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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Political whodunit “Magtanggol” champions the welfare of abused OFWs

Investment banker Jojo Dispo doesn’t consider his initial foray into scripting and producing a movie a gamble. “Magtanggol,” the first offering of Felix and Bert Film Productions, is an undertaking fueled by passion and compassion.

Tom Rodriguez

Directed by Sigfreid Barros Sanchez and conceptualized by Jojo Dispo, “Magtanggol” tackles the issue of abuses committed against Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) by their employers. “I’ve traveled to a lot of places with high concentration of OFWs,” Dispo discloses. “I’ve talked to many ambassadors around the world about them, have had first hand exposure with many OFWs. I’ve heard their stories. I want to help.”

“Magtanggol” dares to ask the question “Sino ang bayani ng mga bagong bayani?”
 It zeroes in on Senator Juan Magtanggol, a member of the powerful Magtanggol political clan, who is one day thrust into the limelight for being a suspect for the spate of killings of international employers of Filipino OFWs victimized by abuse. Tom Rodriguez who plays Senator Juan

Magtanggol considers “Magtanggol,” his first venture in the political thriller genre, an eye-opener. “I didn’t realize the gravity of violence committed against our kababayans who only want to improve the plight of their respective families. Leaving your family behind to work overseas is already painful.”

Tom relishes working on this indie project. “Ibinalot ‘yung pelikula sa isang masayang panoorin na kuwento pero nakatago rin doon ‘yung larawan ng totoong sinasapit minsan ng mga kapatid nating OFWs,” shares the Kapuso leading man. “The production people and the director, grabe! Pinag-iisipan nila lahat ng shots. I’ve learned so much from all the other projects I’ve done in the past. I’m learning so much more just being here. How they compose the shots. How they color and light the scenes. There is a reason behind everything.”

Seasoned actress Dina Bonnevie who plays the second wife of the Magtanggol patriarch (played by Joonee Gamboa) says that the movie is call to action.  “It is very timely in light of the upcoming elections. If you have discontent over the way the government is running the counry, then you have to speak up.”

Playing a very challenging role is emerging young actor Ejay Falcon. “It is an honor for me na makasama sa project na ito.”

“Magtanggol” also stars Yam Concepcion, Kim Domingo, Albie Casino, and Denise Laurel.

Like everyone who experiences hardships, OFWs need all the help and assistance they can get. One way of doing that is by watching “Magtanggol” when it opens on May 18 in theaters nationwide because whatever the movie earns sue will be used to fund projects to promote the welfare of OFWs.
In our own little way, we too can become heroes.

MAGTANGGOL (2 Hours 23 Min. ) Tom Rodriguez, Ejay Falcon, Denise Laurel, Yam Concepcion, Kim Domingo, Albie Casino, Dina Bonnevie, Joonee Gamboa, William Martinez, Ricky Davao, Giselle Sanchez, Epy Quizon, Mavi Lozano

Ano ba ang meron sa apelyido ng isang tao at kinakailangan mong pangalagaan at ingatan ito? Ano bang meron sa pangalang ipinamana sa iyo at kailangan mong iwasan na mabahiran ito ng kahit na ano? Minsan tuloy, iniisip ko, ang apelyido ba ay isang regalo o isa bang sumpa ito?"


For decades, the Magtanggol family have been a name to reckoned with in Philippine politics. Since Spanish period, their name have been very synonymous to the words “revolutionary”, “heroes”, “nationalistic”and “fighter of rights”. They keep this reputation intact althroughout history, leaving it unblemished and free from any controversy. But when the young politician of the family, SENATOR JUANCHO MAGTANGGOL (a popular Senator being groomed for presidency in the coming elections) was thrust into the limelight for being a suspect at the spate of killings of international employers of Filipino OFWs who were victimized by abuse, the family, headed by its patriarch ex-Senator JUAN MAGTANGGOL, SR., is shaken to its core as media tries to scrutinize every inch and detail of the family’s secrets. As time runs out on them and the Magtanggol family reputation on line, they need to act fast or lose everything that their family has long worked for for years. They are up against a topnotch lawyer/congresswoman, ATTY. SUSAN DEL ROSARIO, who heads the inquiry on the issue and who was once the object of affection of both JUANCHO and ANTON when they were younger. Will the lawyer prove the family’s guilt or will love go in the way of seeking justice? In a society where there is no sure protection for our Overseas Filipino Workers, will justice be forever blinded, deafened, and crippled?

The once happy-go-lucky eldest son of ex-Senator Juan Magtanggol who was thrust into the limelight to follow his father’s footsteps after an accident almost cost the life of his brother who was being groomed to be the next politician. Champion of OFW rights. More likely to solve issues the legal way than in a revolutionary fashion. He is now the complete opposite of the man he used to be in his younger years. A married man who still carried a flame for the one who got away. The most likely-presidential candidate of the opposition in the coming elections. Is thrust into controversy after a spate of killings that involved employers of abused OFWS he is fighting for. Portrays himself as a champion of the masses but is really having a hard time trying to be one.

The younger Magtanggol sibling who is wheelchair-bound and has somewhat of a disfigured face after an accident that almost cost him his life. Has a patch on one of his eyes after he lost it in the accident and has a hard time talking and expressing himself. Was once a law student before the accident and a known student activist. Has a penchant for being a wide-reader and has a long collection of books and magazines inside his room. Always goes along to his brother’s travels as his brother feels he is indebted to Anton after the accident.

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