BALUT COUNTRY- Sinag Maynila 2015 (Gala Night)

Sinag Maynila's Balut Country

Where a tragedy becomes a blessing in disguise

BALUT COUNTRY is a movie about family, relationships, decisions and realizations revolving around the Duck/Goose industry and the lives of Jun and Dado.

I learned a lot of things while watching this film...things that I probably took for granted while growing up. I know I was fond of mallards and geese when I was in my formative years in the US of A and I guess I was one of the few who came from there that love to eat balut the moment I tasted it.  I was not scared to eat it and I loved to sip the soup from the shell. I didn't realize that for me to enjoy balut, lots of people are involved and the process is long and hard...probably even tedious.  One of the things among many that I've learned via this movie is that ducks and geese eat snails and for me, that is a very interesting fact. 

Jun(Rocco Nacino) is a musician who decides to sell his duck/goose farm, which he inherited from his estranged father upon his death because his fiancee has a bun in the oven, among other reasons.  

His decision affects many lives including Mang Dado(Ronnie Quizon), his family and his fiancée, Jill(Angela Cortez).

It is hard to describe a movie without giving the whole story away, so I'll just try to describe some of the characters and the ones who portrayed them:

Nanette Inventor plays the sister of Jun's estranged father.  Being a native Kapampangan, Ms. Inventor plays a character close to her heart with ease.

Denise Jewel Alfonso is Maya, the younger of Dado's two children.  She is feisty, but very industrious.  Ms. Alfonso will go places one day.  She's a natural!

Vincent Magbanua is Caloy, the older of Dado's two children.  He loves his family and his life in the farm more than studying, which frustrates Mang Dado.  He wants him to have a good education so he could have a better life. Vincent is a true thespian.  He portrayed his role like it was tailor-made for him.

Archi Adamos is Jun's uncle/lawyer...sorry, I'm not sure if he's a close family friend or really related to them. Mr. Adamos never disappoints.  He always becomes his character.

Beautiful Angela Cortez is Jill, Jun's fiancée.  After the movie I found out she's Kapampangan, but she's not Kapampangan in the movie.  I like this young lady.  She does not overact.  If you will be blessed to be able to watch this film, watch out for that scene before she climbs the bus.  She did not have to say anything, but people understood how she felt.  Yes, that's how good she is.

Jelson Bay plays Egay, a businessman from Pateros.  I like his character.  He's funny, witty and radiant. Mr. Bay played him with gusto.

Leo Sarmiento plays Dado's wife and mother to Caloy and Maya.  Another natural who does not overact...I felt the pain and agony of her character most especially when she received that unexpected phone call.

Ronnie Quizon is Dado.  If I didn't know better I would think that Ronnie's first language was Kapampangan.  He obviously worked hard for this.  His accent, according to my polyglot mother, was perfect(SM Aura has a good sound system and yes, she was able to hear very well.).  I liked the way he was able to immerse into his character.  He is well-educated in real life and I'm quite sure that he is not poor, but from the way he walked up to the expression of his eyes, he was a totally different person.  I have seen some of his earlier work and I can truly say that this person is a chameleon.  He can be convincingly evil to the core and he could also be like an angel...not the fallen kind. 
Dado and his family

Rocco Nacino is Jun.  This young man is also very versatile.  In Hiram na Ala-ala he made acting seem easy.  The way he transformed from the very loving Otep to the traumatized and to the demented one looked effortless.  Here, as Jun, he was able convey what the director/writer(Sta. Ana)wanted to make the audience understand.  When he needed to look confused, he was confused.  I also saw myself in him in some of the parts, but I'll just expound on one.  There are languages that I still understand, but couldn't speak.  Some would think I am just being rude or haughty, but sometimes it's just like that.  I know what you're saying, but I'll just use the language that I'm more comfortable with to answer you...that is, if I want you to know that I understand you. Back to his characterization of Jun, I must say he did great.  

Balut Country is a well-written, well directed and well-acted film.  The team effort of the cast and crew is very, very evident. People should make more films like this one.   I was able to walk the characters' steps and ride the vehicles they used.  I was a bit nauseated in some, because of the rocky roads.   

Kudos to the cast and crew!

Directed by: Paul Sta. Ana 
Written by: Paul Sta. Ana (MayohanBisperasOros)
Cast: Rocco Nacino, Ronnie Quizon, Angela Cortez, Nanette Inventor
and Vincent Magbanua
Also starring: Archi Adamos, Jelson Bay, Leo Sarmiento, and Denise Jewel Alfonso

Synopsis: Jun, an heir to the duck farm left to him by his late father, must decide whether to sell the property to secure a future with his partner, or spare the family of the land's loyal caretakers of inevitable displacement.

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19 MARCH 2015
4th Level, SM Aura Premier Cinemas

Nelson Canlas, Senior Correspondent, GMA 7

Ronnie told my cousin, Tom and my nephew, Martin, that my mom was his date for the gala night. LOL. Dad did not complain. Ha-ha-ha!

GMA 7 lighting "effect"

Ronnie Quizon(Dado) and Rocco Nacino(Jun)-the two lead characters

Mom briefly chatting with Rocco Nacino (she forgot the telenovela was called...HIRAM NA ALAALA)

Denise Jewel Alfonso(Maya, Dado's daughter)

Ronnie Quizon(Dado) and Angela Cortez(Jill, Jun's fiancee)

Some of the cast and crew

The crew (some of them)
Cast and crew bowing

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