‘Manay Po 2’: It’s a gay, gay, gay world
By: Ronald Constantino   From: Tempo
[April 17, 2008]

It’s a gay, gay, gay world as ‘Manay Po 2’ explodes with fun and laughter, lots and lots of ’em. Loaded, overloaded, really.

Rufa Mae Quinto, who joins the fun and laughter in the sequel, is riot as the mali-mali babymaker, wreaking havoc on the family of Cherry Pie Picache and her three gay sons: The "tough" Polo Ravales, the cross-dressing John Prats, and the confused Jiro Manio, just discovering his gayhood.

Another newcomer in ‘Manay Po 2 Overloaded’ is Sid Lucero, as the gay partner of Polo, taking over the role originally played by Luis Alandy. Heard that Luis is now a born-again Christian and is no longer keen on doing gay parts. Well, Sid came out very well, so like his dad, Mark Gil, who played gay roles in his younger years.

Still another new face in ‘Manay Po 2’ is Marco Alcaraz as the fumbling, bumbling partner in crime of Peachy (Rufa Mae). Hoping to see Marco in the third version of ‘Manay Po 2,’ in a closet queen, or even screaming fag, character. He’s okay.

FARCE, SPOOF – Scriptwriter Dinno Erece (he shared story credit with Regal producer Mother Lily Monteverde) has come up with a farce, a spoof reminiscent of those French comedies seen late at night on cable. But Dinno’s script is more campy, more outrageous, mas naka-kabaliw.

Of the three gay sons, John Prats is the scene-stealer, a pretty sight in drag, making him some kind of young Dolphy. Remember the comedy king in ‘Jack en Jill,’ ‘Fefita Fofonggay,’ ‘Facifica Falayfay’? Like Dolphy, John is also matinik sa chick, right Shaina (Magdayao)? But John said that outside ‘Manay Po’ he’s no longer doing gay roles. Baka ma-develop, Prats?

But let it be said that Polo Ravales and Jiro Manio have their moments. Polo’s "love scenes" with Peachy and Sid reduced the premiere audience at Megamall to stiches. And so did Jiro Manio’s life-saving encounter with the swimming instructor (Paolo Rivero) and bonding with best friends EJ Jallorina (of ‘Pisay’) and Andrea Torres. EJ was so effective that director Joel Lamangan was asked, "Bading ba talaga si EJ?" Joel’s quick reply, "Hindi."

ENSEMBLE ACTING – Direk Joel, even in a comedy like ‘Manay Po 2 Overloaded,’ made his actors act – and act well. Imagine the highly esteemed Cherry Pie Picache as Luzviminda Dimagiba, distressed mother of three gays and anxious woman in love – with a stuntman (Christian Vazquez). Pie is comparable to the great Vanessa Redgrave, who is equal to any love, including a transsexual. Come to think of it, Pie will be great playing a man.

The rest of the cast were good: Giselle Sanchez as the maid: Rubirubi as the sexy actress Summer Rain; Mike Tan as John’s ex-lover; IC Mendoza and Charles Christianson as John’s amigas; Jim Pebangco as the sugar daddy.

Special mention to Alex Castro, younger and handsomer version of Dennis Trillo. He is John’s memory-impaired BF, very effective. To think that ‘Manay Po 2 Overloaded’ is only his second picture, the first being ‘My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.’