By Jude Cartalaba
Manila, Philippines, September 3, 2012 — Among the most memorable musical films that have featured international music icons's discography, “Across the Universe” (2007), which showcases the popular songs of The Beatles, and “Mamma Mia!” (2008), which features the hit songs of ABBA, were instant favorites. On the local front, the Philippines has "I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila," which headlines the immortal songs of the legendary trio of the APO Hiking Society, comprised of Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo, and Danny Javier. Produced by film outfits Studio 5 and Unitel, and directed by Chris Martinez, "I Do Bidoo Bidoo" opened last Wednesday, August 29.
“I Do Bidoo Bidoo,” a fitting tribute to the APO Hiking Society’s musical legacy, has centered on teenage marriage, set in modern time, and on how pamamanhikan (meet the parents) between two Filipino families has been practiced (similar to "Mamma Mia!").
Despite the local film's likeliness to the main themes of the stage musical-turned-movie musical “Mamma Mia!” the former has its own strengths; and it has lived up to whatever it was hyped up to be by its drumbeaters.
One glaring similarity between “Mamma Mia!” and “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” was both films have focused on wedding preparations, with different takes though: Martinez’s film was very Filipino in its approach, especially with the music of the APO Hiking Society, which provided the familiar soundtrack.
Another sameness between “Mamma Mia!” and “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” was the use of the moon as a metaphor for love.
Nevertheless, this local film has delivered excellent performances from its star-studded cast. Two of the most remarkable performances here were those of Eugene Domingo (Rose Polotan) and Neil Coleta (Rock Polotan’s best friend Brent). Non-singers Domingo and Coleta stole the limelight from the seasoned singers in the film: Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ogie Alcasid (Pol), Sam Concepcion (Rock Polotan), and Tippy Dos Santos (Tracy Fuentabella), among them. In their musical scenes, both Domingo and Coleta made quite an impression on the audience.
In addition, the much talked about love scene between Alcasid and Domingo, where both sang the APO Hiking Society's popular ditty “Di Na Natuto," was a standout.
“I Do Bidoo Bidoo” was given a “Grade A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board, which has allowed Studio 5 and Unitel to file for a 100% amusement tax rebate.
Photos by Studio 5, Unitel