Many may not know it but the late blockbuster director Wenn V. Deramas played “Tanging Ina” in real life to his kids, 10 dogs and a cat.
“I prepare my kids’ uniform and baon to school. I also help them in their assignments. Minsanpumupunta kami sa mall or sabahaylang kami madalas, I play ‘Ang Tanging Ina’ to them in the real world,’’ said Deramas, during an exclusive interview at his residence in Quezon City only weeks before he died.
Deramas said that he always kept his dogs fresh and clean by giving them a bath. He also pampered his pets with imported food and grooming products, monthly medical maintenance neatly arranged in one corner. “Anglakirinng budget kosamga pets pero OK lang.”
Asked if he was already worth more than P1 billion because of his blockbuster films, Deramas laughed: “Hindi naman!
Kung ano man meronakongayon, anglahatngito ay galingkay Lord.”Deramas, 49, died of heart attack on February 29.
Deramas then said he was not giving up on “Tanging Ina” film series as he was ready to shoot the fourth installment of the hit movie that catapulted ace comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas into a bankable star.
“I asked myself, why would I kill a movie franchise that has touched the hearts of many Filipinos, especially the single parents out there? I’m sure miss nanilasi Ina Montecillo (played by Delas Alas),” said Deramas.
“Tanging Ina” is the story of a single mother who takes care of 12 children when her three husbands pass away. The movie was a big hit in 2003. Its second installment was “Ang Tanging Ina N’yongLahat” in 2008. The third offering was “Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last Na ‘To!) in 2010.
Deramas revealed that the “Ina” films were inspired by two important women who have greatly influenced his life: his mom Lydia and former President Corazon Aquino.
“Just like my mom Lydia, she takes care of us the hard way. But she never showed it. In the case of President Cory, she also takes care of her children when her husband Ninoywas killed,’’ said Deramas.
Deramas then remembered how devastated he was when his mother passed away in 2009. “Parang nag-lahoangmundoko nun.
Hindi koalamanggagawinko. It took a while bagoakonaka-recover sapag-panawn’ya.’’
Deramas recalled the time “Tanging Ina” was offered to him by Charo Santos-Concio, then president of ABS-CBN.
“During a merienda, Ma’mCharo showed me the script. She asked me, ‘what do you see in this movie?’ I told her ‘it’s a comedy film…it’s a funny movie.’ And then she said: ‘I am not expecting an ordinary comedy film. I want you to make the audience laugh, cry, laugh and cry, when they watch the movie!’’ Deramas said.
Then Santos-Concio told him: “If you can do that, I guarantee you that you will set a trend in the movie industry.’’
It was then that “DRA-MEDY or combination of comedy and drama in local movies was introduced.
Deramas said that “Ang Tanging Ina’’ was forecast to earn some P35 million in its total run. But it went on to become one of the highest-grossing Filipino films of all-time with earnings of more than P200 million in the box-office.
It was in 1998 when Deramas received a phone call from Malou Santos, head of Star Cinema, and asked him to do a movie. “Sa office, TitaMalou told me, from now on, you will make movies. Perosabiko, ‘I don’t know how to make movies.’ Sabin’ya: ‘We will teach you, don’t worry.”
Deramas pushed the limits by taking an informal crash course in filmmaking as he went to the movie sets of film director Joey Reyes and observed.
One thing led to another. Deramas directed other hit movies such as “The UnkanbogablePraybet Benjamin” (2001), “Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy,” topbilled by Vice Ganda and Maricel Soriano, which earned more than P429 million in 2013, “Sisterakas” (2012), and “Beauty and Bestie” (2015).
The mini-home theater built with sofa seats is one of the favorite spots of Deramas in his residence. Displayed in the theater were thousands of DVDs and blue-ray discs of local and foreign movies.
Deramas was also an avid collector of action hero figurines such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Dyesebel.