In a special preview of a movie I attended, “for invited guests only,” President Duterte came to the preview of the film and gave a speech before the showing about the dangers of drugs to our society. The movie was given an appropriate title “Kontra Adiksyon,” a fight against drugs and drug addiction in which Jake Cuenca played the main role.
I must say that it is a very powerful movie that puts across the message against drug users and drug suppliers; and the harm that drug addiction can do to our people – young and old. Wala itong droga pinipili na edad. Kawawa ang mga biktima, matanda o bata. It’s like throwing your life away.
I must admit, the movie is very well done. I can even say na pwede for international release with the appropriate subtitle. The portrayal of Jake Cuenca in the movie is as intense as the dangerous drugs can do.
Jake is the son of my nephew, Juan Tomas Morato Cuenca, son of my younger sister, Elvira, who studied in Spain and married Dr. Juan Cuenca, a Pediatrician. Jake’s father “Juanto” married his mother Rachelle Leveriza, daughter of Architect Rodolfo A. Leveriza and Donna.
Jake’s talent I attribute to his maternal grandfather, Architect Rodolfo A. Leveriza. He was a good architect and artistic in many ways. The grandfather had passed on a few years ago. May he rest in peace.
At the young age of 16, Jake expressed to me his wish to join the film industry. He asked my permission and advice. I only adviced him one thing: “Jake, don’t do a bomba film.” He knows how hard I fought the porno films from 1986 when President Cory appointed me as Chairman of the Movie and Television Reviews and Classification Board (MTRCB) up to 1992. It was a film genre prohibited by law. It was a big problem at the time which was not controlled before my time. Nagwawala talaga ang film industry. But I had to do something about it as dictated by law mandating the MTRCB to follow.
In fairness to Jake, he was not the type who would do such kind of film. He wanted to be a professional actor. That led him to New York to enroll in the Lee Strasberg Method Acting Theater and Film Institute. He took the film industry seriously as a career.
Jake went on to enroll in “The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute represents the culmination of Lee Strasberg’s work as an acting teacher and consummate man of the theater. His students represent the 50 years Lee Strasberg spent training actors – beginning with the Group Theater in 1931 and lasting through his work at the Actors Studio and the institute until 1981. In 2014, The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute celebrates its 45th anniversary, adding another 34 years to the legacy of Lee Strasberg’s work.”
Among those who attended the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute were the late Marilyn Monroe, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Streisand, Miles Teller, Sienna Miller, Joshua Bowman, Jon Voight, Sally Field and many others that could fill up my space in my column.
All I can say is: To those who still do not understand the gravity of illegal drugs; and how it can destroy a child, man, woman, an entire family and cause havoc to an entire society, watch the movie “Kontra Adiksyon.”
Allow me to congratulate the Executive Producer Mr. Ramon Chuaying; Producer, Mr. Jaime G. Dy; and movie Director, Mr. Niel de Mesa; and the entire cast. You all have done a great contribution to our country by helping eliminate illegal drugs, so destructive to society through the most powerful medium, film.
On a separate note: Kudos to our Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the entire police force.
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