‘Felix Manalo’ can break local box office records

Actor Dennis Trillo seems unaffected by the thought that Felix Manalo may be the biggest film ever in local box-office history.

Already, the Iglesia Ni Cristo leadership along with Viva Films, which produced the biopic of the INC founder, Ka Felix Manalo, has given notice to the Guinness Book of World Records, to observe the premiere screening of the film at the humungous Philippine Arena, which can seat 55,000 people. On Oct. 4, it will be transformed into a huge cinema with a screen in line with the film premiere, the Philippine Arena will be transformed into a theatre with 22 meters by 40 meters screen mounted for a full movie house experience. That screen is equivalent to a four-story building.

A young Felix used to be a Catholic

Ka Edwil Zabala, spokesman for INC said, the congregation has been planning on making a film about Ka Felix but it only materialized two years ago.

The making of the film is rife with stories from multiple changes of directors and cast that finally landed on the lap of Joel Lamangan and actor Trillo.

Trillo was, during the press conference at Fiesta Pavilion of The Manila Hotel, at time groping for words to say how honored he was to be trusted with the role of Ka Felix whom millions of “kapatid” look up to with reverence.

“And I thought I was just going to play Ka Felix in his younger years, and then I was told the producers would simply age me with make up and prosthesis,” he said. “I was flabbergasted, speechless and then I started reading on Ka Felix and studying his manner of speech through tapes that I was able to get. I also consulted with the ministers who were always around to make sure the life of Ka Felix and his teachings were to be portrayed correctly.”

Ka Erdy (Gabby Concepcion)

The movie will catapult Trillo as the country’s biggest star with over three million Filipinos (all Kapatid) filling up cinemas across the country during the films run beginning Oct. 10.

Vincent Del Rosario, producer at Viva, said, Felix Manalo will also screen around the world where there are members of the congregation,

The country’s biggest stars and other prominent celebrities, led Trillo, are expected to grace the momentous event at Philippine Arena.

In the movie, Dennis plays the lead role of Ka Felix Manalo, Iglesia ni Cristo’s first Executive Minister, while Bela Padilla plays the role of his wife, Ka Honorata.

The film also features other big-name stars like Gabby Concepcion who plays Ka Eraño (Erdy) Manalo, Gladys Reyes, Jacklyn Jose, Snooky Serna, Lorna Tolentino, Richard Yap, Dale Baldillo among others.

Young Felix Manalo (Dennis Trlllo) and wife Honorata (Bela Padilla)

It was shot for 58 days over a period of eight months with only the best and well-respected names in the local film production scene doing tedious work to ensure world-class quality.

Joel’s team includes director of photography Rody Lacap, production designer Edgar Littaua, set design and construction Danny Red, costume designer Joel Marcelo Bilbao, hair and make-up Juvan Bermil, musical director Von de Guzman, sound engineer Albert Michael Idioma, film editor John Wong, visual effects supervisor Adrian Arcega, assistant director Arman Reyes and associate director Julius Alfonso.

Felix Manalo is monumental as it traces the origins and growth of the INC since 1914. It painstakingly covers and replicates events and locations as early as 1886 when Ka Felix was born until his demise in 1963.

Gabby Concepcion pallbearer at left plays Ka Eraño (Erdy) Manalo

Audiences will surely marvel at the elaborate production sets and costumes that cut across Philippine history as it relays Ka Felix’s trials and tribulations as an ordinary human being, a dutiful husband, a doting father, and a dynamic leader.

For a sneak peek at Felix Manalo’s trailer, visit or log on or at VIVA Entertainment’s YouTube page.

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