‘Culion’ star Mai Fanglayan praises Iza Calzado, Alvin Yapan

Mai Fanglayan, 23, of Baguio City, Philippines is one the co-actors of Iza Calzado, 37, in “Culion,” a historical drama film directed by Alvin Yapan, 43. This is Fanglayan’s next released film after playing the title role in “Tanabata’s Wife,” which made her the first ever Igorot actor to receive a Best Actress nomination from the Gawad Urian.

“Culion” is one of the eight official entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2019, which will run from December 25, 2019 to January 7, 2020. During the festival, only Filipino films will be screened in Philippine theaters except IMAX and 4D theaters.

Set in the 1940s, “Culion” was written by Ricky Lee and the story revolves around three women Ana (Calzado), Doris (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) and Ditas (Meryll Soriano), who are afflicted with leprosy. An island located in Palawan, Philippines, Culion was once known as a major leper colony.


Fanglayan is one of the supporting actors in “Culion.” The Igorot actor plays Mabel, a new patient in the island.

“I am very blessed to work with Miss Iza Calzado and Direk Alvin Yapan,” Fanglayan told Conan Daily. “Si Ate Iza, sobrang galing niya at hindi niya lang ako ini-inspire sa career path na ito (Iza is excellent and she does not only inspire in this career path) but also, she helped me to internalize deeply in order to bring out my best sa pag-portray ng character ni Mabel (in portraying the character of Mabel).”


Ganon din si Direk Alvin na isang magaling na direktor (The same is true for Director Alvin who is a good director),” Fanglayan continued. “Talagang tinulungan niya akong mapalabas ‘yong hinihingi ng character ko (He really helped me bring out what my character required) in such a way na idinirek niya ako sa better strategy para ma-portray ‘yong kailangan sa eksena (that he directed me towards a better strategy to portray what the scene needed) while still applying my actor’s choice.”

Kaya very grateful ako na naka-work ko sila (That is why I am very grateful that I had the chance to work with them) and that’s all because of our great producer Shandii Bacolod, who really trusted me simula sa audition pa lang (since the audition period),” Fanglayan added. So I’m really thankful to her and her amazing team for this project and I hope to work with them again someday.”

Produced by iOptions Ventures Corp, “Culion” also stars Joem Bascon, Mike Liwag, Suzette Ranillo, Joel Saracho, Nico Locco, Simon Ibarra, Lee O’Brian, Mayen Estañero, VJ Mendoza, Mercedes Cabral, Erlinda Villalobos, Jack Love Falcis, Marcus Dreeke, Nikko Delos Santos, Raflesia Bravo and Rex Lantano, among others. Watch the trailer here:

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