Original Article can be found HERE
Award-winning actress Eugene Domingo (Cinemalaya, Enpress Golden Screen Awards and Asian Film Awards) for the indie film “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” makes her return to theater via PETA’s Bona, a contemporary adaptation of the 1980 movie which starred Nora Aunor. This comes on the heels of the box-office triumph of her movie “Kimi Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme” which affirmed Uge’s stature as a new box office star.
The actress says she had her schedule blocked off in order to concentrate on the play which centers on the life of Bona, a spinster call center agent who becomes a fan of aspiring talent show contestant Gino (played by Edgar Allan Guzman who, like Uge, was a winner at the Cinemalaya and Enpress Golden Screen Awards for Ligo na U, Lapit Na Me for best actor).
“My producers know that I have a play come August and September. I’d like to thank them because they respected my decision that I’d want to concentrate on Bona by not accepting any TV show or movie at the time that I’d be busy rehearsing for it and for the duration of the show as well. Kaya naghihirap na ako kasi wala akong kikitain sa play na ito,” Eugene said in jest.
What makes the play Bona different from the movie version is that the stars, the director Soxie Topacio and the writer Layeta Bucoy made researches and corroborated with the material that is not detached with the germ of the movie but tweaked it to suit the times.
“Lahat kami nag-share ng experiences namin and we gave our input on how we think the story of Bona should be during this time. Dapat reflection ito ng panahon natin but we retained the vision of Direk Lino Brocka. Pero in the same manner, dapat maka-identify din ang audience sa kuwento kasi contemporary na ang setting,” explains Uge during the Bona presscon held last August 14 at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City.
Set in contemporary Manila, PETA’s adaptation of “Bona” revolves around Eugene Domingo as a call center who becomes a fan of the “Star of Tomorrow” wannabe Gino Sanchez (Edgar Allan Guzman). Blinded by her obsession on Gino, Bona turns her back on everything she values and gives nearly everything she has. Caught in a quicksand of worship and pity, Bona proves how obsession may overpower love and even lead to a person’s demise.
For her role, Eugene had to lose weight she gained while shooting Kimmy Dora 2. “Nag-diet ako ulit. Tumaba naman ako ng husto sa Kimmy Dora kasi matakaw si Dora ‘di ba? Pero this time hindi ako puwedeng maging mabigat dahil halos dalawang oras ako nasa entablado na kilos ako ng kilos. Kung mabigat ako mapapagod ako agad. At hindi dapat nakikitang hinihingal ka eh. I have to be healthy, yung stamina ko kailangan priority ko at walang bisyo.”
The talented comedienne admits she is happy that she has Nora Aunor’s blessing to play her character. “Napaka-suwerte. Natatanggal ng konti ang kaba ko. Nagkakaroon ako ng kumpiyansa. Kung na-intimidate ako, oo naman. Kaya ang gusto ko mangyari, maaliw si Ate Guy sa Bona naming ito. Alam mo, ilang taon, ilang dekada niya tayong inaliw sa mahusay niyang pagganap, panahon na na siya naman ang ating aliwin. Ang dami na niyang binigay sa atin. So I really hope this time itong aming palabas na ito ay yun talagang matuwa siya at kiligin siya.”
The 41-year-old actress admits she used to be intimidated with Nora even before they worked together in the drama series “Sa Ngalan ng Ina” which was aired on TV5. “Oo, pero nasanay na lang ako sa Sa Ngalan Ng Ina, pero nung una hindi ko alam paano kakausapin. Kasi baka nag-ko-concentrate. Diyos ko, makalipas ang ilang linggo, mas joker pa siya sa akin. Siya talaga yung mahilig tumawa,” she recalls.
Eugene expects there will be comparisons to the original version on Bona once people start watching but she hopes people will appreciate what they have to offer. “Of course, everything mako-compare, yung istorya, lahat, yung execution, yung pag ganap ko, mako-compare. Given na yun na mako-compare but consciously we try to show you something different and I think ma-a-appreciate ninyo because lahat tayo makaka-relate,” she says.
“But I know na hindi ko kayang pantayan ang ginawa ni Ate Guy sa Bona kasi original siya. Walang magagawa sa ginawa niya sa movie. She’s the one. Diyos ko. Aminado po ako na walang ibang makakagawa nang ginawa ni Ate Guy! Nag-iisa lang siya. Isa pa, comedy ang forte so that is another factor that makes this stage play different. Sana magustuhan ng mga tao ang mapapanood nila.”
At the presscon of Bona, Eugene says she is a true-blooded Noranian. She had a chance to talk with Nora via Facebook and she told her that she will surprise her by watching her performance of the stage play adaptation of the Superstar’s classic movie.
Catch BONA on its closing weekend!
SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 / Saturday / 3 PM
SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 / Saturday / 3 PM
at The PETA Theater Center(No.5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, QC)
Robert Ceazar Marzan (0922.888.5348)
Jayme del Rosario (0927.202.2017)
or Onay Sales (0917.908.0565)