Popular Pinoy urban legend gets fresh take on screen

July 8, 2023 Ian F. Fariñas 541 views

A popular Filipino urban legend will spark more interest and curiosity. Help solve the mystery and go deep within the story of Mary Cherry Chua in cinemas this July 19.

The name Mary Cherry Chua became popular in the early 2000s. According to the urban legend, Mary is an intelligent young student who was raped and killed by the school janitor.

Stories say that up to now, her spirit still wanders the school premises.

Get a new perspective about this famed school urban legend written and directed by 2018 CineFilipino finalist Roni Benaid.

“I remember nu’ng high school ako, sikat siya sa amin. Gusto kong ibalik siya at ipakilala sa younger generations, sa mga Gen-Z,” says the director on why he chose to bring this famous horror story into the big screen.

Mary Cherry Chua (Abby Bautista) was a student back in the ’60s from a prestigious school. A cheerful young girl with long black hair, she has it all – beautiful, rich and smart.

She is adored and envied by many and is known as their school’s Miss Popular. But her seemingly perfect life is cut short when she is found lifeless on their campus grounds and declared to have been raped and murdered.

At present, Karen (Ashley Diaz), a high school student who enjoys reading horror stories and urban legends, is so intrigued about Mary Cherry Chua’s life that she decides to re-open the case to do a little investigation of her own and further strengthen the evidence about the crime.

With the help of her friends and classmates, Karen gets new information about the case. But as she digs deeper, looking for the truth, it seems that she may have also been digging her own grave after she uncovers something that could endanger her own life.

Mary Cherry Chua is Ashley’s first lead role in a movie. She shares how she managed to handle the pressure while working for this movie, “There will always be pressure naman sa bawat project pero iba po talaga kasi kapag first lead mo tapos solo ka pa, pero nasa sa’yo naman ‘yon kung i-take mo ‘yung pressure positively or negatively. Eh, ngayon naman I’m taking it positively.”

She also shares the biggest challenge she had to face in portraying her character, “Pinaka-challenging na ginawa ko for this role ay ‘yung nagpagupit ako, kasi halos years bago ko napahaba ‘yung buhok ko, pero for the role I cut it short. Worth it naman.”

Ashley’s father, award-winning actor Joko Diaz, gives his all-out support as he plays Mr. Manzano, Karen’s term paper adviser.

“Kay Ashley, I’m a proud papa, pero siyempre kailangan gina-guide mo pa rin siya.”

Mary Cherry Chua also stars young and promising stars Kokoy de Santos as Paco (Karen’s coward research partner), Lyca Gairanod as Faith (Karen’s supportive best friend), Krissha Viaje as Lena (Karen’s protective sister) and Abby Bautista as Mary Cherry Chua.

Playing a very important role in the film is Alma Moreno who will play Ms. Estrella, who will give crucial information about Mary Cherry Chua’s death.

Direk Roni expresses his appreciation for the cast and their professionalism, “Lahat sila cooperative, tinutulungan nila ako maituro ko sa kanila or masabi ko sa kanila ‘yung intention ng character.”

Mary Cherry Chua opens in cinemas nationwide on July 19.