After setting two world records at its premiere night, Felix Manalo opened in theaters around the country on Wednesday, giving Filipinos an opportunity to learn about the man who built a church that is now estimated to have 3 to 5 million members in 102 countries worldwide.
Felix Manalo director Joel Lamangan on Wednesday encouraged the public to watch the historical drama, and said that the biopic, which stars Dennis Trillo as Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) founder Felix Manalo, is “a not just about the life of a remarkable man, it is a tribute to the Filipino spirit.”
“The story of Felix Manalo is very much the story of every Filipino who has never allowed adversity to discourage him from pursuing his goals and dreams; you don’t have to be an INC member to appreciate that,” said the multi-awarded director.
According to Lamangan, “Filipinos are known to be the most resilient people in the world; we can survive and triumph over all kinds of challenges, natural and man-made. Felix Manalo, I think, reiterates this truth.”
Lamangan added that he hoped that the renewed interest in history generated by the film Heneral Luna would likewise encourage the public to watch Felix Manalo, as the movie traces the growth of the church in relation to the major historical events of the county.
“Heneral Luna showed that there is a market for movies like these,” said the director whose past films include The Flor Contemplacion Story, Sidhi, Deathrow, Hubog, Aishte Imasu 1941, Blue Moon, and Mano Po.
“Hopefully, the commercial success of historical dramas would open the door for similar projects, so that the public would be educated and enlightened, as well as entertained.”
Felix Manalo premiered last Sunday, bagging the record for Largest Audience At A Film Premiere and the Largest Audience At A Film Screening with 43,624 people in the initial screening.
Touted as the most expensive movie Viva Films has ever produced, the film stars Dennis Trillo as Felix Manalo and Bela Padilla as his wife Honorata de Guzman-Manalo. Its star-studded cast includes Gabby Concepcion, AJ Muhlach, Heart Evangelista, Snooky Serna, Gladys Reyes, Joel Torre, Elizabeth Oropesa, and Jaime Fabregas.