The ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project is once again gearing up for a set of screenings of restored classics, this time in the UP Town Center Center Cinemas. Their lineup this year is headlined by the premiere of the Jolina Magdangal-Marvin Agustin romcom, Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?, presumably the people behind the project recognize that in this age of uncertainty, everyone could use something comforting and familiar to cling to.
So relive the halcyon days of denim jumpers and hats with giant flowers on them. Be transported to the time when Marvin Agustin wasn’t opening his chain restaurants in every corner of Metro Manila. We can make it through any crisis, because now Jolina and Marvin are reunited in glorious High Definition, their love preserved for future generations to come.
If the eternal burning love of these two don’t do it for you, the rest of the week offers up many other options. How about Aga Muhlach and Lea Salonga trying to make the long distance thing work on Olivia Lamasan’s Sana Maulit Muli? Still too recent? Go all the way back to 1980 with Christopher de Leon and Hilda Koronel reuniting with past loves before their impending nuptials in Laurice Guillen’s Kasal?
Speaking of Christopher de Leon, he and his facial hair are all over this lineup of films. You can see him coming of age in Mike de Leon’s Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising, and then presenting a much more vicious, grown up side to him in another Mike de Leon film, Hindi Nahahati ang Langit. Finally, he’s the patriarch of a middle class family trying to survive Martial Law in Chito Roño’s 2002 adapatation of Dekada ’70.
There’s another Chito Roño movie in the lineup: Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara, which shows a different side of the director. Mike de Leon has another film in this lineup that also shows a very different side of him: the riotous comedy Kakabakaba Ka Ba?, which is still as insane as it was when it first came out. Jose Javier Reyes is credited in two movies in this lineup: one as director in the drama Batang PX, and as writer of the incredible epic Oro, Plata, Mata, directed by Peque Gallaga.
Gallaga’s Magic Temple, which was the first film that had him really working with longtime collaborator Lore Reyes, is getting more screenings after its popular run last month in Rockwell. And then there’s Ishmael Bernal’s Himala. If you haven’t seen it by now, go do it. If you’ve already seen it, you should probably do it again.
Cinema Classics: Filipino Films in Retrospect opens on January 10 with the premiere of Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang, and then runs from January 11 to 15 at UP Town Center. Tickets are P180 for students and P220 for everyone else.