Why Bong is for ABS-CBN franchise renewal
Brillante Mendoza is among the official jury members in the International Competition: Innovation in Moving Images of 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) together with Dubravka Lakic (a famous film critic and columnist from Belgrade, Serbia) and Sara Hoch (founder and executive director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival, said to be the largest film festival in Mexico and an important platform for young filmmakers in Latin America). Among the entries are: Aquarium (India), Bandar Band (Iran), Snails Club (Italy), Shambala (Kyrgyzstan), Only The Winds (Lebanon), The Way to Paradise (Netherlands), The Presumption of Guilt (Russia), Ghost Image (South Korea), Going Blind (Turkey) and Blindfold (Ukraine).
A Funfare informer commented that missing in the roster of expecting showbiz moms is a starlet and the prospective dad is her boyfriend-starlet. Both are graduates of a star search. The informer gave a clue: The girl is the relative of a popular actress and the guy is the younger brother of an actor who is married to the actress-daughter of a popular actor. Their surnames start with the same letter.
On the front page of The STAR last Tuesday when Sen. Bong Revilla hosted a thanksgiving lunch for friends in the movie press corps was the story about Senate President Tito Sotto’s filing a bill to renew the ABS-CBN franchise (followed by the same story the other day that Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos was filing a similar bill in the House of Representatives).
Naturally, the first question popped on Bong (accompanied by his wife, Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado) was whether he’s for or against the renewal.
“Yes, I am for the renewal,” said Bong. “Kahit may sama ng loob ako sa kanila (with the News & Public Affairs team and not with the entertainment department, he clarified), then and up to now, I support the ABS-CBN franchise. It has been my stand. If they had committed anything, I think they have suffered enough for it. Since the shutdown, the (network’s) employees have been jobless and it’s time we help them get their jobs back.”
It was a thanksgiving get-together so Funfare asked Bong what he was thankful for.
“The year 2020 was both sad and happy,” he choked a bit. “My dad (former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr.) died. Sobrang painful at luluha ka talaga. And I got the COVID virus, not just me but also my daughter Inah (who has just given birth to her and husband Vince del Rosario’s third child; the family is based in Davao). That Inah’s whole family was infected was painful, too. We are happy and thankful that we have all recovered. What I am thankful to God is that other members of my family are safe despite the trials we, and everybody else, are going through. The best lesson that I learned from the past year is for us to keep on fighting, kailangan tayong maging matatag (we should be strong) at kapit lang tayo sa Diyos (hold on to God).
“My wish this year is for everybody to be COVID-free so that we can all go back to normal. At sana ‘yung vaccine will be the solution to this pandemic.”
During the pandemic, Bong was able to lock-in shoot 13 episodes (one season) of the adventure series Agimat ng Agila which starts airing on GMA either in March or April.
“It has an all-star cast, shot like a movie,” noted Bong who co-stars with, among others, Sanya Lopez, Michelle Dee, Sheryl Cruz, Benjie Paras and Allen Dizon, directed by Rico Gutierrez who was in-charge of the special effects of Bong’s movie Ang Panday, his commercials and his Kapuso TV show Kap’s Amazing Stories.
The agimat (amulet) was inherited by Bong from his dad Don Ramon who was then confined at the ICU, captured on video.
“At first,” recalled Bong, “I told him, ‘You need it.’ But he said, ‘You need it more.’ I cry every time I watch the video.”
Don Ramon’s last word to Bong was, “Take care of the family.”
Added Bong, ‘When I was acquitted, my dad was relieved. He said, ‘Puede na akong mamatay (I can die now).’ I told him, ‘Not yet, not yet.’ Several weeks later, he was gone.”
The agimat worked for Don Ramon and it should also work for Bong.
Claudine ready for comeback movie
BREAKING NEWS: Claudine Barretto is making her big comeback. The film is called Nang Lumuha ang Langit.
“It is heavy drama,” said lawyer Ferdy Topacio whose company, Borracho Films, is producing it. “Claudine deserves a good comeback, after all the last time she did a movie (Etiquette for Mistresses) was in 2015 pa.”
To be directed by Joel Lamangan from the screenplay by Eric Ramos, the movie casts Claudine as the mother of an autistic child.
“We will hold auditions for the actor who will play the autistic. We will observe the FDCP guideline (minimum age requirement for work) so he should be 15 or older.”
Intended as a Mother’s Day offering (in May), Nang Lumuha is Borracho’s second project. The first, Mamasapano, is almost done.
(For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)