February 19, 2018, 8:00 am
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a perfect fit for Kim Chiu

Star Cinema presents “The Ghost Bride” for its offering this November 1.

The horror movie tackles an old Chinese practice of arranging marriage between a dead relative and a living bride. The concept piqued the interest of its director, Chito Roño, who also dived into Chinese culture in the hit movies, “Feng Shiu” and its sequel, “Feng Shui 2” 

“Basically ‘yung tradition na its somebody else’s decision ang sinusundan ng magiging mag-asawa, gusto ko sundan ‘yung concept na yun,” the award-winning writer-director said, “What if ‘yung nag-a-arrange ng marriage hindi normal? I believed it’s a good material for a supernatural [project]. ‘Yun ang nagustuhan ko sa concept.”

 “The Ghost Bride” and “Feng Shiu” have similarities because both were centered on women who were down on their luck, but the former’s story is “more complicated.” 

“Dito kasi may cultural and traditional burden ang character ni Kim na si Mayen at palibot pa [na characters]. Si Matteo (Guidicelli), may isyu rin sa arranged marriage. Parang ang nangyari, very traditional, very strict ang family, Chinese. Lahat sila medyo dumadaan sa hirap. Ang concept sa Chinatown ang pamilya na pino portray mo, hindi ‘yung marangya, ‘yung maswerte. Sila nag-struggle, hirap na kumuha tulong sa kapwa Chinese, raming utang at malas sa buhay, etc. …”

Roño said Chinoy actress Kim Chiu, who plays the ghost bride in the Star Cinema movie, is a perfect fit for the role of Mayen, a Chinese girl who is forced to enter into the unnatural union because of her family’s financial problems. 

“Talagang it fits her to a T, kasi nga the culture, pati ‘yung age niya …,” he related. 

In real-life, Chiu revealed a distant relative of hers was a ghost bride.

“Nung ginagawa ko tong movie, sabi ng lola ko, ‘Ghost bride ba ‘yan?’ ‘Yung pinsan nya daw ay isang ghost bride, so kamag anak namin ….,” she related. 

“Tinanong ko lola ko bakit hindi siya naging ghost bride, sabi niya gusto niyang magka anak [kasi] once pasukin mo ang [pagiging] ghost bride, dine-dedicate mo na ang sarili mo sa pamilya nung patay... Every Monday at Friday, every weekend dadasalan mo ‘yung patay, everyday dadasalan mo ‘yung picture niya, iinsensuhan mo, so parang lahat ng family event andun ka. Parang asawa mo talaga siya,” she added.

The ghost bride’s devotion is handsomely rewarded. 

“Meron pong paunang bayad at buwan buwan,” said Kim.

“‘Yung pamilya namin sa movie, malaki ang utang sa Chinese, so nung tinanggap ko ang pagiging ghost bride, nabayaran sila lahat, may sobra pa nga.”

Asked if she would agree to such arrangement, the actress, who rose to fame following her win in the first “Pinoy Big Brother: Teen,” said she would do the same as her character in the movie. 

“Kung ako, I’m proud and very thankful na dahil dito sa showbiz natulungan ko ‘yung pamilya ko, nakatapos pag-aaral lahat. OK ‘yung buhay nila. 

“Kung wala tong showbiz, at in-offer ‘yung ghost bride at kung 50-50 ‘yung isang magulang ko o sino mang kamag-anak at wala akong pambayad, bakit hindi? Gagawin ko po ‘yun. Siyempre, para sa pamilya, of course.”
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