It took a lot of fine talents and the bayanihan spirit to pull off TV5’s star-studded Christmas series, “Paano ang Pasko?”
Director-producer Perci Intalan admitted that it was only September of this year when he and his husband, filmmaker Jun Robles Lana, took on the project. It meant they had less than two months to do everything, including coming up with a script. It was fortunate that Lana, an award-winning director and Palanca Award-winning writer, had a script, albeit for a film. It was also good they were able to get such a talented cast – some of which they had already worked before. The cast included actor-director Ricky Davao, who eventually had to be tapped to also co-direct the project, along with another fine actor-director, Eric Quizon.
“Kasi kailangan naming matapos, dahil sabi nga namin, ‘“Paano ang Pasko?” kailangan nating matapos?’ Tapos in the immortal words of Direk Ricky Davao, nung sa time na pumasok siya dito na akala nya artista, relax-relax, ‘bayanihan ito, tulungan ito.’ So sabi ko agad sa kanya, ‘Direk, ‘di ba sabi mo, bayanihan ito?’” Direk Perci recalled with a chuckle.
“But honestly it is quite a challenging project, hindi biro ‘yung tatlong pamilya, tatlong signal number three na dumaan dito at kailangan naming tumigil. Hindi biro iyong nauulanan at hindi biro ‘yung dami ng sequences na kailangan naming gawin sa rami ng artista. So it does take a village,” he continued.
Aside from having a solid script and fine directors, the members of the cast had to be carefully selected, because the time constraints and the pandemic gave the production very little leeway for mistakes and re-shoots to happen during the lock-in taping. “Paano ang Pasko?” was able to pull a casting coup – gathering together, aside from much awarded actor-director Ricky Davao, the likes of Urian winner Maricel Laxa who plays Faith, the loving matriarch who is about to discover a long kept family secret, and Cinemalaya winner Julia Clarete who plays Love, the eldest daughter whose past is coming back to haunt not just her but her entire family.
Intalan related: “We needed to put a cast who can bring life to the roles and we’re lucky Maricel Laxa agreed, considering that it’s the first time in a long time that she will appear on TV plus the fact that she needed to be away from her family. Sinasabi nga namin ni Jun na nabubuo ang pamilya because malinaw ang puso ng matriarch, alam na alam mo saan nanggagaling si Faye sa character.
“Swerte si Julia Clarete is in town and nung nag message kami, she agreed to do the role. This is really very, very special kasi alam naming ang caliber ni Julia.”
Beauty Gonzalez, Ejay Falcon, John Sweet Lapus, Matt Evans, Danita Paner, Devon Seron, Cedrick Juan, Ace Ismael, and Urian Award-winning actor Elijah Canlas are also in the cast.
“Paano ang Pasko?” is by The IdeaFirst Company and airs Monday to Friday, 9 p.m., starting November 23 on TV5.