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by Wells Avante
Nov 1, 2006
Juliana Palermo and Lauren Novero in a wedding scene from Kaleldo

Translated as Summer Heat, Kaleldo had its premiere one cold night in October at Glorietta 4 Cinema 7. Brillante Mendoza's Kapampangan film was given a "B" rating by the Cinema Evaluation Board. It has also been invited to the Vienna International Film Festival (October 13-25), the Hawaii International Film Festival (October 19-November 5), and the Cairo International Film Festival (November 28-December 8).

Kaleldo tells the story of a motherless family living in Guagua, Pampanga. The story begins in 1999 with the wedding of youngest child Grace (Juliana Palermo) to Conrad (Lauren Novero). Grace's father, Mang Rudy (played by Johnny Delgado), gets a setback when his wood carving business was gravely affected by the vicious eruption of Mt. Pinatubo nine years ago.

The other children of Mang Rudy—middle child Lourdes (Angel Aquino) and the eldest Jess (Cherry Pie Picache)—are all in fear of his authoritarian ways. When the patriarch of the family suffers a heart attack, it falls upon Jess to care for him, and she brings home her lover (Criselda Volks) to share the duty.

Cherry Pie convincingly portrayed the role of lesbian tricycle driver Jess. In an interview with YES! Online last October 31, the veteran actress said: "I'm playing the role of one of the daughters of Mr. Johnny Delgado. Nagkataon na lesbian siya."

She added: "I feel blessed and fortunate. I'm very proud of this film Kaleldo. I feel fortunate that I get different kinds of roles. I get to play them. I'm also here to support Direk Dante [Mendoza], who's one of the representatives of independent film making and I want to support that."

One of the most talked-about scenes of Kaleldo is the steamy lesbian love scene between Cherry Pie and Criselda, who plays Weng in the movie. Cherry Pie considers the role of the lesbian very challenging especially that she's doing it for the very first time. "Playing the role of the lesbian, it's not [a] caricature. Talagang lesbian siya. [One] physical challenge was [that I had] to flatten my chest."

Alan Paule, who plays Andy in Kaleldo, tells YES! Online more about his role: "Ako yung asawa ni Angel Aquino, under [sa asawa] pero lumalaban din. Typical character ng asawa. I hope na maging maganda. Maganda yung pelikula at pinaghirapan namin. Masasabi ko yung away namin ang isa sa mga highlights nung pelikula. Nag-aaway kaming mag-asawa."

Prior to the opening of the movie, Direk Dante told the audience: "Balak po namin siyang isali sa Metro Manila Film Fest kaya lang hindi siya nakuha [pero], naipasok namin siya sa iba't ibang festival abroad. Hopefully this time, susuportahan niyo ang pelikulang ito."

Despite the absence of some cast members, the support given by other actors was overwhelming. In attendance were director Joel Lamangan, Roderick Paulate, Mark Gil, Bembol Roco, Gina Alajar, Iza Calzado (with her boyfriend Jerry Garcia), Paolo Contis, Gardo Verzosa, Coco Martin, RX 93.1 DJ Rico Robles and Sarong Banggi stars Angelo Ilagan and Ms. Jacklyn Jose. Even Maria Consoliza Laguardia, Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson, was there to lend her support to the film.

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Starring Johnny Delgado, Cherry Pie Picache, Angel Aquino, Juliana Palermo, Allan Paule, Lauren Novero, Rita Magdalena, and Coco Martin.

Directed by Brillante Mendoza

Released by Centerstage Productions

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Juliana Palermo and Lauren Novero in a wedding scene from Kaleldo
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