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Cinemalaya 2012: The Films, Side Stories, and Coco Martin

We never thought our Cinemalaya experience would be as exciting as how it turned out last night. For first time Cinemalaya attendees, it was one helluva film festival experience.

The day was capped with sightings of movie stars here and there. And the most thrilling part of it all? Seeing Coco Martin, watching him on the big screen, and knowing that he’s just a few seats away. Kilig.

But before that, let me share the pre-Coco Martin fever — the road to Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2012!

The exhibit

“The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is a film festival in the Philippines held annually in the month of July at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Its aim is the development and promotion of Filipino independent films. The film festival is organized by the Cinemalaya Foundation, with the support of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Econolink Investments, Inc.” (

Cinemalaya 2012 exhibitWe arrived shortly after 2pm (July 24) and it’s the fourth day of the week-long screening at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Greenbelt, and Trinoma theaters.

JR had another important matter to attend to yesterday so before anything else, go na kami sa pagbili ng tickets. We asked one usherette standing by the ticket booth about the schedule then she handed us a brochure with all the film screenings for the entire festival.

We noticed na may mga S.O. (sold-out) marks na yung ibang films showing for the day. Then we asked about Coco’s film, Sta. Niña na alam namin ay ipapalabas ng 9pm. Surprisingly, kilig na kilig ang ateng na ininform kaming Gala Night pala at dadating ang cast. Well, hindi na surprise yun kasi kami nila Gerlie eh ‘oo’ agad sa pagbili ng ticket. Haha.

The huge wall next to the entrance of Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino is where the posters of the Cinemalaya 2012 finalists are on display. Sa baba ng bawat poster ay may mga item na nagsisilbing ‘teasers’ para sa bawat film entry.

The shorts

Cinemalaya 2012 finalists - Short Film CategoryOr short films. There are 10 finalists under the Cinemalaya 2012 Short Film Category. We were able to watch five of them based on yesterday’s CCP schedule. The five shorts we saw were — Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong (by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo), Manenaya (by Richard Legaspi), Ruweda (by Hannah Espia), Sarong Aldaw (by Marianito Dio, Jr.), and Ulian (by Chuck Gutierrez).

Isang upuan lang ang limang short films na to. The screening for the five lasted for an hour and five minutes. We tell you, mas okay kung papanoorin nyo mismo kesa ikwento namin dito. 🙂

Will post a link here for synopses and mini reviews of these short films.

Sta. Niña and Coco Martin

Sta. Niña tells the story of Pol who unexpectedly dug up the remains of his daughter, Marikit, who died 10 years ago but with no signs of decay. Pol went to fight for his daughter to be declared a saint after people attested that Marikit is ‘miraculous’.

Cinemalaya 2012 - fans went wild for Coco MartinYes, for a night, naranasan namin ang maging fans muli. Oh, can’t speak in behalf of JR and Edison though. Haha. But for Gerlie, Jackie, and I, it was one fine night watching Coco Martin’s movie habang ilang upuan lang ang layo nya sa amin!

The Gala Night (not necessarily the first night of screening) is like the premiere night for mainstream movies where the cast will be there to watch the film too and thank the supporters for spending time and money to see the fruits of their labor.

Hanggang sa dumating na nga si Coco Martin. Nagkagulo ang lahat. As in tilian ng mga babae at beckies, bagets at nagpapa-bagets. Yung mga boyfriends tahimik lang habang pinapanood ang mga pinakamamahal nila na sumisigaw ng “I love you Coco!”. Yaaaaammmi. 😀

Cinemalaya 2012 - Sta. Nina cast and crewCoco went to the second floor where the cast and production team of Sta. Niña gathered. Tapos everytime mapapasilip si Coco sa baba, automatic na ang sigawan at labasan ng camera. Other Sta. Niña cast members present last night were Alessandra de Rossi, Irma Adlawan, Anita Linda, Leo Martinez, and Lui Manansala.

Andun din sina Susan Roces, Gretchen Barretto, Aiko Melendez, Pops Fernandez, Jake Cuenca, Shaina Magdayao, and ABS-CBN bosses Cory Vidanes and Deo Endrinal, who all attended the Sta. Niña Gala Night.

Other stars sighted who were also there to grace the screening of their own Cinemalaya entries were the lead cast of another finalist, ‘Kalayaan’ – Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Alandy, and Thai actor Ananda Everingham. Nakita rin namin sina Joel Torre, Ronnie Lazaro, Malou Crisologo, at ang batikang direktor na si Jose Javier Reyes.

Our Cinemalaya 2012 experience in conclusion

Cinemalaya 2012 - Short Films finalists - Sta. Nina gala nightIt was a great experience being able to attend a film festival that showcases the ingenuity of Filipino filmmakers and actors. The rounds applause rendered to each film we saw were much-deserved.

By the way, we went there not just to watch some of this year’s finalists, but also to observe how a film festival goes around with the people involved. Let’s say for now that it’s for something we’re brewing. Whatever it is, watch out this December! 😉

See more photos from the 4th day of Cinemalaya 2012 here.

About Publisher

JR Cantos is the Publisher of Some of the articles here on the website have been contributed over the years, so please just email us at help (at) if you have any concerns. Salamat!

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