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December 19, 2013

Vic Sotto's "My Little Bossings" Brings Whiff of Fresh Air to MMFF 2013

Vic Sotto
“My Little Bossings” is an entry to the 2013 Metro Manila Film Festival produced by OctoArts Films, M-Zet Films, APT Entertainment and Kris Aquino Productions. The story and screenplay by Bibeth Orteza. 
Vic Sotto, Ryzza Mae Diszon and Bibeth Orteza during the "The Little Bossings" Bloggers Night last December 13 held at the Annabels Restaurant, Tomas Morato, Quuezon City. 

“My Little Bossings” stars Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino and her son James “Bimby” Aquino Yap and the grand champion of Eat Bulaga's Miss Little Philippines Ryzza Mae Dizon. Also stars Aiza Seguerra, Jaclyn Jose, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, Barbie Forteza, Neil Coleta, and Neil Sese from the direction of Marlon Rivera. 

Not every generation produces a child star but this year, we have not just one but two of them who are set to show people that like Christmas, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is all about children even in making the tills sing.

“My Little Bossings” is a movie whose time has come. Ever since the project was bared, the public has been counting months, waiting with bated breath how the precocious Ryzza Mae Dizon will jive with the decorous James “Bimby” Aquino Yap, Both charming and intelligent, but one street smart and the other “socially elite,” it’s an intriguing pairing indeed. 
As shooting progressed and as the two kids warmed up to each other and established rapport on and off screen, it became clear that “My Little Bossings” is more than mere curious case. It’s a casting dynamo bound to shakeup the MMFF and steal thunder from anything that crosses its path. “Nakakatuwa talaga yung dalawang bata. They complement each other so well. You can see that when you watch the movie. Nagtuturuan, nagtatawanan, sabay napapagod, sabay nagugutom. Masaya lang kami sa set. Para lang kaming laging naglalaro,” said “My Little Bossings” lead star and co-producer, Vic Sotto.

That is another thing going for the film: the sure success of “My Little Bossings” doesn’t rest just on the shoulders of Ryzza Mae and Bimby, but those of giants. One of the MMFF Box-office King’s co-stars is also royalty, none other than Queen of All Media and MMFF Box-office Queen Kris Aquino. It is said that one of Kris’ reasons in accepting the film is that she wanted her son Bimby’s first experience in making movies to be with someone of Vic’s stature and humility. 

For years, the MMFF doesn’t seem to be complete without a starrer from either Vic or Kris or both. This time they join hands; matching stellar power with stellar power, showbiz might with showbiz might, midas touch with midas touch. How can “My Little Bossings” not turn to gold? 

As most things come in threes, the power of the dream project doesn’t end there. “My Little Bossings” is 

produced by OctoArts Films, M-Zet Films, APT Entertainment and Kris Aquino Productions all of which have brought out their guns to ensure that it is a heartwarming, quality movie through and through. More than the big names attached to the film, “My Little Bossings” is a family film packed with lessons wrapped in humor, wit and laughter---exactly what we need in times like these.

Vic plays the role Torky Villanueva who works as a bookeeper for the millionaire cash management specialist Baba Atienza (Kris). Because of some conflict in her business, Baba entrusts her son Justin (Bimby) to Torky’s care for fear of her life. In the meantime, Torky’s niece Ice (Aiza) who lives in the same house with him, is involved in an advocacy for street children where street kid Ching (Ryzza ) becomes her special ward. Ice brings Ching home when the orphanage closed down. The fun begins when all these people start living in one roof while they each tackle his respective personal dilemma.

Don't miss to watch “My Little Bossings” starts showing on Christmas Day as an entry to the 2013 MMFF.

My Little Bossings

A man learns to take care of a boy not his own, and in the process realizes hes never done anything for the daughter he had blamed for the death of his wife. Rejected in her youth, the daughter bears a girl shes unable to acknowledge as hers at birth. Circumstances bring man and daughter and their respective wards together, and it is through the childrens innocence that the healing begins. Sarcasm turns into affection and irony translates into laughter. Fear is replaced by trust. Love, for the win!

Torky Villanueva, aka Bossing (Vic Sotto), works as personal bookkeeper to Barbara 'Baba' Atienza, a Forbes Park-based cash management specialist. He is funny and he likes to clown around, but the comic nature is really to cover up the loneliness that crept into his life after his wife died. It's a loneliness he thinks would be easier to deal with if he lived abroad, so he plans to someday leave the country and sell his house soon as he saves enough money. He privately agrees with Dan Brown: he lives in the gates of hell.

When Torky's employer Babas partner Marco Guzman accuses her of authoring a huge pyramid scam, she goes low-key to investigate Guzman and expose him as the real scam artist. Meanwhile she entrusts her 6-year-old son Justin (James Aquino Yap) in Torky's care, for hes the one person Guzman will never think she will leave the boy with. Baba presumes Justin'll be happy  with Torky, whom she believes to be warm and happy-go-lucky.

In truth Torky is a loner. He does not like having to take care of Justin, or of anyone, for that matter. But he accepts the task of taking care of the boy because its part of his job, and brings him to his house in a lower middle-class barangay, somewhere in Makati City, where we also meet the teen-agers Dino and Rosy who've made a habit of seeking Torky's advice on their relationship.

In his house, Torky finds Ice (Aiza Seguerra), whom we first think to be his niece, for she calls him Uncle Torky. Weve actually met Ice earlier, at the Lungga, a haven for street children run by Remy, a former nun. Remy is dying, so she e-mailed Ice in Japan to please come and take Ching out (Ryzza Mae Dizon) before the Lungga closes. Nowhere to go, Ice brings Ching to Torkys house.

Theres tension between Torky and Ice, but because they want to have Justin and Ching off their backs, they pretend all is well between them, to encourage the two kids to become friends. It takes some time for the friendship to start, for Justin always puts up a superior air to be above Ching, and Ching is too much of a street child to allow Justin to lead her by the nose.

Justins also all of his life been rich, as Chings been all of her life, poor. This disparity is the source of their conflict, the wellspring of their friendship and the mother lode of most of their comedic scenes, in the many scenes depicting the crossing of the class divide. They loosen up Torky so much he becomes a warmer and nicer person.

A pair of bumbling undercover cops P. Arak and A. Lat trail Torky hoping to catch him secretly meeting Baba. Their snooping, plus Guzman's intrusive demands, make Torky and Ice realize the need to send Justin and Ching to hide in Lungga until such time it is safe for them to come out. Torky and Ice are unaware there are changes in Lungga: Remy is dead and the domineering Libay has taken over, with her militaristic schemes to train the street children as pickpockets and robbers. Justin and Ching run away from the Lungga. Their disappearance sends Torky and Ice around on a search for the two, during which they also find themselves becoming friends again, with Ice suddenly asking Torky how come when she one day just stopped calling him Tatay he never noticed, until we find out Ice is not Torky's niece but his child, and that Ching is not only Ices ward but her daughter, from a relationship she went into to please Torky when she was much younger and yet unable to admit her sexuality.

In the end, Baba is able to prove her innocence, have Guzman arrested and claim Justin back. Justin seems OK save for a folie a dieux with Ching, for now hes become rowdy and batang kalye like a little Bossing, while Chings given to using English phrases and more refined. Ice asks Torky to please keep her being Chings mom a secret until the day she gathers the nerve to admit it to Ching herself. Torky says yes. He is saddened, though, that Rosy and Dino have gone ahead to marry despite their young age. He feels that even as neighbor he should have care enough for them in the absence of their OFW Parents.

Alls well that ends well. The bright spot is that Torky learns to accept that Ice is gay and has a partner. A future possible relationship with Baba is implied. Best of all, Torky no longer plans to live the city for good, for no matter what the Dan Browns of the world say, love wins over the gates of hell.

Bibeth Orteza
June 20, 2013

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