ISN’T Andrea Torres worried that rumors linking her to Dingdong Dantes would be revived now that they’re reunited in “Ang Pagbabalik ni Alyas Robin Hood” with her reprising role as Venus?
“Ako kasi, I just want to be positive about things so hindi ko na lang iniisip 'yung mga ganyan,” says Andrea. “Kasi if you’d let yourself be affected by intrigues, magkakailangan lang kayo sa taping. Eh, sa ngayon, napakadali ng trabaho namin kasi kilala na namin ang isa’t isa after magkasama kami noong first season. Si Pepe talaga ang nakikita ko sa kay Kuya Dong and it’s always fun to work with him kasi marami rin akong natutuhan sa kanya. Hindi kami nagpapaapekto sa mga issue at intriga.”
How did she feel when bashed for being linked to Dong? “I respect him and his marriage. You can see naman na they’re a happy family, so I don’t let myself be affected by bashing on social media. Lahat naman ngayon, nagbibigay ng opinion nila, very judgmental, di ba? Ang mahalaga, kilala mo 'yung sarili mo. Ako naman, ever since, alam ko kunsaan ako lulugar. Ang importante, you are always professional.
Nandito ka para magtrabaho, so gawin mo lang nang tama ang trabaho mo. Kaya kahit pagbintangan nila ako, basta malinis ang konsensiya ko at kilala ng mga tao sa paligid ko 'yung tunay na ako, 'yun ang mas importante. Never akong pumatol as in nang-away. May basher na kung anu-ano ang sinabi sa’king panlalait, ang sagot ko lang, I will pray for you when I go to church. Kasi lahat kami ng buong family ko, madasalin talaga.”
So, how is Season 2 different from the first one? “Mas pasabog ito sa umpisa pa lang. Kasi magpo-propose na sa’kin ng marriage si Pepe complete with an engagement ring. Kaso, bago pa matuloy ang wedding namin, magkakaroon ng complications. Ang mother niyang si Jaclyn Jose as Judy, magiging biktima ng terrorist group headed by Jay Manalo. Magiging hostage sa pagsalakay nina Jay sa city hall. Mas pasabog din ang fight scenes dito. Meron akong fight scene sa bubong ng tall building, eh may fear of heights ako, pero ginawa ko pa rin. Then papasok pa si Edu Manzano as a corrupt politician at magkakaroon ako ng bagong ka-love triangle kay Pepe, si Solenn Heussaff. Kaya abangan nyo ang start ng Season 2 this Monday after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’.”
So is she happier now that GMA Artist Center is managing her and no longer Triple A which also manages Marian Rivera? “Oo naman, pero nagpaalam naman ako nang maayos sa Triple A kaya maganda ang naging paghihiwalay namin. Noong magkita nga kami sa Tagaytay noong wedding ni Rochelle Pangilinan nina Mr. Tony Tuviera at Ateng Rams David, big bosses ng Triple A, I hugged them, nagkuwentuhan kami and we’re okay.”
At the said wedding last Tuesday, a lot of people were wondering why Marian was absent when the groom is Dingdong’s cousin. “Siyempre hindi pupunta roon si Marian kasi si Andrea ang maid of honor ni Rochelle at si Dong ang best man ng groom na si Arthur Solinap,” someone who attended the wedding told us. “Baka ma-out of place lang siya roon kaya unawain na lang natin.”
JOHN INTIMIDATES ARNOLD
ARNOLD Reyes and John Arcilla are both acclaimed actors who started their careers in theater. They now get to work for the first time with each other in Mikhail Red’s award-winning mystery-thriller, “Birdshot”. They play provincial cops who are tasked to investigate the killing of the endangered Philippine eagle in a forest reserve.
They later end up discovering a terrible crime about some missing farmers who are on their way to Manila to air their complaints. Their chief (Dido de la Paz, Doc of “Respeto”) tells them to forget about the farmers as the case of the dead bird is more important. John as Mendoza is a jaded and cynical law enforcer but Arnold as Domingo, being the neophyte cop who also just moved into the area with his young wife (Elora Espano), is more idealistic.
“Challenging 'yung role ko as he is in a dilemma,” says Arnold, who has earlier gained acclaim in films like “Graceland” and “Huling Tag-araw ni Twinkle”. “You’d wonder if he would stay clean and fight for truth and justice, or will he eventually be swallowed by the system of corruption around them.”
How was it working with John Arcilla? “Siyempre, kinakabahan ako kasi even then, he’s such a big name in theatre. Tapos, naging ‘Heneral Luna’ pa siya. When I heard about him, I wanted to quit. When I ventured into musical theatre, I was asked to play Crisostomo Ibarra in ‘Noli Me Tangere’. Nauna si-yang gampanan ang role na yun and when I heard the recording of his songs as Ibarra, I was intimidated sa galing niya. But when we got to work na in ‘Birdshot’, it turned out he is a very generous actor. First day pa lang ng shooting namin on location in Isabela, I already learned a lot from him. We shot ‘Birdshot’ there for 23 days and ang mga kuwentuhan namin, nakatulong talaga para mas mapagbuti namin ang trabaho namin.”
Both Arnold and John agree that they do prestige films like “Birdshot” to enhance their craft as actors, but when it comes to having a steady income, they both turn to television. Arnold is now a mainstay in the hit late afternoon soap of Maja Salvador, “Wildflower”. John just worked with GMA7 as Hagorn in “Encantadia” and right after that, he moved to ABS-CBN to play a crooked general in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”.
John said he first met Mikhail Red, their 25-year old “Birdshot” director when Mikhail was just a 9-year-old boy. “Noon pa lang, sinabi na niya sa’kin, kapag nagdirek na ako ng movie, kukunin kita ha,” says John. “Kaya nang ialok niya sa’kin itong ‘Birdshot’, hindi na ako nakatanggi. Maganda rin 'yung role ko, hindi talagang kontrabida, kundi meron din siyang flaw in his character. I hope the viewers will not treat it as an indie film na mahirap intindihin kasi very accessible siya. The story is very involving and it’s for the whole family. Kaya lang, we got only 60 theaters while the other entries in Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino got more than 100 theaters. It depends daw kasi sa recommendations ng bookers. So sana, if you’d watch us, manood na kayo in the first three days para hindi kami maalis sa mga sinehan. The movie got wide acclaim in various cities and filmfests abroad. So sana, ma-appreciate naman siya dito sa ating sariling bansa.”
JAY RIDES AGAIN
JAY Taruc hosted his own “riding” show, “Motorcycle Diaries”, for six years. It took him all over the country and, for an armchair traveler like us, it’s quite a treat to see the distant, picturesque places he featured in his program. But his enlightening road trips also brought into light some serious issues, like child labor and the poverty of our fellow men living in the countryside. Jay won the bronze medal at the 2015 New York Festivals for his socially relevant docus but he is also a passionate motorcyclist rider.
His bike is his partner and he often shares valuable experiences with motoring enthusiasts and other riders. We felt sad when the show made an exit, even if it’s rating well, due to the lack of support from advertisers. We’ll, we’re glad that Jay is now back on GMA News TV Channel 11 with a new motorbike show, “Ride PH” (which is short for “Ride Philippines”).
In the past few years, there has been a rapid shift in our transport system and the motorcycle has become the preferred vehicle by many people due to our horrible traffic situation. Last year alone, motorbike sale went up by 40%.
“Hindi na mapipigilan ang pagdami ng mga gumagamit ng motorsiklo going to and from work and in their jobs like mailmen, messengers and delivery boys,” says Jay. “You’ll notice that many vehicular accidents involve motorbikes. So we have to remind them about the need for safety, like the need for helmets, and other safety gears like jacket, gloves and riding boots. And also, their responsibility to other vehicles and people who are using the road like them. We all need better discipline on the road and not be reckless, careless bikers.”
Expect “Ride PH” to go from one end of the country to the other to participate in the largest motorcycling events, discuss urgent motor issues, give practical tips to avoid everyday riding glitches and present the coolest bike tribes and hottest bikes as we now have a distinct subculture of bikers today and they include such celebrities as Randy and Raymart Santiago, Drew Arellano, Ryan Agoncillo, Richard Gutierrez, Jericho Rosales, Dingdong Dantes, Paulo Avelino, and many more. Jay will feature in a future episode Ryan and his group’s recent adventure biking in the Himalayas on Mt. Everest.
Jay is the eldest of veteran broadcaster Jose “Joe” Taruc Jr. His real name is Jose Taruc III and he has his two younger brothers who are named the IV and V, plus a sister named Joanne. In college, he initially took up dentistry then shifted to masscomm and got his degree from CEU in 1992. He found work as P.A. (production assistant) in GMA’s “Brigada Siete” and rose from the ranks, capped by his winning the prestigious Peabody Award for the docu, “Batang Alipin”. Although he didn’t become a dentist, he got to marry one named June and they’ve been married for 15 years. They have a son, Luis, and a daughter, Sophie, who battled spinal muscular atrophy early in life but is now doing well.
So, get ready for “Ride PH” and its various segments: “Rider’s Profile”, “My Ride”, “Bike Tribes”, “Bike Routes”,”Education on the Road”, “Motor Trends” and “Motor Issues”. It will start airing on Sunday, August 20 at 10 p.m., on GMA News TV, sponsored by Dickies, BMW, Shell, Spyder, Urates, Loctite, Big Bike, Ducati, PTT Oil.