adopted from the novel “Maestra Ester” by Abdon Noviza
Direction and Screenplay: Eduardo Palmos and Liza Lazaro
Maybe you have not watched Mumbaki (1996), a movie that starred Raymart Santiago as a doctor who returns to his hometown in Ifugao to bury his father, a chieftain killed in a conflict with a rival community.
Perhaps you have not heard of Abong: Small Home (2003), either, a movie by Japanese director Imaizumi Koji and Baguio screenwriter Cristina Segnaken.
Mumbaki was released as a mainstream movie so it is more likely to be known. Abong was only shown in Baguio and other localities in the Philippine Cordillera since it was too small a project compared. OK, it got as far as New York and Bangkok, but you got the point. It was too indie.
Ay Ayeng, on the other hand is something in between: an indie movie premiered in Hawaii and also shown in Berlin, but didnâ€™t get much exposure when it was shown in Manila. Nevertheless, it is in the running for several awards in the 57th Annual FAMAS Awards, namely Best Director (Ed Palmos), Best Actress (Heart Evangelista), Best Supporting Actress (Isabel Lopez), Best Child Actress (Jessica Mae Flores) and Best Child Actor (Alvin Christian Flores).
According to Eduardo 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.
Heart Evangelista grabbed the Best Actress trophy at the 57th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Gabi ng Parangal on Oct. 18. She played the role of a teacher in Mountain Province.
Other contenders for the award were Sharon Cuneta for “Caregiver”, Anne Curtis for â€œBalerâ€, Dawn Zulueta for â€œMagkaibiganâ€, Judy Ann Santos for â€œPloningâ€ and Melissa Mendez for â€œKalakalâ€.
By the way, ever heard of Igorota (1968)?