Monday, June 23, 2008

Urduja- A Filipino LEGEND of forbidden love

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The Cast of Urduja(The Voices)
Genre: Animation
Urduja is a legendary warrior princess who is recognized as a heroine of either Pangasinan, Philippines or Champa, today located in Southern Vietnam. The name Urduja appears to be Sanskrit in origin, and a variation of the name "Udaya", meaning "arise" or "rising sun", or the name "Urja", meaning "breath". A historical reference to Urduja can be found in the travel account of Ibn Battuta (1304 – possibly 1368 or 1377 AD), a Muslim traveler from Morocco. -Wikipedia
* Regine Velasquez - stars as Princess Urduja
* Cesar Montano - stars as Lim Hang the lover of Urduja.
* Johnny Delgado - as Wang, Lim Hang's arch enemy
* Eddie Garcia - as Lakanpati. Urduja's father (the King)
* Michael V and Allan K - as the comical Kutkut and Tarsir.
* Ruby Rodriguez- as Mayumi, Urduja's best friend
* Jeffrey Quizon- as Daisuke (Japanese best friend of Lim Hang)
* Jay Manalo as Simakwel (Lakanpati's choice for Urduja)

Directed by Reggie Etienza (he also did the animation and screenplay along with Michael Tuviera...Jun Lana was one of the consultants)

Produced by the Tuvieras

Set in the 13th century, this epic film tells the story of a legendary warrior princess named Urduja. As the sole heir(ess) to the throne of Tawilisi tribe, Urduja was raised by her father Lakanpati to protect their people from their rival tribe, the Batyaws. However, as tradition calls for a man to rule over the tribe, Urduja's dying father decides betroth her to Simakwel--the arrogant leader of the Tawilisi warriors.

Meanwhile, fate washes Lim Hang (a Chinese pirate) ashore at Tawilisi. Urduja immediately falls in love with the stranger Lim Hang. The thought of losing both Urduja and the crown leads Simakwel to treacherous plans. Nevertheless, Lim Hang and Urduja's love prevails.-WikiPilipinas

(We have tried mixing animation with live actors so the claim of this being the first full length feature animation may be for a fact. I'm still checking this out.)

For an animated feature a little more than a decade in the making I had big expectations for this movie.

I wasn't so disappointed. The background scenes were great and so was the music. Maybe Regine is really in love with Ogie and the words of Joey de Leon really touched her heart that her original award winning voice is now back in business. I also liked the theme of a strong willed and physically strong woman, but who is very feminine in every way. Urduja was definitely ahead of her time.

Yet, I must question the lack of language barrier between Lim Hang and Urduja. They understood each other perfectly INSTANTLY. At least, Pocahontas and John Smith understood each other by heart and Tarzan and Jane understood each other clearly after some time.

Another thing I must note that the animation reminded me of Disney animation. Maybe the reason behind this is that most of the animators came from Disney Pixar... I'm just not so sure about that.

We have so much talent. We have many great artists/animators and the like here and overseas, but... never mind!

Some of the movements of the characters were a bit stiff, but otherwise, much, much better than Ibong Adarna (but the computer games that Filipinos created are better, I must say) and the other Filipino animated films.

At any rate, I enjoyed watching this movie. We have a long way to go, but I guess this is quite OK for a first try...The story was touching and people could easily identify with the characters...I could relate to the struggle of Lim Hang and Urduja and the love duet of Cesar Montano and Regine Velasquez was so endearing. So if it is indeed an initial offering of a fully animated film feature, it's good enough.
BABAE AKO (Urduja Theme Song)
Babae ako
Ano bang dapat kong gampanan
Sa daigdig na ating ginagalawan
Ang hangganan ko ba'y hanggang saan
Babae ako
Ako ba'y mayro'ng kapangyarihan
O ako'y isa lamang na bukal
Na pagkukunan ng pagmamahal
Nais kong lumipad na may sariling bagwis
Nais kong marating pangarap nang mabilis
Nais kong manguna sa mga maya
Para makita ang bagong umaga
Ngunit kailan pa
Gusto ko na
Ngayon na
May galit ako
Ngunit pag-asa'y nasa puso ko
Bukas ang hamog makikita mo
Hihigupin niya ang paru-paro...
Ang paru-paro
Nais kong lumipad na may sariling bagwis
Nais kong marating pangarap nang mabilis
Nais kong manguna sa mga maya
Para makita ang bagong umaga
Ngunit kailan pa
Gusto ko na
Ngayon na

Love Duet by Cesar Montano and Regine Velasquez
Mahal ko paalam na 
Ikaw ay lilisan na 
Pag-ibig na nadama 
Huwag ng bumukas pa 
Ang araw ay didilim 
Ang kulay 
at ang ningning 
Ngayon magkakalayo 
Puso’y magdurugo 
Ngayon ako’y 
Malaman sana ang hapdi ng pagdurusa 
Nasaan ka man ngayon 
Dama ng pag-iisip ko’y tanging ikaw 
Ang sinasambit ko’y iyong ( pangalan / pangarap ka ) 
( Bakit mahal nagkaganyan ) 
Lumipas ay kay 
At buhay ay kay ganda 
Paligid ay kay saya 
Ngayo’y nagbago na 
Ang luha’y 
Tadhana o kay saklap 
Ang buhay ko’y kay pait 
Ba’t ‘di harapain 
( repeat chorus ) 

*This is the legend, but our great grandmother, Gregoria De Castro of Alaminos, Pangasinan, is a descendant of the Princess and Limahong  (Lim Ah Hong/Lin Tao Kien)

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