Mangatyanan depicts story of a woman with a tragic past

by Mell T. Navarro
May 27, 2009
Che Ramos (left) plays the daughter of Irma Adlawan (right) in the Cinemalaya 2009 entry Mangatyanan. The film tells the story of a female photographer (Che) with a tragic past who goes to document the harvest ritual of a dying tribe. But when the ritual falls apart from familial conflicts that echoes her past, she unwittingly continues the symbolic rite on her own, forcing her to confront her own personal demons.

Si Director Jerrold Tarog ay isang baguhan ngunit mahusay at sensitibong filmmaker na siyang nagdidirek, nagsusulat ng script, siya ring musical scorer, at sound engineer ng kanyang sariling pelikula.


Mine-maintain niya rin ang kanyang career bilang isang freelance professional musical scorer. Siya ang nag-score ng critically-acclaimed films such as Kaleldo at Foster Child ni Direk Dante Mendoza at ang Kubrador ni Direk Jeffrey Jeturian.


Kauna-unahang pelikula pa lamang ni Direk Jerrold ang Confessional (Cinema One Originals entry in 2007), pero umani na ito ng napakaraming papuri mula sa mga respetadong kritiko, at humakot ng awards hindi lang dito sa bansa kung hindi pati na rin sa mga international dilm festivals.


Ngayong 2009, nagbabalik-film festival ang husay at kalibre ng isang Jerrold Tarog.


This time, pasok ang second film ni Direk sa isa pang independent Pinoy filmfest, ang Cinemalaya Cinco, with his full-length film titled Mangatyanan.


Ilang days bago pa man nagpa-presscon ang Cinemalaya 2009 sa CCP noong May 21, nakapanyam na ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Direk Jerrold, via email.

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Ano nga ba ang kuwento ng Mangatyanan? Mangatyanan is a sequel to Confessional," sabi ni Direk. "It's part of a trilogy about people with cameras. There's more drama this time than commentary."

SYNOPSIS. Himalaya "Laya" Marquez has never had a complete dream since she was 12. Something always wakes her up at night. That something used to be her father, the famous photographer Danilo Marquez, whose constant sexual abuse of Laya tore her family apart.


Now, at 27, Laya possesses a cold exterior that hides torrents of pain. Working as a travel photographer, Laya is sent to Isabela to capture a rare harvest ritual called Mangatyanan by the Labwanan tribe. What Laya finds there, however, is a severely dwindled group held together by their desperate leader Mang Renato.


Soon, Laya senses a strong connection between the tribe's predicament and her own troubled life. Events spiral out of control as the Mangatyanan crumbles under Mang Renato's desperate grip and Laya is forced to flee. But something happens that brings her face-to-face with her own demons. Will she finally confront her past or will she keep running?

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Ano nga ba ang dahilan kung bakit mahilig si Direk Jerrold na gumawa ng pelikulang tungkol sa mga taong may mga camera, at plano pa niyang gumawa ng "trilogy"?


Una nga kasi, sa Confessional, bida ang isang lalaking videographer, and this time sa Mangatyanan, bida ang isang babaeng photographer naman.


"Wala talagang profound reason. It's just that, meron na akong two scripts that featured professional camera-people.


"So, I figured I might as well write a third one, call it a trilogy, then forever BAN myself from writing characters with that profession again. I have plans for a Music trilogy as well," pahayag ni Direk.


Bida si Che Ramos sa nasabing indie film. Si Che ay isang print and commercial model na marami-rami na rin ang nagawang commercials, at nakalabas na (in supporting roles) sa mga indie movies.


Kabilang sa past films ni Che Ramos ay ang Ataul For Rent (with Joel Torre and Jaclyn Jose), Pain Things(with Christian Vazquez and Michael de Mesa), at Prinsesa (starring Romnick Sarmenta and Shamaine Buencamino).

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"Isa rin siyang trained dancer. This is her first lead role in a feature film. The lead part was written specifically for her," pagbibigay-impormasyon pa ni Direk.


Kabilang rin sa cast ang critically-acclaimed stage and film actress na si Irma Adlawan, ang character actor na si Neil Ryan Sese, at si Publio Briones III (na gumanap bilang Mayor sa Confessional).


Ano ang message na nais niyang iparating sa kanyang audience sa Mangatyanan? "I don't know," aniya. "It's not a message film. But, like Confessional, it tells a simple story but it also has several symbolic layers that may be interpreted in different ways. Bahala na ang audience."


Masasabing "bongga" rin si Direk, dahil in a period of three years, na-penetrate niya ang dalawa sa pinaka-popular na independent film festival sa bansa: ang Cinema One Orginals noong 2007 at ang Cinemalaya 2009.


Paano niya maikukumpara ang kanyang working experience sa Cinema One with that of Cinemalaya?

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"I've been fortunate enough to have smooth working relationships with my producers. In Cinema One, they allowed me to do whatever I wanted and it's the same with Cinemalaya.


"It's a great thing because, without corporate constraints, the filmmaker focuses on craft. When the producer completely trusts the filmmaker and the script, all you need to do is make the best film you can possibly make.


"No energy is wasted on politics and wrangling egos," makahulugang pagtatapos ni Direk.

Handog ng BigTop Media, Casa San Miguel and Metric Films, ang Production Staff ng Mangatyanan ay ang sumusunod:

Director -- Jerrold Tarog
Producers -- John Silva and Franco Alido
Line Producer -- Ma-an Asuncion
Screenplay -- Ramon Ukit (aka Jerrold Tarog)
Production Designer -- Benjamin Padero
Director of Photography -- Mackie Galvez
Original Music -- Jerrold Tarog
Assistant Director -- Bianca Balbuena

Editor - Pats R. Ranyo (aka Jerrold Tarog)

Sound Design - Roger "TJ" Ladro (aka Jerrold Tarog)

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Ang 5th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival ay itatanghal mula July 17-26, 2009 sa Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) sa Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

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Che Ramos (left) plays the daughter of Irma Adlawan (right) in the Cinemalaya 2009 entry Mangatyanan. The film tells the story of a female photographer (Che) with a tragic past who goes to document the harvest ritual of a dying tribe. But when the ritual falls apart from familial conflicts that echoes her past, she unwittingly continues the symbolic rite on her own, forcing her to confront her own personal demons.
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