CELEBRITY WORLD PH
By Crispina M. Belen
Awarded Cordillera actress back on the big screen
Cordillera actress Mai Fanglayan is back on the big screen via “Salidumay,” a short film helmed by Dexter Macaraeg for Sine Abreño.
At this time of the world-wide pandemic, it isn’t easy to make movies, considering the health and safety protocols. Dexter admitted it was hard indeed to shoot a film during this pandemic “but thankfully we managed to shoot and finish the movie without any problem.”
It is recalled that Mai won the Best Actress Award at the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival and Urduja Film Festival for playing the title role in the award-winning indie film “Tanabata’s Wife,” which also earned her nominations at the Gawad Urian and the PMPC Star Awards for Movies.
In “Salidumay,” Mai portrays Ayo, a Tingguian with mix Ibaloi blood from Abra, who goes on her first date ever at a Korean restaurant.
Franz (Kenneth Jhayve Bautista), a former seminarian who grew up in Abra but moved to Baguio City, can’t seem to find love through dating apps, so he decides to use his culture’s methods to arrange a marriage.
Their differences leads to a small collision of expectation and perspectives, but what it opens up in the tension offers a glimmer of hope for the would-be couple.
Aspiring actor and model Kenneth Jhayve Bautista (a finalist in the Mr. World Ambassador 2020), plays Mai’s love interest. Others in the cast are Seth Wayne Blas Chacapna (Mr. Benguet 2019 titleholder), Austin Docyogen locally known as “Sayote Man,” Janet Mondata, Eric Kelly and Janet Tayab Soriano.
Introduced in the film are Vicky Sagla Chiday Macay and Lilian Ocan Siapol Castro as Ibaloi grandmothers, with special participation by Director Emmanuel Dela Cruz and theater actor Onyl Torres.
“Salidumay’s” creative team are all from Benguet Province, namely Shem Padua, Jonnie Lyn Dasalla, Romnick Bayeng, JC Patnao, Ellen Castro Herrera and Melinda Ocan Castro, with some Baguio-based talents.
Produced by Janet Tayab Soriano, the movie’s theme song is by Sherylene Bagayao.
Dexter Macaraeg said “As Baguio City opens up its tourism, I take the opportunity to shoot a short film in Baguio City, as I attend the opening gala of the Montañosa Film Festival, as official city guest from March 20-28.
“As my mentor Brillante Mendoza wrote in his Inquirer column: “These days, it’s easy to be more than just artists: be educators and advocates to lift the industries around us. We must sow good seeds, but these will not thrive if they are not cultivated in the right environment, here and abroad.”
Sine Abreño is supported by the City of Baguio, Onjon Ni Ivadoy Association and the Municipality of Benguet.