Vin Abrenica poses and smiles during his solo press conference for the movie ‘Moonlight Over Baler’ at Limbaga 77 Restaurant on Tuesday. (Photos by Yummie Dingding/InterAksyon)
By Edwin P. Sallan, InterAksyon.com
January 12, 2017 · 8:16 pm
Vin Abrenica admits that he was both hurt and disappointed when the upcoming romantic comedy-drama “Moonlight Over Baler” did not make it as one of the official entries in the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival.
“I expected a lot since our director Gil Portes had high hopes that we would get in. After friends texted me about it, all I could say in my reply was ‘Ouch!’,” Vin told InterAksyon during his pocket press conference Wednesday to promote the film, which is now scheduled to open in cinemas on February 8.
The good news is that the 25-year-old actor was impressed with the quality of the entries selected in the MMFF. He said those films have inspired him to continue working on his craft as he still hopes to someday be part of the coveted Christmas season festival and experience what it’s like to ride a float during the annual parade of stars.
With or without the MMFF, Vin’s career has picked up in a big way. Last year saw the strapping young lad leave TV5, the network where he started his career four and a half years ago, and step into the big leagues by joining ABS-CBN’s roster of stars.
There, he became more visible with frequent guest appearances on drama anthology shows like “Maalaala Mo Kaya” and “Ipaglaban Mo.” In between those shows, he also made his mark on the big screen in a pivotal supporting role opposite elder brother Aljur in the high-profile historical drama “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli.”
“I’m more recognized now. People used to know me as Aljur’s brother. Now whenever I do mall shows, people call me by my own name. That’s music to my ears,” he confessed.
Things can only get better for Vin as he opens 2017 with not just one but two major movie releases.
In Chris Martinez’s sexy action comedy “Extra Service” produced by Star Cinema, Vin, Enzo Pineda and Ejay Falcon play the three leading men of lead stars Jessy Mendiola, Arci Muñoz and Coleen Garcia.
While his exposure in the film provided audiences with a glimpse of his leading man potential, it is really his starmaking turn in “Moonlight Over Baler” where the exceptional talents that made him the Best Actor grand winner of TV5’s “Artista Academy” come to the fore.
As the title indicates, the film is set mostly in the scenic and historic town of Baler but its story takes place in two eras: the early 1940s and the summer of 1986.
Vin plays the dual roles of Nestor, a Filipino USAFFE soldier who fights the Japanese Occupation during World War II, and Nestor’s doppelganger Kenji, a Japanese photojournalist and surfing enthusiast who visits Baler after covering the Edsa Revolution.
Vin Abrenica in his dual roles as Nestor and (right) Kenji in ‘Moonlight Over Baler.’
What makes Vin’s performance even more impressive is that it comes on the heels of his recent breakup with ex-girlfriend and fellow “Artista Academy” winner, Sophie Albert who plays Fidela, Nestor’s fiancé.
“When I found out that she was also in the cast, something in me was a little tickled even though we had already broken up,” Vin admitted.
The actor said that since he and Sophie parted in good terms, he believes that thyey were able to channel residual grief that they both felt from their failed relationship in their respective performances.
“We had a lot of heavy scenes here but I was really awed by her portrayal as Fidela, especially after I repeatedly reviewed our scenes,” he further shared.
Even as he is admittedly anxious about how he will be received by audiences in “Moonlight Over Baler,” Vin is already strengthening his foothold as one of the new romantic lead actors to watch this year.
He will soon steam up the small screen opposite Maja Salvador in ABS-CBN’s upcoming sexy soap opera “Wildflower” as he is also keeping himself in top shape in preparation for another upcoming action series which co-stars him with Xian Lim and will be helmed by reputable action director, Toto Natividad.
Asked about the plans of ABS-CBN and Star Cinema for him this year, Vin says his home network and studio has not specifically talked to him about it. But given how busy he already is, he has a pretty good idea how his career is shaping up.
“I’m doing a lot of projects. I can feel that this is going to be a great year for me,” he declared.
Directed by by Gil Portes from a Palanca Award-winning screenplay by Enrique Ramos, “Moonlight Over Baler” also stars Elizabeth Oropesa, Ellen Adarna, Daria Ramirez, Menggie Cobarrubias, Angie Ferro, Kate Alejandrino, Abel Estanislao, Aaron Yanga, Dennis Coronel, Alvin Fortuna, Jess Evardone, Jun Nayra and Blaine Medina.
Produced by T-Rex Entertainment and distributed by OctoArts Films, the movie opens February 8 in cinemas nationwide.