Namets! (An Ilonggo movie makes it to Cinemalaya)
Namets – Ilonggo, colloquial of “namit” which means, “delicious” in English, “deliceux” in French, “oishi” in Nihonggo. In Tagalog it translates to, “masarap.”
Bisan ano pa na nga klase sang pag-hambal, basta sa Negrense, kung namit, namit guid na ya!
Nabasahan ko ni sa Visayan Daily Star (ang newspaper sang mga taga-Negros). Maayo kay may na intra nga Ilonggo movie sa Cinemalaya sini nga July 2008. Sayang, indi ko katan-aw.
—- For the original article, click here. ——
(L-R: Christian Vasquez, Angel Jacob, Dante Amaguin, Peque Gallaga, Dwight Gaston.)
Negrense food stars in film – by Carla Gomez
“It’s the most Negrense film that I have ever known.”
That is how Negrense director Jay Abello yesterday described the movie, “Namets!,” that he is currently filming in Negros Occidental.
The main character of the film is the food of Negros Occidental, it is filmed entirely in the province, more than 70 percent of its cast and crew are Negrenses, and the dialog is in Ilonggo, Abello said.
“Namets! is a colorful celebration of food as well as love, and the love of food above all, which is central to being Negrosanon, and being Filipino,” Palanca Award winner Vicente Groyon, who wrote the script, said.
“Every region in the Philippines has a cuisine unique to it, and the island of Negros is no exception. Forget your diet if you’re planning to visit – from piaya to chicken inasal to guapple pie to kinilaw, Negrosanon food is irresistible,” Groyon said.
Abello, who is from Silay City that is known for its many mouth-watering delicacies, said the film works at capturing how life revolves around food in Negros, and how it affects people’s lives.
Abello, who was shooting some of the scenes of the movie at the house of Millie Kilayko at Lizares Avenue in Bacolod City yesterday, said they were filming in places they normally could not afford to rent because Negrenses were allowing them to borrow their homes for free since the film is all about Negros.
Scenes of the movie have been shot in Isabela, Carbin Reef in Sagay City, Silay City and all over Bacolod City, he said.
Namets! follows the ongoing flirtation between Jacko (Christian Vasquez) and Cassie (Angel Jacob), two Negrense chefs who grew up in Bacolod, and whose lives revolve around food, Abello said.
Trouble starts when Jacko loses his Italian restaurant, Puccini’s, to a giant cockfighting debt. The moneylender Dolpo (renowned Negrense director Peque Gallaga) takes control of Puccini’s and hires Cassie as a consultant for a total restaurant makeover, Groyon said.
“Cassie re-visions Puccini’s into a place that serves traditional Negrosanon food, and we are treated to the full panorama of Negrosanon cuisine and the idiosyncrasies of Negrosanon eating. Along the way, Jacko and Cassie find time to finally fall in love and set aside their differences,” he added.
Namets! will premiere at the 2008 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from July 11 to 20, 2008. A weeklong screening at the University of the Philippines-Diliman Film Center follows, before a regular theatrical run in Metro Manila cinemas.
The film will have its Visayas premiere at the SM Cinema in Bacolod City in mid-August before going on a nationwide campus tour, Abello said.
The filmmakers will then take Namets! on the international film festival circuit, bringing a unique slice of Philippine life to cinema enthusiasts all over the world.
Namets! promises to be an important contribution to Philippine and Negrense cinema, and to the professionalization of filmmaking activity outside Metro Manila. It also reveals aspects of Philippine culture not often seen in our movies, Groyon said.
“Namets! is clearly a groundbreaking project, the likes of which have not been seen since Peque Gallaga’s Oro, Plata, Mata in the 1980s. It is a testament to the burgeoning filmmaking scene outside Metro Manila and proof of the vitality of Philippine independent cinema,” Groyon added.
The digital film is being produced with funding from Cinemalaya Foundation Inc., the National Center for Culture and the Arts, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, as well as support from private donors, Abello said.
The cast includes actors with Bacolod roots, like Vasquez, Gallaga, Monsour del Rosario, Ronnie Lazaro and Dwight Gaston, among other local theatrical talent.
The production designer is RJ Lacson.
The production crew and creative staff were also sourced from various theatre groups and workshops in the province.
Cameo roles include special appearances by Negrense thespians and personalities including Michelle Gallaga, John Arceo, Andre Jalandoni, JM Rodriguez, Mel Yanson, Carmela Arcolas Gamboa, Madie Gallaga, Dennis Ascalon, Charlie Co, Jade Snow Dionson, Charles Hilado and Luis Zabalhaurregi, among many others.
It is amazing how everybody from our veteran theater and production people to our young crew are jelling, Abello said.
He said Jacob who is not a Negrense has adopted into her role so well, she speaks her Ilonggo lines like a native.
Her Ilonggo dialog was recorded, she loaded it on to her iPod and she began listening to it two months before filming began, and the result has been very good, Abello said.*CPG