A benchmark for Pinoy musical films

A rich history of beach ball movies explains our natural objection to musical films.

Before we could even enjoy talented actors bursting into song and dance, there were action, comedy and action-comedy stars singing off key to their leading ladies, a mob of noontime show dancers in the background.

These made the notion of local films — more so a Filipino musical film with singing -- something to avoid.

Until Studio 5 and Unitel, through writer-director Chris Martinez finally decided to create something inspired by one of the country's most influential musical groups, the APO Hiking Society.

They braved the single genre that Filipino filmmakers almost never touch, save for "Emir," and ended up creating what could be the year's best local commercial film.

"I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila!" tells the story of two young lovers, Rock (Sam Concepcion) and Tracy (Tippy Dos Santos) coping with the realities of adulthood.

APO has been covered and given tributes so many times, it's almost funny we're seeing a movie only now. So you ask yourself, what can I expect?

Explosion of color

Well, there was a lot of dancing, blue denim in "Blue Jeans," and idioms in "Salawikain." But the film in its entirety is an explosion of color, texture and music you'd want to sing along and sway your head to. And it was so well cast, it's hard to imagine the production being the same if any of the actors are changed.

You have Gary Valenciano and Zsa Zsa Padilla as Tracy's bourgeois parents, and composer/guitar teacher dad Ogie Alcasid and caterer mom Eugene Domingo as Rock's mom and dad. Jaime Fabregas is an ex-military grandfather. Frenchie Dy and The Company's Sweet Plantado, and of course, newcomer Neil Coleta were quite impressive as well.

While Martinez has APO to thank for this wonderful piece of work, there is no better tribute than a film that frees one from the fear of the Pinoy musical genre.

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