Iskul Bukol 20 Years After (Ungasis and Escaleras Adventure)

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Iskul Bukol 20 Years After (Ungasis and Escaleras Adventure)
Directed by Tony Y. Reyes
Written by Bibeth Orteza
Starring Tito Sotto
Vic Sotto
Joey De Leon
Music by Jan K. Ilacad
Distributed by OctoArts Films
Running time
1 hour and 45 minutes
Country Philippines
Language Tagalog, English
Budget P 59 million
Box office P 116 million

Iskul Bukol 20 Years After (Ungasis and Escaleras Adventure) is a Philippine comedy movie starring actors Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon. It is part of the Iskul Bukol franchise, depicting its characters 20 years after the end of the original TV series. It is also the fourth Iskul Bukol film (after 1977's Iskul Bukol the Movie, 1980's Iskul Bukol Freshmen, and 1987's The Best of Iskul Bukol: The Movie).

The movie, which was a joint collaboration of APT Entertainment, MZET Films, and OctoArts Films, was one of the movies exhibited at the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival.


Vic Ungasis (Sotto) is an archaeologist who has recovered the Kali of Humabon and is looking for a partner sword, the Kampilan of Lapu-Lapu, plus the Peseta, one of Judas Iscariot's 30 pieces of silver which reportedly gives the bearer immortality. Upon returning home, he reunites with the Escalera brothers, who have become successful real-estate developers. However, a Yakuza who has acquired the Kampilan wants the Peseta so it could be merged with the sword for unmatched power.


Original cast[edit]

Many members of the show's original cast appear in the movie, aside from the three leads. They include Anthony Roquel (Tonette Macho), Mely Tagasa (Miss Tapia), Sharon Cuneta (Sharon Escalera), Redford White (Redford), Ariel Villasanta (Pekto), scriptwriter Bibeth Orteza (Bibeth), Kaye Torres (Kaye Flores), and Richard Reyes, otherwise known as Ritchie D'Horsie (with BJMP personnel holding him).

Vic Sotto said the decision to get Ritchie on the film was hard to make, considering that he, Tito Sotto, and Joey de Leon have bailed him out several times over the years on drug charges but did not change his ways. The trio stressed that the latest bailout, where they paid PHP 120,000, will be Reyes' last chance to reform. Ritchie eventually appeared on set during the last shooting day on November 11, 2008.[2]

The role of Mang Temi was retired as a tribute to cast member Bing Angeles who died in 2001. The movie was eventually dedicated to him and series director Emmanuel "Boy" Gatus, who died in October 2008.

At the same time, certain characters were introduced as an homage to past series characters. Joey de Leon's real-life son, Keempee, plays Wympy, Joey Escalera's son by series character Patty Pulupot, a dancer at the Agogo Banana strip club. Gian Sotto, Tito Sotto's real-life son, plays Gianni, Tito Escalera's son by Pulupot's colleague, Mercy Taga.[3] Bubble Gang mainstay Mykah appears in a short scene as Mang Temi's daughter Temita.


Vic Sotto first revealed during a 2007 episode of the GMA documentary show I-Witness that he wished to do a reunion movie with the surviving cast members of Iskul Bukol, particularly his co-hosts, Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon. He later said that after four straight Enteng Kabisote movies, it was high time that the comic trio got back together on the big screen.[4] On July 2, 2008, Vic's film production company, M-ZET Films, submitted a script written by fellow cast member Bibeth Orteza,[5] intended for the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). The entry entitled "Vic Ungasis en the Escaleras" was immediately approved by the MMFF jurors. The title was changed to "Escalera and Ungasis: 20 Years After," which reunited the main characters for the first time since the original TV series.

The movie's title was changed again to "Iskul Bukol 20 Years After: Ungasis and Escaleras Adventure" in order to gain strong audience recall, owing its large fanbase to people who grew up in the '70s and '80s watching the TV show.[6]

Filming started in late September 2008. Vic Sotto, Ryan Agoncillo, and Jose Manalo joined the crew in shooting the foreign scenes in Cambodia from October 7 to October 14. The crew wrapped up production on November 11, 2008, when the movie's reunion scene was shot at the Sta. Catalina College in Manila.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

The film gathered mixed reviews. On the positive side, Phillip Cu-Unjieng of the Philippine Star said the film appealed to young viewers because of the action-adventure element, while older fans of the show can relate to the characters that come back after a long time.[7] On the negative side, Manila Times contributor Joey Ting said the film's comedic elements were rehashed staples of Tito, Vic, and Joey's usual skits.[8] The review by Judith Juntilla of Business World criticized the film's concentration on action-adventure as an Iskul Bukol-oriented version of Enteng Kabisote's plots over the years, instead of focusing on what has happened to other Iskul Bukol characters in the past two decades beyond the film's reunion scene.[9]

The film eventually earned PHP 107 million in earnings for the Metro Manila Film Festival and earned its Third Best Picture award, behind Ang Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat and top awardee Baler.[10]


Year Award-Giving Body Category Recipient Result
2008 Metro Manila Film Festival [11] Third Best Picture Iskul Bukol 20 Years After Won


External links[edit]