Eugene Domingo was a vision in white as she graced the gala event of her movie Ang Babae sa Septic Tank last night, July 19, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Wearing a white dress cinched at the waist by a figure-hugging belt, the lead actress of the Cinemalaya entry was seated beside her co-stars Kean Cipriano, JM de Guzman, and Cai Cortez. Seated behind Eugene were her good friends Mylene Dizon, Candy Pangilinan, and Nikki Valdez.
One of the guest stars of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, Cherry Pie Picache, was also spotted at the event.
Celebrity stylist Liz Uy and Showbiz Central host Raymond Gutierrez arrived halfway through the brief program.
Also present during the event were directors Laurice Guillen, Wenn Deramas, Ruel Bayani, and Joey Reyes, as well as National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera.
Ms. Malou Santos, managing director of Star Cinema, came to show her support for the film.
Character actor Rez Cortez and his wife Candy watched this latest project of their daughter Cai.
Before the screening, Atty. Joji Alonso recalled her initial reaction when she read the script of Chris Martinez for the first time.
"Nung nabasa ko po ang script ni Chris Martinez, grabe, sabi ko, this is it. The fun part there is to see how Marlon will deliver as a director. Nakakatawa ang script, pero ang hirap i-execute.
"When I saw the finished product for the first time, wala akong ibang conclusion kung hindi si Marlon ay isang henyo katulad ni Chris."
THE WRITER AND THE DIRECTOR. Loud cheers erupted in the Main Hall of CCP when Chris Martinez was introduced as the "golden bibe" for his string of successful directorial projects, namely 100 (2008), Here Comes the Bride (2010) and Temptation Island (2011).
He also wrote the screenplay of Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme (2009), which also topbilled Eugene Domingo.
Chris said, "Nagsimula ang brainstorming namin ni Marlon nung uma-attend kami ng film festivals para sa 100.
"Napagkasunduan namin na gumawa kami ng pelikula tungkol sa experiences namin as independent filmmakers...
"Puwede po kayong mamatay sa kakatawa pero sana seryosohin n’yo ang mensahe ng pelikula."
For his part, director Marlon Rivera revealed his experiences when he was invited abroad to take part in international film festivals.
"Sa ibang bansa, hina-hallelujah ka, may pasundo, may red carpet, may pa-party. At tinatanong ka sa mga idea mo at hindi ng intriga sa buhay mo.
"My first film is about making a film. Ang film na ito ay tungkol sa ambisyong ligaw ng mga bagets [referring to the characters of JM, Kean, and Cai].
"The trick to doing this film is choosing the right people...Walang ibang artista na kayang gawin ito kung hindi si Eugene Domingo. Kailangan ng isang matalinong aktres para gawin ito," declared Direk Marlon.
(CLICK HERE to view screening schedules of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank until July 24.)
THE LEAD ACTRESS. For the next hour and a half, viewers of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank were able to see the versatility of Eugene as she gave different interpretations of the same story: a mother is about to sell her child to a pedophile.
In the film, Uge (Eugene’s nickname) showcases her dramatic skills, lends her voice for the songs in the musical portion and flaunts her slim figure for the glossy treatment.
As soon as Uge went out of the theater after the screening, moviegoers surrounded her, all wanting to have a photo with the actress.
"Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa magandang role na binigay sa akin ni Chris Martinez at Marlon Rivera. Yun ay panalo na para sa akin—ang mabigyan ng magandang role," Eugene told the media who interviewed her last night.
Uge admitted that she became emotional during the world premiere of their film last Saturday, July 16.
"Yes, I’m really overwhelmed because it has been a long journey. Alam n’yo na dito ako naaksidente, di ba?
"Nung napanood ko, sabi ko, ’Malapit na... malapit na akong mahulog.’
"After lahat ng pinagdaanan namin, makita mo ang produkto at makita ang reaction ng mga tao, it’s all worth it.
"I’m very thankful sa Cinemalaya."
One of the highlights of the movie involves a septic tank and while filming this scene, Uge actually fell down, causing her to be rushed to the hospital. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)
When Uge was asked if she asked for a body double to do the scene for her, the actress pointed out, "Wala. Ako talaga yun.
"Hindi ko naman sinadya na mahulog but the challenge is... Nung medyo nakaka-recover na ako, [naisip ko ang] responsibilidad mo bilang artista. Hindi puwedeng sabihin na ’hindi ko na kaya.’ It’s all worth it."
Is she expecting to bag awards for her performance in Ang Babae sa Septic Tank?
"Ay, wala. I am so excited about this film. I’m so happy na sa akin naibigay ang role, dun pa lang nakakaramdam na ako ng labis-labis na pagkapanalo."
HER BIRTHDAY WISH. Now that she is about to celebrate her 40th birthday on July 23, Uge said that her birthday wish is this: "Ano ba ang hinihingi ng maraming, maraming tao: lovelife!"
She later added: "Ang wish ko kalusugan para sa ating lahat. At patuloy na lumakas at suportahan ang pelikulang Pilipino. Kaya natin ito."
She also shared her thoughts about leading a healthy lifestyle.
"We’re not getting any younger, so dapat alagaan mo na ang katawan mo, di ba? Para lahat ng roles na ibigay sa ’yo, may energy ka."
Uge says that she enjoys doing a mix of mainstream and indie projects.
"My upcoming movie is for Star Cinema with Toni Gonzaga. Tapos na ang movie namin."
For this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, Uge will also be part of two entries: Shake Rattle and Roll 13 and My Househusband.
"Sa Ryan Agoncillo-Judy Ann Santos film [My Househusband], I’ll be playing the best friend of Ryan.
"Sa Shake Rattle and Roll, medyo serious ako diyan," said the comedienne.