MANILA, Philippines – Seven years since the last Mano Po movie, the family drama franchise returns to the big screen this December with Mano Po 7: Chinoy, a story about the challenges and stuggles within a Filipino-Chinese family.
Richard Yap, best known for his role as Sir Chief in the hit show Be Careful with My Heart, leads the cast with Enchong Dee, Jean Garcia, Janella Salvador, Jake Cuenca, Jana Agoncillo, Jessy Mendiola, Marlo Mortel, Kean Cipriano, and the special participation of Eric Quizon.
Mano Po 7: Chinoy revolves around the Wong family and the challenges they face. The relationship between Wilson (Richard) and Debbie (Jean) is tested, when Debbie begins to get attracted to a younger man (Jake), while their eldest children Son (Enchong) and Caroline (Janella) also rebel against Wilson. Some of the scenes were filmed in Taiwan.
Let’s get to know more about the cast and the characters they will play in the movie.
Richard Yap as Wilson Wong
Wilson Wong is the head of the family and is a workaholic, which causes him to have less time with his family.
According to Richard, who is Filipino-Chinese, his character is very different from him in real life. The actor has been married for a long time to wife Melody, with whom he has two children.
“Well in a way malayo siya (he’s very far from me). Because ang struggle dito ni Wilson is his closeness to his family. Medyo workaholic kasi siya.
(Because Wilson’s struggle in this story is his closeness to his family. He’s quite a workaholic.)
“So medyo malayo siya sa akin because I try to keep my family as close to me as possible,” he added.
(So he’s really quite different from me because I try to keep my family as close to me as possible.)
Jean Garcia as Debbie Wong
Jean steps into the role of Debbie, Wilson’s loving wife, who finds herself getting attracted to a younger man after she begins to feel neglected by her husband.
In an interview with the actress after the press conference, Jean described Debbie as a trophy wife, whose marriage to Wilson was arranged by her parents.
“So at first, in love siya doon kay Wilson. Pero after ilang mga years, in the middle of the marriage, parang nagiging cold na si Wilson[…] in the middle of the marriage, she decides to put up a business, a jewelry shop and doon niya na meet yung mas batang si Marco (Jake Cuenca) na bumibili ng engagement ring kasi ikakasal siya,” she said.
(But after many years, in the middle of the marriage, Wilson became cold towards her. In the middle of the marriage, she decides to put up a business, a jewelry business, and that’s where she met the young man Marco, who was buying an engagement ring.)
Jean added that following Marco’s broken engagement, Debbie was Marco’s shoulder to cry on, and later they are attracted to each other. The dilemma, she said, is more on which will Debbie choose: the adventurous love affair with a younger man, or her current relationship with Wilson.
As a single mom to daughter Jennica and son Kotaro, Jean said she hopes both the parents and children will learn from the lessons from the movie.
“One, sa mga parents kasi na oo, trabaho, may responsibility tayo sa mga anak natin na i-educate sila, pag-aralin sila ng mabuti, pakainin sila nang tama, ibigay sa kanila ang lahat. But then again, dapat balance, dapat may oras, dapat may communication. Dapat may guidance,” she said, adding that kids should also seek the time to be with their parents.
(One, for the parents, yes we have to work, we have a responsibility to our kids to educate them, to make them study well, give them everything they need. But then again, there should be balance, there should be time, there should be communication. There should be guidance.)
Enchong Dee as Wilson “Son” Wong Jr
Enchong plays the role of Wilson “Son” Wong Jr, the eldest child in the family. Son rebels against his parents and also gets involved in drugs. He then meets Jocelyn (Jessy Mendiola), who plays a special role in his life.
According to Richard, the scenes between him and Enchong Dee reflect things that happen in real life not just within the Filipino-Chinese community, but with every family, especially when it comes to the complex father-son dynamics.
Janella Salvador as Caroline Wong
Janella takes on the role of Caroline, the second child and eldest daughter in the family. She craves her father’s love and attention.
Jessy Mendiola as Jocelyn
Jessie is Jocelyn, a recovering drug addict, who meets Enchong’s character Wilson Jr in the movie. They become close to each other and eventually fall in love.
Jake Cuenca as Marco
Jake plays Marco, who will become involved with Debbie.
Marlo Mortel as Henry
Marlo plays Henry, who meets Caroline in school and becomes her trusted confidant. He also happens to like Caroline. Mano Po 7 marks the return of the MarNella tandem after their two TV shows – Be Careful with My Heart and Oh My G.
Kean Cipriano as Denver Vera
In the movie, Kean plays Denver Vera, Caroline’s teacher in school who is interested in her.
Other cast members include Jana Agoncillo, who plays the youngest daughter of the Wongs, Pinky Amador, Carlo Orosa, Rebecca Chuansu, David Chua, and Rosalind Wee. Eric Quizon, who starred in the first Mano Po movie makes a special appearance as Wilson’s brother in the story.
Since the first film back in 2002, the Mano Po movies are often awaited entries in the Metro Manila Film Festival. But this year, the film did not make it to the lineup, settling for an early release on December 14. (READ: Richard Yap, Mother Lily discuss ‘Mano Po 7’ exclusion from MMFF 2016 lineup)
Mano Po 7: Chinoy is directed by Ian Loreños and will be shown on December 14. – Rappler.com