The newest Filipino rom-com is here and audiences are loving it.
'Take Me to Banaue,' a film by US-based Filipino filmmaker Danny Aguilar, began its schedule of showings earlier this year, stopping in Houston before moving on to other parts of the country.
The movie is a romantic comedy feature film that tells the story of an awkward American engineer who discovers the truth about the stunning Filipina he fell for. He must seek the help from his best friend while grappling with a deal from a businesswoman, all as he tries to make it to Banaue for the woman he loves.
"The movie is really about love for family. The character Grace will do anything for her family. It's about family values and that's who we are as Filipinos," Aguilar said.
Filipino-German actress and beauty queen Maureen Wroblewitz only recently started learning how to be fluent in Filipino. For the movie, she was required to learn a dialect in Northern Luzon called Tuwali for her character of Grace, the female lead.
"I learned it from the movie. I immersed myself in the character. I wanted to do justice to the Ifugao community and the Banaue people. I really practiced the way to pronounce it correctly, but not just that, but how to say it as naturally as possible to come across as authentic as possible," Wroblewitz said.
The film also features American actor Brandon Melo. He played the male lead, Hank, who struggles with personality and emotional disorders.
Brandon, who was chosen from over 700 actors who auditioned for the role, said it was intimidating to take on the project at first, but instead, he focused on giving it his all.
"The one moment that always comes to mind when I think about my experience as a whole is on the last day of shooting, you would never see in America. The crew wanted to get a perfect shot and they were willing to take off their shoes and get into the mud to be able to get the shot. They didn't complain, they just did it. And that tells you about the culture and what type of people the Philippines brings," Melo shared.
Moviegoers will be able watch the film on various streaming service platforms to be announced later this year.