Pita Revilla's Page 2!
Doing Yamashita an 'adventure' for direk Chito
By Mario E. Bautista (FromPhilippine Star, 12/27/2001, http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200112271704.htm excerpts)
As a schoolboy growing up in their town in Samar, Chito Roño would often go to the moviehouses after school to watch his favorite adventure movies.
Now one of the country's top filmmakers, he gets to fulfill his dream of doing his first adventure film in Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure, a MAQ Films-RoadRunner co-production and official entry to the Metro Manila Filmfest.
"I started thinking of doing an action-adventure film five years ago, pero hindi mabuo… So we brainstormed with writer Roy Iglesias and came up with this touching story of a boy and his lolo. The Lolo is Carmelo, one of the Filipinos used by Yamashita in hiding the treasure. As a young man, he is played by Carlo Muñoz and as the lolo, by veteran actor Armando Goyena. He is the only Filipino who survived the ordeal, rescued by Americans, and migrated to the US where he had his own family. Danilo Barrios plays the boy who is so attached to his lolo. When his parents are murdered and his Lolo is kidnapped and taken back to the Philippines, Danilo follows. It is then that he discovers his Lolo has kept a diary during World War II… Treasure hunters led by Naguchi, played by Vic Diaz, now wants to locate the hidden loot… He needs Carmelo to find it again."
When he first offered the role of Lolo Carmelo to Armando Goyena, the former LVN Pictures actor best known for playing the title role in two Kapitan Kidlat movies in the '50s, was reluctant to accept the part.
"He says he is turning 80, has had two quintuple heart bypass operations, and some of the scenes will be shot on location in the mountains of Bataan and Tanay and in the US, so he wasn't not sure if he could do it because it might be too strenuous for him. Even his kids were scared if he's capable to shoot for the film. He said yes, then backed out. I promised him I'd give him long periods of rest in between the shooting of the scenes that involved him, and so he finally accepted the part. And he's very good. He delivers. At first, it was even hard for him to memorize his long lines in the film. But later, nilalaro-laro na lang niya and there were times when we'd shoot until 3 a.m. and he'd still be full of energy.He's actually the heart of the movie.
In the flashback scenes, we show him being kidnapped by the Japanese from the farm where he was working to be used in burying the treasure. He didn't know his younger brother, was also kidnapped. His brother dies and he survives and there's this guilt feeling in him about what happened. Going back to the Philippines gives him the chance to re-live the incident and put a closure to some things that were left unresolved then. He wasn't able to stand up to the Japanese at that time.
But this time, he is determined not to allow the same thing to happen again. Goyena is very good in this climactic scene that many of those who have seen the film cried while watching it.He told me something like that happened to him in real life, when he was walking with his father in Malate during the war and a Japanese truck suddenly stopped by, picked up his dad and later shot him to death. So he was able to relate to the film."
Three generations of stars assembled in 'Yamashita'
By Remy M. Umerez, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1 Dec 2001,www.inq7.net excerpts
MORE than the spectacular special effects, the Regal movie "Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure" offers, director Chito Roño is proud of his cast. He has assembled a set of actors from three generations. He is particularly pleased thathe was able to convince Armando Goyena, a matinee idol during the '50s to stage a comeback.
Goyena was a popular actor at LVN Pictures and, together with Tessie Quintana, he formed a love team moviegoers swooned over. Even before Dolphy put on a dress in "Jack 'N' Jill" Goyena doubled as a woman in the romantic comedy "Tia Loleng" to win the heart of the woman he loves.
When color pictures made their way to local screen, Goyena appeared in "Hawayana," which was partly shot in Eastman color. He was a handsome prince in the costume movie "Prinsipe Tinoso."
Other leading ladies who were frequently paired opposite the dashing Armando included Evelyn Villar, Mila del Sol and Lilia Dizon (mother of Christopher de Leon).
Goyena is the father of Maritess and Tina Revilla both of whom joined show business. They were the original endorsers of a beauty soap.
He quit the movies in the late '50s to concentrate on business to support his large family.
He is joined in "Yamashita" by his only son Johnny (husband of singer Janet Basco) who makes a cameo appearance. Their scenes were shot in California along with former model beauty queen Bambi Arambulo, longtime San Francisco resident.
Roño is all praises for the professionalism that the entire cast, particularly Goyena, displayed-this, despite his advanced age and a heart bypass.
"The action in this movie is all real unlike in 'Spirit Warriors' where every fight scene was computer generated. It was physically exhausting but Goyena didn't complain. Even in the most grueling scenes, which involved running and being gunned down wala akong reklamong narinig sa kanya. He worked as hard as his junior co-stars," Roño beams.
Scriptwriter Roy Iglesias believes that Goyena is perfect for the role of the grandfather of Danilo (Barrios) who holds the key to the hidden treasure of Yamashita, the World War II Japanese general known as the Tiger of Malaya. He provides the heart and the drama of the popular story.
The young Goyena is essayed by Carlo Muñoz (of "Hello Billy" fame) while Japanese actor Tatsuya Matsui is the young Vic Diaz. The '80s and the '90s are represented by Albert Martinez and Rustom Padilla. Danilo Barrios and Camille Prats lead the stars of the new millennium together with Janus del Prado, Mico Palanca (Pita Revilla's son and Mr Goyena's grandson), Bearwin Meilly, Ethan Javier and Carlo Muñoz.
Three Generations in 'Yamashita'
Billy Balbastro, Abante Daily, 7 Dec 2001,www.abante.com.ph
FILM director Chito Roño admits that getting the 1950's matinee idol Armando Goyena, now an octogenarian, to agree to play the role of Carmelo Rosales (one who holds the key to the treasure) was hard enough.
Luckily the former LVN star agreed even if the role is physically draining and taxing with filming in location sites in Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal and even in the boondocks.
When Chito got the actor-turned-businessman to be part of his movie earlier -- that was Eskapo in 1994 -- he only had a cameo role. Goyena played the role of the late Eugenio Lopez Sr. with Christopher de Leon as Geny Lopez. I remember that the filming on location in a house in Forbes Park lasted for just an evening.
In Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure, Armando Goyena was to play the most important role in Chito's movie. Filming lasted for 54 days through more than three months of actual principal photography.
And not only that. It seems that Direk Chito got more than he bargained for since he didn't just get Armando Goyena (Jose 'Pinggoy' Revilla in real life) to head the cast of his movie. Goyena's son and grandson are also in the picture as actors.
As the story goes, the search for the treasure in this fictitious adventure movie set in the backdrop of World War II, the movie starts in California where Armando and grandson Jobert (Danilo Barrios) were.
Murders in the family occurred with Jobert's parents killed in a grissly incident. In the filming done in the US, Chito decided to get Armando's real life son Johnny Revilla (who went with his father there) to do a cameo role -- playing his reel son too. Johnny who's married to singer Janet Basco got to act before the cameras for the first time, and with his father (whom he greatly admire) too.
And not only that. Armando Goyena's grandson Mico Palanca -- younger brother of actor-music man Bernard Palanca -- is in the cast too. He plays Xyra in Jobert's barkada -- who includes Camille Pratts, Ethan Javier and Bearwin Meilly -- who got hooked in the treasure hunting adventure.
Although, earlier Mico got to appear in a TV drama with his Lolo, this is the first time, he says, they appear in some scenes together.
It is interesting to note that Armando Goyena has two daughters who earlier entered showbusiness -- Maritess, though briefly, and Tina Revilla who's still active on television.
For the Revilla clan, MaQ's Yamashita is a historic film. Imagine having its three generations in it!
What does Armando Goyena say about this: "Sulit ang pagod namin if Yamashita would be the festival's best picture."
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