at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story


Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Center for Korean Studies Auditorium at 6:30 PM

Philippines (2011, 145 min)

Director: (uncredited)
Writers: Roy Iglesias, Rey Ventura
Cinematography: Carlo Mendoza
Art Direction: Mona Soriano
Cast: Jorge Estregan, Carla Abellana, Phillip Salvador, Bong Regala, Baron Geisler, Yul Servo, Dennis Padilla, Ketchup Eusebio, Ping Medina, Gerald Ejercito, Amay Bisaya, Ronnie Lazaro, Joko Diaz, J.C. Parker, Paloma , Valerie Concepcion, Dante Rivero, Robert Arevalo, Perla Bautista, Marissa Sanchez, Roldan Aquino, Roi Vinzon, Jay Manalo

The message of this film is clearly articulated in the advertising poster: “live by the gun, die by the gun”. Filmed in stark monochrome, MANILA KINGPIN is based on the story of the notorious Tondo, Manila, gang leader Nicasio “Asiong” Salonga, whose true-to-life accounts had been portrayed in several movie versions since 1961.

An all-star cast brings high-value acting chops to the many supporting roles. Jeorge Estregan, also known to the constituents of Laguna as Governor ER Ejercito, plays Asiong Salonga in the film. The sibling conflict between Asiong, who is a career criminal, and Domeng (Philip Salvador), who is a cop, allows Salvador to play up “the older brother torn between family and duty” role…perfect casting for this tense action thriller.

MANILA KINGPIN, underneath the imperfections…is actually an honest film. Filipino viewers have long been waiting for these grand themes of heroic bloodshed and macho culture to return to Philippine cinema.

MANILA KINGPIN won a slew of awards at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Screenplay.