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Meet 4 ‘Bar Boys’

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FOUR BAR BOYS – They are Carlo Aquino, Rocco Nacino, Enzo Pineda, and Kean Cipriano. But first, a point of clarification. Bar Boy as in habitués of bars where drinks flow freely? Or performers in comedy bars with all those green jokes and make-believe “panlalait”? Or is it as macho dancers in gay bars?

No, no, no. Bar Boys as law students who’ll take eventually the tough bar exams, dominated by schools like UP, Ateneo, and San Beda (the alma mater of President Digong Duterte).

“Bar Boys” is written and directed by Kip Oebanda and produced by Tropic Frills and co-produced by Rotary Club of San Miguel, Makati in cooperation with SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.

BIRTH OF – Direk Kip speaks on the background and conceptualization and birth of the screenplay of “Bar Boys.”

He was watching a horror flick with a lawyer friend where one scene showed an evil lawyer trying to coerce the heroine to sell her house. His friend commented he would die first, “Contravida naman ang abogado palagi.”

The comment led direk Kip to search and explore issues about law school – its culture, students, professors, camaraderie. It took him two years to finish the full-length script.

He taught at a downtown university and was disappointed that many of his students didn’t like reading and at times copy-paste things from the Internet. He felt there was value in the way law students – and similar disciplines – take their learning seriously. “I believe that to succeed, we much sacrifice.”

Direk Kip hopes “Bar Boys” will answer these questions: How much do you sacrifice for your health, family, and loved ones? Do you sacrifice your principles and your friends?

WORKING WITH – Direk Kip looks back on how it was working with the four actors.

On Carlo Aquino: “I think Carlo felt that the character was close to what he experienced in real life. He brought a lot of his own fears, pains, and disappointments in real life into the role.

“As a person, he is one of the nicest people I’ve worked with. He is nice to everyone in the production. When he warms up to you, he is a witty and smart artist who takes his craft seriously.”

On Rocco Nacino: “Rocco actually made a lot of sacrifices, both professional and personal, to help us make the film happen.

“I gave him a lot of space to improvise with the character and many of the choices he made went into the final film and made his character richer.

“I like working with actors who bring something to the table: ideas, emotions, etc. – and he brings a lot.”

On Enzo Pineda: “I think this is Enzo’s first lead role in a film. Naturally, he initially had fears. What I appreciated was that he took risks and allowed himself to be vulnerable for the role.

On Kean Cipriano: “It’s my second time working with Kean (first was in ‘Tumbang Preso’) and we know each other well. Communicating with him is easy.

“Also, because he is a generally funny person, he was able to lighten up the mood and make everyone feel at ease which then helped us create the chemistry in the film.”

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