The show must go on for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), as its Parade of Stars continued on despite the rain last Sunday, December 19.

For the first time ever, the parade took place on the Pasig River, where actors and actresses from the MMFF’s eight entries were seen promoting their films on ferries. Among the celebs present were Christian Bables, Nico Antonio, Ken Chan, and Rita Daniela. Others chose to forego the parade and head straight to the culminating event at Circuit Makati.

Christian Bables of the MMFF film Big Night! expressed his joy at the chance to participate in the river parade.

“I’m happy because the MMFF jumpstarted my career,” he told the Inquirer. “I remember being so excited riding our float a few years ago. Now, I’m doing it again–but it’s me on the poster. I’m glad they found a way to hold the parade, which is one of the highlights of the festival.”

“We wanted to do this rain or shine,” Rita Daniela of Huling Ulan sa Tag-Araw said. “I even brought an umbrella.”

Fans eager to catch a peek at the parade could be seen cheering at the riverbanks near the Guadalupe Ferry Station.

Following the parade, the event at Circuit Makati saw the likes of Toni and Alex Gonzaga, Kim Chiu, and Daniel Padilla.

Benhur Abalos, chair of the Metro Manila Development Authority and MMFF shared his joy for the revival of the MMFF scene.

“We did it…The film industry has been badly affected for almost years,” he stated. “Some of these films were shot during the pandemic, without knowing if the cinemas would reopen or not. They invested in the middle of the pandemic. These films make us laugh or cry. And by watching them, we see our culture and soul as Filipinos.”

Last year, COVID-19 surges and lockdowns made it impossible to watch MMFF entries in theaters. As a result, the films were shown through online channels.

This year, theaters have opened and are set to screen these eight MMFF films: A Hard Day, Big Night!, Huwag Kang Lalabas, Huling Ulan sa Tag-Araw, Kun Maupay Man It Panahon, Love at First Stream, The Exorsis, and Nelia.

You can catch these movies in cinemas from December 25, 2021 to January 7, 2022.

Art Daniella Sison

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