Charo Santos-Concio has made her big film acting comeback in
the Lav Diaz masterpiece Ang Babaeng
Humayo, currently competing for the Golden Lion in the 73rd
Venice International Film Festival.
But while the milestone is indeed a cause for celebration,
given that Charo Santos-Concio, the actress is back, she was the dutiful artist
wanting only the best portrayal of an engrossing role.
And, since it has been over a decade since she last appeared
in a film and, she admitted to PUSH in an exclusive interview that she did not
mind going “back to basics”.
“I did some acting workshops,” said Charo, the 1977 Asian
Film Festival Best Actress for the Mike de Leon film, Itim. “Nag-refresher course ako with (award-winning actress and
acting coach) Malou de Guzman.”
After reading the script and accepting the lead role of
Horacia, a sixtysomething correctional inmate who spent half of her life in
jail for a crime she did not commit, Charo admits she had mixed feelings.
“Syempre di ba natutuwa ako, pero natatakot din ako because
I have not acted for the past…more or less 15 years. May takot, may kaba, may
excitement—mixed feelings,” she said.
But to effectively portray the character, not only were
workshops necessary but also getting immersed into it, she said.
Charo said she spent a great deal of time inside the
Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City.
“I interviewed several women inmates there, I talked to them
about their life in prison. Kasi I had to imagine eh, anong nawala sa akin,”
“Kinausap ko sila kung paano yung buhay sa loob, no…na
parang tumitigil ang mundo para sayo. Then I toured the premises. I wanted to
have a feel on what it’s like to be in prison,” she added.
Charo’s character, Horacia Somorostro was framed by an
ex-lover and wrongfully convicted to serve a life sentence. After 30 years
languishing in prison, she was set free after a friend and fellow inmate
admitted to the crime after being guilt-trodden over Horacia’s plight. While
she sought redress and revenge from the man who took away 30 years of her life,
Horacia would find peace and solace in her belated journey to redemption.
There’s a story of transcendence. It’s a journey of
transcendence for the character,” Charo said. “It in fact is a spiritual…a very
spiritual journey. And that attracted me so much to the role and the
With Charo in the cast are John Lloyd Cruz, Michael de Mesa,
Nonie Buencamino and Shamaine Buencamino.
WATCH: The first teaser trailer of Ang Babaeng Humayo