Fresh from the success of Endo, an independent film produced by UFO Pictures, young actor Jason Abalos will soon be seen in another indie film, this time under the guidance of maverick director Quark Henares.
"May ginagawa kami, ‘yong Rakenrol," shared Jason excitedly to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last Friday, April 18, while in the middle of a wakeboarding activity. Jason, along with the cast of ABS-CBN's Astigs, went to Camarines Sur upon the invitation of governor and president of the Governor's League of the Philippines L-Ray Villafuerte.
Astigs shot its two-part finale episode, which will be shown this May, in CamSur. The entire cast, staff and even the invited press made the most of their stay and visited the world-renowned CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC)—regarded as the best cableski-wake park facility in the Philippines and acknowledged by wakeboarding aficionados as one of the best in the world.
Jason, like most of his fellow young actors, tried wakeboarding for the first time only to find out how difficult the sport is.
"Siguro nakaka-ano na ako, pitong bagsak na ko," smiled Jason as he emerged from the waters after another failed attempt.
Not to be discouraged, Jason beamingly shook his head and said, "Siguro 'pag natutunan ko na talaga. Kaya hindi ako humihinto...kailangan kong bumalik dito next week."
INDIE FAVORITE. For Rakenrol, Jason plays the male lead character Odie, a bass player for a rock band named Hapipaks.
Talking about the still unfinished movie, Director Quark Henares dubbed the film as "the most personal film I've ever worked on." Direk Quark along with Sandwich guitarist and good friend Diego Castillo wrote the script.
"It's about me and Diego growing up in the rock scene. It's about starting a band. Everything and everyone is based on real life—rip-off life, or something like that," explained Quark to writer James Gabrillo in an interview published in a national daily.
As for the casting, Quark and Diego admitted listing a handful of names during the initial stages of production. In the end, they chose Jason above all the other young actors.
"We chose him after seeing Endo," revealed Quark to PEP in a text message. It was a testament of Jason's depth as an actor, as observed by everyone who saw the movie.
Jason feels flattered with all the attention. "Kinukuha ako e," he smiled, pertaining to independent film directors and producers. "Siyempre ako naman, okay naman sa indie kasi dun walang pressure."
Between a commercial movie and an independent one, the difference according to Jason is simply way too much.
"'Pag commercial kailangan kumita ng malaki so parang ang pressure na sa inyong artista," he offered. Discussing the rewards of an indie movie despite the shoestring budget, the young actor from Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, added, ‘Pag indie kasi, art lang talaga, kahit hindi ka mapanood ng marami basta makita ka ng mga kritiko, di ba, achievement na ‘yon?"