soriano says Manny Pacquiao entrusted his childhood story to him due to their friendship



Isa sa mga matagal nang pangarap ni Direk Paul Soriano ang makagawa ng pelikula with Star Cinema. In a way ay nagkaroon na nang katuparan ang kanyang pagnanais na makatrabaho ang mga tao behind Star Cinema through his latest action drama film titled Kid Kulafu.

Tumatalakay ito sa childhood ng boxing champ na si Manny Pacquiao at ang gaganap na young Manny ay si Buboy Villar.

“Of course, working with Star Cinema is a blessing. Sila talaga ang number one dito sa Philippines and yung TFC sa abroad,” pahayag ni Direk Paul noong makausap namin after the Q&A presscon ng Kid Kulafu sa ABS-CBN.

Hindi pa man naipapalabas ang Kid Kulafu in more than 100 theaters nationwide ay nakikipagusap na si Direk Paul sa Star Cinema’s managing director na si Malou Santos for a another possible movie collaboration.

“Pero hindi pa pwedeng i-mention. We’ll mention it soon kapag sinabi ni Tita Malou pwede na. but we’re looking out at scripts, we’re looking at stories. Pero there are two scripts na talagang mukhang maganda. Yes, I will direct the movie,” ani Direk Paul.

Ang kanyang fiancée ba na si Toni Gonzaga ang bida sa next movie collaboration niya with Star Cinema?

“Well, actually, wala pa’ng usapan na sino ang cast. Pero story ako muna. But when you work with Star Cinema, you got to work with the best actors also.”

If ever matuloy ang next project niya sa Star Cinema, will this be the first project na gagawin niya after ng big wedding nila ni Toni this year?

“Hahaha! Possibly!”

Itutuloy pa rin ba niya yung gawin ang movie project niya na Open Doors tungkol sa mga Jews na naligtas mula sa Holocaust at nagpunta sa Pilipinas noong World War II?

“Ah, yeah. Dream film ko yun talaga.”

Nag-start na ba silang mag-research about the story?

“I have started research already. I actually have the second draft screenplay. It’s all about President [Manuel] Quezon saving more than 300 Jews. That’s in 1939, before World War II. Marami nang lumabas na history [documentary]. Pero local film, wala pa. ‘Yan ang dream film ko talaga. Pero ano ‘yan, right time rin ‘yan. Epic ‘yan, e."

Ang Open Doors na kaya ang next movie niya sa Star Cinema?

“Dream film ko ‘yan. But I don’t know if that will be my next film. Hindi ko sure.”

Going back to Kid Kulafu, may mga naka-schedule na para sa special screening ang pelikula sa ibang bansa through ABS-CBN’s TFC (The Filipino Channel).

Naniniwala si Direk Paul na tatangkilikin ng mga kababayan natin sa abroad ang Kid Kulafu lalo na kapag nanalo si Manny Pacquaio sa laban niya kay Floyd Mayweather sa May 2 sa Las Vegas, USA.

“Yeah, what a blessing ‘di ba? Pero sa akin win or lose, Manny Pacquiao is Manny Pacquiao, ‘di ba? And I really hope the people will support the film. I think it will be the best gift to Manny is to show him that we supported Kid Kulafu ‘di ba? Extra motivation para sa laban niya.”

Paano niya sinimulang maisip na gumawa ng pelikula tungkol sa buhay ng boxing champ during his early life?

“Ano ‘yan, ang kwento niyan, we were shooting a TV commercial with Manny. I do a lot of TV commercials for him. Mga four years ago I said, ‘Manny, gawa tayo ng pelikula about your life.' Natuwa siya. Parang, ‘Ha? Ang dami ng pelikula. Ang dami ng documentary ‘di ba?’

“And then, sabi ko, ‘Pero Manny about your childhood ‘to.’ So, medyo natuwa siya doon. Talaga yung that same night, tumawag siya sa akin, ‘Punta ka sa bahay, mag-usap tayo.’

"Hanggang 4 to 5 am, nag-usap kami about his first ten years of his life. Ang daming kwento.

“So, sabi ko that day, ‘Manny, we have to do this on movie. Sobrang cinematic ang buhay mo sa childhood.’

“So, after that, research nang research. Tawag nang tawag. And you know, we became friends. So, and we also work on commercials. So, ayan, kita-kita tayo and eventually we finally made a script, a screenplay. Last year, we were blessed to shoot the film.”

Nangyari ba ang pag-uusap nila ni Manny bago siya naging Born Again Christian?

“I think, even before that pa. So, long time in the making talaga ‘to. I mean, when you’re making a movie somebody like this, dapat ano yun, at the right time.”

So, hindi totoo ang balitang ayaw gawin ni Manny sa pelikula ang kwento ng kanyang buhay noong bata pa siya?

“No, no, no,” mabilis na tanggi ni Direk Paul.

“Very supportive siya from day one. As a matter of fact, nag-sign siya ng kontrata with me to give his official permission to use his childhood story.

“Oo, parang ganoon, parang authorized [ako]. That’s why may credit siya sa pelikula, story credit siya.”

Is it true na instrumental ang kanyang ama at dating director na si Pastor Jeric Soriano sa pagiging Born-Again Christian ni Pacquaio?

“Well, I think my Dad, si Pastor Jeric, was there when Manny needed help. He was there to guide and help Manny.

“I think they met through Dyan Castillejo yata. So, nag-Bible study sila ng ganyan and started from there. But you know, for me, even my Dad said that it is only God who can change Manny.

“My Dad was just instrumental in helping him. Pero Manny made a decision talaga to walk with God and to go back to God. I mean, he was never really not looking for God. He was always there and talagang number one ang Panginoon para kay Manny.”

Wala siyang ibinayad as rights para sa lifestory ni Manny?

“Wala, wala. Binigay lang niya yung story niya. I guess because of friendship binigay niya sa akin yung story. So, very blessed, very blessed. I’m so thankful to Manny, honestly. He’s been very supportive.”

Inalok ba niya si Manny na mag-co-produce sa Kid Kulafu?

“No, wala,” sambit ng director na siya ring nag-direk ng award-winning film na Thelma.

“I told Manny, you know, let me find a financing, let me find the way to make it happen. I don’t want to, you know, I’m not in this for the money, e. I’m in this for the story, e. So, ginawa ko ng paraan na he will just there to support us in the creative process. In terms of the financial, the producing? Wala siya. He was not part of us. I think he appreciated that.”

Ipinasok ni Direk Paul ang Kid Kulafu sa nakaraang Metro Manila Film Fest. Ano’ng nangyari’t hindi ito naipalabas?

“It was considered pero hindi kami napasok, so, okay lang. I mean, I’m not hear naman to question the criteria or ‘yung jurors. Ayaw nila, okay lang. E, ‘di move on.

“But, blessing in disguise ‘di ba? Blessing in disguise kasi imagine kung December, wala masyadong hype ‘di ba?

“Tapos, pumasok ang Mayweather, pumasok pa ang ABS-CBN, pumasok ang Star Cinema, grrabe. Talagang God really made a plan na dapat wala pa sa MMFF, mag-April 15 ka. And then, sina Ma’am Charo [Santos Concio], Sir Gabby [Lopez], Ma’am Malou [Santos], April 15 ang handpicked nila. So, saktung-sakto.”

Masasabi ba niya na malaking regalo na para sa kanya ang pagpapalabas ng Kid Kulafu ng Star Cinema bago ang big wedding nila ni Toni this year?

“Uh, yeah, hahaha!

“Well, if we make P100 million sa box-office, why not, ‘di ba? Hahaha!’

Uubusin ba niya ang P100 million sa kasal nila ni Toni?

“Whatever Toni wants, haha. Lagi ko sinasabi naman, e, from day one ‘di ba?”

Nagpa-plano na rin ba siya ng pelikulang ididirek niya na pagbibidahan ni Toni?

“Wala pa, actually. You know as much as possible we keep it personal, ’di ba? I think we’ve been very successful in both our career. If the opportunity comes, I will listen. I mean, you know, Toni is Toni, e."

Totoo ba na konsepto ni Toni ang kwento ng recent film niya with Coco Martin na You’re My Boss?

“Oo, yung You’re My Boss, nagiging creative na yun. I guess, nagkaroon na siya ng konting influence kasi we always talk about concept. Yung mga concepts ko rin kinukwento ko sa kanya. So, I think na-inspire rin siya, you know. So, sabi ko, next time ikaw na ang magsusulat. Hahaha!”

Speaking of their wedding, may special participation ba si Manny sa wedding nila ni Toni?

“Wala pa’ng usapan tungkol d’yan. But definitely, I want to invite him, of course. Pero in terms of participation sa wedding, wala pa. Actually, we should start talking about that after she gets back from Australia. We haven’t talked. Meron siyang dalawang concerts sa Australia.”

So, wala pa talaga silang nabubuong lineup for their wedding?

“May mga idea pa pero we still have to go, kailangan personal ‘yan. ‘Di ba [kailangan] personal ‘yan? Invite-invite, I mean, magkikita pa lang kami ni Toni after her concert sa Australia.”

May certain fulfillment ba siyang nararamdaman sa pagpapalaba sng Kid Kulafu before the big event na laban ni Manny Pacquaio at Floyd Mayweather sa May 2?

“Well, in terms of Kid Kulafu, fulfilled talaga ako. I think I’ve told the best Pacquiao story I can. I’m ready to move on to my next film, definitely.”

True ba na hindi legally married ang parents ni Pacquaio? Kasal nga ba sa ibang lalaki ang ina ni Pacman na si Mommy Dionisia noong magkaroon sila ng relasyon ng ama ng boxing champ?

“Ah, ngayon separated na sila. During that time, nakasal sila.

“Well, I don’t know that, pero ang alam ko talaga si Mommy D and father ni Manny, married sila. I just don’t know kung legal sila or what. Pero they were married, they were in love. It just so happenned si Rosalio gusto sa bundok. Si Dionisia gusto sa city kasi ang pera nandoon, ‘di ba?”

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