By NEIL RAMOS
Sonia is just like any other 14-year-old: Happy, full of dreams.
It will all change with her poor parents sending her off to work in a factory as “compensation” for unpaid debt.
She is not alone.
Several other kids her age go through the same.
Such is life in Gabby Ramos’ “Pugon,” an entry to the Indie Nation exhibition section of Cinemalaya, now on its 17th year.
An initial venture of Rems Films, “Pugon” stars newbie Jhassy Busran as Sonia.
She said, “Nakakatuwa po na maging parte ng isang pelikulang makabuluhan at puno ng aral. Sana po mapanood ng marami ito.”
“Very challenging po ang role para sa baguhan na katulad ko pero malaki ang tulong na naibigay sa akin ng aming direktor na si Direk Gabby, pati na rin po ang aking mga kasama sa pelikula…”
Among them are screen veterans Andrea Del Rosario and Soliman Cruz.
Said Andrea, “I like the material. It tackles a very sensitive topic. It’s very controversial. I think we need more films like this.”
Then there’s Cassie Kim, Bamboo B., Edmond Santiago, Carmen Del Rosario, and Sheena Lee Palad.
Gabby said, “it’s a small film with a small cast but the whole thing is a labor of love. Malapit sa puso ko itong pelikula at malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa mga artistang bumubuo nito. Binigyan nila ng buhay ang aking pangarap.”
Child trafficking is very much real, alive in “Pugon.”
When will it end? How?
Is a bright future even possible for the likes of Sonia?
How will she deal with her fate?
“Pugon” is to stream via KTX.ph from Aug. 6 to Sept. 5 as part of Cinemalaya 2021.