Judy Ann Santos will shoot “Ploning” in Palawan this month

Judy Ann Santos will shoot

It was reported in PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that Judy Ann Santos and Iza Calzado will be appearing together in a movie about a young man who goes back to his roots to find out about an influential woman in his life named Ploning. Last January 3, Judy Ann signed up with the new film outfit Panoramanila Pictures Co. to seal the deal for the film Ploning. The contract signing took place at Cafe Ilustrado at Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City.

The film’s director Dante Nico Garcia has been a good friend of Judy Ann for the past 16 years. “When I was in first year high school in San Sebastian College, Gladys [Reyes] was my orgmate. Nakiusap siya na maging back-up niya ako sa That’s Entertainment.

Nagpi-pre-production na yung Mara Clara. Dun ka na-meet si Juday at dun ka nalaman na magkapitbahay pala kami sa Cubao. Nung early days ng Mara Clara, ako yung nagpo-provide ng damit ni Juday sa Mara Clara. Hanggang ngayon, ako pa rin nagpo-provide ng damit niya. Walang nabago after 16 years,” he jokes.

Dante also describes himself as the stylist of Juday “for life.” “Perpetual yung contract ko sa kanya. Perpetual stylist yung pakilala niya sa akin sa mga tao,” he tells PEP during an exclusive interview. “Kapatid yung turing ko kay Juday, e. Sila [the Santoses] ang pamilya ko. ‘Pag Christmas, New Year, birthdays, nandun ako. ‘Pag nagkasakit ako, sila yung sumusugod sa ospital.”

The production designer-turned-director was inspired to do this movie in time for the 30th birthday of the young superstar, especially since the lead character of the film is also a woman who is about to reach the big 3-0. Dante reveals that he conceptualized this movie seven years ago. “Sabi ko, kung magma-mature role si Juday, maganda yung concept na ang unang mature pelikula niya, isa siyang provincial lass. Isang babaeng ibinigay ang sarili at naghintay. Yun ang basic plot ng Ploning.”

Jourdan Sebastian, one of the producers of the film, explains the role of Judy Ann in Ploning. “‘Pag sinasabi nating mature, iniisip agad natin bold. Pero dito, matured actress siya.”

“Yung transition niya from a teenybopper to an actress, yung yung gusto kong mangyari,” says Dante. Incidentally, he is a native of the picturesque island of Cuyo where the indie movie will be filmed.

When Dante (fondly called Ga by Judy Ann and close friends) showed the test shots of Ploning in Palawan, Judy Ann gushed, “Oh my gosh! Saan mo tinago ‘yang talent mo all these years? Director ka!” Dante took up directing classes while studying Theater Arts in college. Five years ago, he directed several plugs of ABS-CBN and helmed segments of the defunct show Teysi ng Tahanan.

Set in the island of Cuyo, Palawan, during the ‘80s, Ploning tackles the intertwined lives of a young boy named Rodrigo and a woman named Ploning who is torn between staying in the remote island or moving to the city of Manila.

Dante opted to keep the project a secret from Judy Ann until all the details were finalized. In fact, the young superstar was the last to know about Ploning. “Nabuking ako nung [20th anniversary] concert niya sa Araneta, nagkausap sila ni Uge [Eugene Domingo]. Sabi ni Juday, ‘Sana magkasama uli tayo sa pelikula.’ Sabi ni Eugene, ‘Ano ka ba, ilang buwan na lang February na.’ Sabi ni Juday, ‘Anong meron sa February?’ Nahuli niya kong tintingnan ng masama si Uge kaya pinilit niyang sabihin ko kung ano yun. The day before her Araneta show saka lang niya nalaman yung tungkol sa pelikula. Yung cast ko alam na lahat, si Juday na lang ang hindi nakakaalam.

“Tinanong niya ako, ‘anong pelikula ito?’ Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘yung pelikulang kinukwento ko sa ‘yo seven years ago.’”

Judy Ann asked Dante: “Bakit ako ang huling nakaalam?”

“Gusto ko kasi tanggapin mo yung pelikula dahil maganda—hindi dahil kaibigan mo ako,” Dante stressed.

Here is the brief email from Guia Gonzales, producer of the film, describing the January 3 contract signing.

“We had our no frills (long form) contract signing with Judy Ann Santos for her title role in the indie movie Ploning last January 3, 2008 in Ilustrado (Serendra). Juday [was] with me, Jourdan [Sebastian], our young team, and Atty. Ed Chico, legal counsel for our company. In the same occasion, Juday also got to meet the investors in the project.

“Photos courtesy of Roy Lopez, the Dubai-based investment agent of Panoramanila Pictures Co.

“Juday is scheduled to fly to Cuyo Island, Palawan, on January 25 to February 11, 2008.”

Ploning is scheduled to be released this May, the birth month of Judy Ann Santos.

JOCELYN DIMACULANGAN
Philippine Entertainment Portal

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