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ABU DHABI // A documentary series begins on Friday that tells the story of six young Emiratis who had to give up their comfortable lifestyles to live and work in the Philippines.

Over a period of 15 days, Beyond Borders documents the journey of three men and three women between 17 and 23 as they deal with their new surroundings and are taught a few life lessons along the way.

They were stripped of their electronic devices, phones, credit cards and money before they boarded the plane.
As a rule, they were only allowed items that their Filipino host families could afford.

10,000 Hours is a triumph. Ambitious in scope, it succeeds because the team behind it is willing to go big.

It is satisfying to see a Filipino movie that feels limitless in execution. Nary a thing is spared to make it: not budget, not creativity, not bravery, not over-the-top action.

Starring Robin Padilla, 10,000 Hours tells the story of a policeman-turned-senator Gabriel Alcaraz.


On the day that he is planning to expose a corruption case that will implicate the President of the Philippines, he is accused of murdering his former police partner.

Feeling trapped, he escapes to Amsterdam to look for evidence that can prove his innocence.

What’s most commendable is how 10,000 Hours chooses to tell a grand story and run away with it. Viewers may recognize that Gabriel Alcaraz’s plight closely resembles the story of Senator Panfilo Lacson, who went into hiding for 14 months after being accused of murder.


MANILA, Philippines – The movie “10,000 Hours” bagged most awards in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

The film by Philippine Film Studios and Viva Entertainment reaped the following:

Best picture
Best actor (Robin Padilla)
Best director (Joyce Bernal)
Best supporting actor (Pen Medina)
Best cinematography
Best original story
Best screenplay
Best musical score
Best editing
Best production design
FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence
Gat Puno Villegas Cultural Award
The film was inspired by what happened to former senator and current rehabilitation czar Panfilo “Ping” Lacson two years go.

Lacson fled the country after a Manila trial court ordered his arrest in February 2010 on charges of ordering the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, in 2000.

He returned to the country in March 2011 after the warrant was quashed. The charges against him were subsequently dropped.

Meanwhile, diamond star Maricel Soriano is MMFF’s best actress for the movie “Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy.”

Ryzza Mae Dizon, among the lead stars in the comedy “My Little Bossings,” is best child performer, while Aiza Seguerra is best supporting actress for the same film.

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Like former Sen. and now Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation & Recovery Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Robin Padilla also hid from the long arm of the law years ago when a warrant of arrest was issued against him for illegal possession of firearms.

“I joined the NPA in the mountains in Bicol,” Robin told Funfare, “but I lasted there for only one month and a half because Liezl (Sicangco, then his wife) and my mom (Eva Cariño) talked me into surrendering. It was Mama who visited me first and I told her, ‘Huwag n’yo na po ako ibabalik.’ Then Liezl followed. Sabi ni Liezl, ‘I understand what you’re fighting for pero kung may kasalanan ka, dapat pagbayaran mo.’ I thought about it. Mahirap naman ‘yung nagrerebolusyon na mayroon kang tinatakbuhan kaya bumaba ako.”

Robin was ordered put behind bars by then Pres. Fidel Ramos and released after five years on the strength of a law authored by then Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr.

Asked if, pushed against the wall, he would do it again (hide in the mountains, that is), Robin joked, “I won’t survive without a woman…kung hindi ko kasama ang asawa ko” (referring to his wife Mariel Rodriguez who is currently enjoying her personal time between jobs after the TV5 show Wil Time Bigtime, which she co-hosted, folded up).

In 10,000 Hours, his 39th Metro Filmfest entry co-produced by N2 Productions, Philippine Film Studios and Viva Films, Robin is reliving his own “escape” dramatized with similar events in Lacson’s much-publicized mysterious “disappearance.” Robin plays a father deprived of quality time with his children and a husband yearning to be with his beloved wife.

Defending Lacson whose exploits largely inspired the movie touted as “fiction based on true events,” Robin said, “It doesn’t sound nice to say na tumakas si Senador. He hid to show that he was innocent, and to find the person who could prove it. Naipit siya ng mga may kapangyarihang sinungaling. He was later cleared by the court.”

CARAMOAN, Camarines Sur — For the second time around, Survivor Israel will pay to rent the whole of the Gota Villge Resort, a local-government owned and operated tourist destination in Ilawod, Caramoan, Camarines Sur, to film two editions of “Hisardot (Survivor).”

Hisardot’s non-celebrity shoot would last 40 days while the celebrity edition for 30 days, excluding the pre-production of one-month and a half wherein the equipment, props and sites are prepared for the show.

“Best place, good people and unique sites,” quipped Jimmy Binyamini, production manager, when asked Monday what made them comeback and film in the same place three times in a row.

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) The U.S. version of the hit reality TV show “Survivor” is now being shot in Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur.

This was confirmed by a member of the local production team working on the popular CBS series, as well as businesses in Caramoan, where it has become an “open secret.”

According to the source, many of the Filipinos who worked on the Philippine shoot of the Hollywood film, “The Bourne Legacy,” are also working on the American version of “Survivor.”

“Actually may ‘Survivor’ doon. It’s a really big production but I cannot (give more details) because I signed a confidentiality agreement. It’s is being filmed right now and it’s going to air in September,” Camarines Sur Governor L-Ray Villafuerte told on Tuesday.

He added that the shooting only started last week and will wrap up in August.