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Shaina sees no problem working with ex John Lloyd

Shaina Magdayao, Alfred Vargas and Iza Calzado
Shaina Magdayao, Alfred Vargas and Iza Calzado

SHAINA Magdayao plays her most daring role as Tanya, a carefree and free spirited young woman in “Tagpuan”, an entry in the Metro Manila Filmfest written by Ricky Lee and directed by McArthur Alejandre.

“Alfred here is married to Iza Calzado but hiwalay na sila,” she says. “Then he meets me in Hong Kong and we get into a relationship na for fun lang. We shot our scenes in Hong Kong sa mga lugar na hindi pa nakikita sa ibang movies, like ‘yung high rise condo buildings for the poor na marumi at magulo.”

She has a bedscene with Alfred. Didn’t she have any qualms doing it when she used to be project a sweet goody-goody image?

“I did it kasi kailangan sa story. I trusted Direk Mac Alejandre as I know hindi naman laswaan lang ang gagawin naming eksena and Alfred, na first time kong nakatrabaho is such a gentleman, so the scene went well. When the project was first offered to me, I accepted it right away as I like the story which is about taking second chances and fighting for your love. Its script was written by Sir Ricky Lee who I admire so much and with whom I’m doing another movie, ‘Servando Magdamag’ directed by Lav Diaz.”

Doesn’t it pair her with her ex-BF John Lloyd Cruz? “Hindi naman kami magkapareha. I’m just doing a short role, parang cameo, at wala rin namang problema kasi 8 years ago pa since matapos kami at friends na kami uli. We’re very different people now and we’re now both happy with our respective lives.”

It’s said she has a good chance of bagging the Metro Filmfest best supporting actress award for her fine and persuasive performance as Tanya, Alfred’s free-wheeling girlfriend. How does she feel about it? “Naku, ayokong isipin ‘yan as I’m sure marami pang ibang magagaling. Mas gusto ko na sana, mas maraming manood ng filmfest entries now that we’ll be shown in a new platform, via streaming. I hope people will take their time to watch ‘Tagpuan’ on Upstream.ph. Napakadali namang i-access ito online and they can watch it right at the comfort of their own homes.”

Direk Peque’s last magical masterpiece

‘MAGIKLAND’, the last movie produced by Director Peque Gallaga, is inspired by the first outdoor theme park in the Visayas that Cong. Albee Benitez and partners put up in Silay City. It closed down during the pandemic but has reopened last November. Now, “Magikland”, the film, has the highest-budget among all the Metro Manila Filmfest entries. Direk Lore Reyes, co-executive producer, says it went up to P200 million no less.


“When Cong. Albee of Brightlight Productions asked us to do a movie for him to help promote Magikland theme park, he said, don’t worry about the budget,” says Direk Lore. “When we did ‘Magic Temple’ for Star Cinema in 1996, and ‘Magic Kingdom’ for Viva Films in 1997 that introduced Anne Curtis, we didn’t have the kind of budget given to us now.”

How much was their budget for “Magikland”? “Our original budget was for P97 million, but tumaas nang tumaas. We started shooting this in June of 2018, at inabot kami ng mga bagyo. We were shooting a scene in a marble quarry when a huge rock rolled down, kasinlaki ng truck. Good walang naaksidente sa amin, but because of that binawalan kami mag-shoot doon.”

For the safety of their stars, they just utilized special effects in doing various scenes.

“So nag-shoot na lang kami sa green screen at lahat ng scenes na kailangan namin, idinagdag na lang thru computer generated image. Tapos, we also spent so much for all the visual effects. We shot the movie for over three months, but mas matagal ang post production due to the CGI effects. Inabot ito ng more than two years in the making. You’d see the four lead kids here, the child warriors who are the champions of Magikland, talking to dragons and other fantasy creatures na wala naman silang kaeksena when we shot it.”

The movie is their tribute to the late Direk Peque. “Natapos niya ang shoot but sayang, hindi na niya nakita ang completed movie with all its special effects. Siya ang pumili sa director namin dito. We want someone young to do it kasi puro bata ang mga bida and we chose Christian Acuna, a director of TV commercials na outstanding workshopper niya noon in filmmaking. This is Christian’s full length film debut and it’s very impressive.”

The film’s story is rooted in ancient myths in Negros and pays homage to their local heroes who are featured in the theme park and come alive in the movie: Miggs Cuaderno as Boy Bakunawa, Elijah Alejo as Mara Marapara, Princess Aguilar as Pat Patag and Joshua Eugenio as Kit Kanlaon.

They were personally handpicked by Direk Lore, Direk Peque and Direk Christian according to their talent and how they’d fit their respective roles. In the film’s story, Magikland is a fantasy place existing in a video game or mobile app where an evil dictator rules.

The gamers should get the highest points in order to save Magikland from the bad guys. When the four kids who happen to be the winners meet each other in person, they are sucked from the real world and transported to the mystical world of Magikland itself and this starts for them an adventure that they will never forget.

The kids are supported by a powerhouse cast of first rate actors: Jaclyn Jose, Maricel Laxa, Mylene Dizon, Bibeth Orteza, Jun Urbano, Jackielou Blanco, Paolo Contis, Rowell Santiago, Katrina Halili, Ryan Eigenmann, Audie Gemora, Luis Alandy, Channel Latorre and many more. You can watch it streaming via Upstream.ph starting Christmas Day and you can access your tickets now.