MANILA, Philippines – After appearing in last year's Love Me Tomorrow and Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, Piolo Pascual is back on the big screen and teaming up with Yen Santos for the movie Northern Lights: A Journey to Love.
In Northern Lights: A Journey to Love, Charlie (Piolo) is a Filipino immigrant whose young son (Raikko Mateo) visits him in Alaska. While the two reunite, Charlie also meets Angel (Yen) who is searching for her long-lost mother.
Northern Lights: A Journey to Love opens in cinemas on March 29. Before you head to theaters to see it, here are a few things about the movie you need to know.
1. This is Yen's first movie and the first time Piolo and Yen have teamed up.
' Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler
In an interview after the press conference on March 1, Piolo said he enjoyed working with Yen.
"Yen [is] refreshing. This is her first film," said Piolo. Yen's previous projects have been TV shows like Magpahanggang Wakas and Pure Love. Yen gained attention after appearing on Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash in 2010.
"Na-draw ako sa energy niya, sa excitement niya, yung pag-anticipate niya doon sa mga eksena niya. Nag-enjoy ako. Syempre, being in the business for quite sometime already, naghahanap ka din ng inspiration. So she’s one of my inspirations," he said.
(I was drawn into her energy, her excitement, her anticipation of her scenes. I enjoyed it. Of course, being in the business for some time already, you look for inspiration. So she's one of my inspirations.)
Yen, on the other hand, said she couldn't help but feel "kilig" about being paired up with Piolo. At the press conference, she was even laughed when asked what she felt about being paired up with Piolo.
"Quotang-quota na po ako. Tapos na yung laban," she joked. (I've already reached my quota. The battle is finished.)
"Sobrang thankful ako and naniniwala po naman ako na everything happens for a reason, kung bakit po ako yung napili. Siguro ang makakasagot niyan si direk [Dondon Santos]," she said.
(I'm really thankful and I believe everything happens for a reason, when it comes to why I was chosen. I guess the one who can answer that would be director [Dondon Santos].)
2. The film was shot in New Zealand and Alaska.
The cast and crew went to New Zealand to film a big part of the movie. Director Dondon Santos, meanwhile, went to Alaska to shoot some additional footage to capture the tituar northern lights, as it was summer in Alaska when they started to film.
3. The movie was originally called Once In A Lifetime, but it was eventually changed to Northern Lights.
"We really wanted [the title] Northern Lights because it speaks a lot about the whole milieu in the story of the film," Piolo said. "Pero iyon nga po, dahil hindi nga nagkasundo sa title. You're talking about 3 productions that had to agree on kung ano yung may mas punch na title, so we all agreed na mas maganda gamitin yung Northern Lights."
(But yeah, we couldn't agree on the title. You're talking about 3 productions that had to agree on a title that had more of a punch, so we all agreed that it would be better to use Northern Lights.)
The movie was produced by 3 production companines: Spring Films, Star Cinema, and Regal Entertainment.
4. Northern Lights serves as Piolo's return to Regal Films.
At a press conference on March 20, Regal Films founder Lily Monteverde (aka Mother Lily) recalled how she felt when she worked with Piolo on his first Regal Films movie, I Think I'm In Love, starring Joyce Jimenez. (LOOK: Piolo Pascual tears up at special message from Mother Lily)
"The first time I met Papa P, I knew he was special. Not only did I find him to be a brilliant actor, he is a diligent one as well. His eyes speak of sincerity, his heart, filled with compassion for others. Right there and then, I thought this guy would go a long way in his career. I was right," she said.
"Fourteen years ago, Papa P did I Think I'm In Love with Joyce Jimenez for Regal. And 14 years after, I wished that he would do another movie with us.
"Northern Lights: A Journey is an answered prayer."
The message brought Piolo to tears, and he thanked Mother Lily and her daughter Roselle for welcoming him.
"Nakakataba ng puso to have Mother Lily call you up. Sabi ko, para akong Regal baby. Napapanood ko lang nung mga '80s, '90s (It's really heartening to have Mother Lily call you up. I said it's like I'm a Regal baby. I used to watch these movies during the '80s, '90s.). Pero (But) you know, having shared the moment with Mother, Miss Roselle, I'm just really overwhelmed. I never thought I'd get this far to be able to do something like this. I'm just really humbled by this," he said.
Piolo gets overwhelmed and touched by Mother Lily's gesture. #NorthernLights pic.twitter.com/KBGOTHGs2B — alexa villano (@alexavillano) March 20, 2017
5. The movie's plot was inspired by father-son relationships.
On March 20, Piolo was asked if he could relate to the storyline, since he didn't live with his son Iñigo for a long time. Now at 19 years old, Iñigo is following in his dad's footsteps in showbiz.
Piolo said the film was very close to his heart because he and Iñigo went through some of the issues tackled in the film.
"It was so close to home because ayoko gamitin yung anak ko for promo. Ayoko magkaroon ako ng conflict with my real son... Hindi lang naman ako yung nakaranas ng ganitong experience, but I'm sure a lot of fathers, or mothers for that matter, would not want to be in my shoes, to experience something like this. Mahirap, pero iyon yung sinasalamin ng pelikula and you have to cope with that and you have to deal with a conflict like this, na mas mahirap pa, especially napanood nila, nalaman na nila bakit pumunta yung bata sa Alaska," he said.
(It was so close to home because I really don't want to use my son for promotions. I don't want to have conflict with my real son... I'm not the only one who went through this kind of experience, but I'm sure a lot of fathers, or mothers for that matter, would not want to be in my shoes, to experience something like this. It's hard but the movie mirrors that, and you have to cope with that and you have to deal wth a conflict like this, which is even more difficult, especially when they watch, they already know why the kid went to Alaska.)
Director Dondon Santos, meanwhile, said that he drew inspiration from the relationship of his late half-brother and his father.
"Medyo kuwento din nilang dalawa ito... namatay yung kapatid ko na hindi sila naging close, parang ganun. So sa pelikula tinuloy ko lang yung kuwento niya na mas maging sarado, magkaroon ng closure," he said.
(This is kind of their story... My half-brother died and they weren't close, something like that. So in the film, I continued their story with more of an ending, to have closure.)
Blocking the "Are You London Bridge? Are You Falling?" Scene. Northern Lights A Journey To Love, in Cinemas March 29. With Worldwide run starting March 31. A post shared by imagine - dds (@dondonsantos) on Mar 21, 2017 at 7:16pm PDT
Northern Lights: A Journey to Love also stars Maricar Reyes-Poon, Joel Torre, Jerald Napoles, Sandy Andolong, and Tirso Cruz III.
Will you be watching Norther Lights: A Journey To Love? Let us know what you think of it in the comments! – Rappler.com