‘Signal Rock’ talks about family members left behind for a better life

Precious del Valle
‘Signal Rock’ talks about family members left behind for a better life
Actor Christian Bables makes his debut as a lead actor in Chito Roño's film

MANILA, Philippines – Signal Rock, an official entry to Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Film Festival 2018, is Chito S. Roño’s passion project.

Described as an atypical OFW drama, the movie shifts perspective, focusing on the pains of those who get left behind.

Signal Rock revolves around Intoy (Christian Bables), who’s left to take care of his parents when his sister Vicky leaves to work overseas. Eventually, like many women in the island, Vicky married a foreigner thinking it will solve all her family’s problems.

Living in a remote area, Intoy can only get in touch with his sister by scrambling atop strange rock formations on the island.

DIFFERENT ROLE. Christian Bables makes his debut as a lead actor in the movie. Screenshot from Regal Entertainment

Intoy and the rest of the characters are all based on real people and the story is inspired by true events that took place in the 90s. 

The cast and crew spent 15 days in Biri, Samar shooting for the movie. More than having a story that will resonate with the Filipino audience, Signal Rock, much like Siargao and Baler, will also showcase a panoramic view of the town’s untouched landscapes guaranteed to make viewers fall back in love with Samar.

“It is not your ordinary drama pero for me what really stands out is this is another film that the Philippines can be proud of. Kasi talagang makikita ‘yung beauty ng Pilipinas (You will definitely see the beauty of the Philippines). Even as a Filipina, I don’t have an idea of how beautiful Samar was, especially Biri and I really fell in love with the place,” actress Mara Lopez said.

LOCATION. 'Signal Rock' is shot in Samar. Screenshot from Regal Entertainment

Moving on from Barb

Signal Rock marks Christian’s first lead role in a movie after playing Barb in Jun Lana’s Die Beautiful in 2016. According to him, landing the role of Intoy was such a surreal experience.

Sobrang saya kasi panaginip lang ito dati. Itong lahat panaginip lang ‘to before tapos parang gumising ako isang araw naging director ko si direk Chito, naging tatay ko pa sya, nakikita ko na ‘yung pangalan ko sa poster. Iba! Para po akong nananaginip. I’m very happy.”

(I’m very happy because this used to be just a dream. This was all a dream and then one day, I woke with Direk Chito as director – he became like a father to me, I saw my name on the poster. It’s really different! It’s like I’m dreaming. I’m very happy.)

BARBS NO MORE.  Christian Bables tackles the role of Intoy. Photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

When Chito was asked what he saw in Christian, the director revealed that there were several actors that auditioned for the role. While he was not handpicked, Christian’s charm and charisma ultimately got him the part.

Marami akong pina-audition sa role na Intoy, na-surpass ni Christian ‘yung performance, ‘yung sincerity at the same time. Although ang layo ng itsura niya sa pagiging Intoy, nakikita ko ‘yung intensity ng character and charm as Intoy,” the director said.

(Many people auditioned for the role of Intoy and Christian surpassed the performance and the sincerity needed. Although his look is far of from Intoy, I saw the intensity of the character and Intoy’s charm.)

DIFFERENT PROJECT.  Chito Roño temporarily shifts genres in 'Signal Rock.' Photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

“Intoy kasi is charming. Kasi (Because) in the story, he needs to charm everybody in the town. Nasa character na talaga ni Christian ‘yung pagiging charming so I guess ang una kong napuna, of course he’s a good actor, aside from that, but he’s got that natural charm. Hindi na kailangan ng acting.”

(It’s in Christian’s character of being charming, so I guess that’s what I saw first. Of course, he’s a good actor, aside from that. but he’s got the natural charm that does not need acting.)

Despite receiving praises from his director, Christian shared that he’s not expecting to win any awards for the role.

With God as my witness, honestly speaking di ako, sa lahat ng mga ginagawa ko, ‘di ako nage-expect. Ayoko kasi masakit kapag di nakuha  ‘yung ine-expect mo. Doon ako humahawak sa binigay ko ‘yung best ko. Okay na ko dun.”

(With God as my witness, honestly speaking, I’m telling everyone I’m not expecting anything. I don’t want to expect because it will hurt if you expect it. I’m holding to what I can give my best to. I’m okay with that.)

Signal Rock will be screened in cinemas starting August 15.  – Rappler.com

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