• Alfred Vargas’ movie draws mixed reviews

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    RICKY CALDERON

    The Cinemalaya entry “Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa,” starring Alfred Vargas and directed by former stage actor Perry Escaño, drew mixed reviews after its gala screening Sunday at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

    Several critics and moviegoers were disappointed with the uneven cinematography and erratic lighting used throughout the movie, rendering Alfred’s breakdown scene ineffective.

    Nevertheless, the sitting Quezon City congressman is quite happy that he was able to espouse his advocacy on education via film. In a recent interview, he said the movie received good feedback from students and teachers who had the chance to watch it. As co-producer he plans to continue showing the film in schools, and hopefully have a commercial run.

    “I love acting,” said the two-time Golden Screen Awards Best Actor winner. “If not for acting, I wouldn’t be where I am now as a public servant. Being an actor is very fulfilling since I get the chance to portray various kinds of roles. But being a public servant is a rewarding job as well. It feels good to be of service to the people.”

    He said he promised not to accept projects on his first term when he got elected in 2013 and will go back to showbiz full-time after finishing the maximum three terms. However, he could no let the project pass when it was broached to him last year as it fits well his advocacy on education.

    Alfred Vargas

    “I talked to my constituents and they allowed me to do the project so there was no conflict at all. Pero hanggang one movie per year lang talaga ang puwede kong gawin,” he said in another interview.

    * * *

    The large crowd that watched “Celeste,” the comeback concert of Celeste Legaspi at the Theatre at Solaire on August 5 had the time of their lives.

    She was indeed a class, her performance belying the fact her last concert was in 1987. The show was her tribute to her late father National Artist for Painting Cesar Legaspi on his centennial year.

    She opened the show with “Gaano Kita Kamahal,” which she dedicated to her parents. She then recalled how much her parents loved each other.

    At 67, she had enough energy to last the evening. Besides singing, she gave her spiels with no teleprompters—just free-flowing words coming from the heart.

    Some of the best parts of the program were the songs translated to Filipino by her mentor Rolando Tinio, like “Love Is Stronger Far Than We” and “Loving You.”

    Others considered the apex of the show her tribute to famed composer Willy Cruz with such hits as “Kapag Puso’y Nasugatan,” “Mahawi Man ang Ulap,” “Pati Ba Pintig ng Puso?,” “Init Sa Magdamag,” “Sana’y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan” and “Pangarap na Bituin.”

    She lovingly dedicated “La Vie En Rose” to her mother, singing it in Filipino, English and French, capped the night by singing “Never Ever Say Goodbye.”

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