Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heart Evangelista's Movie "Ay, Ayeng" Premieres in Hawaii

"Ay Ayeng," a film which tackles the indigenous life of the Ifugaos in the hinterlands of Mountain Province, has premiered in Hawaii.

Young actress Heart Evangelista who plays the title role was busy with other commitments so she could not make it to Hawaii in time for the gala showing.

The film's other stars, beauty queen and actress Maria Isabel Lopez and actor Jao Mapa attended the event.

"It was a success. Ang daming dumating na mga Fil-Am sa Hawaii Theater kung saan din ginawa ang premiere showing ng �Caregiver� ni Sharon Cuneta," said Lopez.

"Sayang nga, wala si Heart. Ang dami pa namang mga Filipino sa Hawaii na naghanap sa kanya," she added.

Lopez wore an Igorot-inspired costume at the premiere night. She said "Ay Ayeng" was a celebrated movie among migrant Filipino workers in Hawaii because it traces the origins of many Ifugaos who are now based in the US.

"Nakakapangalisag ng balahibo ang kuwento ng mga nakilala ko sa Hawaii tungkol sa karanasan nila sa Mountain Province. Masyado silang naapi ro�n," said Lopez.

According to Edd Palmos, the director of the movie, the story of "Ay Ayeng" was inspired by the life of Macli-ing Dulag, a tribal leader during the Marcos dictatorship who fought against the destruction of Chico Dam.

In the movie, Ayeng, a mountain maiden, wants to spread education to solve the socio-economic problems of the natives but the intervention and suppression of the military get in the way.

Ayeng was also vehemently discouraged by her tribeswomen from pursuing the formal schooling of their children because of long-standing beliefs and traditions.

The movie is adapted from the novel "Maestra Ester" written by Abdon Noviza and Lica Lazaro. Like Ester, "Ay Ayeng" believes that education is the key to a bright future.

From the wilderness to city life, the tribal maiden waded her way against all odds to follow her dream: to be a teacher in order to teach the poor children back home.

In the end, she realized that dream, but only after encountering greed, exploitation, discrimination and deceit.

A Fil-Am actress, Sheena Joy, is introduced in the film as a photojournalist who documents the events in Benguet. Along with Mapa, Sheena Joy sang and danced at the Hawaii premiere.

"Ay Ayeng" is the initial offering of Aloha Pearl Film Productions of Peter and Arlax Malbog, line produced by Edilberto Serrano.

The movie was already shown in Macau, Kuwait, Hongkong and at the Baguio Convention Center in Baguio, Philippines..

See "Ay, Ayeng" movie trailer below:

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