Jose Javier Reyes grateful to have 'Oro Plata Mata' on Netflix

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 02 2022 03:54 PM

MANILA – Renowned filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes took to social media to reminisce the time he was invited to collaborate with the late veteran director Peque Gallaga to work on something that would later become a classic masterpiece that is the movie “Oro Plata Mata.”

Saying he did not realize it would be the turning point in his life, Reyes recalled he was only 27 years old then, fresh from his studies in Indiana University and has written only four screenplays under Regal Films.

“I have heard of Peque because of his work in television. I knew he was a visionary, a maverick. But I did not expect those meetings in his abode in New Manila where he showed me the rough sequence treatment of his project entitled, ‘The Jungle Story’ would yield a film that changed all our lives,” Reyes wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

“It was a most daunting task as it was a challenge --- to show how the Filipino was so damaged by the Second World War, that the words of my late father reverberated, ‘After the Japanese occupation, the Filipinos were never the same. Our moral fiber was destroyed by the brutality we experienced and the endurance that was demanded in order to survive,’” he added.

Reyes shared how he came up with the title “Oro Plata Mata.”

“I was riding a Marikina Valley bus on the way to Ortigas to take a cab to New Manila when I remembered what my Mama said earlier that morning. We were remodeling the house in Pasay and she kept reminding the contractor to count the steps of the new stairway we were installing. That was my eureka moment,” he said.

“When I arrived in New Manila where Peque, his wife Mads and Don Escudero were waiting (with a three year old Wanggo running around in his toddler underwear), I announced to the group, ‘I have found our title: it is ORO, PLATA, MATA.’”

Reyes thanked everyone responsible for restoring the movie and for bringing it to Netflix.

He said being on the streaming platform is a great way for the new generation of film lovers, and for Filipinos in general, to see “Oro Plata Mata.”

Set in the province of Negros during World War II, “Oro Plata Mata” tells the story of how two haciendero families cope with the changes brought about by the war.

The title refers to the old superstition that staircases in a house should not end in a multiple of three, in keeping with a pattern of oro (gold), plata (silver) and mata (bad luck).

Similarly, the movie is divided into three parts: the first part shows the characters living a life of comfort in the city. When news erupted that the war is nearing the city, they took refuge in their provincial hacienda, where they still kept up with their luxurious lifestyle playing mah-jong. But as the Japanese forces advance closer, they retreat deeper into the mountains, where they are fall victims to guerrillas.

The ensemble cast included Sandy Andolong, Cherie Gil, Mitch Valdes, Lorli Villanueva, Liza Lorena, Ronnie Lazaro and Fides Cuyugan-Asencio. The movie also marked the screen debut of Joel Torre.

“Oro Plata Mata” won the 1982 Gawad Urian for best picture, direction, cinematography, production design, musical score and sound.

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