'Pinoy Boyband' alum debuts on big screen via barkada flick

'Pinoy Boyband' alum debuts on big screen via barkada flick

CEBU, Philippines — “Pinoy Boyband Superstar” alum Mark Oblea is ecstatic to be part of a full-length feature for the first time via the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 entry “G!” Not only does the singer-actor feel grateful for the opportunity to show off his acting chops, but also for the lessons he was able to learn along the way.

“It was a great journey,” Mark began of his experience during the PPP press conference at The Pyramid alongside director Dondon Santos and other PPP 2019 stars and short film directors. “Wala akong formal training sa singing and acting. Wala talaga. Nagkaroon lang ako ng formal training sa vocals dati sa ‘Pinoy Boyband.’ I’m very grateful na napasama tayo dito.”

“G!” by CINEKO Productions, the only “tropa” film in this year’s roster, also stars McCoy de Leon, Jameson Blake, and Paulo Angeles. It is about a cancer-stricken teenager who attempts to complete a bucket list with his friends, and in the process, the squad comes to terms with mortality despite youth and potential. “G!” is a series of the good times and bad times, meant to show the value of love, friendship, family, and life.

Despite not making it into the official BoybandPH group that was the main prize in competing at ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Boyband Superstar,” Mark shares how lucky he is to have his career come through after entering the industry in 2016. He has since worked on his music and acted in “Wansapanataym” through “My Hair Lady” and the primetime teleserye “My Dear Heart.”

For his work in “G!”, Mark said that his character isn’t at all far from his real persona which is playful and cheeky. It was only fitting to be part of a barkada film, as Mark’s own personal friendships have lasted for more than ten years now.

“I grew up with childhood friends. Talagang matropa akong tao. Nadala ko talaga, makulit ako doon [ sa movie] and makulit talaga ako sa totoong buhay. Hindi nalalayo,” said Mark, describing his co-stars as easygoing.

“Mas lumawak siya [journey], mas marami akong natutunan, mas lumaki yung pagiging artista ko. Akala ko parehas lang yung TV acting and film. And yung mg kasama ko sobrang gaan katrabaho, ramdam mo sa set na magkakatropa talaga kami.”

As someone who values friendships, “G!” hit close to home. Mark personally feels he’s learned how to become a better friend. In the film, the other boys comfort McCoy de Leon’s character and goes through the motions with him as they make the most of his last few days.

“Naramdaman ko na kapag may isa palang tropa ko na may taning na, iba ang pakikisama mo sa kanya. Mas naiitindihan, mas mamahalin mo siya,” he shared.

For Mark, “G!” provides insights on how to deal with life and how to comfort those who mean the most to us during trials. It is also about encouraging the youth, especially gentlemen, to express themselves and honor their emotions.

“Kaming mga lalaki, parang kilala kami na hindi masabi sa emosyon namin. Kaya magugulat ka na depressed pala pero hindi halata. It’s important. Ano naman, lahat tayo parehas ng nararamdaman. Kahit babae o lalaki, we have the same emotions,” said Mark, whose own bucket list includes sky diving and being able to fill up a whole arena for a concert.

An avid fan of barkada movies in the ‘80s and ‘90s, “G!” director Dondon Santos said that they want to reintroduce the same classic feel in the current filmmaking scene. He said “G!” is the story of its viewers, reflecting their own struggles and emotions as they come of age.

The director shared how excited they are to be part of the third year of PPP, which also doubles as the kick-off for the centennial celebration of Philippine cinema.

“It’s a very maloko movie, but it’ll touch your hearts. Animated pero the sense of realism is there. At the end of the day you’d want to talk to your best friend.”

Presented by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in partnership with the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 is a week-long celebration of quality and diverse films, running from September 13 to 19.