Thursday, January 07, 2010
Blame colonial overload if up to now, the mestizo look still prevails as our social standard of beauty and with this domination subsists the investment of virtues and class. Sure, we have Nora Aunor, a morena, for a superstar and a host of fair-skinned contravidas who give Philippine cinema and television audiences some hypertension pangs, but the Spanish and American descendants and, of late, the racial hyphenates (Fil-Aussie, Nippo-Brasileiro, ad infinitum) remain entitled to the notions of “mukhang mabait” and “mukhang mayaman.”
Case in point: Charlon Suerte. This eighteen-year-old native of Southern Tagalog is admittedly good-natured, but he easily dismisses the preconception that he is rich. With excellent mestizo genes to thank his Capampangan mother and Lagunense father for, Charlon confesses that economic lack significantly fuels him to try it out in the big city. The escalating tuition fee in the University of the Philippines (where his elder sister studies and where his running-valedictorian brother is gearing for) prompted him, despite high academic standing, to enroll in a computer college with tuition fee afforded via scholarship grant. To cover other expenses, he worked part-time for a multinational food corporation and presently models on the ramp for local clothing companies. Then, the casting call for an independent film beckoned so he auditioned and luckily passed. “It’s a minor role, yes,” muses Parisukat director Jonison Fontanos, “but it’s an excellent springboard. Some of the big names in showbiz started out small,” ends Joni, whose debut film Hugot earned well enough to fund the homoerotic thriller that stars sexy stud Toffee Calma.
Charlon capitalizes on his mestizo features to break through an industry already awash with fair-complexioned wannabes to fifteen minutes of fame, but it will be a disservice to forget that he also banks on his talents in acting and singing and, as naming schemes would have it, “suerte.” He hopes that all of these rolled into the hotstuff that he is will help him finally bid goodbye to his rural hardships that seem drawn straight of One Hundred Years of Solitude’s pages: having to fetch water from the well (that, gratefully, built his muscles) and having to reach his forest home through the country staple kuliglig. He hopes, too, of being able to pursue his dream of putting up a pastry shop where acoustic nights, literary events and film screenings—his artistic inclinations—may be staged on a regular basis. Let us see if our starry-eyed mestizo promdi talent lives up to the fullest meaning of his Hispanic surname.
Parisukat will have its commercial run starting February 17, 2010 in selected theaters nationwide.