Cherie Gil to portray Josefa Llanes Escoda in historical film A Thousand Tears

IMAGE Glen Sibonga

Director Francis Villacorta is photographed with the stars of A Thousand Tears: (L-R) Lara Maigue, Fides Cuyugan Asensio and Cherie Gil.



Si Cherie Gil ang gaganap bilang founder ng Girl Scouts of the Philippines na si Josefa Llanes Escoda para sa isang upcoming film.

Titled A Thousand Tears, ito ay gagawin ng writer-director na si Francis Villacorta at plano nila ipalabas ito in 2017.

Para sa direktor, mahalaga na malaman ng mga tao lalo na ng bagong henerasyon ang naiambag sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ng tatlong bayaning Pilipino na nakalarawan at makikita sa ating one thousand peso bill.

Ito ay sina Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, General Vicente Lim, at ang founder ng Girl Scouts na si Josefa Llanes Escoda.

Kaya naman naisip ni Direk Francis na gumawa ng istoryang pampelikula sa tulong ng kilalang opera singer at dating TV host na si Fides Cuyugan Asensio pati na rin ng singer-songwriter na si Emlyn Olfindo Santos.

Nabuo ang historical movie na A Thousand Tears sa ilalim ng produksyon ng Wings Alpha Entertainment Production.

“Si Emlyn she’s doing the music sa lahat ng musicals ko like yung Pope Francis ang latest. I was actually working on two materials for film namely The Spratly Project at Juan Luna, researching and writing na, in the process na.

“Biglang sabi ni Emlyn, ‘Direk, Tita Fides wants to meet with you.’ And then I decided, okay, si Fides pa, e she attends and watch our shows. That’s how it started. Short film lang noong una ang plano nila, and then naging musical, hanggang finally naging full-length film na,” salaysay ni Direk Francis.

Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Direk Francis sa media launch ng A Thousand Tears na ginanap noong October 10 sa Romulo’s Cafe sa Scout Lazcano, Quezon City.

Dumalo rin dito ang mga kumpirmadong cast members na sina Fides, Emlyn, Cherie Gil, Lara Maigue, at Miguel Aguila.


THE THREE HEROES. Mas naging masigasig si Direk Francis na ituloy ang pelikulang ito matapos niyang gumawa ng survey kung gaano kakilala ng mga Pinoy sina Jose Abad Santos, Vicente Lim, at Josefa Llanes Escoda.

“In our own small way, we really want to reach out to the generation today. Hindi lang sa new generation, e. I’m always at McDonald’s Harrison Plaza in the morning, doing my writing and kung ano-anong little things. And then there are a lot of people from Bangko Sentral who are eating their breakfast in the morning. So, I started doing a survey.

"Sabi ko, ‘Do you know these people sa one thousand bill? Can you tell me about them?’ kasi nagre-research ako casually. And none of them know what happened to these three. So, sabi kong ganun, ‘Oh my God, Fides, Emlyn, I think we should really do this story.’ I mean, every one should really know. It’s not to undermine anyone ha. But I think it is essential to rediscover our history.”

Ano ba ang alam ni Direk kung bakit pinagsama ang tatlong bayani sa one thousand peso bill?

“In terms doon sa connection ng tatlo, first and foremost, if I’m not wrong this bill was minted during the time of President [Fidel] Ramos. Being a war veteran himself, perhaps he thought of the three prominent heroes of World War II to be in one bill. So, I think iyon ang isang reason. But basically they are interconnected in a way na si Josefa Escoda was sent to the U.S. for training with the girl scouts. Yung decision to do that was made by Vicente Lim and two others. Iyon ang isa pang connection.

“Of course, they are all working in the underground. And then si Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos naman happens to be the acting president of that period, when President [Manuel] Quezon left to established a government in exile in the United States. I think basically iyon ang talagang connection nila, their experiences and heroism during the war.”


FIDES’ CONNECTION. Ayon kay Direk Francis, pagsasamahin sa A Thousand Tears ang kuwento ng tatlong bayani gayundin ang istorya ng kabataan ni Fides. Inabutan kasi ni Fides ang World War II at may koneksyon siya sa tatlong bayani.

“Being familiar with the stories of the three and more or less I have followed the career of Ms. Fides Cuyugan Asensio. I know how important her work as an artist is. Sabi ko, let’s do this as you [Fides] doing the narrative of the story para hindi yung parang isa-isang story. I didn’t want it that way.

"Besides Ms. Fides had personal encounters or connection with the three. Her sister happened to be the god-daughter of Chief Justice Abad Santos and I think they are related by blood. Her eldest brother was a soldier under General Vicente Lim. And she was a girl scout. Basically, I have an idea already in writing the script. Kaya lang it’s really quite tedious dahil you know it’s four stories in one. We’re hoping to do the project any time now.”


STAR-STUDDED CAST. Sa A Thousand Tears gagampanan ni Fides ang sarili niya at ang gaganap naman noong panahon ng kanyang kabataan ay ang singer-songwriter-actress na si Lara Maigue.

Kapatid naman ni Fides na si Ruben noong kabataan nito ang gagampanan ni Miguel Aguila.

Para sa tatlong bayani, kumpirmado na ang pagganap ni Cherie Gil bilang si Josefa Llanes Escoda. Under negotiation pa ang gaganap na Jose Abad Santos at Vicente Lim at gusto nilang kunin sina Christopher de Leon at Gabby Concepcion, respectively.



HISTORICAL DATE AS PLAYDATE. Mayroon na ba silang target playdate para sa pelikula?

“Hopefully, for the first months of the year [2017], it should be in the can na. And then hopefully, we’ll be showing it in schools. So, we’ll be touring schools first before doing the regular run. Yung run kasi we want to time it sa historical date like Bataan Day (April 9). Yung pinaka-late na would be Independence Day (June 12).”

Ano ang personal significance ng pelikulang ito kay Direk Francis?

“Ang personal siginificance for me is really yung the importance of looking back at our history so we can determine how to proceed with our future. It’s only in looking back that we will know how to really go on and to move on. Kasi unless we learn from the lessons of our history, then we will be repeating whatever mistakes. And we want to pass this on to the next generation.”


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