Badjao at the Tokyo filmfest
Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos in Badjao…
STAR/ File

Badjao at the Tokyo filmfest

REMEMBER WHEN? - From the collection of DANNY DOLOR (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2020 - 12:00am

In 1956, Anak Dalita won awards at the Southeast Asian Film Festival in Hong Kong. The following year 1957, Badjao competed at the Tokyo Film Festival, where it merited critical acclaim.

Anak Dalita and Badjao were made by the same winning triumvirate. Director Bert Avellana and actors Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos.

The two films were produced by LVN Pictures.

A magazine devoted an article on Badjao, titled Filipino prestige film may cop ‘Oscar’ in Tokyo Film Festival.

And the cast in a wedding scene

Excerpts:

“The film tells of two warring Mindanao tribes and two lovers — Rosa Rosal of the land-dwelling Tausogs and Tony Santos of the fierce, sea going Badjaos.

“Miss Rosal and Tony Santos along with Director Lamberto Avellana and Musical Director Felipe Buencamino Jr. are veterans of ‘Anak Dalita.’ In their latest venture, they have drawn raves from local critics who find ‘Badjao’ both ‘different’ and a non commercial work of art. In this case at least producers insist that highbrow praise will not be a kiss of death at the box office, but that the film will be equally welcomed by intellectuals and the ‘bakya’ crowd.

“Avellana has consistently shown courage and imagination in his directing. He does so again. In fact, ‘Badjao’ is rated as his best, which for Avellana is very good indeed.

“Rosa Rosal, the perennial other or bad woman, tries a change of pace and skips her revealing curves neatly over every obstacle as the Tausug princess who falls for and weds tough, young pearl diver Tony Santos, the disillusioned war veteran of ‘Anak Dalita’ fame.

“Bucking tribal traditions, the two let themselves in for some anguished moments but open the way for some high dramatics. In the background is the hauntingly lovely music of Felipe Buencamino Jr., which he adapted from the ancient Moro folk songs. The youthful Philippine movie industry has definitely done itself proud.” —  RKC

BADJAO
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