Tonyboy Cojuangco and partner Gretchen Barretto vow unstinting support for Cinemalaya

IMAGE Allan Sancon

"Cinemalaya has proven it has very creative people... I have found heaven here on earth... thru Cinemalaya," says Tonyboy Cojuangco (in photo with partner Gretchen Barretto), chairman of the annual independent film festival.


May pamamalat sa tinig, bagamat malinaw ang naipahayag na mensahe ni Mr. Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco bilang closing remarks sa ginanap na 7th Cinemalaya Awards Night noong Linggo ng gabi, July 24, sa Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Si Mr. Cojuangco ang pinuno ng Econolink Investments, Inc. at pangunahing tagapagtaguyod ng seven-year-old indie filmfest para sa industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino.

Sa kanyang mensahe ay nabanggit ni Mr. Cojuangco ang madalas daw itanong sa kanya ng mga kaibigan: "Why support Cinemalaya?"

Aniya, "At 59, you never plan your retirement. You take it when it comes.

"Throughout these crises, you try to focus on the more important things, more permanent things that make you happy.

"The more important things are here on earth.

"We have hope in the Philippines—in our hospitality, tourism, and creative industry.

"Cinemalaya has proven it has very creative people... I have found heaven here on earth... thru Cinemalaya," wika pa ng itinuturing na "Father of Cinemalaya."

With these words, Tonyboy vowed to "continuously support the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival."

GRETCHEN'S PLAN. Minutes before the closing ceremonies, nakausap naman ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang aktres at partner ni Tonyboy na si Gretchen Barretto sa Main Theater lobby ng CCP.

We asked Gretchen about the extent of her own support for the Cinemalaya Filmfest.

"Well, not only because of Tony but mainly because dito ako nanggaling sa industriyang ito," sabi niya.

"Nagpapasalamat ako that Tony shares the same love for this business that I am in, so I am really, really proud that he's doing his part in the industry that I love most. Kung saan ako nanggaling."

Mula noong 2005, nang magsimula ang annual Cinemalaya Film Festival, ay hindi pa nakakagawa ng isang independent film si Gretchen.

May plano rin ba siyang gumawa ng isang indie one of these days?

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"One of these days, gagawin ko," tugon ng aktres.

"Kanina lang, pinag-uusapan namin ni Angel Aquino, magkasama kami, na one of these days, we'll get into producing [indie film].

"Hindi ko alam... hindi naman kailangang ako ang artista dahil siyempre, unfair... Si Tony yung head, tapos nandito ako.

"Parang nandadaya."

PEP told her though she need not appear in an indie film that would compete in the annual filmfest.

"But only to do my part as an actor sa industriyang ito. I'd wanna do that.

"Yes! Puwedeng-puwede. Later on. Mahaba pa ang buhay," she smiled.

ALTA. Meanwhile, Gretchen is still more into mainstream television as she revealed her upcoming appearance.

"Magte-taping na kami ng Alta very soon! Yun ang latest," banggit ng aktres tungkol sa bagong teleseryeng tatampukan niya sa ABS-CBN.

"I'll be working with Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Manzano, Sam Milby, KC Concepcion, Angelica Panganiban. Magaganda at magagaling.

"I've bonded with them, nag-workshop na kami, and so much to look forward to."


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