While YES! is, I’m sure, a major hit in the newsstands, the movie that I expected to be a blockbuster has turned out to be a disaster.

On the first day of the two-week-long Metro Manila Film Festival, nine movies were shown. Guess which movie came in first? Not Wapakman. It didn’t even score No. 3 or 5 or 7. It grossed P750,000 on its first day—for the last place among nine movies. Ha-ha-ha. What a comedy. And a debacle. While movies like “Ang Panday” and “Ang Darling Kong Aswang” and “Shake” each grossed over P16 million on those first 24 hours, Pacquiao’s much-hyped movie could not earn over one million. It was knocked out.

In the Phil. Daily Inquirer article “Pacman flick knocked out on first day” by Bayani San Diego Jr. last Dec. 26, the noted director Jose Javier Reyes was asked why the fiasco with the movie starring our most popular countryman.

“Filipinos adore him as a prizefighter… as an athlete, but apparently not as an actor, singer… not even as a politician,” he said. “People will stop their lives to watch him fight in the ring, but it seems they will not go out of their way to watch him goof around in a movie. He is a real-life hero; not a superhero.”

Perfectly-said. This movie disaster is not Pacman’s first. Two years ago in “Anak ng Kumander,” it was another flop. That movie—with Ara Mina (remember her?)—grossed a measly P2 million. And while we all thought that Manny’s alleged romance with co-star Krista Ranillo will lure moviegoers to the movie, “now we know,” as MP himself would say. Now we know the answer is No. “There is a disconnect, publicity-wise. That’s possible,” said Reyes. “But in Pinoy macho society, there’s nothing too scandalous, shocking or salacious about the gossip regarding Manny and Krista anyway.”

Hearing it straight from Manny himself, he was quoted in an earlier interview as saying, “Sana panoorin ng mga intrigero ang pelikula namin. Sayang naman ’yong intriga pag hindi kumita ang pelikula? (I hope the intrigue-mongers watch our movie. What’s the use of the intrigues if our movie doesn’t make money?)”

Ha-ha. Funny. Still, blockbuster or not, I hope to watch the movie soon!

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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