Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista knows starring in a film months before the next elections might put wrong ideas in some people’s heads. They might think he is exploiting the power of film to win votes next year, when he is seeking re-election – unopposed.
“It’s not going to be an issue,” he puts people’s fears to rest.
In fact, when Regal matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde hosted a presscon for him as the lead in the “Pamana” episode of the Metro Manila Filmfest entry “Shake, Rattle & Roll XIV,” Herbert informed the moderator he doesn’t want to touch on anything political.
After all, he did not ask for the role – that of a guy in the '80s who junked his dreams of priesthood since he chose to get married instead. Mother Lily and her daughter Roselle Monteverde offered Herbert the role. They told him the movie would reunite him with Janice de Belen (his co-star in the hit TV series 'Flordeluna' years back).
And Herbert had no second thoughts. He grabbed the offer.
He has so much to thank the original “Shake, Rattle and Roll” (“Manananggal” episode) for. It gave Herbert his first best actor win in 1984.
“I was 17 then,” he recalls. “The first thing my director, Peque Gallaga told me was to have a workshop. Usong uso noon ang workshop. And, when you say '(acting) workshop,' you talk of people like National Artist Ishmael Bernal.”
The award opened the floodgates for more assignments, most notable of which was the hit movie “Bagets.”
Times have changed, though. Herbert knows showbiz is littered with youth actors and veterans content in playing support roles. He has no illusions that his status in the industry has remained the same.
“After a long time na nawala ako sa industry, I have to struggle again to reach a particular stature in the industry,” he muses.
Herbert noticed how much filmmaking has grown since the time he was active in the movies. On top of the list is technology. He noted that you don’t hear a whirring sound anymore when the cameras start rolling. You can even hear a pin drop in the movie set.
“Parang nasa TV ka,” Herbert observes.
Production roles have also become more specialized.
“Bukod sa director (Chito Roño in this case), meron pang lighting director at CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) director. Dati, sasabihin lang ng cameraman na lumipat ka sa green backing,” adds Herbert.
He’s learning a lot of new things, and working with actors he has never co-starred with, like Dimples Romana and Empress Shuck.
Twenty seven years after he made the first “Shake, Rattle and Roll” series, Herbert feels like coming home again, this time to a different setting with a different set of characters. The challenges are new and exciting. And Herbert is embracing each one of them, grateful for the chance to renew his ties with an industry that has helped make him who he is today.
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