Bong Revilla, Jr. is one of the more respected politicians in the Philippines, but the good-natured senator is also an actor.
For the last three years, he has been producing a movie for the Metro Manila Film Festival, a show of support for the struggling Filipino movie industry. This year, he’s doing a first — a historical drama series on TV that the actor-politician says will not only entertain, but also educate Filipinos about their heroic and colourful past.
Q: You have a big TV project coming up, a first for you in the drama genre. How do you feel?
A: I’m not just excited. To be honest, I’m very, very excited about the project. I’ve been doing several educational and public affairs shows, but this is the first time I am doing a drama series, so it is something new for me.
Q: Was it a conscious choice for you to do just public affairs and educational shows?
A: Yes, to a great extent. I am a public official and would rather be involved in a show that has some educational or public service value. But that is also the reason why I accepted this project. The title is Indio. It will showcase our culture during Hispanic times and will highlight heroism amongst our people during those times. It’s something to take pride in, and I hope people will appreciate it.
Q: This will be shown when?
A: Next year, 2013, but I want a longer gestation period for the project — more time for research, pre-production and special effects. This might be my first and last drama series, so it has to be worth it — for me and the viewers.
Q: What preparation will you have to make?
A: Characterisation, basically. I haven’t been fully briefed on my role, just the essential elements of it. We’ve just met for the story outline, so nothing is defined yet, but we are going ahead with the project.
Q: Who will be your co-stars in this project?
A: I will have not just one, but three leading ladies (laughs). Jennylyn Mercado will be there, also Maxene Magalona and Rhian Ramos. Others in the cast, I’ve heard, are Jomari Yllana, Agot Isidro and Chinggoy Alonzo. It’s a big cast with a lot of other stars, so it’s going to be interesting.
Q: Some people say this might affect your duties as a Senator. Your reaction?
A: I am first and foremost a public servant — that is my priority and I will make sure it remains that way. But I am also an actor; and once an actor, always an actor.