MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos who want to know more about Beato Pedro Calungsod can easily do so through the modern medium of film.
At least 3 full-length feature films and two featurettes will be shown to the public to celebrate the canonization of Calungsod on October 21. He will be the country’s second saint, following in the footsteps of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz.
Calungsod is due to be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in rites at the Vatican in Italy. He will either be the patron saint of the youth or of overseas Filipino workers.
'Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir'
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The film by director Francis O. Villacorta is headlined by JM de Guzman, star of ABS-CBN soap Angelito: Batang Ama with Charee Pineda.
It is in the principal photography stage, according to production house Pixel Art Media. In the company’s blog, Pixel’s resident post-production supervisor John Wong — the movie’s director of photography and supervising editor — said:
"It's a project that I just had to be a part of. I mean, how many times can you do film about a Filipino Saint?"
'Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir' failed to make it to the last Metro Manila Film Festival, a cause of disappointment for de Guzman.
Also starring in the movie is Christian Vasquez as Padre Diego de San Vitores, Calungsod's mentor.
Biopic by Nino Muhlach
Another project in the works is helmed by former child star Nino Muhlach, with advertising and digital graphics editor Richard Ang as co-director.
International Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPI), a Cebu-based company, will bankroll the film. The actor playing the role of Calungsod has yet to be announced.
The project has already gotten the blessing of Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, postulator and co-chairman of the Commission on Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
The Archdiocese of Cebu has called on producers who plan to make movies on the life of Calungsod to coordinate with the archdiocese.
Other 'Pedro projects'
It was reported that in February, the archdiocese received requests from several groups who plan to make movies and stage plays on Calungsod’s life.
One such request was reportedly made by Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who said they would co-produce a Calungsod biopic.
GMA News TV Channel 11 is set to air a special on Calungsod also on Sunday. The special is said to be a historical reenactment of his life based on interviews with Church experts.
Kapuso star Rocco Nacino plays the role of Calungsod.
In Cebu City, the St. Therese Parish in Barangay Lahug has been showing a 5-minute film on the life of Calungsod to parishioners on days leading up to Sunday’s canonization.
Besides film, Calungsod has also invaded cyberspace through an existing Twitter (@SPCalungsod) account at least 3 Facebook accounts and a website (http://sanpedrocalungsod.com/) that detail his road to canonization and provide information on his life and message.
Here is 'Kuya Pedro,' a song for Pedro Calungsod by Jamie Rivera:
Calungsod was born in the 17th century in what was then the Diocese of Cebu.
He later worked as a lay catechist for the Jesuits. In 1672 at the age of 17, he was killed by the Chamorro natives of Guam while defending the leader of a Jesuit mission led by Diego Luis de San Vitores.
“This is our second saint to be canonized and of course we are all very excited. The best thing is that it's for the Filipino youth,” Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Tuason told Rome Reports.
Filipinos at home will get to watch Calungsod's canonization rites live through a livestream via Rappler.com.
SolarTV, GMA-7, ABS-CBN and TV5 will also broadcast the ceremony live.
Image from Rocco Nacino's Facebook fan page
Celebrations and public viewing of the live telecasts of the rites will also be held at (among many others):
In his homily at the first of the Triduum masses in Rome for Calungsod’s canonization, Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas said that the Catholic faith should be broadcast not only from the pulpit, but also on TV, radio and online.
The country’s first saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, was also featured in at least 3 movies.
“Lorenzo Ruiz…The Saint… A Filipino!” was released in 1988 and headlined by Mat Ranillo III, directed by Maria Saret.
“Ang Buhay ni Lorenzo Ruiz” was released in 1970.
Ruiz’s life was also featured in a Japanese film titled “Rorentsu O Ruisu No Shogai” released by Japanese film company Toho. The first Filipino saint was martyred in Japan. - Rappler.com