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Nora Aunor shines in ‘Kabisera’

There is no doubt that Nora Aunor is the star of Kabisera, an entry to the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) ongoing until the second of January next year.

Kabisera is inspired by true events in a family who fell victim to what is now known as EJK or extra judicial killings.

Aunor plays Mercy, wife of Ka Tunying (Ricky Davao), a barangay captain, executed summarily by policemen in a small town in a Southern Tagalog province, after being implicated in a bank robbery along with his son Andy (JC de Vera) who eventually was also killed by guys riding in tandem while on his way to his girlfriend’s house.

Mercy, with the help of a human rights lawyer (played by Victor Neri), pursues legal means to clear the names of her husband and son. 

Despite the fuzzy storyline, loosely woven plot, tentative direction, terrible musical scoring, and unintelligible editing, Aunor’s performance shines as the best element of this sophomoric work.

The superstar proves she is the country’s greatest actor  – never mind if the material is second rate – and she strengthens the film’s weaknesses with her bravura performance.

PRIMERA ACTRIZ. Superstar Nora Aunor’s performance in “Kabisera” compensates the film’s amateurism direction and second rate screenplay
I won’t discuss the shortcomings of the director and writers in crafting this film as I don’t want to sound like a professor hectoring students on their projects. But the film needs a major overhaul in so many aspects – screenplay in particular and editing specifically. It also needs a major redraft of its characterology as well as plot development.

I know the guys behind this movie will justify that they did a film outside of the conventional cinema, but to make a film interesting and to move the audience and allow empathy for the characters, the narrative must be compelling enough to keep the audience at the edge of their seats.

Aunor drew several applauses from the audience in her performance, but that doesn’t make the film better.

Directors Arturo San Agustin and Real Florida tried their best to make Kabisera look spunky, but hampered by lackluster editing and unimpressive cinematography. While it has the advantage of competent performers – Ricky Davao, JC de Vera, and Jason Abalos – among the cast, but they failed to tighten the screenplay to make their presence more memorable than just giving them minutes for some melodramatic pauses.

And Mercy’s move to sit at the dining table’s kabisera, which could have been a scene to mark a significant plot development, gets lost in the melodrama as she exhorts his children to be cooperative in her pursuit of justice.

★★★★★

Team Yey! leads in reminding kids that Christmas is more than just the season of gift giving in the Christmas campaign, “Happy Ang Pasko, Basta Sama-Sama Tayo” of ABS-CBN TVplus’ Yey!.

The video, seen on the all-day children’s channel on digital TV, features kids of all ages sharing what Christmas means for them based on their experiences.

Some of the kids expressed that Christmas is all about love for the family. AJ, who hosts the Team Yey! Segment, “Galaw Go!,” said that Christmas time is a season when his whole family is complete.

Meanwhile, Raven, who hosts storytelling sessions every Friday, together with other Team Yey members – Sofia and Alyssa – echo AJ’s sentiment. All kids mentioned that Christmas turns into one special occasion when family reunions happen during the holidays.

Other children also reminisced their best Christmas memories such as caroling, baking cookies, and seeing streets turn festive because of the Christmas lanterns.

The Team Yey! squad reminds kids that Christmas is more than just a season of gift giving 
“Yey!’s Christmas campaign affirms the belief that Filipino children don’t view Christmas purely as a season of gift giving and grand celebrations. Love for family remains as a core value that children cherish and I am glad that this was manifested in their heartfelt answers,” Yey! channel Head Danie Sedilla-Cruz said.

She also remarked that the Christmas campaign aims to make Filipino children realize that time spent with family makes Christmas more meaningful.

“A simple Christmas can also be happy and memorable. We want kids to always remember that,” Sedilla-Cruz added.

For the holidays, kids can enjoy watching value-laden and action-packed adventures in Superbook Re-imagine Season 2, 6 a.m. every weekend . Fun movies like Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs 2 (Dec. 31) will be shown on Kidzine, Yey’s weekend movie block.

To watch Yey!’s “Happy Ang Pasko, Basta Sama-Sama Tayo,” visit and subscribe to the Yey Channel on Youtube. For more information on the shows on Yey!, follow Yey on Facebook (facebook.com/Yeychannel).

★★★★★

Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid won’t let go even after the heartbreaking scene of the characters –Alena and Ybarro – they play in Encantadia in a recent episode.

Ruru Madrid and Gabbi Garcia
That scene had many fans wiping tears from their eyes, so Gabbi and Ruru made a pact before the GabRu fans that they will never let go of each other. That vow they made while singing a cover of James Arthur’s “Say You  Won’t Let Go.” The pair even posted it on their respective social media accounts. That allayed GabRu’s fans’ fear that the pair is going their separate ways. That post has now reached a quarter of a million views on Facebook.

★★★★★

TV5 is bringing another first to Philippine free television.

After its unmatched sports coverage of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season, fearless news reporting segments and its unique Tagalized versions of popular US television series, it will now give the Filipino audience the brilliance of a world-class director right in their homes.

On Dec. 19, TV5 proudly announced its collaboration with acclaimed director Brillante Ma. Mendoza for Brillante Mendoza Presents. The show will feature made-for-television movies created exclusively for TV5.

The name Brillante Mendoza is synonymous with excellent films that reflect the unfiltered realities of society. Viewers can expect the same quality of storytelling and craftsmanship in Brillante Mendoza Presents. For TV5, this is a testament to their commitment to provide viewers with shows that raise the level of free TV entertainment.

Multi-awarded filmmaker Brillante Mendoza to direct made-for-television movies for TV5
Mendoza has been making the rounds of international film festivals since his first movie Masahista in 2005. He is the only Filipino to have won Best Director in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for his feature film Kinatay, a story of a young man who suddenly finds himself in a criminal syndicate. Most recently, his film about a small-time drug dealer in dire need of bail money, Ma’ Rosa, earned a Best Actress award for the Jaclyn Jose at the Cannes Film Festival.

His success in the international arena has given so much pride for the Philippines. With Brillante Mendoza Presents, TV5 is giving the director another space to feature his work and reach out to Filipinos from all walks of life. The stories will be authentic and unique, definitely a far cry from the usual TV dramas.

Brillante Mendoza Presents will air once a month starting January on TV5. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to watch the work of a true film master. 

Tune in to TV5 for more updates on this new program.

★★★★★

Last Monday, the ultimate squad goals of the 90s returned to fight against evil spirits that put the mortal world at risk. 

Join Eugene, Alfred, Dennis and Vincent as Ghost Fighter returns to the Kapuso Network to share a few lessons on friendship, compassion, and teamwork.

 The well-loved characters in the 90s anime Ghost Fighter
This animated series begins when Eugene, a good-for-nothing gangster, sends the afterlife gods in shock after saving a child from a car accident that eventually takes his own life. Now undecided whether to put Eugene in heaven or hell, the son of the afterlife’s king Jericho appoints Eugene as the Detective of the Underworld. Together with his friends, Eugene will be battling with anything and anyone that could compromise both the mortal and spiritual world’s safety. 

Join their adventures on GMA Astig Authority  8 a.m. weekday mornings.

Topics: Nora Aunor , Kabisera , Metro Manila Film Festival(MMFF) , Ricky Davao , JC de Vera , Victor Neri , Arturo San Agustin , Real Florida , Jason Abalos , Gabbi Garcia , Ruru Madrid , Encantadia , Brillante Ma. Mendoza , Brillante Mendoza Presents , Jaclyn Jose , Ghost Figh
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