Thursday, December 13, 2007


Auraeus Solito, popularly known in the neighborhood as "Direk" more so than by his boyhood nickname of Aris, gave as a guided tour of the block where he was born and grew up on. It's in the area better known as Guipit in Sampaloc, Manila.

Two of his films, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and Pisay, were shot in this neighborhood with some of the residents playing bit roles.

A full length interview with this award-winning director conducted by Isabel L. Templo will be featured in the maiden issue of Art-in-Site Magazine. For inquiries and submissions please email Patricia Laurel, editor-in-chief, at


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:05 PM


Blogger NOYPETES said...

Sino pa nga ba ang makakakilala sa tunay na lagay ng lugar at buhay kundi yung naninirahan at laki duon di ba?

If you have seen the movie "Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag" directed by the late Lino Brocka, you would appreciate his true depiction of the locale where the movie was shot and amazing crowd control considering that it was filmed mostly in crowded Manila working class neighborhoods. Is Aris going to be the next Lino Brocka?

December 14, 2007 12:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag, unforgettable movie for me.

Lino Brocka and Bembol Roco (the lead actor in the movie. Maynila was his first pic, and he already won the Famas for his beautiful portrayal of the lead role) were invited to guest a symposium at our school. The students were not settled yet when Lino was called already to speak. He got pissed off by the noisy audience and blurted out: "P____na naman, e!" on the microphone. That elicited flaks from us. He later apologized for it. Lino Brocka was known for his tantrums, but he's the best Filipino film director ever.

I haven't seen Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros but I've read nice reviews on the film.

BTW, I once did a bit role in Mike de Leon's Kung Mangarap Ka't Magising, partially filmed in Baguio City. Sayang, sana I pursued my movie career. hehehe.

December 14, 2007 6:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Reason I didn't see Ang Pagdadalaga - is - I think it's not for commercial release? Much like Gina Pareno's much acclaimed Kubrador. Di ko rin napanood kasi parang di naman yata pinalabas sa mga sinehan. Why are the good local movies not given enough exposure, while the crappy ones are the ones bannered in giant billboards and all? :(

December 14, 2007 7:21 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

He might very well become one of our true "storytellers" in his own right, Pete. I'd like to think more of Auraeus as the Philippines' answer to France's Francois Truffaut.

Yes, I saw that Lino Brocka film. I remember the scenes shot in Santa Cruz district's Misericordia Street. That guy's a legend.

December 14, 2007 7:31 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

shucks! Having been a sort of cineaste when living in Manila, I think one of the downslides of living in paradise is not getting to see notable indie films. My forages in vcd shops only comprises american films...and a few nice finds. The Muslims here have those 16 movies in one DVD and (sorry to manzano) is our only source of reasonably priced movies. But then I have to rummage through a lot of gore and hunky movies to get to what I prefer. The Muslims sellers know my taste by now and somehow the best i got were great animation finds. But then, my Pinoy films are lacking.

Mr. Solito's "Pagdadalaga..." intrigues me a lot as well as other indie movies I have read on in the Net. Can anyone give me an idea where vcds of these amazing stortytellers can be found? Thank you so much again, Eric, for coming up with posts that interest me.

December 14, 2007 8:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Truth be told, Bernadette, I was embarrassed to have not seen Ang "Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Olivares" prior to meeting this fine film director. Also, not having seen it made me not relate to the interiors of the houses we went into wherein he described where certain scenes were shot. He also introduced us to some residents who played minor roles in the film.

However, my sister raved about the film after seeing it, and I had to tell her to stop because she might divulge the entire story and spoil it for me. Some Pinoy friends in the States also raved about it and kept asking me if I had seen it. Jeeez! Meanwhile, SM finally showed it for only a limited run which made me miss it as well.

Anyway, I will make it my quest to search for a DVD copy, including his other film, "Pisay."

December 14, 2007 9:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

He was telling us, Rhoda, that in the Berlin Film Festival, "Ang Pagdadalaga ..." was featured under the children's classification so many school kids attended the showing. As it turned out, the German kids loved the film.

A big regret for the director was that the kid who played Maximo Oliveros wasn't able to fly to Berlin for the festival. But then again he said it might be for the best because the German kids might have mobbed the young Pinoy actor.

But in the other foreign countries in which the young actor was able to attend the film festivals, he was overwhelmed by the star status attention afforded to him by the public and media organizations of the host cities.

He was only 13 when cast out of the 200 who auditioned to play Maximo. And it was the gays in that Sampaloc neighborhood who taught him how to act and move like a gay kid.

December 14, 2007 9:30 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

I had no idea what "Ang Pagdadalaga..." was all about, no expectations whatsoever when a cousin dragged me to the Cinemalaya Film Fest. 'Maximo' is a delightful character, the story tender and honest. One of the Filipino films I enjoyed in a long, long time.

December 14, 2007 1:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never seen those movies before but doing a shoot where it involves people from your own birth place and neighbourhood is wonderful. You'd know all the nooks and crannies.


December 14, 2007 8:28 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I told, Direk, Kyels, that he's very fortunate to still be living in the house he grew up in and thereby remain in touch with the people of his youth. That is a great blessing I had lost when my family got uprooted to live in the States.

Yes, I think it's incredibly wonderful of him to include his neighbors and friends in his film projects.

December 15, 2007 6:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Well, Luna, I might head on over to Quiapo today and search for a DVD of "Pisay" and "Ang Pagdadalaga ..." I have got to see his films! Hehehe.

December 15, 2007 7:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

|| Well, Luna, I might head on over to Quiapo today and search for a DVD of "Pisay" and "Ang Pagdadalaga ..." I have got to see his films! Hehehe.||

Big oooppssss!...Please forgive me for saying this, but I pray nothing turns up, Senor. It may start a long and painful discussion if Pinoy indie films appear in Quiapo, Greenhills, Metrowalk and tiangges. As it is, the only hope for Pinoy films to float and matter nowadays is the vision and the combined, unwavering drive of these brave indie filmmakers and their staff who believe that a good story has to be told.

On the other hand, I stop short of saying anything more beyond the cowardice of established producers who are anxious to foray into non-formulaic plots, still believing that bankrolling 'unknowns' is a 'gamble', and afraid that it may erode their commercial profits in the face of public acceptance of what they still think are 'unprofitable' movies. These established producers forget that they have a responsibility to the survival of their industry and to society :)

December 15, 2007 9:53 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, KrVilla, if a DVD is not available through usual retail outlets, Quiapo would be the only option.

Also, telling a good story is one thing, creating the opportunities for them to be heard/seen by the masses is another. Unfortunately, we have no Weinsteins here in Pinas who could make widespread distribution of indy products a possibility :(

So what is the interested public to do?

December 15, 2007 10:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ang Pagdadalaga.. is nicely done. it depicts the true picture of a Filipino family in dire straits.

the director was able to bring out the actors' (especially the one who portrayed Maximo) talents in acting.

narissa of

December 16, 2007 7:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Senor Enrique,

Thank you very much for your article and specially your photos. Sadly, a month ago my neighborhood got demolished. My "living movie set"suddenly gone.

Would it be possible that you could send me high res pics of these photos? A book will be published about 100 emerging filmmakers in the world- and I was chosen as one of them. They are asking for photos of me in my set and I love the photos that you took. Are you in facebook? Solito Arts is my handle there. I can send you my email adress through there.

Now it is only in my cinema where my neighborhood can be seen... now just a memory. For I didn't just lose a set but also my childhood friends.

manunga banar (for beautiful and sometimes sad truths),
Auraeus Solito

October 11, 2009 8:02 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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