‘Pugon’ heats up screen with child labor issues, premieres in Cinemalaya 2021

July 28, 2021 People's Journal 1102 views

‘PUGON (The Furnace)’ is a narrative statement through a short film directed by Gabby Ramos, starring Andrea Del Rosario, Soliman Cruz, and introducing Jhassy Busran, Cassie Kim, and Bamboo B.

It presents the story of Sonia (played by Jhassy Busran), a 14-year-old girl full of dreams from a fishing village, a community where pawning their children is the norm. Forced into child labor for a sum their parents get is an abuse the kids need to face every day.

Her baptism of fire begins when she is brought to a bread factory. Along with other children, they witness the acts of abuse by their employer, Mang Rey (Soliman Cruz).

After ten months of servitude, they could finally get back home. Shock and dismay welcome her back as she learns that her father had died. This forces her mother to pawn her again as payment for her father’s funeral expenses.

Like the rest of the child-laborers from the bread factory, all homeless and in debt once more, a question awaits to be answered: When will this cycle of debt bondage end?

Pugon’s director, Juan Gabriel M. Ramos a.k.a. Direk Gabby Ramos is one of the country’s well-known audio visual director in television and commercials.

He graduated cum laude at Far Eastern University with post studies at Bond University in Australia.

In the Philippines, Direk Gabby worked with top government agencies including the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, NEDA, TESDA, DOLE, DOE, and leading media companies like ABS CBN (Studio 23), GMA 7, among others.

He is also a successful businessman venturing in his own film production company: Remedios Entertainment Production or REMS Films.

Also in the cast are Edmond Santiago, Carmen Del Rosario, and Sheena Lee Palad.

An initial venture of Rems Films, ‘Pugon’ is proudly part of the Indie Nation exhibition section of the prestigious Cinemalaya 2021, now on its 17th year.

The most popular indie filmfest in the Philippines is slated to be streamed from Aug. 6 to Sept. 5, 2021 via KTX.ph.

For updates, check out the film’s official Facebook page.