MANILA, Philippines – Siargao, an island known for surfing, takes the spotlight in a movie of the same name starring Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Paul Soriano, who is the man behind films such as Kid Kulafu and Dukot, directed the movie.
Jericho plays Diego, a musician who returns to his hometown of Siargao to take a break from the chaotic life in Manila. There, he meets Laura (Erich), a fashion and beauty vlogger nursing a broken heart after her boyfriend dumped her. Along the way, they challenge each other as feelings grow between them. For Diego, returning to Siargao also means facing his past, including ex-flame Abi (Jasmine).
Written by Anj Pessumal and also featuring some of the Philippines' popular surfers, Siargao gives a glimpse of what the surfing capital has to offer. Here are a few facts about the movie.
1. Siargao is a lighter film for director Paul Soriano. Paul, who has done serious films in the past, said he decided to do Siargao because he has been to the island many times.
"I've been going to Siargao 5 or 6 years ago. A couple of my good friends introduced the island to me. And it was one of those things that I went there and fell in love with the whole environment of Siargao," he said in a press conference on December 13.
"And about two years ago, my friends in the island kind of challenged me, 'Hey, you wanna tell a story here, you wanna make a film?' Of course, why not, it was very visual... it allows me to see everything."
According to Paul, the whole cast and crew had so much fun because of Siargao's vibe that the challenge was to work.
He added that he is open to the possibility of doing a comedy film in the future.
2. This is the first time Jericho worked with Jasmine and Erich. Jericho and Erich share the same management, Star Magic, but this is the first time they are working together in a movie.
On working with Erich, Jericho shared that he would often change the lines during their scenes and catch the actress by surprise. The two stars were able to establish a connection with each other.
The movie also serves as a mini-reunion for Jasmine and Paul. Paul was a producer of the movie Transit, for which Jasmine won a Best Supporting Actress award in Cinemalaya.
3. Jericho clarifies he did not pick Siargao over his supposed reunion film with Jennylyn Mercado.
Last June, it was reported that Jericho and Jennylyn were supposed to do their second movie under the direction of Dan Villegas. But after the death of Jericho's dad, he backed out. The role eventually went to Derek Ramsay.
At the press conference, Jericho took the opportunity to clarify the issue. He said that he talked to Jennylyn, Dan, and lawyer Joji Alonso, producer of the movie, about his decision. After declining the movie, he started doing Siargao, and upon learning it was part of the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival, he immediately asked Paul if it were okay, to which he got an assurance.
"I'm still going to work with Attorney [Alonso] and Jen and baka maging partner pa kami ni Derek someday (Derek and I might even be paired up someday)," Jericho said in jest.
Jericho clarifies the issue he picked Siargao over his movie with Jennylyn Mercado. pic.twitter.com/aOhiFAccbI — alexa villano (@alexavillano) December 13, 2017
4. The movie has appearances by top surfers and Wil Dasovich. Two of the country's top surfers, Luke Landrigan and Wilmar Melindo, appear in Siargao. The movie also has an appearance by model and YouTube personality Wil Dasovich, who is currently fighting cancer.
According to Paul, he got to know Wil in some TV commercials. He described the model as someone with a positive attitude.
"If you guys go [to Siargao], there's a good mix of Filipinos and foreigners... so we had to have the foreign element and I thought of Wil – he just had to play himself. So I just told Wil when I talked to him, I said that you just need to play yourself and I think he was on the first flight to Siargao," the director said.
"On the set, he was full of energy. Up to this date, very supportive. I think he just blogged about his 3-second cameo in the trailer. So that part was actually nice to watch. With whatever he is going through, we continue to pray for him."
Inay!!! Artista na akooo!!!!char The official trailer for @siargaothemovie is out and here is a clip with your boi in it! After seeing 3 seconds of my acting I’ve already considered doing the “Try not to cringe challenge” as i watch myself attempt to act and “be myself” which is actually really hard. My role was literally to be a half drunk partying me and i even wear my chonggo hat the entire movie I’ll start releasing the BTS vlogs in a couple weeks which contains all the real drama, scandals, chuchu that doesn’t make it to the big screen. Great news as it made it in the Manila Film Festival and will be airing on Christmas Day so be sure to see my movie acting debut and this wonderful piece from the most lit director in the PI, the homie, the goat, the man the myth the legend direk Paul Walwal Soriano @paulsoriano1017! #SiargaoMMFF #TakeMeToSiargao #mmff2017 A post shared by " style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Wil Dasovich (@wil_dasovich) on Dec 6, 2017 at 7:54pm PST
5. It's Erich Gonzales' "cartharsis" film. The movie is somewhat of a catharsis for Erich, who went through a controversial breakup with Brazilian-Japanese model and actor Daniel Matsunaga in February. She found herself working out, doing Siargao, and was announced as the Tanduay calendar girl for 2018.
"Dumating ako sa punto ng buhay ko na kung hindi ko pa gagawin ngayon, kailan pa. I'm ready for it (showing some skin) na. 'Di na tayo bata pa. So iyon po, dumating 'yung project and perfect timing po naman lahat," Erich said.
(I came to the point in my life that if I don't do it now, when will I do it? I'm ready for it. I'm not getting any younger. So that's it, the project came and the timing for everything was really perfect.)
According to Erich, she finished another film before Siargao came. She considered the movie as a blessing since she was going through a rough time then.
"Sobrang nakakarelate ako sa character ko, si Laura. No'ng time po na iyon, ano tayo, 'love yourself' – eat, pray, love... so perfect timing po siya."
(I can relate to my character, Laura. At the time we were filming Siargao, my mantra was, "love yourself" – eat, pray, love... so it was really perfect timing.)
Siargao opens on December 25. – Rappler.com