After playing the lead role in the hit biopic “Quezon’s Game,” Raymond Bagatsing plays a supporting role in the Cinemalaya 2019 film “Malamaya.” It seems to be anticlimactic but like what veteran actors always say, there is no such thing as a small role.
Directed by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez, “Malamaya” stars Sunshine Cruz opposite Enzo Pineda. Bagatsing and Bernadette Allyson play supporting roles.
Cruz, Pineda and Bagatsing were present during the “Malamaya” press conference on July 16, 2019 at Annabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines. Bagatsing told the media what made him accept the offer to be part of the film.
One thing that is unique about “Malamaya” is that every time the emotion of the lead character Nora Simeon (Cruz) changes, the color of the film also does. This is what intrigued Bagatsing and he wanted to be part of such a work of art.
While “Malamaya” looks like just another May-December affair film on the surface, it is much more than that. It largely talks about the status of visual arts particularly in the Philippines.
Chavez co-wrote “Malamaya” with Liberty Trinidad. The story revolves around Nora Simeon, a pessimistic uninspired middle-aged artist who is led to a path of creative and sexual reawakening by a young photographer named Migs (Pineda).
This is not the first time Bagatsing starred in a Cinemalaya film. In 2014, he starred in “The Janitor,” which was written by Aloy Adlawan and directed by Michael Tuviera.
In “The Janitor,” Bagatsing co-starred with Richard Gomez, Ricky Davao, Derek Ramsay, Irma Adlawan, Dante Rivero, LJ Reyes, Nicco Manalo and Alex Medina. In “Quezon’s Game,” among Bagatsing’s co-stars were Rachel Alejandro, David Bianco, Jennifer Blair-Bianco and Billy Ray Gallion.
Bagatsing has been acting in films since 1990. He won Best Actor for “Serafin Geronimo: Ang Kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion” at the 1999 Gawad Urian Awards and Best Supporting Actor for “Soltera” at the 2000 FAMAS Awards and 2000 FAP Awards.
In “Malamaya,” Bagatsing plays a potter. He revealed that his inspiration for the role was Patrick Swayze’s role in the 1990 movie “Ghost.”
“Malamaya” will make its premiere at the CCP Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City, Metro Manila on August 3, 2019 at 10 a.m. Here are Cruz, Pineda and Bagatsing at the press conference: