Maid in Malacañang

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By the time this column sees print, we would already have installed our brand-new officials of the national and local governments in the country. While we follow the activities of our local government officials, everyone’s curiosity is piqued by the new – or comebacking – tenants of the Palace by the Pasig, Malacañang. They are, after all, royalty in the best sense of the word.

Trust movie moguls, the Del Rosario family behind the highly well-placed Viva Films, to titillate our mental faculties once again by coming up with “Maid in Malacañang,” a film that is not only timely and relevant, but also, perhaps, bordering on déjà vu, whichever camp or affiliation one belongs.

As SOP (Sister of the President) Senator Imee Marcos said in the now-celebrated television interview with a female broadcaster, “We are not changing our history at all. We will merely tell our side of the story.”

And, these are details left out (conveniently?) by those who were also just telling their side of the story of the infamous People Power Revolution of 1986, whether you were at a vantage point, along the sidelines, or were watching the horrendous events unfold on television, instead of going to Edsa yourself, because you had your own reasons.

Similarly, trust the brilliance and wisdom of Direk Darryl Yap for concocting another mega hit in all aspects. His sensitivity to issues coupled by his own personal experience of onion-skinned politicians made directing “Maid in Malacanang” closer to home. The film may vindicate him, but Direk Darryl, who also wrote the script, would not let the cat out of the bag during the digital media conference — “lest I ruin the thrill; just watch the movie, he said teasingly.”

Set to hit the theaters worldwide on July 20, 2022, “Maid in Malacañang” allows us to get to know the Marcos family’s “side of the story” as it happened 36 years ago. Now, it can be told, as we are wont to say.

What can be most compelling than to know first-hand what transpired in the nooks and crannies of Malacañang 72 hours before the Marcoses were flown to Hawaii (not to Paoay, Ilocos Norte, as President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. thought initially) on February 25, 1986.

According to Direk Darryl, “Maid in Malacañang” is based on a story shared through the eyes of a “reliable source.” His approach in directing the film is comic satire, which has proven to be effective in a number of his films. He is behind Viva Films and Vincentiments movie “Jowable” and numerous Vivamax Originals like “Paglaki Ko, Gusto Ko Maging Pornstar;” “Revirginized;” “Gluta;” and, “Ang Babaeng Walang Pakiramdam.”

“Maid in Malacañang” has been trending even before being officially greenlit for production, receiving floodgates of curiosity and responses on social media after the young director shared the idea at the height of the national elections last May 9.

The film, Direk Darryl continues, will show us the lighter and more carefree side of the Marcos family that, until now, has never been shared with anyone. It will also introduce characters and storylines that make the First Family more relatable and normal like other Filipino households with close family ties. It is the quintessential Filipino family sticking together braving all odds.

The film stars two of the country’s most awarded and talented actors, Cesar Montano and Ruffa Gutierrez, who will portray the roles of President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. and First Lady Imelda Marcos, respectively. Viva Films’ premiere stars Cristine Reyes, Diego Loyzaga, and Ella Cruz will portray the couple’s children – Imee, Bongbong, and Irene. Also joining the cast are Karla Estrada, Elizabeth Oropesa, and Beverly Salviejo. – NWI