Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan

Recently, I have had the opportunity to view gay-themed indie movies and it all started with getting an invite from Lex Bonife for Little Boy, Big Boy. Since then, I have watched both Pipo and Bayaw (which I will both review in the next weeks).

Just this week, I was able to attend a special screening of the latest
film from Jay Altarejos, Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan, at Mogwai Cafe in Cubao. It is not a usual venue for premieres and screenings but the ambiance of the screening room was very intimate. For an indie film, it allows the filmmakers to have a closer interaction with their audience.

Not being picky, I was a bit confused with Juan traveling from his rented room to where he was working as a performer. He stopped over in Manila to buy a can of biscuits. Normally, these biscuits are purchased on the bus station itself prior to boarding the bus especially since it is a bit cumbersome to carry around the city. I did found the song that accompanied Juan while contemplated by the bridge in Manila truly appropriate. Lex Bonife is credited for that song.

The story had revolved around Juan who had decided to return to Masbate after struggling in Manila for three years only to have ended up as a masseur / sex performer for lack of an easy way to earn money. It shows how the lead character interacts with his neighbors and partner as he says his goodbyes. Then leads to his trip to what is supposedly his last day of work as a performer in a private gay club.

For me, it was not a struggle of deciding whether to push through with returning home to his province or not. It was acceptance of his decision and pushing through with it. You know he is struggling however his life in Manila brought him a lot of friends including a partner. His decision is rooted on the family he left behind. Ironically in the end, the situation he allowed himself to be in takes the decision out of his hands. A reflection of life, sometimes we plan too much only to have the decision made by others or by circumstances.

Jay Altajeros definitely is not your run of the mill director. He uses long one-camera shots that is difficult to orchestrate and works well with the narrative. He does not rest on his laurels and experiments on how to bring their story to the screen. Considering financial limitations, he makes sure that each of his films feel like it's something new, not a rehash of his previous films.

Angeli Bayani (
2008 Cinemanila’s Asian Best Actress), for me stole the show with her performance. Unforgettable is the scene when the rice she bought using the money she borrowed from Juan spilled onto the wet sidewalk. For me, it depicts the Filipino's resilience. Down to our last resources, we will use them to the last drop. It also superimposed how pushed to the wall her character was which leads to her her fateful decision at the end of the movie.

Nico Antonio, of the singing group VOIZboys, is the partner of the lead character. He struggled with letting Juan go and pursuading him to stay. I am unfamiliar with his acting credentials, but he does the character justice for what limited time he is given on screen.

The lead character, Juan, is played by indie veteran, Ray-An Dulay. He made an impact on his first film, Bathhouse, and has a Altarejos movie under his belt, Kambyo. Onscreen he appears a bit lanky but in person, he makes an impression on you that he is Juan. It did not create that illusion on film. Then again, maybe I am prejudiced on what I look for in a guy. BUT. He, however, does a good turn as Juan.
I got to meet a lot of the people who lent their talents to the completion of this movie including Ace Ricafort and Tony Lapeña who were daring in their roles as the Tupada Boys. May-I Fabros and Fabillar, who had short roles in the film, were truly accomodating and truly friendly.

Take the time and add this film to be one of the films you are watching this week. Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan will be shown in selected Robinsons cinemas starting, tomorrow, October 21.


  1. lagi kong pinapanood ang mga movies na gawa nila. hindi ko rin palalampasin ito. :)

  2. 09238682625 call me

  3. Hindi ko pa to napanood... huhuhuhu My Blog
    ahehehehe sana nandito na to sa torrent...

  4. hay ganun na naman ang story line?working sa gay bar?

    sana makagawa naman ng gay theme na di nagwowork sa gay club...

  5. Hi,

    I am Sam/Adam from Cavite, Philippines (Currently staying in Cubao, Manila). I am looking for
    good client.
    Visit my picture site at www.adamnick.com

    My rate: Php2,000 (negotiable)
    Sm Dasma(Cavite Location)
    Gatemway Mall Cubao (Manila Location) PREFERRED
    Araneta Coliseum (Manila Location)
    Alimall Cubao
    Sm Cubao/Araneta

    You can make a schedule via online (www.adamnick .com) or send me a

    Call me: +639278424968 / +639289573809
    Website: www.adamnick.com (you need to register to access view the pictures and
    Adult Shopping Site: http://shop.adamnick.com
    Yahoo Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AdamNickdotCom

    Note: I am doing this for my studies. Please dont send message for
    Shop Online at Philippine Online Shopping at
    http://www.merkadonetwork.com (Non-Adult Items)
    http://shop.adamnick.com (Adult and Non-Adult Items)

  6. I want to meet you my night and shining armor,

    text me..


    1. You probably mean, 'my knight in shining armor'

  7. The story in this film is quite nice.. But mainly it focused on the love story and the sex scenes of the characters. But part that they were playing some funny adult games was actually brilliant... You don't know if you are going to laugh are going to be aroused by the things that they were doing...

  8. Kala ko mapapanood ko yung wildest fantasy ko dito... di pala... Ang reypin ng pagkaramraming guwapong lalaki, sa inyo ano fantasy niyo?

  9. oh.... reading your post made me really curious about gay indie movies... any movies you know in particular aside from the movies you mentioned? I'd be glad to Google it to get a free download.

    Gay Chat

  10. I read your posts and must admit that many of your thoughts crystallize the convoluted ideas that have plagued me somewhat. May I invite you to read my blog as well so you can comment on the insanities I've been writing? Its meanderings and randomness. Just google it.

    Ryan here. Hope to connect with you soon!

  11. need lots of gay friends, mid 20s add me on fb fredof99@ymail.com, or txt me +639175766951. Educated individuals only.

  12. san ba mkapanuod ng ganitong movie?ung free po..help nman sa site

  13. Sana kapag gumawa sila , hindi n nila tinatakpan ang penis !!! Dapat pinapakita n ginagawa tlga kasi yung iba kunyari blowjob pero lantutay nmn kunyari hawak d nmn !!
    Dapat pinapakita n pina pasok tlga !

    Im Bisexual 100% virgin

    nice fine tuned body

    tingnan nyu ako dito

    lhat ng profile sex ko nanjan!

  14. lonely and looking for a strong gay.. call me : beneathmassacre01@yahoo.com

  15. Hey, buddy!
    Nagti-tweet rin po ba kayo?

    Kung may Pinoy gay porn DVDs po kayo
    bibili po ako.
    Have a list, will buy.
    [ thefword@i.ph / 09331590616 ]

    Trip ko rin maging isang tanyag na porn star.
    San ba dapat mag apply? ;-p

  16. I feel strongly learning the topic, however I need to learn more on this topic.
    Carry on your updates..!!


    Tongkat Ali Root

  17. very nice movie


  18. meettau sm tarlac on nov. 15, txt me 0948-2459367,, im jay bi,, luking for fun only,, just triping!

  19. hi im mike, 20 yrs old, i am looking for a relationship, bisexual lang ah kc , bi din aq, ung good looking, at ung malapit lng sa caloocan oh quezon city, especialy sa novaliches at ferview, txt me nlng ah , pakilalal nalng ikaw, e2 # q 09463957669, tnx, kahit ung mahilig sa sex ok lng din.

  20. Hi.Thanks for the great information.gain very good knowledge.


    buy tongkat ali

  21. http://kwentongmalilibog.blogspot.com/

  22. http://www.hottesturbanboys.blogspot.com/

  23. hi po siris,gay,17,paranaque..hanap po sana me ng katext kung pwede un po snang mabait at matinong kausap

  24. 18bi here , a bit chubby but not really that big . text me if interested . u think i'm good looking and other people do tell me that so just text me , 09473277483

    and , im a bottom :) from MUNTINLUPA :)

  25. Hi im bokz from qc tripper nghahanap me ng trip ung game at hnd halata.kol me 2677864.

  26. http://www.kwentongmalilibog.blogspot.com/ http://www.kwentongmalilibog.blogspot.com/

  27. تسلم ايديك على الموضوع Räumung

  28. شكرا لكم ..دائما موفقين..))

    Räumung - Räumung

  29. Hi everyone! I'm bi 40 yo, professional, single dad and looking for good friends and possible relationship age from mid 30s and above only please. Email me your reply on dare_uk88@yahoo.com.hope to read from you guys very soon. Cheers!

  30. hi po...kng meron dtong handang suportahan po ako s pag aaral ko o suportahan ako financially, ako na bhla s pagmamahal ko syo..siguradong mg eenjoy ka at mamahalin kita ng sobra bilang kpalit ng pagtulong mo sking..email mo ako; markluzung@yahoo.com

  31. Hi po Im new here, naghahanap lang po ako ng straight boy ages 15-21 yrs old yung taga Novaliches lang po, mas prefered ko po student, syempre yung gwapito na bagito at maganda katawan at malaki ang kanya. I have a place, Ako nalang po bahala sa allowance nyo. Dont worry mabait po ako. Kung ikaw po yung hinahanap ko txt na 09179087377, yung astig lang po at syempre yung MALINIS at safe ;) Salamat!