Pres. DU30 gives Carlo & Donna a VACC Award

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2016 - 12:00am

As part of the 18th anniversary of the VACC (Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption) recently, Donna Villa and Carlo J. Caparas, popularly known as the “Golden Couple” (because of their blockbuster “massacre films” series), were given a VACC Award by no less than Pres. DU30. Among the other awardees was Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda Acosta, who is a staunch advocate against corruption and criminality.

“This award will encourage us to continue making movies relevant to the times,” said the couple, thanking Pres. DU30 and the VACC headed by Dante Jimenez.

In line with Pres. DU30’s relentless anti-drug campaign, Carlo and Donna are now shooting Kamandag Ng Droga (the title speaks for itself) with an all-star cast. If memory serves, I think it’s the third local film that seriously tackles the drug menace, after Premiere Productions’ Ako’y Alipin ng Opio (with Johnny Montero) and Sa Piling ng Mga Sugapa starring Mat Ranillo III and directed by Gil M. Portes, inspired by the landmark exposé of the late crime reporter and presidential spokesman Rod Reyes (during the Erap Administration) who infiltrated a drug den disguised as a drug addict.

At the peak of the “massacre films” popularity, the Golden Couple produced movies based on true-life heinous such as The Vizconde Massacre 1 and 2 (which made Kris Aquino a Box-Office Queen), The Cecilia Masagca Story, The Lipa Massacre (with Vilma Santos and Joel Torre), The Lilian Velez Story (with Sharon Cuneta), Humanda Ka Meyor (about a mayor now serving sentence at the National Penitentiary for rape-murder), and The Maggie dela Riva Story (with Dawn Zulueta and others).

Carlo and Donna ignored their detractors who accused them of “bastardizing” the industry, forgetting that every producer has his/her own choice what movies to make, and they were soon vindicated when most of their “massacre” movies actually led to the arrest of suspects. Now you know why the VACC recognized the Golden Couple’s efforts.

Before Kamandag Ng Droga, Carlo and Donna have actually put to can Miracles Are Forever, an all-star-cast trilogy based on El Shaddai head Bro. Mike Velarde’s best-selling book — A Mother’s Story (with Assunta de Rossi and Ryan Eigenmann), about a long-suffering wife whose suicide attempt was saved by Velarde whom she saw on TV; To Love and To Live (with Yassi Pressman and Mark Neumann), about a cancer-stricken young man restored to health by strong faith; and The Mamasapano Untold Story (with Richard Gutierrez, John Arcilla and CJ Caparas as the lone survivor of that infamous massacre). 

“Faith can move mountains,” said Donna. “The stories in Bro. Mike’s book actually happened. The stories are about people who believe in miracles.”

Yet to be shown mainstream, Miracles Are Forever has been drawing crowds, mostly El Shaddai devotees, in countries abroad, a big hit just like the book that inspired it.

Recalled Carlo, “When I was shooting some scenes with Bro. Mike, I lost my voice so I relayed my instructions to my assistant directors. I wrote them on pieces of papers or texted them. But when I took a bowl of soup which Bro. Mike told me to, I instantly felt relief. I regained my voice and headed for the set.”

That, too, was a little miracle.

Inspiring little stories

Here are “Six Little Stories” that should give Funfare readers food for thought, contributed by my good friend Narciso Chan:

Once upon a time, all villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer, everybody gathered but only one boy came with an umbrella. That’s FAITH.

When you throw a baby in the air, it laughs because it knows you will catch it. That’s TRUST.

Every night, we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning but still we set the alarm clock to wake us up. That’s HOPE.

We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That’s CONFIDENCE.

 We see the world suffering but still we get married. That’s LOVE.

On an old man’s shirt was written a cute sentence: “I am not 60 years old. I am sweet 16 with 44 years experience.” That’s ATTITUDE.

Now that you’ve been blessed, don’t be stingy with the blessing; share them with six friends. That’s CARING.

What’s up?

  • Pinoy rock music will reverberate once more at the Open-Air Auditorium every Saturday night the whole month of September as some of the country’s top bands take center stage in Labs Kita, Sabado! Featured performers are Tanakuta and Stuffed, tonight; the Nameless Band, Sept. 10; Beewings, Sept. 17; and Gin Rum & Truth with Beia Stone, Byan, I_Ray, Jose at Musika and Tommy’s Hound Circus, Sept. 24. Concert time is 5 p.m.; admission is free.
  • Concert at the Park opens the month of September featuring the collaboration of the Worldship Orchestra from Japan and the Manila Symphony Orchestra tomorrow, Sept. 4. Program starts at 6 p.m. at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium; admission is free. More performers at the same venue, same time: Sta. Cecilia Band 89 Wind Orchestra, Sept. 11; Banda El Gobernador of Bacoor, Cavite, Sept. 18; and La Salle Filipiniana Dance Company, Sept. 25.

(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.)

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