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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


"Private Show" (1985)- Stars Jaclyn Jose, Gino Antonio, Leopoldo Salcedo, Lucita Soriano, Yvonne/ Directed by Sixto Kayco (Chito Rono)

Private Show was made in 1984 and was released locally in 1985 and won the Star Best Actress Award for the young Jaclyn Jose. The movie was the directorial debut of Chito Roño, who used the pseudonym Sixto Kayco in the credits.

Chito Roño is the eldest of seven children of Jose Roño, the former Minister of Local Government of the Marcos regime. His decision to join show business came as a surprise to the Roño family. With a full bachelor’s degree in filmmaking at the School for Social Research in New York, he ventured into film directing.

“My mother was shocked when she saw my first movie, Private Show, which was about the lives of toro/torrera or live sex performers,” he said in a newspaper article. “Hindi niya ako mapatawad because she is very religious. I told her it’s be much better if she wouldn’t watch my films na lang. My father was more liberal. He explained to her that it was just an exploitation film kundi art din.”

Private Show tells of a seventeen-year old girl, Myrna (Jaclyn Jose) who is forced to work as a torrera (live sex performer) under Ador (Leopoldo Salcedo), owner and maintainer of the casa or toro house. She and her colleagues get free board and lodging in the casa and even alcohol which they use before and after the sex act. Myrna is attracted to her partner, Jimmy (Gino Antonio) which eventually becomes her boyfriend. After witnessing some deplorable scenes, Myrna decides to leave the casa and lives with Jimmy. They have a brief romantic interlude and, for the first time, their sexual trysts exude the true feelings of affection which are lacking when they mechanically perform their jobs at the casa. But, this short period of love and hope does not last. Myrna has grown dependent on drugs, Jimmy’s kidney trouble bothers him once more and they simply cannot make both ends meet. Myrna returns to the casa a broken individual, without the will to fight. She keeps popping in more prohibited pills and death comes quietly to claim her during a party that is meant to celebrate her maintainer’s expansion in the trade.


TheCoolCanadian said...


I actually find Private Show an artistic film rather than sexploitative. The first film I've seen done by Roño was Moon Child (Itanong mo sa buwan), technically and artistically, I'd say this is Roños best work.

Private Show, on the other hand, was done quite realistically, i.e., reflecting reality the way it was during that decade. It is indeed a mistake when people these days think that during Martial Law, sex shows were non-existent because they were constricted by Ferdinand Marcos – something quite inaccurate. In the 1970s, live sex shows were everywhere in Metro Manila. There were great selections of these shows and one can find whatever turned him on (according to his sexual preference). I've never liked bars or night clubs, but because some movie stars I knew loved the Manila nightlife, I've caved in from time to time to join them, and sometimes what I see were truly shocking, and certainly dehumanizing on the part of the performers.

Hence, when Bernal did Manila by Night (which was changed by the Censors to City by Night – where Rio Locsin and Jojo Santiago played the couple who were live sex performers), it simply reflected what was really going on in the country that time.

The fact that the film was allowed to be shown and only the title was changed (in order not to besmirch the city of Manila because Imelda was the governor then), we can therefore say that during the Martial Law years, if you produced a film without antagonizing Marcos' policies (cronyism) and not side with the New People's Army, then he didn't really care if you produced movies like Manila by Night and/or Private Show.

By the way, I've watched Manila by Night and Private Show at the Toronto Film Festival, and Private Show did disturb a lot of viewers; while most of the audience watching Manila by Night got bored.

I was bored too, by Manila by Night, but I was disturbed by Private Show – and because of this, I dare say that Private Show is a more effective, better film compared to Manila by Night. This Roño's neo-realist feature is as heart-rending and as memorable as Germania Anno Zero (1948).

Jacklyn Jose was amazing here, and my friend Joey Sanchez (Gino Antonio) was quite convincing, and his true-to-life personality of being a very quiet person worked really well in his performance).

Private Show is a depiction of the extremes of human existence – a sobering experience for a moviegoer, knowing that some of our fellow human beings are living in penury. And in a capitalist society, one has to have a "capital" of some sort to make a living. But, for those who have no substantial education or skills, in order for them to survive in a capitalist society, they will have to use whatever they possess to survive: their bodies.

Anonymous said...


You are right. The time was 1969, malayo pa ang Martial Law.On my first job's salary, nagkatuwaan. Nag pass the hat para manood nga nitong Live Show.Yung mga beterano na were the ones taking care of business.So off we went sa Roxas Blvd. In one of those decrepit hole in the wall there naganap ang live show. The actors look Masang-masa, and the woman parang malnourished pa eh. The guy was skinny.In other words, malayo sa mga nababasa mo sa PENTHOUSE & PLAYBOY. After the show, naawa pa ako doon sa couple eh. Pathos & emphaty ang na experience ko doon. They have to debase themselves para kumita lang? kung sabagay kahit sa Amerika at Europe eh nangyayari din ito, pero at least malulusog ang mga actors doon.



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