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Estasyon gives subtle hints about the 14 Stations of the Cross

by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
Oct 14, 2009
Klaudia Koronel (seated) shines in one of the dramatic scenes of Estasyon. This indie film, set during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, is directed by GMA-7 reporter Cesar Apolinario. It will open on November 4.

Estasyon features the long journey of a young boy who travels all the way from Laguna to attend the Feast of the Black Nazarene. He is instructed to wipe a towel on the image of the suffering Christ to heal his mother. Just like hundreds of devotees, Christian Galindo attempts to climb the Nazareno—will he succeed or will he be crushed by the multitude in Quiapo?

Find out when Estasyon opens in cinemas starting on November 4.

This marks the second time that Cesar Apolinario helms a film after his directorial debut Banal earned him the Best Director plum in last year's Metro Manila Film Festival. Just like his film Banal, which was based on the thwarted assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, Estasyon is also based on a true story. The GMA-7 reporter reveals that Estasyon is based on his interview with a devotee whom he met during the 2006 Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Cesar co-wrote the screenplay with Cris Lim. Both of them previously worked on the screenplay of Banal.

When watching Estasyon, it would be best to observe subtle clues left behind by the reporter-turned-director. The hints are placed along the story, showing a parallelism between Jesus Christ's 14 Stations of the Cross and the life of the film's protagonist, Christian.

The opening spiel of Martin (portrayed by Mon Confiado) would probably throw viewers off-track. He declares: "Parang MRT ang buhay natin, maraming estasyon."

But throughout the film, viewers will notice that the director strategically placed items that organize this modern-day Via Crucis. To facilitate your search, it begins with two barangay tanods who declare that they have nothing to do with the evil ways of Christian. The huge tarpaulin behind them distinctly shows the number 1, corresponding to the first Station wherein Jesus is condemned to death.

Viewers will notice a white towel bearing the image of the suffering Christ that the young man carries throughout the film.

PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to interview the director during the film's screening at the UP Film Institute Videotheque last October 10. Direk Cesar pointed out, "Napakahalaga ng panyo na ‘yon kasi symbolism iyon ng cross na pinasan ni Jesus Christ. Parallel kasi ang story ni Jesus Christ sa bata [Christian]."

His film also serves as a commentary on Catholic practices.

"Sabi ng three-man team na nanood [from the MTRCB], nagustuhan nila yung film kasi puno ng symbolisms," says Direk Cesar. "Although may commentary doon on being a Catholic, parang tinatanong, naniniwala ka ba sa mga santo o sa panata?

"Gusto ko lang ipakita ang kababawan ng isang panata. Ganun tayong mga Pinoy—minsan nakakatulong pero minsan hindi. Pinakita doon yung hope ng bata sa panata na kapag ginawa niya yun, gagaling ang nanay niya."


SYNOPSIS. Martin (Mon Confiado) is a disillusioned filmmaker looking for a cause to fight for. He ends up in Quiapo, trying to document the Feast of the Black Nazarene. On his quest to explore the futility of praying to an unseen God, he meets Christian (Christian Galindo), a juvenile delinquent running for his life and seeking a cure for his mother (Klaudia Koronel). Together, Martin and Christian brave the dangerous and sometimes fatal quest to touch the revered Nazareno and fulfill their promises.

Estasyon brings to light the life of two men who are passing through different "stations" in their journey.

Rated PG-13 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, it will open in cinemas starting November 4.


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Klaudia Koronel (seated) shines in one of the dramatic scenes of Estasyon. This indie film, set during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, is directed by GMA-7 reporter Cesar Apolinario. It will open on November 4.
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