‘Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing,’ the 1983 Peque Gallage movie considered ahead of its time, is back for new audiences to enjoy after being digitally restored and remastered as it recently premiered at the Cinemalaya 2019 through ABS-CBN Film Restoration’s “Sagip Pelikula” campaign.

Often described as wild and absurd, the movie brings the funny misadventures of four carefree friends who mysteriously resurface in Mexico after diving in the waters of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan.

The premiere was graced by Mariel Cruz , daughter of cinematographer Ely Cruz, Monet Ongpin-Aquino and Denise Ongpin-Sanico (daughters of producer Simon Ongpin), and the film’s stars with their families: Edgar Mortiz, Jaime Fabregas, Christopher de Leon, and Laurice Guillen.

The cast expressed their surprise and gratitude for the efforts to bring the old masterpiece for today’s generation to discover.

“Who would’ve thought we will be able to see this again? I was also surprised that it was picked for restoration. Thank you so much for restoring “Bad Bananas” so we can get to see our craziness before with the newer generation,” Edgar Mortiz exclaimed.

“Thank you so much for supporting the Filipino film industry, thank you for restoring and enhancing this movie. We had a great time doing this crazy movie. This will blow your mind. Even when I was reading the material before, I was in disbelief how Direk Peque and Direk Jose Javier Reyes came up with this,“ acclaimed actor Christopher de Leon proudly shared.

Proof of the movie’s artistic clout are the movie‘s list of legendary actors who made cameo appearances. It includes Nora Aunor, Sandy Andolong, Amy Austria, Laurice Guillen, Hilda Koronel, Rio Locsin, Gina Alajar, and Ronnie Lazaro.

The movie was restored in 2K through its 35mm print film source, kept and preserved at the ABS-CBN Film Collection. Each frame contained tremendous defects such as dust and dirt, patches, scratches, flickering, color stain, mold, and even fungus. Its picture was restored in Kantana Post Production from Thailand under a total of 3,800 restoration hours. It is the same postproduction house of the Star Cinema hit, “Hello, Love Goodbye.”

In “Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing” the foursome of Errol (Christopher de Leon), Herman (Jay Ilagan), Tacio (Johhny Delgado), and Peewee (Edgar Mortiz) merely plan a short underwater dive in the Hundred Islands but by some stroke of fate, ends up in the Central American country of Mexico. As they try to go back home, a dying man entrusts them with a sombrero that the crazy Lastiko (Jaime Fabregas) and his henchman Alagua (Larry Lawrence) is trying to steal. As it turns out, the hat holds a map that leads to treasures. Together with Macy (Gigette Reyes) and
special agent Cayugyug (Nora Aunor), the four try to outwit and outdo Lastiko.

ABS-CBN has made it a part of its mission to serve the Filipino people to help preserve the country’s cinematic legacy and cultural heritage for future generations through the ABS-CBN Film Restoration project. The team was recently awarded an international Gold Quill in Vancouver, Canada by the International Association of Business Communicators for its efforts to expose millennials, which consist half of the country’s population, to classic films.

Since its launch in 2016 [1], the campaign has remained focused on its mission by participating actively in various platforms where it could communicate its message of safeguarding the country’s cultural heritage and keeping its cinematic legacy alive.

More chances to catch the restored classics are coming as ABS-CBN Film Restoration will bring back “Reelive the Classics” at Rockwell Power Plant Mall. Meanwhile other screenings are in the works with Cinema 76, Cinema Centenario, QCinema Festival, and Cinema One Originals Festival.