PANATA is so far, in my opinion, the best episode in the BRILLANTE MENDOZA PRESENTS monthly “made-for-tv” film series on TV5!

One of the perks that I love about covering events for my blog is being able to go to premieres or to see and experience stuff before it goes public.

About a week ago, I was at the Directors Club of SM Megamall to watch the raw copy of Brillante Mendoza Presents’ fourth film called PANATA. Direk Brillante Ma Mendoza who was present during the exclusive preview said that the copy that we watched last week is still raw (not yet color-graded).

Even so, I can already comment that this film was magnificently executed. The theme, cinematography, acting and raw musical scores – they blend in perfectly.

PANATA is a period film set in three timescales – in 1972 during the declaration of Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos, in 1983 during the assassination of Ninoy Aquino and the years after the People Power revolution.

The movie gives the audience a glimpse of the religious fervor of Filipinos set in Marinduque during one of the Philippines’ most popular Lenten rites – the Moriones Festival.

Aside from religion, PANATA shows a deeper story about the struggles of a family who waits for the return of their abducted head of the family.  Full of symbolisms, the movie is another brave TV masterpiece intended for the discerning audience relevant to most Filipinos who lived during the Martial Law era.

Here is a photo of Direk Brillante Mendoza during the pre-screening media conference of PANATA:

Without giving away much of the story, here are some of the things you should look out for while watching this film:

  • A white face moriones mask
  • A one-eyed moriones mask
  • Newspaper used to wrap a newly carved moriones mask

Look for a can of Youngstown Sardine as well. 🙂 At first, I thought that it was shown during the wrong period (which was 1983) and believed that the brand didn’t came out until the early 90’s but according to my research – the Youngstown brand is already being imported here in the Philippines as early as the late 60’s.

While the story of PANATA is simple and direct, I think that it made a really loud statement. You’ll have to watch it for yourself to know what I meant by that.

Here are the cast and characters featured in the film:

Kristofer King as MARIO

Mario is the son of Tasyo and Azon. He inherits both farming and mask-making skills from his father and is his father’s sympathy for the political rebel groups. After witnessing his father’s arrest by the military, he keeps a yearlong grudge against the government, which is his sole reason for his devotion to the Moriones Lenten rites.

Felix Roco as TOTO

Toto is a son of a Moriones devotee. As Mario’s childhood friend, they were inseparable even during the arrest of Mario’s father. Toto went to Manila to study but during his studies he was introduced to revolutionary thinking and became one of the student activists and finally a political rebel leader.

Other cast includes:

  • Arnold Reyes as TASYO (Mario’s father)
  • Sue Prado as AZON (Mario’s Mother)
  • Lou Veloso as FR. FERNANDO
  • Edwin Nombre as KA ANDONG
  • Jill Palencia as ISING (Mario’s Wife)
  • Ryan Sandoval as DANTE
  • Onyl Torres as RUDY

Brillante Mendoza Presents: PANATA will be shown on May 27 (Saturday) 10:30pm on TV5!

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