Friday, June 29, 2007

'Pisay' the Movie

(Photo Caption: The lead cast of the movie, "Pisay". Source:

While I was perusing Google ( to find more information about 'Pisay' (or Philippine Science High School, where I studied in 1973-1977 and worked as its director (or principal) from 2002 - 2004). I stumbled into this news article published in the Inquirer online. It is about an independent film based on the PSHS Class of 1986. Below is the article:



Solito showcases brilliant young finds in ‘Pisay’

By Ruben V. Nepales
Last updated 02:09am (Mla time) 06/23/2007

LOS ANGELES -- Acclaimed director Auraeus Solito recently e-mailed us some sneak peek photos of the cast of his latest film, “Pisay.”

He wrote that about 200 kids auditioned for the film inspired by his student years at the Philippine Science High School, affectionately nicknamed by its students and alumni as Pisay.

“Eight brilliant kids made it to the cast,” Auraeus shared.

Lucky eight

The filmmaker behind the much-lauded “Ang Pagdadalaga ni (The Blossoming of) Maximo Oliveros” briefly described his lucky eight: “Matt (Carl Barrameda, formerly of ‘Going Bulilit’); Wena (Annicka Dolonius, half-Swedish niece of Robin Padilla); Rom (Gammy Lopez, twin brother of ‘Maximo’s’ Nathan Lopez);

Minggoy (Elijah Castillo, Singapore best actor award winner for ‘Pepot Artista’); Daki (Alfred Labatos, another ‘Going Bulilit’ alumnus); Euri (EJ Jallorina, also from ‘Going Bulilit’); Andy (newcomer Jonathan Neri), and Liway (Shayne Fajutagana, a true Pisay graduate who recently graduated with honors and made it to UP’s College of Medicine.”

We got Auraeus to reveal who his alter ego is in the movie: “Euri was based on me,” he shared.

The film’s synopsis: Eight students make it to the country’s premier science high school during the politically volatile ’80s. These gifted students come from all over the Philippines.

The Philippine Science High School was created to provide an education that focuses on the sciences. Those who make it are hailed as future leaders of science and technology.


Auraeus elaborated: “I was from Pisay’s batch ’86. When I traveled around because of ‘Maximo Oliveros,’ I had reunions with batch mates who now live in North America and Europe. One of them went into exile in the Netherlands for political reasons. I’d always wondered why she suddenly disappeared during my senior year. I got my answer when she and her family watched ‘Maxi’ at the Rotterdam International Film Festival!”

Beautiful tales

He added, “My friend’s story inspired me so much that I e-mailed my batch mates in our Pisay86 yahoogroup -- then, they started telling me their stories. Many beautiful tales came up, and they inspired me to write ‘Pisay.’ Eventually, I asked Henry Grageda to write the screenplay.”

Asked if it was easy for him to make a semiautobiographical movie, Solito answered,“It was hard. I discovered that high school movies are not easy to make -- plus, this is a period movie set in the ’80s.

“It looks like fun, but personal movies can be intense. High school life isn’t easy. There are painful moments and profound emotions you struggle to understand. I almost gave up.”

“Pisay” will premiere at the Third Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival at the CCP next month.

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