’Ligalig’: A dream come true for Cesar Montano

Cesar reveals that the suspense thriller has a "dream story" he wanted to direct.

Cesar Montano will appear in the suspense-thriller Ligalig, a film about a series of killings in a seemingly quiet town.

Not only will Cesar star in the movie—an entry of CM Films in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival—he is also the film’s director, screenwriter, and producer.

"Eto yung isa sa mga dream na istorya na gusto kong i-direk. I’ve been wanting to do a suspense thriller. Since ngayon alam ko na medyo hinog na pwede na [ang Filipino audience]. Quite different from the film I directed previously, yung Panaghoy sa Suba. Drama yun. Period. Eto naman contemporary na suspense. May pagka-psycho. I’m so excited for Filipino audience, kung ano ang magiging reaction nila kasi ibang-iba ito," Cesar told Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) after his boxing match in Bakbakan ’06 Part 2 at the Aliw Theater last November 18.

Ligalig is also the second movie this year of Cesar’s wife, Sunshine Cruz. Sunshine took a sabbatical from film projects for nearly nine years. She talks more about her role in the movie: "Isa akong nurse na na-in-love sa isang taxi driver na ginagampanan ni Mr. Cesar Montano. This story nangyari lang siya in 24 hours. It was great." She candidly said: "Almost nine years akong hindi gumagawa ng pelikula kasi lagi po akong buntis."

Sunshine said she was overjoyed on her return to the silver screen. Before Ligalig, she will first appear in Unitel Pictures’ Inang Yaya with Diamond Star Maricel Soriano. “This time I’m very happy na nabigyan ulit ako ng tsansa hindi lang dito sa Ligalig kundi sa Inang Yaya starring Maricel Soriano. Masaya kasi kahit last quarter na ng 2006, dalawa agad ang pelikula.” The public can expect more of her next year: "Hopefully kung may magandang project. Of course, my family will always be my priority pero kung may magandang proyekto na maa-approve ni Cesar, why not?"

PEP also asked Cesar on the total cost of production for Ligalig. The actor-director did not give exact figures. “Very average lang. Not very low, not very high pero hindi naming tinipid yung pelikula. Pinagbuhusan talaga namin ng pawis, dugo at puso ang pelikula para mapaganda ito at mailabas yung tunay na hinahanap ng tao.”

Other than the Montano couple, Ligalig also features Johnny Delgado, John Regala, Rebecca Lusterio, Gwen Garci, Katya Santos, Monsour Del Rosario, Bayani Agbayani, Nonie Buencamino, Rommel Montano, and Alvin Anson.

After Ligalig, Cesar plans to produce more films, including the highly-anticipated biography of the late former senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. “Nagfo-focus ako ngayon sa paggawa ng pelikula. Itutuloy ko yun [pelikula kay Ninoy Aquino]. Ginagawa namin yung script ngayon. Marilou-Diaz Abaya. We plan to shoot the movie, June next year. Kung aabot ng festival, the better.” When asked about his political plans, he simply said: “Wala pa akong mabibigay na certain answer.”



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