Mano Po is known as the country’s biggest film franchise when it comes to drama. It has featured some of our brightest stars like Susan Roces, Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta, Lorna Tolentino, Maricel Soriano, Zsa Zsa Padilla and more. The mother and daughter tandem of Lily and Roselle Monteverde decided to produce the new edition in the highly successful film franchise because of its timely plot and insistent public clamor. This time, Chinoy actor Richard Yap gets his biggest break in a family drama via Mano Po 7: Chinoy.
The Kapamilya actor is a revelation in his dramatic scenes. In the movie, Richard plays a business tycoon who is overly protective and strict with his loved ones, including his wife (played by Jean Garcia) and kids (Enchong Dee, Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo). But behind the toughness is a family man full of love for his dear ones. Richard fits the role perfectly, being a real-life Chinoy, a businessman and a father. With the success of the past renditions, Richard feels pressured and excited especially since this is the first time that the Mano Po anthology has focused on the struggles of the father, as all of the past Mano Po films were all centered on the mother’s battles.
Aside from Richard Yap, first time cast members in the millennial version of Mano Po are Jean, Enchong, Janella, Jana, Jake Cuenca, Jessy Mendiola, Marlo Mortel and Kean Cipriano.
Jean plays the dutiful and loving wife Richard neglects due to numerous business dealings. The respected actress admitted that this by far is her most memorable film when it comes to her experience in shooting. She reveals that she always looks forward to going to the film’s set because she’s so happy to be working with the cast. It was also her first time to work with all of the cast members since they are all identified Kapamilya, while she now works for GMA7.
Enchong is the troublesome son who rebels against the ideas of his dad losing time for the family. After Enchong’s movie with Regal, “I Love You to Death” released early this year, Enchong again surprised Mother Lily with his performance in this film. He has the most confrontational and heavy scenes in the film, and Enchong successfully portrayed these scenes with flying colors, as Mother Lily exclaims. Enchong also admitted to have dreamed of being part of the Mano Po film even when he was still based in Naga, and consider this project a dream come true.
Janella, meanwhile, is the daughter her father sends to music school against her wishes. She figures in several love-hate scenes with perennial screen partner Marlo Mortel in the film. Janella immediately accepted the offer as soon as she was asked to do the part. According to her, “This is Mano Po. Enough said. No need to look for more reasons, this is Mano Po and this is certainly a big privilege.”
Jake, meanwhile, portrays the role of Jean’s secret lover.
Jessy is Enchong’s girlfriend whom he meets at a rehabilitation center.
Kean, on the other hand, is Janella’s music professor, who has secret feelings for her.
Shot mostly in Taiwan, Mano Po 7 is dubbed as the biggest and grandest millennial edition. Aside from tackling issues like conflicts in Chinese-Pinay marriage, the movie also shows different Chinese traditions never-before-seen in the past “Mano Po” installments. Kudos go to Mano Po 7 director Ian Lorenos, the man behind such films as LJ Reyes’ “The Leaving”, for which she won a best supporting actress award, and “Alagwa” which gave Jericho Rosales a Gawad Urian Best Actor trophy. With the MTRCB approving “Mano Po 7 Chinoy” as the best of the Mano Po installments, this is definitely a perfect treat for the entire family this Christmas season.
Don’t miss this moving family drama showing in theatres nationwide starting December 14. For photos and videos from the Mano Po 7: Chinoy Grand Press Conference, check out my Instagram, @thejimboyshow.
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