Sunday, November 19, 2006

With Marina Feleo Gonzales
During the New York Filipino Film Festival held last month at the ImaginAsian Cinema in Manhattan, Filipino film enthusiasts had the rare opportunity of watching Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo (Premiere Productions, 1976) on the big screen. The film starred Philippine Superstar Nora Aunor as Corazon de la Cruz, a Filipino nurse with dreams of working in the land of milk and honey. It was quite an opportunity to have met the writer, Marina Feleo Gonzales, one of the four pioneer women who made this film a reality, the other three being lead actress Aunor, director Lupita A. Concio (now Kashiwahara) and producer Digna Santiago. She shared stories on how Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo came into fruition. The film was based on real life events and she used those events as the genesis for the film. Ms. Gonzales hasn't seen the movie in twenty seven years. There were scenes that made her cry and I had goosebumps while she was regailing us with her experiences during filming. She told me that Nora Aunor was the only actress she had in mind to play Corazon de la Cruz. Ms. Gonzales said that the director was faithful to the script. The writer said that she didn't have chance to watch the play when it was staged by PETA in 1991. Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo is one of the best films produced during the Second Golden Age of Philippine Cinema and after watching it again on the big screen, it certainly is.