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Villacorta believes ‘Calungsod’ movie ‘meant to be made’

Film director Francis O. Villacorta with the cast of ‘Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir’ (Photo by Rampador Alindog)

Film director Francis O. Villacorta with the cast of ‘Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir’ (Photo by Rampador Alindog)

Director Francis O. Villacorta finds his latest work “Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir” among the most “challenging” in his career considering the hardships its fruition entailed.

Villacorta said there were a number of times he actually thought of giving up on it but the film was “meant to be made.”

“Naku, two years in the making ito, I know it should be (done) because it is really a good story, pero kasi sa sobrang andaming nangyari along the way, dumating talaga sa isip ko na ipagpaliban na lang,” he said.

A big part of the problem was lack of financial support, which tested his patience.

“Kasi here we are, with this project na we know would translate well as a movie pero walang gustong sumuporta, walang gustong mag-invest” he said.

Luckily, that all changed with Hubo Productions, spearheaded by Ida Tiongson, taking a chance on the film.

“Actually, they were ready to pass on it. They didn’t think it would work. Pero, ‘yun nga siguro again, it was really meant to be, kasi in the end, they called me and gave me the green light.”

But the difficulty didn’t end there.

Problem in the casting arose when JM de Guzman, who was to play the Filipino martyr and saint, pulled out from the project.

Rocco Nacino

Rocco Nacino

“Oo nga eh, ‘di ba? Pero, like I said, the movie was really meant to be made kasi none too soon we found a perfect replacement in Rocco Nacino.”

Then more trials came.

“Shooting the film was another thing kasi andaming outdoor scenes. Eh, ‘yung weather naman…” he trailed off.

“Actually, at one point gusto ko na i-revise, bawasan ang exterior (scenes) puro interior na lang but it did not happen, we were able to pull it off. So ‘di ba, it was meant to be talaga.”

Villacorta has high hopes for the film, deeming it more than timely.

“During these trying times kasi it’s nice to have some inspiration at ‘yun ‘yung aim namin. Kung ‘yun ma-achieve namin, in the sense na marami kaming ma-abot na tao at ma-inspire sila, that’s our reward na.”

Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir’ is an entry to the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) slated for showing on Dec. 25.