The 43rd edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) kicked off with the Parade of Stars that was held for the first time in Muntinlupa City.
Raymart Santiago was one of the stars spotted at the star-studded event.
How would he describe his character in Haunted Forest?
"Yung character ko dito, parang sa totoong buhay. Father ako na very protective sa anak," he told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
"Mayroon akong asawa dito na namatay.
"Gusto ko muna makalimot kaya nagpa-assign ako sa province. May conflict kami ng anak ko kasi millennial, wala masyadong signal sa probinsiya. Typical teenager-father relationship.
"Napag-tripan siya nung sitsit."
In this horror film, Jane Oineza is cast as his daughter.
How did they build up their relationship as father and child?
"Day one pa lang, okay naman siya. Pero umpisa pa lang, [nagtanong ako], 'Anak ba kita? Parang pwede kitang girlfriend ha,'" recalled Raymart with a laugh.
"Ang laking tao, e, paano tayo magiging mag-ama? Pero okay lang."
Raymart revealed that in doing Haunted Forest, this is his first time to do a horror movie.
The former action star admitted, "Hindi ako sanay. Sabi ko kay Direk [Ian Lorenos], 'Hindi ako marunong matakot, e. Pag natakot ako, susuntukin ko, e.' Ilang takes nga ako, e, nahihiya ako."
GABRU REUNITED. The MMFF 2017 parade served as a way to reunite Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid.
It was initially believed that the GabRu love team would be separated but they were given new projects such as the MMFF 2017 entry Meant To Beh and the upcoming GMA-7 teleserye Sherlock Jr.
The two stars brought kilig to their fans when they were spotted holding hands during the program held at the Filinvest Events Ground, the end point of the Parade of Stars.
ANG PANDAY. Ang Panday's lead actor and director Coco Martin assured fans that every movie ticket will be worth it when they head to cinemas to see his movie at the Christmas film festival.
Ang Panday is one of eight official entries to the MMFF this year. This movie also marks the directorial debut of Coco.
At the sidelines of the MMFF Parade of Stars on December 23, Coco spoke with PEP.ph about his upcoming movie.
"Sobrang sarap kasi finally malapit na mailabas ang Panday at lahat ng mga kasali sa MMFF. Sana mapasaya natin lahat ng Pilipino ngayong kapaskuhan," Coco said.
The actor-director promised that every peso spent for movie tickets to Ang Panday will be worth it.
"Talagang sinulit at susulitin namin ang ibabayad niyo sa sinehan," he added.
In fact, instead of taking a break, Coco said he will be going around cinemas in Metro Manila and in provinces.
"Gusto kong maramdaman, gusto kong makita kung magugustuhan ng mga tao ang pelikula namin," expressed Coco.
"Mag-iikot talaga ako, sa [December] 25...26...dire-diretso, mag-iikot ako sa mga probinsya," he added.
Coco said he considers himself a "very hands-on" director, that's why he is overwhelmed by the support of co-actors and his network, ABS-CBN.
Jake Cuenca, who plays the villain Lizardo in Ang Panday, has nothing but praises for his director and co-actor.
"As an actor and director, naiintindihan niya ang isang artista. Di niya ilalagay sa alanganin ang artista niya," said Jake, who also joined Coco aboard the float of Ang Panday during the parade.
Could a Best Director award be far behind? Coco said he hopes so, but it would be a tough one to win, since "halos magaganda ang ibang pelikula."
During the parade, Coco was deeply moved by the crowd's cheers.
"Grabe yung mga tao, sobrang tuwa nila kapag nakikita ka nila. Ang sarap ng pakiramdam na maramdaman mo kung gaano ka nila kamahal," Coco shared.