12 February 2012


In 1980, Regal Films released the film, Underage. It starred former child stars of the Philippines, Snooky Serna, Dina Bonnevie, and Maricel Soriano billed as their first mature role. It caused quite a stir because of the poster showing the girls in bikinis. To add to the controversy, the filipina girls were really underage, the youngest Snooky was just 15.

The story is about three young sisters (Snooky, Dina and Maricel) who grew up in the province, about to face a whole new world in the big city. Dina who plays Celina, the most confident among the three sisters. Maricel plays Cecilia who is the toughest and confrontational while Snooky plays the meek Corazon.

Because of the provocative poster depicting these young girls, another poster was released with a safer theme with the girls on a bicycle but still wearing skimpy outfits. It's tagline was "Goodbye candies and lollipops. Hello boys!" The original poster was not pulled out though and still remained in circulation because of the popularity and notoriety it carried which helped bolster the popularity of the movie. The three actresses were so adored as child stars that the poster offended their fans.

The Philippine movie was a big hit and Underage catapulted the three young (and underage) stars into stardom.

The film was directed by Joey Gosengfiao and also starred Gabby Concepcion, Mark Gil, and Edgar Mande as the male leads. It is basically a simple country girls get to live life and discover maturity and love in the Philippines.

Underage was remade into a tv series in 2009. And in line with the original movie, the actresses involved were also underage. A teaser photo also was released showing the new underage girls in provocative poses and schoolgirl outfits.

The TV series only lasted one season before it was pulled off the air due to low ratings. Probably because the network could not live up to the hype of having underage Philippine actress doing inappropriate scenes.