In their parents’ footsteps
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2015 - 9:00am

My friends (Ethel Ramos and Ronald Constantino among them) have known CJ and Peach Caparas since they were babies. They are the children of Komiks King Carlo J. Caparas and Donna Villa, known as showbiz’s “golden couple” because of the consistent hits produced by their Golden Lions Productions, including the so-called “massacre movies” that made the likes of Kris Aquino and Dawn Zulueta certified “Box Office Queens” (the former for Vizconde Massacre and the latter for The Maggie dela Riva Story).

We saw CJ and Peach grow up, even acted as their godparents on their baptism. We blinked and when we looked again we were pleasantly surprised to find them grown-up, last seated beside their parents at the presidential table during the presscon for Angela Markado, along with the cast composed of Andi Eigenmann, the rape victim, and her “rapists” Epi Quizon, Felix Roco, Polo Ravales and Paolo Contis.

While Peach acted as “OJT observer” of her dad during the shoot, CJ himself plays the fifth rapist in the remake of the ’80s Lino Brocka classic with Hilda Koronel as the rape victim who pursues her tormentors and kills them one by one in an even more brutal manner that they subjected her to. Produced by Oro de Siete Productions (not Golden Lions Productions as Funfare earlier erroneously reported) and Viva Films, Angela Markado, according to Pete Lacaba, scriptwriter of the Brocka movie (based on a komiks serial by Caparas), won the prestigious grand prix (Golden Montgolfiere) at the 1983 Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes, France.

“The filmfest is devoted to cinemas of Asia, Africa and Latin America,” added Pete who wrote the Angela Markado screenplay after writing the one for Jaguar, another Brocka movie with Phillip Salvador in the titular role. “So, the Philippines has won just once in the 37-year festival.”

What was CJ’s reaction when asked to play a rapist?

“I was shocked,” laughed CJ, 26, who is a pre-Law graduate from Ateneo, whose first acting experience was as Manny Pacquiao’s sidekick in the 2009 tele-movie Pangarap Kong Jackpot. “At first, I turned it down. That was my gut feeling because the role was intimidating, something new for me. But my parents succeeded in convincing me, part daw as my training for the craft.”

Monday night when CJ saw the whole movie for the first time, he said that he apologized to his dad. What for?

“Well,” CJ confessed, “initially I doubted about the quality of the film. I’m glad that the product came out so well.” (Being the writer, Caparas said that his treatment of the subject differed from that of Brocka. “Hilda’s portrayal drew pity from the audience, “noted Caparas, “while Andi’s portrayal draws sympathy. I take my hat off to Andi’s professionalism and her willingness to do the gang-rape scene with realism.”)

On the set, CJ insisted that he wasn’t given special treatment.

“Dad treated us equally,” he said. “I studied the script very carefully because I didn’t want to disappoint my dad and my mom. The rapist role is my exact opposite. The five rapists all come from rich families.”

Did his parents spoil him?

“Maybe yes,” he conceded, “but only to a certain point.”

CJ’s next movie will be one of the 50 projects that the “golden couple” is co-producing with Viva Films.

“CJ is right,” agreed Peach, 19, a Political Science graduate also from Ateneo, now doing On-the-Job Training (OJT) as a school project, hoping to follow in her dad’s footsteps as a director.

“I really admire my mom and my dad,” Peach added, “and we siblings are learning a lot from them.”

Unlike CJ who wasn’t able to watch Brocka’s Angela Markado, Peach said that she was able to see part of it.

“I watched the shoot of the rape scene,” recalled Peach, “and it was quite difficult for me. Too revolting. That’s exactly the purpose of the film…to make the audience see how revolting rape is. I admire Andi for her courage. I was there to support her.”

Like CJ, Peach admitted that their parents really spoil them.

“To a reasonable level,” qualified CJ. “Not spoiled rotten.”

And what’s the best lessons that she got from her parents?

“From my dad, dedication to work and loyalty,” she said. “From my mom, humility.”

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

ACIRC AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA ANDI ANGELA MARKADO BROCKA CAPARAS GOLDEN LIONS PRODUCTIONS PEACH QUOT STRONG VIVA FILMS
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