For playing the title role in “Tanabata’s Wife,” Igorot actress Mai Fanglayan from Baguio City bagged the Best Actress award at the recently concluded 2018 ToFarm Film Festival awarding ceremony. Among the actresses she beat in the category were Katrina Halili and Pokwang, who starred in “Mga Anak Ng Kamote” and “Sol Searching,” respectively.
“Tanabata’s Wife” marked Fanglayan’s full-length film debut. She is a Mass Communication graduate of Saint Louis University in Baguio City, the home city of Sinai Hamada, the author of the classic short story of the same name where the film was based on.
According to Fanglayan, she did not really plan to audition for the “Tanabata’s Wife” role. The Baguio City native just accompanied a friend who auditioned for the role, which eventually was offered to her.
Both of Fanglayan’s parents are from Mountain Province. Being a newbie, she was surprised to have won the coveted award at the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival, which is the third edition of the annual festival of Filipino films related to agriculture.
Fanglayan was not the only big winner at the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival awarding ceremony. Her “Tanabata’s Wife” co-star Miyuki Kamimura won Best Actor.
The Best Director award was given to “Tanabata’s Wife” directors Charlson Ong, Lito Casaje and Choy Pangilinan while the Best Screenplay award was given to Ong. Overall, the film bagged nine awards including Best Production Design for Martin Masadao, Best Musical Score for May-i Padilla, Kurt Alalag and Marc Tan, Best Editing for Padilla, Best Cinematography for Nap Jamir and Best Film.
Alalag is also one of the supporting actors in “Tanabata’s Wife.” Like Fanglayan, he and other cast members namely Danilo Bulanay, Shane Daweg, Rainell Cosme and John Sagamla are all Igorot actors from Baguio City.
Filmed in Buguias, Benguet, “Tanabata’s Wife” used Japanese, Kankanaey and Ilocano. Meanwhile, here is an interview with Fanglayan: