Making it to the list of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF 2020) entries is Suarez: The Healing Priest, biopic of the recently-departed Fr. Fernando Suarez. Before his untimely demise last February, the 53-year old priest was able to handpick award-winning actor John Arcilla for the title role. Suarez was also very much involved in the recording of the film’s theme song, “Yakapin Mo Ako,” with director-composer Joven Tan.
Suarez: The Healing Priest is set to present the timeline of Fr. Suarez’s gift of healing through the years. He was a priest who performed faith healing in the Philippines and abroad. Realizing this special ability at 16, the young Fernando decided to keep it a secret until he pursued his religious calling.
As a priest, Suarez’s life was peppered with controversies as accusations were hurled at him. He found himself entangled in scandals and squabbles with the Catholic Church but remained unfazed. Suarez forged on but was also confronted by the fear of having the gift taken away from him.
Based on feedback from the film’s early viewers, Arcilla was said to have convincingly given life to the character and displayed his Best Actor potential once again. It must have helped that he was one of the late priest’s advocates. In fact, Arcilla shared his firsthand experience of Suarez’s healing in detail. He recalled, “More on emotional ‘yung nagawang healing sa akin ni Fr. Suarez. He touched my head and prayed over. After that, gumaan ‘yung pakiramdam ko. Umaliwalas. That was the time na may mga problema kami sa family. At totoong may miracle. Naging okay ang family ko. ‘Yung healing hindi lang talaga sa physical ‘yan.“
Arcilla believes that beyond his death, Suarez’s gift may transcend through the screen this coming festival season to restore our faith and touch our hearts. “Ngayong may pandemya, ibibigay sa atin ng pelikula ‘yung nawalang paniniwala natin. Hahaplusin tayo ni Father Suarez through our film, kahit wala na s’ya,” he ended.
This Christmas, watch the MMFF official entry Suarez: The Healing Priest. It also stars Jin Macapagal, Marlo Mortel, Jairus Aquino, Troy Montero, Alice Dixson, and Dante Rivero.
WATCH the trailer: