From Tanging Ina to Tanging Ninang
STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky L. Calderon (The Freeman) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

Ai Ai delas Alas, best remembered for the box-office movie “Tanging Ina” (2003) which spawned sequels and rip-offs, is back on the big screen with her known brand of comedy: humor that tickles your funny bone with a story that will touch your heart.

This year, the Tanging Ina takes on a new role, which is equally important and essential – ang Tanging Ninang – via the movie “D’Ninang.” This is Regal Entertainment’s opening salvo for 2020 and Ai Ai’s follow-up to “Our Mighty Yaya,” which was a big hit three years ago.

In “D’ Ninang,” Ai-Ai portrays a pickpocket with a big heart, just like the female version of Robin Hood. While it is apparent that her character is guilty of wrongdoing, Ninang extends help to her community, where she appears to be everybody’s godmother, thus they refer to her as Ninang.

She also takes under her wing a couple of protégés who are also pickpockets (Angel Guardian and Kiray Celis) but still guided by Ninang’s unconventional way of living.

Her life then takes a different twist when she finds her long-lost daughter Mikhai (Kisses Delavin), who decides to live with her. However, her daughter is unaware of her mom’s illegal business.

The irony of it is that her daughter wants to pursue a career to punish crooks. Will their love for each other prevail when the mother and her daughter learn more about each other, including their flaws?

“D’Ninang” is a heartwarming story about human relationships and one’s struggles to keep the goodness in one’s heart despite hardships. It tackles keeping the fire of hope burning and one’s unwavering belief to change for the better.

With a superb cast headed by the Comedy Queen, “D’Ninang” is expected to appeal to viewers craving for a heartwarming family comedy. It also stars Joey Marquez, McCoy de Leon, Kelvin Miranda and Lou Veloso.

Directed by GB Sampedro, “D’Ninang” will hit cinemas on Jan. 22.

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A coffee table book on Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the Philippines was launched on the International Day of PWDs last month. The photo-driven hardbound titled “Inspire/Empower: Images and Stories of Persons with Disabilities in the Philippines” is a project of the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation, Inc. (FPPF) that contains several unpublished pictures and features chronicling the plight and triumph of PWDs, their families, and concerned groups.

“Through carefully selected photographs and heartwarming features, we created a picture of realism and positivity fit for today’s era of openness and much-needed change,” said FPPF President Pablo “Lito” Beltran in the book’s introduction.

The book gathers professionally taken photographs along with texts about significant subjects dealing with PWDs, whether involved agencies or particular persons. Included are features about NCDA (National Council on Disability Affairs), Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Apolinario Mabini Awards, SM Cares, among others.

Some of the interesting persons tackled were the late photography icon John Chua who initiated efforts to reach out to children with disabilities, photography hobbyist Luis Harder who now heads the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, highly achieving blind architect Jimmy Silva, and Vico Cham, a poster boy for PWDs in the workplace.

Many of the photos were taken by project coordinator Cris Cleofas and art director Joy Ganaden culled from their extensive volunteer-work for PWDs. The editorial team also included editor-head writer Yugel Losorata and layout artist-graphic designer Buccino de Ocampo.

The “Inspire/Empower” book launch was held last December 3 at the Intramuros Museum in Manila.

Copies of the book are being sold at the FPPF office (Room 302A, FEMII Building, A. Soriano Avenue. Intramuros, Manila). For inquiries, call 0956-2692610 or 0995-0132515 or email

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Instead of the premiere screening of Insight 360’s “Mia” last Monday that was cancelled due to the effect of the ashfall coming from Taal Volcano, there will be a private and a block screening for girls named Mia today, according to Christopher Cahilig, the film’s executive producer.

With good feedback from the press, Chris is hopeful a sizeable crowd will troop to theaters as “Mia” opens today in cinemas nationwide.

“I am mighty proud of our small movie,” said Chris of the film directed by Veronica Velasco and stars Coleen Garcia in the title role, with Edgar Allan Guzman as her leading man.

“Mia” talks about friendship, love, forgiveness and moving on.

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