BY DAN VILLEGAS & PAUL STA. ANA
The New Breed Category: Finalist, Full Length Feature
2010 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition
May is the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Christ. In Infanta, Quezon, locals turn each of the 31 days of May into a charming honor not only to celebrate good harvest in their agricultural setting, but also to pay tribute to the virginal virtues of the Mayohan. Every month of May, a padasal or series of novenas commences to mark the beginning of Mayohan. This will culminate in a Pasayaw or Tapusan in every purok of each barangay. A system of ambagan or donation ensues for the festivities to take place. In the hopes of keeping a tradition alive, the elders support its continued celebration; through the years, however, decadence has long taken over the Tapusan. Proud beauty queens, town officials, curious participants and passersby, intoxicated men with carnal needs all play roles in the midst of a spiritual undertaking. Some have unwittingly tarnished the event’s reputation and essence. Underlying values and tokens are lost in the turning over of tradition.
Amidst the festivities, a 15-year old young outsider becomes the focal point in the preparation that the Pasayaw entails. As this grieving young man comes of age and deals with the recent loss of both parents, his attention shifts to Lilibeth, a 19-year old provincial lass, the elected presidenta of the pasayaw’s pamunuan, who, herself gets lost in the hoopla and hullabaloo that transpire before May ends.
As the event underscores gender lines, generation differences, and class issues, they become entangled in an unlikely partnership, in their own search for growth and acceptance.
DAN VILLEGAS graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Communications and Creative Writing Track). In recognition of his work, he was given the Xtreme Fellowship Award and was honored with the Loyola Schools Awards for the Arts: Screen Arts Category in 2004. In 2006 he was named Best Cinematographer for the short film Genesis for the ADMU Video Open. He also completed music videos and a number of corporate AVP’s. He also worked as the Lighting Director for the TV show Hush Hush and as Director of Photography for Project Runway Philippines Season 2. Apart from short films, music videos and corporate videos, he has shot a number of feature length films such as Numbalikdiwa, Padyak, Sabungero and Still Life, which was nominated Best Cinematography in The Star Awards for Movies, FAMAS Awards, Golden Screen Awards, Young Critics Circle Awards and the Gawad Urian. His work on the feature film Huling Pasada was nominated at the 2009 Gawad Urian and won him the Best Cinematography award at the 2008 Cinemalaya Film Festival.
PAUL STA. ANA graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Philosophy. After graduating with a Dean’s Award for the Arts, Paul eventually decided to pursue a career in media, becoming a freelance graphic designer, copywriter and TV writer-producer for several years. He wrote, directed and/or produced several videos and specials which won awards in Gawad CCP for Alternative Video and Film and the Golden Dove Awards. As a graphic designer, he designed several books including the 2003 National Book Awardee, Talinghaga ng Gana by Rebecca Anonuevo. His poems had been published in Sunday Inquirer Magazine, Heights, Likhaan 1997, and Latay sa Isipan (edited by Cirilo F. Bautista and Allan Popa, published in 2007. In 2008, he produced, wrote, and co-directed the film, Huling Pasada after being selected as one of the ten finalists in the full-length category of the 2008 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. The film won Best Cinematography in Cinemalaya and garnered several nominations from the 2009 Gawad Urian. His screenplay Slow Fade (directed by Rommel Sales) won an annual film grant awarded by Cinemabuhay/PLDT Foundation.
Director/Director of Photography: Dan Villegas
Writer: Paul Sta. Ana
Executive Producer: Dan Villegas
Producer: Aloy Adlawan
Co-Producers: Bobby Bonifacio Jr., Neil Eusebio, J-Ann Gauzon-Mirasol, RR Velasco
Supervising Producer: Tetz Salvador
Associate Director: Allan Forte
Production Designer: Bianca Gonzales-Dadivas
Field Sound Recordist: Mark Locsin
Editor: Jess Yap
Musical Scorer: Emerzon Texon
Sound Designer/Engineer: Joey Santos
Production Managers: Adi Lopez, Loren Rabadam
Lovi Poe as Lilibeth
Elijah Castillo as Nino
Ping Medina as Ruben
Lui Manansala as Chayong
Chiqui del Carmen as Ising
Dianne Laserna as Martha
Jill Palencia as Melay
Girose Lanot as Aida
Benedict Jhocson as Mayor