dominic roco

Ang Nawawala (2012)

Every once in a while, I find a film so beautiful, moving and relatable that I find it hard to sum up in words. “Ang Nawawala” is such a film. Its subtelty and poignancy has cut my heart out and got me tongue-tied. It is so painfully sweet, so depressingly good that I am writing this review with so much and nothing to say at the same time. The film left me as speechless as its protagonist, and whatever writing I’m doing will probably end up as confused ramblings of an emotional girl.

Ironically, this is going to be a very long review containing NECESSARY SPOILERS. I am attempting to expound on the undertones which I can’t do without giving out some details. And because I’m getting really carried away.


“Ang Nawawala” (What Isn’t There) focuses on 20-year old Gibson Bonifacio (Dominic Roco) who has not spoken in ten years. Because of trauma and guilt, he pulled away from the world, setting up his selective mutism as a wall. He comes home for Christmas to a dysfunctional family. His mother (Dawn Zulueta), a woman distant and broken, welcomes him with a cold heart. And when mother and son first look at each other after a long time, we see the pain and longing in Gibson’s eyes.

The Bonifacios are dysfunctional in a very quiet, somber way. They sit over dinner with awkward formality. Although the father (Boboy Garrovillo) tries to cheer everyone up, the cloud hanging over their heads is too heavy to disperse. We see a family portrait of depression. And when we notice one vacant chair on the other end of the table, we understand that something is really missing in the picture.

Gibson moves around the house like a ghost. He locks himself up in his bedroom, smokes pot, and plays his records. Even when he is spending time with his family, he doesn’t really connect with them completely. He tries, with the help of a video camera. He records moments he finds to be special, no matter how ordinary they are. And then he mashes them up in his computer, adding tracks of music that describe how he feels about these memories. He also reconnects with an old friend, Teddy (Alchris Galura), who introduces him to the local music scene. Here, he meets Enid (Annicka Dolonius). They are into the same things and she doesn’t judge him when she finds out he doesn’t talk. She becomes someone he can finally talk with, albeit not without his iPhone. And as her name implies, she brings “life” back to his existence.


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Ang Nawawala (2012) - Philippines

Director: Marie Jamora

Dawn Zulueta, Felix Roco, Dominic Roco, Annicka Dolonius

given that I haven’t seen “Bwakaw” yet… Marie Jamora’s movie debut is my favorite for this year’s Cinemalaya so far! It’s the 500 Days of Summer meets Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist of Pinoy Mubeez… featuring really good details on each frame; production design, wardrobe, scoring etc! Goin crazeee o'er the soundtrack!


What Isn’t There is going to UCLA! We’re screening in Dr. Jasmine Trice’s class in the James Bridges Theater, March 4 at 2:00pm! UCLA, Los Angeles.

In honor of this occasion, I have unearthed co-writer Ramon De Veyra’s never-before-seen photos from our Cinemalaya Gala Night screening! Enjoy!


Eng Seye Seye Nemen

Congratulations Eddie Garcia For Winning Best Actor, Joross Gamboa of Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino for Winning Best Supporting Actor,Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino of “REquieme!” and Dominic Roco of “Ang Nawawala”

Goodbye Cinemalaya 2012. Hopefully I will be able to watch more films next year. Nevertheless, this is the most memorable Cinemalaya for me so far.

Kawala Premiere Night

Last month, I acted for a thesis film in Letran alongside Dominic Roco and Yuwin Lindaya. It was entitled “Kawala,” an action film about gangs and students and love.

I played Lucy, the gang leader. While we were taping, the only instruction I received was to make sure people hate me while they watch me haha

Here are some shots from the premiere night of Cinema Knights 2012!

With Dom and Yuwin while waiting for the motorcade.

There was something like a promo/freedom board in school where we signed. I wrote “Gwapo naman ng mga boys na ‘to” if I remember right! haha

My ever supportive parents attended the premiere night with me! Sayang my sister wasn’t able to go 'cos she had play rehearsals.

And there was Jhonel! :)

The premiere night took pretty long, three hours! So we had to entertain ourselves during the downtime haha That’s Matt, the other gang leader, at the far end!

The group behind the film, Brainstorm Studios. Good job guys! You look good! :)

Congratulations to all six films: Kawala, Convoy, Patent, Beauconera, Last Manny, and On The Way! :)