WATCH: ‘Maledicto’ cast shares real experiences of possession, exorcism
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( - April 18, 2019 - 3:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — When he was a boy, singer Franco Laurel recalled having a nanny who was possessed and exorcized.

During the recent grand press conference of “Maledicto,” Fox Movies’ first ever Filipino film that delves into demonic possessions and a believer’s test of faith, the movie’s cast shared their real-life experiences on the topics tackled in their horror film.

“Sa school namin in Samar during the Doña Paz incident, parang every week may sinasapian,” recalled Tom Rodriguez, the film’s lead star who plays Father Xavi, a former psychologist who becomes a skeptical exorcist following the tragic death of his sister, Mara (played by Inah de Belen). 

He was referring to the Doña Paz tragedy, considered as the “deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history” when passenger ferry MV Doña Paz collided with oil tanker MT Vector in 1987, killing about 4,386 people.

“As a young kid, nakikita ko lang na it (possession) was a recurring event sa may malaking acacia tree sa school namin. So for me, it became like a normal thing almost,” Tom recounted.

According to him, having seen real exorcism “makes you think but at the same time, minsan papasok sa isip mo, ‘Totoo kaya ‘yan?’ Maybe it’s an illness, maybe it’s a misdiagnosed na sakit, maybe it is something supernatural.”

Tom’s co-star, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, also remembered a childhood encounter with a possessed person being exorcized. 

During the movie’s first press con, Jasmine told reporters she still had no supernatural encounters.

“Pero nung pauwi na ‘ko, naalala ko na when I was a kid, there was an attempted exorcism in a location where I was in and I could see it from the stairs, parang nanonood lang ako sa second floor… It looks scary and I hoped one day that I would never be part of it.”

In the movie, Jasmine plays Sister Barbie, a young nun who has the gift of charism. 

“Matatakutin po talaga ako,” said Miles Ocampo, who portrays Agnes, a seemingly perfect teenager who starts manifesting demonic behavior that rocks the foundations of the church.

“But after ko gawin ‘tong character ni Agnes, nagkaron ako ng idea kung ano talaga ‘yung nangyayari, ano ba talaga ‘yung pinagdadaanan ng isang nasapian… Hati ako na parang natatakot ako pero at the same time, ina-acknowledge ko na pwede talaga s’yang mangyari sa kahit na sino.”

Athough Inah de Belen has no first-hand experience of possession and exorcism yet, she narrated: “I have friends who have experienced those things. My mom (actress Janice de Belen) nagkwento sa’kin na may nangyari sa classmate n’ya when she was still studying.”

Co-produced by Cignal Entertainment and Unitel, and directed by Mark Meily, “Maledicto” is a chilling tale first ever locally-produced by Fox Networks Group Philippines. The movie will be showing in cinemas nationwide on May 1. — Videos by Kat Leandicho

Related videos: Jasmine Curtis-Smith recounts supernatural experiences

Miles Ocampo recalls supernatural experiences

Inah de Belen shares her supernatural experiences

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