The cast and crew of JG Productions’ “When I Met You in Tokyo” are still on a high after the movie made it as an official entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. The much-awaited big screen reunion of the King of Philippine Drama Christopher De Leon and his ‘70s love team partner Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos was made even more special by the good news.
“Here we are, thanking God above all in allowing us to get this far for a start,” producer Rajan Gidwani enthused as he recalled how he and partner Rowena Jamaji explored the idea of coming up with something big to bring to Philippine cinema. “It has been a journey especially after two of the country’s top actors decided to accept the lead roles,” he added. Rajan also gave credit to the entire team for making the project possible. “This is the beginning of JG Productions to continue to bring the best of Filipino cinema to the screens. At the helm of it all and with all the pains of putting together the biggest event in her career, Ms. Redgie Magno, has pushed the limits of her own self in making When I Met You in Tokyo a reality,” he added.
Rajan made sure to acknowledge the hard work put in by the film’s directors Rado Peru and Rommel Penesa and lead actor-slash-associate director Christopher De Leon. “Our movie directors, Rado and Rommel, along with Boyet, saw through the script and painstakingly brought our movie to life,” he raved, “To God alone be the glory!” When I Met You in Tokyo was written by the iconic teleserye writer Suzette Doctolero and was shot almost entirely in Japan.
Also partaking in the celebration is actress Lynn Cruz, also known as the better half of veteran actor and Film Development Council of the Philippines chairman Tirso Cruz III. Lynn expressed her thanks to the committee as part of the supporting cast, “Masayang masaya po kami na binigyan nyo po ng pagkakataon ang aming pelikula na pinaghirapan po namin.” She shared how the movie tackles a story of love between two people, a story of love among friends and family, at istorya rin po ito ng mga OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker). “It is a story of love, forgiveness, and hope,” Lynn said.
Sparkle artist and Eat Bulaga! mainstay Cassy Legaspi , who will be introduced in the movie alongside her rumored boyfriend singer-actor Darren, also shared her joy. She expressed gratitude to the MMFF committee and invited viewers to support this year’s entries. “Kung gusto ninyong umiyak, kiligin, at maging emotional, this is the heartfelt film and a feel good movie for you,” Cassy said, “See you sa mga sinehan!”
Equally excited is singer-actress Kakai Bautista who also expressed her appreciation to those found merit in When I Met You in Tokyo to be an official entry. She warned the moviegoers in jest, “Magbaon po kayo ng maraming tissue at maraming espasyo sa inyong tiyan dahil mapupuno po ‘yan ng tawa!”
The most awaited reaction comes from the lead actress and well-loved personality Vilma Santos. “Thank God! Thank you, MMFF, for the trust! Teamwork and movie na ito!,” Ate Vi immediately gushed over a text message . She was undeniably over the moon with her reaction. The Star for all Seasons raved, “Very simple love story but beautiful!” She also made an assurance that the movie is not just all about kilig and entertainment. “May mga lessons din kasi ang movie [like] love has no boundaries, forgiveness, and moving forward in love and life. Simple but beautiful! Let’s fall in love,” Ate Vi excitedly said.
Later on, the award-winning actress and half of the phenomenal Vi-Boyet teamup personally expressed her happiness more lengthily, “Haping-haping-happy! Sobra-sobra. Naliligayahan ako kasi medyo matagalLater on, the award-winning actress and half of the phenomenal Vi-Boyet team up personally expressed her happiness more lengthily, “Haping-haping-happy! Sobra-sobra. Naliligayahan ako kasi medyo matagal ang preparation namin. Noong shinoot namin ito, hindi naman ito intended talaga for MMFF. Meron kaming playdates pero nagkaroon ng hesitations dahil sa weather hanggang sa nagdesisyon na ipasok sa MMFF. We are so blessed na sa dami ng pumasok ay nakasama ang When I Met You in Tokyo. I’m very thankful sa MMFF at sa lahat ng nagdasal na makapasok tayo.”
Ate Vi could not help but rave about the finished project, “Maganda ‘to. ‘Yung When I Met You in Tokyo noong ginawa ito, pinag-isipan din naming ni Boyet at ng team na gumawa tayo ng very simple pero beautiful love story na magugustuhan ng manonood na hindi mahihirapan ang dibdib, hindi madramang-madrama sa panahon. It’s a very simple and beautiful love story lalo na para sa may mga edad na magreretire na.” She reiterated, “Love has no boundaries here. Maski bata ka o middle-aged o senior citizen, you can still fall in love!” The well-respected actress turned passionate in saying that it feels great not only to fall in love with someone but also with your life’s calling. She likened the movie’s message to her personal experience of doing everything from a place of love. “It’s nice to be in love!”
Sa lahat ng bagay na ginawa ko sa buhay ko, palagay ko ang susi ay mahal ko pamilya ko, mahal ko career ko. Noong ako ay public servant, mahal ko ang mga tao. Babagsak pa rin talaga sa love,” Ate Vi explained.
“No hysterics, wala kaming kontrabida,” Ate Vi emphasized. She guaranteed, “It’s a very simple love story. You will fall in love. Tatlong bagay lang mararamdaman nila (manonood) rito- magiging happy, kikiligin sila, and they will become emotional.”
“I’m really excited dahil matagal na rin akong hindi nakasali sa MMFF,” Ate Vi said. She recalled having participated and won in past editions of the film festival. “Iniikot namin talaga ang Manila para sa parada. Ang saya-saya ng affair na ‘yan!,” she reminisced. Ate Vi is thrilled to see their supporters, “I will be seeing people again! Makikita ko na naman ang mga fans. Nakakaexcite lalo na after pandemic. Ito ang chance makita ulit ang crowd, ang tao! Sana maexcite din sila para sa amin.”
As the countdown begins for the MMFF, the When I Met You in Tokyo team has kicked off its series of activities. Ate Vi and Boyet’s Eat Bulaga! guesting in November raked in views and the show’s rating for that episode beat those of its rival noontime shows. Additionally, Ate Vi’s loyal supporters successfully mounted a grand fans’ day with her.
Watch out for more exciting things happening with the cast of When I Met You in Tokyo in the coming weeks.