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Felix Manalo is a 2015 Filipino historical-biographical film dramatizing the life of Felix Ysagun Manalo, the first Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC; English: Church of Christ), and the church he preached. Manalo is regarded by the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo as the last messenger of God and the restorer of the true Church of Christ, whom the INC gives the title Sugò (Tagalog, “messenger” or “envoy”).[5] The story and screenplay were written by INC evangelism head, Bienvenido Santiago.[6] The film was directed by Joel Lamangan. All content of the film was screened and approved by the INC.[6]

The film broke three Guinness world records for film attendance upon release.

Contents [hide]
1 Synopsis
2 Production
3 Cast
4 Soundtrack
5 Release
6 Reception
7 Awards
8 References
9 External links

Synopsis[edit]

Felix Manalo (portrayed by Trillo) joins, studies, doubts, and eventually leaves both Catholicism and Protestantism before starting a church he believes to be a restoration of the Biblical church founded by Jesus.

Production[edit]

Joel Lamangan served as the over-all director of the film with Armando Reyes as the assistant director, and Glicerio Santos III as the creative producer. The production design was done by Edgar Martin Littaua, Joel Marcelo Bilbao and Daniel Red. Other members of the production team were Bienvenido Santiago (story and screenplay), Rody Lacap (director of photography), Albert Michael Idioma (sound supervisor), Von de Guzman (musical director), John Wong (film editor), and Juvan Bermil (make-up and hair design).[1][7] The script was written by the head of evangelism of the INC and the church approved of all content in the film.[6]

About 100 Philippine celebrities were included in the cast. 8,000 people were hired as extras. Scenes were shot in Metro Manila, Laguna, Subic, and Bataan. This includes the INC Chapel F. Manalo (formerly Riverside) in San Juan and the Chapel in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City which was used in the funeral. The whole film was about 6 hours or 360 minutes in length but a shorter version of the film was used for its theatrical release.[8]

Cast[edit]
MainDennis Trillo as Felix Manalo
Bela Padilla as Ata Manalo
Supporting
Gabby Concepcion as Erdy Manalo[9]
AJ Muhlach as young Erdy[9]
Carl Acosta as young Felix
Dale Baldillo as Eduardo Manalo[9]
Mylene Dizon as Facia[9]
Yul Servo as Mente[9]
Jaime Fabregas as Among Mariano[9]
Sheryl Cruz as Sanang[9]
Ramon Gutierrez as Maestro Cario[9]
Jaclyn Jose as Tiya Victorina[9]
Roxanne Barcelo as Praxedes[9]
Arci Munoz as Tomasa Sereneo-Manalo[9]
Ricardo Cepeda as Rosendo De Guzman[9]
Ruru Madrid as Eusebio Sunga[9]
Joem Bascon as Lucio Silvestre[9]
Jaime Pebanco as Justino Casanova[9]
Antonio Aquitania as Atanacio Morte[9]
Bobby Andrews as Apolinario Ramos[9]
Mike Magat as Federico Inocencio [9]
Regine Angeles as Engracia Ramos[9]
Boy 2 Quizon as Maximiano Diosenito [9]
Ejay Falcon as Serapio Dionisio[9]
Bembol Roco as Quintin Rivera[9]
Mon Confiado as Leoncio Javier[9]
Lloyd Samartino as Atty. Juan Natividad[9]
Phillip Salvador as a Seventh Day Adventist pastor[9]
Ryan Eigenmann as a Methodist pastor[9]
Tony Mabesa as Pastor Guillermo Zarco[9]
Eddie Gutierrez as Pastor Victoriano Mariano[9]
TJ Trinidad as Pastor Emiliano Quijano[9]
Richard Quan as Teofilo Ora[9]
Wendell Ramos as Januario Ponce[9]
Alfred Vargas as Prudencio Vasquez[9]
Christopher Roxas as Cipriano Sandoval[9]
Tonton Gutierrez as Benjamin Santiago[9]
Jacky Woo as Lt. Col. Tomatsugu Narusawa[9]
Elizabeth Oropesa as Cianang[9]
Biboy Ramirez as Elias[9]
Raymond Bagatsing as Carling[9]
Alice Dixson as Lilia[9]
Ping Medina as an INC member[9]
Jay Manalo as an INC member[9]
Allan Paule as an INC member[9]
Jon Lucas as Bienvenido Manalo[9]
Snooky Serna as Pilar Manalo-Danao[9]
Carla Humphries as young Pilar[9]
Gladys Reyes as Avelina Manalo-Makapugay[9]
Heart Evangelista as Cristina Manalo[9]
Joel Torre as Teofilo Ramos[9]
Richard Yap as Glicerio Santos[9]
Lorna Tolentino as Manalo’s physician[9]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack and music video of the film entitled Ang Sugo ng Diyos sa mga Huling Araw (English: The Messenger of God in the Last Days) was released on October 4, 2015 at the Philippine Arena. The sound track was performed by Sarah Geronimo, composed by Joan and Ryan Solitario, and arranged by Louie Ocampo.[10]

Release[edit]

On October 4, 2015, its premiere broke three Guinness world records for the largest audience in a film premiere, the largest audience in a film screening[11][12] and the largest paying audience for a film premiere with 43,624 attendees.[13] VIVA Films set up a five-story, 22 by 40 meters high definition screen for the premiere at the Philippine Arena.[8]

The film’s cinematic release is 175 minutes in length while the 6-hour version will be included in the DVD release.[2][8]

Felix Manalo was released in Philippine cinemas on October 9, 2015.

Reception[edit]

The Cinema Evaluation Board of the Philippines, the governing council for Filipino films, has given the film an “A”.[14] The film is graded based on its direction, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, music scoring, sound, and acting performances.[15]

Reviewers have noted the make-up team’s work on Trillo which during the course of the film age him from a young man through to age 76,[16][17] and the nearly three-hour running time.[17] The PhilStar commended the film’s recreation of multiple historical time periods.[16] The Manila Bulletin states the film ” makes no qualms in its aim to preach” and that a lot of money was spent on the film because it will be ” screened in several INC gatherings for many years to come.”[17]

Oggs Cruz of Rappler was highly critical, calling it an ‘Epic Blunder,’ and wrote, “If the purpose of the film is to enlighten, then it has failed miserably because it only persists to reinforce an image that is far too rosy and romanticized to be taken with the same seriousness one affords any other biopic with more balanced perspectives.”[18] Philbert Ortiz Dy of ClickTheCity was also critical, giving it 2 out of 5 stars and wrote, “It is slow, ponderous, and focuses on things that aren’t very interesting at all.”[19]

Fred Hawson of ABS-CBN gave the film 7 out of 10 stars, praising the film’s production, cinematography, the acting (particularly of Trillo) and noted the film’s educational value “to know our INC brothers better.”[20]

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