Robin Padilla in an action caper and founder of ‘Kuratong Baleleng’

AT THIS writing Prince of Action Movies Robin Padilla is on his third day of shoot for  his latest action-drama starrer about the life of the  legendary local hero  in the  Northern region  of Mindanao, Ozamiz City named Octavio “Onkoy” Parojinog whose body was found to have not decomposed at all  when it was exhumed after twenty years of lying in state some feet below the ground.

To this time Onkoy’s   cadaver is the subject of  investigation and speculation among the superstitious and cognoscenti of Ozamiz.

Not to jump the gun, this is but a smaller part of the mystery and myth surrounding the controversial life of Onkoy who once led the life parallel to that of the proverbial Robin Hood  or that of the  recent filmbio of Asiong Salonga of Tondo as defender of the dirt poor and the oppressed in what was once a God-forsaken land of Ozamiz, hardly benefiting from the pork barrel of greedy politicians that time.

The movie has no definite title yet but surely it will dwell on the  difficult times,  circumstances and redemption as well  in the making of a revered folk hero famously called by his monicker Onkoy who was  credited for being the founder of Kuratong Baleleng in the once isolated and neglected side of Mindanao. No, don’t ever think of the notoriously stereotyped character of   Kuratong Baleleng group associated with Panfilo Lacson which has been negatively portrayed and condemned by the media of  the centrist, imperial Manila as good-for-nothing scalawags, hired killers and all.

Far from it.  The endemic Kuratong Baleleng which morphed out of a social unrest early on toward the  70s during the  Marcos’ regime up to the recent time in Ozamiz is up to now looked upon with great respect and adulation. It has reached both the level of myth and even contemporary relevance to the everyday lives of the people of Ozamiz, gaining in fact the support and sympathy yet of some sectors nationwide and even overseas.

To recall, it was by accident that Robin Padilla got wind of the potentials of the lifestory of Onkoy for filming when he went to Ozamiz City recently and other parts of Mindanao to look for suitable locations for a film project at hand to be shot there.

Totally fascinated by the impact of the local hero’s life among the locals recounted repeatedly  in mythical proportion, Robin upon his return to Manila decided to turn the table around and quickly got  instead to doing the filmbio of Ozamiz’s local legend with him playing the pivotal role of Onkoy.

“Onkoy has become a local legend of his own time and a folk hero who helped lift his people from the onslaught of poverty,  hopelessness from government neglect and prevented them from  joining the thriving force of the NPA as last recourse in alleviating their deplorable situation then and even now,” sums up Robin.

It would require a voluminous report to detail the heroism and impact of Onkoy among the popular imagination of the people of Mindanao.  Robin Padilla as Onkoy Parojinog in the movie will tell it all.

For now the biopic of Onkoy Parojinog according to Director Jon Spongky Villarin would zero in on most of the exploits and action scenes of Onkoy as folk hero up to the second generation when his three sons would soon take after the legacy and checkered life of their father as defender yet of the dispossess and marginalized sector  of Ozamiz.

Victorio “Onkoy” Parojinog is survived by his three sons namely Nato Parojinog, a mayor played by Rommel Padilla who incidentally is the film’s producer, Ardot Parojinog a Board Member played by Baron Geisler, and Aldong Parojinog played by Ian Veneracion. The film would draw to a close at the death of Nato Parojinog.

The three teenage siblings of Rommel Padilla who started as child actors take the role of the three young brothers in issue. ABS-CBN’s Star Magic talent Daniel Padilla as Mayor Nato, Ralph Matthew Padilla and RJ Padilla respectively as the other two young Parojinog brothers.

Anne Curtis plays a chunkier role in the movie as an amazon warrior who eventually assuaged the NPA rebels to reform and take the side of the government. Of course, Robin Padilla’s ladylove Mariel Rodriguez plays the ever supportive wife to Octavio “Onkoy” Parojinog’s exploits.

Another major action genre to come in a long time after the recent blockbuster of Gov. Goerge “ER” Ejercito’s multi-awarded Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story.

I can hardly wait to see the Prince of Action Movies Robin Padilla tackle the exciting and refreshing role of the fabled Onkoy of Northern Mindanao on the big screen.

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