The stakes are high in the indie film Litsonero andit all boils down to one particular dish: the succulent and juicy lechon (roastedpig).
For the third installment of Sine Direk, director Lore Reyes brings a film thatwill make viewers' mouths water as they watch Paolo Contis trying to cook theperfect lechon.
Where did Paolo learn to cook lechon?
"Before the movie, wala zero wala akong alam," he admits."Dahil si Direk Lore magaling magluto, siya nagtuturo sa akin how to cook. TheGMA-7 actor plays Fidel, an assistant chef working in Macau. He returns to thePhilippines and becomes an apprentice to Mang Carding (played by Jun Urbano),the town's lechon master.
With no experience in the kitchen, how did Paolo carry out his role as a chefthen later on as a litsonero?
"Hands on kagad, habang tinuturuan ako, take kagad," henarrated. "Ang magandang lechon would take you about 2-3 hours paramaganda yung pag-[pagkakaluto]. Slow cooking kasi di ba?"
As Fidel (Paolo) learns how to cook lechon, he finds himself becomingattracted to Mang Carding's daughter, played by Karylle. They share romanticscenes in this film, which was shot for ten days in Lucban, Quezon and Macau.
Direk Lore says that Paolo's character is challenged to cook the perfect lechonor else face the consequences.
"Napasubo siya sa pustahan kasi[nasabihan siya ng] ‘Uy pare hindi ka pala marunong magluto ng litson' taposna-challenge siya," said Direk Lore. "So dun umikot yung story—yung kagustuhan ni Paolo [Fidel] na gumawang perfect lechon."
But aside from showing the richness of Pinoy cooking, thisfilm asks viewers the following question: until when are children expected toshow gratitude to their parents?
"Ang pelikulang ito di langtungkol sa pagkain pero [kung] gaano ba kalaki yung utang na loob natin saating mga magulang at hanggang kelan tayo magbabayad ng utang na loob," explainedDirek Lore.
Litsonero also stars Michael de Mesa, Joanne Quintas,Isabela de Leon, and Jake Vargas.
SYNOPSIS. Fidel (Paolo Contis) is a fresh culinary arts graduatefrom a Swiss school, working as an under-chef in a casino restaurant in Macau.Fidel is compelled by his mother, Inay Viring (Maricel Laxa), to come back totheir hometown in time for the first death anniversary of his father.
Fidel starts apprenticing withthe town's lechon master, Mang Carding (Jun Urbano) and falls in love withCarding's granddaughter, Carmel (Karylle). As the story moves forward, Fidel isconstantly confronted by his familly's over-dependence on him, even if theeldest in the family is his Kuya Roger (Gerard Pizzaras), an ill-tempered trisikaddriver.
Meanwhile, Fidel's teen sister gets pregnant by her high school boyfriend, andbefore long has a bad miscarriage. At around the same time, Tiyo Pinoy (Michaelde Mesa) stabs the lover of his wife Cora (Joanne Quintas). All this domesticturmoil happens while Fidel is struggling through his training as a litsonerowith Mang Carding.
Things reach a climax when Fidel gets into a heateddiscussion with his Tiyo Pinoy (who insists on calling his chef job "trabaho ngbinabae"). Suddenly the bet turns dead serious. Originally the stakes werepaltry. Now the stakes are notches higher: if Fidel loses—if his lechondoesn't turn out well—he will have to work as servant in Pinoy's bakery for afull year, and if Pinoy loses he has to take his wayward wife back into hislife.
Litsonero premieres on May 20, 2009.