DIRECTOR Perry Escano debuted in Cinemalaya with “Ang Guro Kong ’Di Marunong Magbasa”, a drama about kids who are forced to fight as rebels. He now has a new movie, “Ang Sikreto ng Piso”, a hilarious family comedy produced by JPP Dreamworld Productions that opens on January 30. The story is based on real incidents that happened in 2006 when our peso coins were being smuggled out of the country because of their high nickel and copper content.
This is told from the point of view of a couple, played by Gelli de Belen and Ariel Rivera, who got involved in smuggling the coins and later on discovered the secret that the coins hold. The last time they worked together in a movie was in “Ikaw Pala ang Mahal Ko” in 1997. Ariel has been offered to do other movies before but he didn’t accept them. So why did he accept this one? “I’m used to doing dramas on TV but I accepted this one kasi I want to try doing comedy, something light,” he says. “And I enjoyed doing it, kahit mas mahirap siya kaysa sa drama. Also, it’s nice to be reunited with my wife on the big screen. Inalalayan nga niya ako rito kasi she’s the one who’s more used to doing comedy as she’s naturally funny, even off cam.”
For Gelli, how does it feel to work with hubby Ariel in a comedy movie for the first time? “Well, it’s nice to work with him again pero siyempre nanibago ako kasi sanay akong nakikita siyang nagdadrama,” she says. “But he’s able to adjust quickly, lalo’t marami kaming kasamang ibang comedians dito to help us out.”
They have one of the most stable marriages in showbiz. What’s their secret? “More than anything else, good communication,” says Ariel. “We’re always open to each other kaya hindi nga kami nag-aaway at all. And we have the same goal in mind: we both want a happy family with happy children.”
“Ariel is so easy to get along with,” says Gelli. “He’s so generous, not selfish, mapagbigay. Mana siya sa father niya in Canada, with whom our two sons are staying now for their college studies there. Kaya ngayon, parang empty nest na kami. Balik kami sa pagiging kaming dalawa lang ulit and it’s nice kasi we’re together kahit sa working out in the gym. But I have my own show on GMA-7, ‘Ika-5 Utos’, while he has his soap sa ABS-CBN and when we’re both working, we really miss each other.”
Also in the cast of “Ang Sikreto ng Piso” are Lou Veloso as Ariel’s grandpa, child star Angelica Ulip as their daughter, Bea Binene as Angelica’s teacher, plus Ernie Garcia, Long Mejia, Ricky Rivero, Beverly Salviejo, Wacky Kiray, Raphael Robes and producer Joyce Penas Pilarsky in a special role. The movie is about the joys and strengths of familial love and also explains an episode in recent history about what happened to the Philippine peso coin. With a PG-rating from MTRCB, 'Ang Sikreto ng Piso' will have a premiere night on January 27, 7 p.m. in SM Megamall Cinema 7. On opening day on January 30, they’ll do a theater tour: 1 PM at SM North Edsa, 4 p.m. in SM Manila, 7 PM at SM MOA.