Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lilia Cuntapay is a Hollywood Extra

Who is Lilia Cuntapay? Do you know her? Does the name ring a bell? If I was asked these questions a year ago or two days ago, I would have not been able to give the right answer. I would have been giving guesses. Assuredly, those guesses would have been no way close to the correct answer.  

Who is Lilia Cuntapay? Apparently, only a few people know her name. We’ve seen her in several films and TV series but we really don’t know her name. I really can’t blame us – those appearances are, if not mostly, uncredited. She’s an extra.  

Lilia Cuntapay is a Philippine film and television extra. She was the old woman that Alma Moreno transforms to in the Peque Gallaga film, Aswang. She was Kris Aquino’s yaya in the third Shake Rattle & Roll film.  She’s the old lady that we’ve seen as a regular face in the Philippine horror scene. 

Who could forget the old-lady-with-the-long-gray-hair on those films? No one could. I couldn’t either—she reminds me of my grandmother—my siblings and I used to joke that our grandmother is an aswang.  
Although she’s appeared in films other than horror, she has appeared either as the grandmother,  the old lady or the old-lady-mistaken-for-something-else-scary. Talk about typecasting an old lady!

I never really knew her name until today. Two days earlier, I was able to watch an episode of Midnight DJ. She played a mangkukulam, the old woman that Maricar Reyes transforms to in the episode. After watching the episode, it struck me to look up her name. 

I was able to get her name after two days of futile googling—most of the results I got were useless mirror sites. Information on extras is scarce even in the internet. I was a fool to forget IMDB.    

Finding out her nameI was also able to find out that she appeared in Brokedown Palace—the 1999 American film, which was filmed mostly in the Philippines and starred Bill Pullman, Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale. Surprise, surprise! Lilia Cuntapay is a Hollywood extra. 


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