Best Pinoy movie adaptations from books shown at international fair

(The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Hollywood isn’t the only one scoring hits one after the other from big-screen adaptations of best-selling books. Many Pinoy films lauded by film critics for award-winning performances actually were inspired by equally spell-binding Filipino books.

Not only did it train the spotlight on Filipino literature, it also boosted some actors and directors to superstardom that marked their legacy in the film industry today. The Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), slated on Sept. 16 to 20 at the Convention Center of SM Mall of Asia, shares the roundup of some of the best movie adaptations from Pinoy novels:

Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag. Directed by the late Lino Brocka, this is based on the novel of Edgardo Reyes titled The Claws of Light. Dark and poignant, the film perfectly captures the drudgery and hardship of poverty during the Marcos administration. Starring young Bembol Roco and Hilda Koronel as leads Julio Madiaga and Ligaya Paraiso, respectively, the film garnered several recognitions like Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the 1976 FAMAS awards.

Bulaklak ng City Jail. Based on the book of the same name by Lualhati Bautista, it depicts the situation of female inmates in the city jail. With a stellar cast, director Mario O’Hara delivers moving performances and paints a gritty depiction of human interrelationships behind bars. The film every Nora Aunor die-hard should not miss received several accolades from the Metro Manila Film Festival.

Bata, Bata, Paano ka Ginawa. Another book that became a blockbuster was written by Lualhati Bautista. It was adapted into film and directed by Chito Roño and starred by Vilma Santos. The film centered on the role of women in a society where men played more dominant roles. It also questioned norms in a progressive environment abundant with opportunities for women, and tackled women’s rights, society’s view of women and mothers, and the role of modern-day parenthood.

ABNKKBSNPLAko! A transition from heavy themes, Bob Ong’s ABNKKBSNPLAko?! offered a fresh, fun and lighter approach to book-to-movie adaptations that paved the way for recent Pinoy films of today. The film easily captures attention as it employs a conversational tone which uses humor to point out absurdities in the Filipino culture. Directed by Mark Meily, ABNKKBSNPLAko?! offers visual inventiveness and combines it with nostalgia. With Jericho Rosales as lead star, the story narrates bittersweet memories of childhood, first-love and transitioning from a student to the first years at work.

Bakit Hindi ka Crush ng Crush Mo. Penned by humorist Ramon Bautista, and directed by Joyce Bernal, the romantic-comedy delivers useful tips in a humorous manner for the lovelorn. The tips are peppered around the story of unsightly girl obsessed with a boyfriend who does not see her worth. With the help of the CEO, she transforms herself into someone worth loving. The film which starred famous love-team Kim Chiu and Xian Lim became a certified box-office hit after earning P10.5M on its first day.

Ligo na U,Lapit Na Me. With all the #hugots in the newsfeed of social media, it is sure that a film with many “feels” inspired these hard-hitting heartstrings. One of these films is Ligo na U, Lapit na Me by Eros Atalia. Released independently, the film discusses post-modern young love and fear. It won several accolades in the seventh Cinemalaya Film Festival and 2012 Golden Screen Awards.

Wattpad novels. What do Diary ng Panget, She’s Dating the Gangster and Talk Back and You’re Dead films have in common? Apart from shooting power love teams James Reid, Nadine Lustre, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo to superstardom, all these are adaptations from Wattpad novels. All the movies reference pop culture, the ideology of love in it, and features catchy songs and vivid fashion trends. Wattpad movies continue to gain loyal fan base due to the fresh and sweet approach to young love in different circumstances.

The MIBF will also host two co-located events. The latest trends in technology will be discussed at the Digitech Manila Conference and Expo on Sept. 17 to 18. Meanwhile, one of the most awaited events for animé lovers and cosplayers, the Best of Animé 2015, is slated on Sept. 19 to 20.

MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and the Overseas  Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines. For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail bookfair@primetradeasia.com.

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