Magtanggol could have inspired electorate if only…

By Maryo Labad

If only the movie is shown today or tomorrow…or even a few days before Monday’s national elections, it could have sparked a more rational and well-informed voters and learned valuable lessons from the Magtanggol family and the movie, per se.

The movie Magtanggol is an initial presentation of Felix and Bert Film Productions, owned by investment banker Jojo Dispo and wife Susan, and directed by Sigfried Barros Sanchez. The film is so timely with our present political milieu. With the elections just a few hours away, we have witnessed too much politicking and mudslinging the past several months. Most candidates coming from different parties hitting each other, just to pursue their self-aggrandizements and platforms, or the lack of it.

Last night, lucky were those who watched the Director’s Cut premiere of Magtanggol, not only because they had the chance to meet the stars, headed by Tom Rodriguez, Joonee Gamboa, Denise Laurel, Yam Concepcion, William Martinez and Kim Domingo, but also had the opportunity to be guided on the qualities of leaders to be elected.

Although the movie purported to be a political suspense-thriller, but it never negated its responsibilities of informing the public the ills in our society and the problems confronting our fellowmen, especially the plight of our modern heroes, the Overseas Filipino workers (OFWS). It aimed to obtain an answer on “Sino ang bayani ng mga bagong bayani?”

Based on real and documented facts, the movie revolved around the global issues and abuses committed against OFWs by their employers. “I’ve traveled to a lot of places with high concentration of OFWs and I’ve talked to many ambassadors around the world about them. I have had first hand exposure with many OFWs. I’ve heard their stories and I want to help them,” said Dispo. He also vowed whatever amount earned from the showing of the film, a percentage of the proceeds will go to a group who are actively supporting the problems of OFWs.

Although the movie had its lapses, the viewers stayed for more than two hours because of its engaging theme. Tom Rodriguez may seem too young for the role (as Sen. Juancho Magtanggol), but he was not devoid of the depth as required by the character. In fact, he was convincing in his transition from a happy-go-lucky son of a politician, to a more responsible, feisty and incorruptible young senator, championing the difficult path of the OFWs, rarely found in our political leaders today.

A first-time voter as a dual citizen, Tom was frank enough to reveal his political views, sans of telling us who his presidentiable would be. In addition to his boldness, Denise Laurel, a known descendant from a big political clan, was also vocal of her ideals and concerns regarding our political situation. In fact, a member of the press commented that had her grandfather (the late Vice President Doy Laurel) took the chance of running for the presidency, he could have won and must have changed the course of our political system today. Surely missed that night was Ms. Dina Bonnevie who played the second wife (Grace Magtanggol), of the Magtanggol patriarch, the ex-Senator Juan Magtanggol, Sr. (played by Joonee Gamboa).

Magtanggol will be shown soon. Watch for it and be enlightened.

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