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19-year-old wrote ‘Walwal’

By Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

YOUNGEST SCREENWRITER: At 17, Mark Gerald Foliente became the youngest workshopper in a class of promising screenwriters held yearly by Ricky Lee.


Now 19, he has just become the youngest screenwriter for a full-length mainstream feature film.

Foliente, a junior majoring in Film at the College of Saint Benilde, has gathered real-life stories of friends from high school and college to create “Walwal” (Regal Films and Star Cinema).

“Walwal,” said to be a throwback to landmark films “Bagets” and “Pare Ko,” is a barkada movie capturing the relationships and sensibilities of the current generation.

“Walwal” is derived from a popular slang that Millennials frequently use. The term is believed to emanate from the phrase “walang pakialam” and its closest English translation is “to get wasted” from drinking too much alcohol.

LASTING FRIENDSHIP: The movie, says director Jose Javier Reyes, is centered on a group of four friends who have forged their unbreakable friendship in high school throughout college life. The boys are bound together by the wealth of their past experiences and their natural love for the good times.

The gang is composed of Elmo Magalona, Jerome Ponce, Kiko Estrada, and Donny Pangilinan. Their first-time partnership through this film has resulted in real-life, all-male friendship.

INSPIRED BY: Reyes says it has always been his dream to come up with a film inspired by his 1994 movie, “Pare Ko.”

“Walwal is the story of today’s Millennials as seen through the eyes of a senior citizen,” he said.

Shot within the CSB campus on Taft Avenue, Manila, the film also features the director’s film students, some of whom wrote the songs played therein.

Portraying the boys’ love interests are Kisses Delavin, Devon Seron, Jane de Leon, and Sofia Senoron.
“Walwal” opened on June 27.