The Last Journey of Ninoy: a Docu Drama aims to inspire future generations of Filipinos

The premiere of The Last Journey of Ninoy:a Docu Drama was supposed to take place on August 4, 2009. However, due to the death of Corazon Aquino, Ninoy's widow, the organizers decided to postpone the premiere night to a later date.

Twenty-six years after the death of Benigno S. Aquino Jr., his legacy still remains.

When the former Senator was shot dead at the Manila International Airport (later renamed in his honor) on August 21, 1983, it triggered a series of events that eventually ended the 20-year authoritarian rule of Ferdinand Marcos.

In honor of the ultimate sacrifice given by Ninoy for the Filipino people, The Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation and Unitel have collaborated to produce a documentary/drama titled The Last Journey of Ninoy.

This unique film uses available news clips, videos and film footage, photographs, interviews plus dramatizations or re-enactments shot in Hi-Definition (HD) format.

This 52-minute digital film is directed by Jun Reyes, the great grandson of the late Severino Reyes of Lola Basyang fame.

Viewers will be surprised to learn more details about Ninoy's journey back to Manila. This includes Ninoy's meeting with the Sultan of Johore, who offered him the back door or Mindanao option to return to Manila, including the making of the fake passports.

It also includes candid interviews with Cory revealing details never been heard before.

According to The Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation, "the past 25 years since Ninoy Aquino's death have witnessed a creeping amnesia in the national psyche. Ninoy's legacy of spiritual transformation, heroism and commitment to democracy has slowly been dissipated by the gradual erosion of our democratic institutions and the weakening of our collective initiative for change. The nation is experiencing the fading of memories of the historic struggles that led to the Filipino's glorious shining moment.

For this reason, the BSAF hopes to revive those memories and the significance of the nation's struggles and Ninoy's ultimate sacrifice that once awakened the greatness in every Filipino.

The Last Journey of Ninoy takes an intimate look at the man—his strengths and weaknesses, his triumphs and failures, his dreams and fears, as well as his simple joys as a husband and family man. The movie presents a tapestry
of insights on the man and the martyr in particular, and about ourselves in general.

Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino portrays his uncle Ninoy while actress Pia Millado is cast as the late President Corazon Aquino.

Director Jun Reyes explains why he decided to meg this film about the slain political leader.

"I wanted to make a timeless film about Ninoy, a film that will make him real to audiences who have never witnessed him alive nor remember him for what he has done—hoping to inspire future generations, to spread Ninoy's ideals and to make him known as more than just the face on our Php500 bill.

"The narrative of the film is unique and compelling. The docu-drama uses two timelines. The DOCU part will be show archival footage. The DRAMA part will expose the U.S. exile to Manila arrival. Details of this last journey,
unknown to many, will be revealed & re-enacted for the first time.

"The film will be told from two voices and points of view only: Ninoy's and Cory's. The stories of these two unique individuals—their struggles & victories, the transformation of Ninoy from a man-of-the-world to a spiritual man and Cory as a loving witness to all these, will be heard and seen throughout the film."

Why did it take 3 years to make this film?

"Getting the funding was a challenge. Scripting and research took time also since it was a new format for us. Casting was likewise a challenge."

What was the most difficult part to recreate?

"The airport scenes. What was interesting was the fact that we shot all these recreated scenes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3)."

The Last Journey of Ninoy: a Docu Drama has been rated General Patronage by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. This digital docu drama will soon be screened in Philippine theaters soon.






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