Home » FEATURES » Feature: CPFW Fashions A Film Screening of “Jose Rizal, The First Hero”

Feature: CPFW Fashions A Film Screening of “Jose Rizal, The First Hero”


Jose Rizal, The First Hero

Jose Rizal, The First Hero

 

 

True Razilian spirit.

 

By: Hina P. Ansari

 

On Wednesday June 12, 2013 film, fashion and history fans, flocked to Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre to watch the world premiere of  acclaimed documentary, Jose Rizal, The First Hero of revered Filipino national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. The VIP screening was presented as part of night three of PLDT Canada Philippine Fashion Week.

 

In attendance were the documentary’s director  Paolo Abella, stars Vancouver-based actor, Giovani Vincente who played Dr. Rizal, as well as Angel Aquino, a noted Filipina film and television actress who played Rizal’s sister. The film took the cinema-goer on a riveting journey chronicling the life of Dr. Jose Rizal, an intellectual, writer, philosopher and doctor who followed his years-long passion for his country and his people’s ability to develop their pride and national identity. Filled with accounts by notable academics and historians, Jose Rizal, The First Hero brilliantly presents the vision of a man who played an integral part of Filipino history.

 

L-R: CPFW organizing committee member, Kaye Penaflor with designer, Jon De Porter

L-R: CPFW organizing committee member, Kaye Penaflor with designer, Jon De Porter

 

Consul General of The Philippines, The Honorable Junever Mahilum-West (centre)

Consul General of The Philippines, The Honorable Junever Mahilum-West (centre)

 

President of Kol Hope Foundation For Children, Melinda Rustia

President of Kol Hope Foundation For Children, Melinda Rustia

 

Noted Filipino designer, Kim Gam (right)

Noted Filipino designer, Kim Gan (right)

 

L-R: Arsi Baltazar of Advocate Fashion Inc., designers Francis Libiran and Nat M

L-R: Arsi Baltazar of Advocate Fashion Inc., designers Francis Libiran and Nat Manilag

 

Filipino supermodel, Ria Bolivar

Filipino supermodel, Ria Bolivar

 

L-R: Miss Universe Canada 2013, Riza Santos and director of "Jose Rizal, The First Hero", Paolo Abella

L-R: Miss Universe Canada 2013, Riza Santos and director of "Jose Rizal, The First Hero", Paolo Abella

L-R: Star of "Jose Rizal, The First Hero", Giovanni Vincente and director Paolo Abella

L-R: Star of "Jose Rizal, The First Hero", Giovani Vincente and director Paolo Abella

 

Filipina Supermodel Joy Yumol

Filipina Supermodel Joy Caralde Yumul

 

Costume designer for "Jose Rizal, The First Hero" John Ablaza (centre) with family

Costume designer for "Jose Rizal, The First Hero" John Ablaza (centre) with family

 

 

Designer, Kenneth Barlis with his two models (centre and second from right) surrounded by Filipino beauties

Designer, Kenneth Barlis with his two models (centre and third from right) surrounded by traditional Filipino beauties

 

The screening was quickly followed by a delightful Q&A with Abella, Vincente as well as noted designer John Ablaza who created Rizal’s costumes for the film. All  shared their perspectives on being a part of a documentary which tells the story of their country’s revered revolutionary.

 

Abella noted his reason on calling Rizal the “First Hero” simply because Rizal “envisioned The Philippines as a nation.” Vincente noted that with him being raised in Canada, he used this unique opportunity to re-connect with his Filipino heritage. Ablaza added that when he was approached to do the costumes for the documentary, the weight of the importance of the film was not lost on him. He spent hours researching and making sure that he was “very careful and created something close to perfection.”

 

The Q+A moderated by Executive Director and Founder of CPFW, Jeff Rustia with John Ablaza (right); Paolo Abella (centre) and Giovanni Vincente (right)

The Q&A moderated by Executive Director and Founder of CPFW, Jeff Rustia along with John Ablaza (right); Paolo Abella (centre) and Giovani Vincente (right)

 

Noted Canadian-Filipino soprano singer Lilac Cana (who also is the Producer for CPFW) closed the screening portion of the evening with a riveting and crowd-pleasing rendition of a classic Filipino tune.

 

Following the screening, attendees then were treated to another visual feast, a chance to personally view the costumes, designed by Ablaza that were in the film in a mini pop-up exhibit, which included the iconic bowler hat, which Rizal was noted for.

 

Fabulous exhibit of Rizal's clothing and items from the film

Fabulous exhibit of Rizal's clothing and items from the film

 

Rizal's  bowler hat as worn in the film

Rizal's bowler hat as worn in the film

 

One of Rizal's noted publications

One of Rizal's noted publications

 

 

The evening continued to flow at C Lounge where the restaurant’s noted tropical backdrop brought Manila to Toronto and guests were treated to a fabulous traditional musical performances while models wearing ravishing gowns by California-based Filipino designer, Kenneth Barlis mingled with the revelers. Appetites were whetted by an assortment of delicacies, all noted Rizal favourites.

 

Then the crowd parted creating an impromptu runway and a sneak peak fashion show where designs by Filipino designer, Leonard Co were featured, including fantastic versions of the traditional Barang Tagalog shirt (an untucked long button down shirt for men) as well as jaw-dropping evening gowns with intricate embroidery, gorgeous scalloped type treatment as well as the showstopper donned by CPFW Spokesmodel Kesiah Papasin.

 

C Lounge's tropical setting brought Manila to Toronto

C Lounge's tropical setting brought Manila to Toronto

 

Gorgeous couture gowns by Filipino designer, Leonard Co with showstopper, CPFW Spokesmodel Kesiah Papasin (right)

Gorgeous couture gowns by Filipino designer, Leonard Co with showstopper, CPFW Spokesmodel Kesiah Papasin (right)

 

Fabulous scalloped work in Leonard Co's gown

Fabulous scalloped work as seen beautifully in this Leonard Co gown

 

Leonard Co's interpretation of the traditional Barang Tagalog shirt

Leonard Co's interpretation of the traditional Barang Tagalog shirt

 

Gorgeous colour and embroidery

Gorgeous colour and embroidery

 

 

Raffle tickets were being offered up for $1 for a chance to win a trip to The Philippines with monies donated for Kol Hope Foundation For Children.

 

Jewellery designer, Jon De Porter who created the Sampaguita flower pin which features the globally coveted Golden South Sea Pearl (valued at $1100 CDN) donated the actual first casting of the hand crafted pin to the President of the Kol Hope Foundation For Children, Melinda Rustia.

 

Miss Universe Canada 2013  Riza Santos (who was actually named after Rizal) closed the evening with a fantastic solo performance.

 

It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.

 

 Photography by Candice Kaye / CPFW 

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