Jerwin Espiritu, a colleague of mine in the UP College of Mass Communication, in spite of not making it to the Finals of the 2008 Cinemalaya Film Festival Full-Length Category, pursued his entry titled Kristo.
It's a Kapampangan-themed film about the Kristos in cockfighting, paralleled with the those who play Jesus Christ during Maleldo, or the Kapampangan Holy Week. Cutud, Pampanga is the setting of the story.
The film is topbilled by Jay Manalo who plays the role of Pedring, a Kristo who is addicted to cockfighting. Lina is his live in partner, played by Katherine Luna. Pedring's two children are Magda, played by a theater actress, and Karyo, played by Christian Vasquez. Aleck Bovick plays the role of a lesbian Kristo.
During the Cutud crucifixion rite, which is held annually both for traditional and tourism purposes, the staff and crew of Kristo went really to Cutud to snatch some actual flagellation and crucifixion scenes.
Now, since Espiritu didn't make it to the Cinemalaya Finalists' roster, who produced his film? It's none other than sexy actor Carlo Maceda.
One day, while a friend and I were hanging out at the Center for Kapampangan Studies, Espiritu, along with other people, including Carlo Maceda barged in. They went to the Kapampangan Center to consult about the Maleldo traditions in Pampanga. It was at that moment we learned that Carlo Maceda actually has Kapampangan blood, if not a pure Kapampangan, and Apalit is his hometown.
According to him, he became interested in producing Espiritu's film because he wanted to somehow know more about his Kapampangan roots and, if possible, promote its uniqueness to the world.
Kristo is one of the three Kapampangan-themed films being produced simultaneously by different production groups. The other two are Serbis by Brillante Mendoza, a film about the goings on in the Family Theater of Brgy. San Nicolas, Angeles City, starring Gina Pareno and Jaclyn Jose; and Jay by Francis Xavier Pasion, a murder mystery film set in Bacolor that made it to the Cinemalaya 2008 Finals, starring Baron Geisler.