Joel Saracho crossed rivers, climbed mountains for The Baseball Player”
Movies & Television Series

Joel Saracho crossed rivers, climbed mountains for "The Baseball Player”

Aug 17, 2022, 8:36 AM
Boy Villasanta

Boy Villasanta


Movie, television and theater actor Joel Saracho might have grown up in the city of Pasay and later spent years of urban life in various places of Metro Manila, yet he is still unfamiliar with a lot of remote regions in the far-flung provinces in the country.

But being an adventurous person, Joel was challenged when he was called to the set of “The Baseball Player,” the 2022 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Best Movie directed by Carlo Obispo.

Saracho would play a soldier in the film and he had to travel miles in the hinterlands of Tarlac to get to the exact location.

According to Joel who is also a political activist, when he arrived in Camiling town, he had to move to a truck.

“Yung trak lang makakadaan sa mabatong daan patungo sa barangay Labney, baryo ng (Only the truck can pass by a stony road to the barrio of) Mayantok,” he said.

The journalist-turned-actor described that the cast and crew of the film would stay in houses in the area.

“Makikituloy lang sa mga bahay-bahay bilang accommodation. Walang hotel, walang signal. Solar powered ang karamihan sa mga bahay. Kung tutuusin, wala silang napapanood na teleserye at walang kilalang artista. Yung ideya ng remote barangay (We would only stay in the assigned houses. No hotels, no communication signal. The houses are solar-powered. In hindsight, the residents don’t watch teleserye and they don’t know any actors, that’s) yun ang Labney,” he shared.

At the house of the Barangay Chairman was the place for cooking the creatives’ foods. “(Like a) Central operation post kumbaga,” Joel added.

From Labney, the cast and crew would walk for 45 minutes to the set.

“Tatawid ng ilog. Hindi nila sinabi na malalaking bato ang dadaanan (hindi nagbibirong boulders!) at madulas ang mga bato sa ilog. Syempre, inabot ako ng mahigit isang oras bago nakarating. Partida, akay-akay ako ni Max Celada, at may walking stick pang tangan sa kabilang kamay (We would cross a river. They didn’t tell me there were big stones to walk on—really boulders—and they were slippery. Of course, it took me more than one hour to get to the set. Equally, Max Celada was holding one of my hand while he had a walking stick on the other),” recalled Saracho.

When the versatile actor arrived in the set, he jeered on the production people.

“…pabiro kong sinabihan sina Carlo Obispo at ang kanyang crew: ‘Tangina, pag ito hindi naging magandang pelikula, papatayin ko kayong lahat (I jokingly said ‘Son of a bitch, if this movie wouldn’t be good, I would kill all of you),” teased Joel.

While narrating, Saracho flashed forward on the Cinemalaya 18 awards night last Sunday, August 14, 2022 at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP):

“Apat na major awards- screenplay, editing, actor at best film! Higit pa sa sulit sa pagod, hindi ako naging kriminal! Malugod na pagbati at mahigpit na yakap sa cast at crew ng ‘The Baseball Player.’ Direk Carlo, quits na! At labis na pasasalamat sa mamamayan ng Labney sa kanilang suporta (Four major awards—screenplay, editing, actor and film! It’s worth the effort),” said Joel as he followed it with a joke, “and I didn’t commit a crime.”

"Warm greetings and tight hugs to the cast and crew of ‘The Baseball Player’,” quipped Joel who again cracked a joke, “Direk (Director) Carlo, quits na (settled already)!”
“Overflowing thanks to the citizens of Labney for their support,” he ended.

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