Bong Revilla Jr. to mark 50th year in showbiz

Leah Salterio - The Philippine Star
Bong Revilla Jr. to mark 50th year in showbiz
The veteran action star with GMA Network big bosses Felipe Gozon and Annette Gozon-Valdes.

Sen. Bong Revilla Jr.’s political career notwithstanding, he still managed to wrap up the 12-episode action-comedy series on GMA 7, Walang Matigas na Pulis sa Matinik na Misis, where he was joined by Beauty Gonzalez as his wife and a host of supporting cast members.

“We didn’t have to extend our program because The Voice Generations would come in the following weekend and the show also has a contract with GMA,” Bong disclosed. “That was a commitment so we had to abide by it.”

Bong, however, announced Season 2 of Walang Matigas na Pulis sa Matinik na Misis, is now being planned so viewers will have to wait and watch out for a more exciting follow-up season.

“There will be new stars in Season 2,” Bong informed. “If they enjoyed and liked Season 1, we need to surpass that.”

Will Beauty reprise her role as Gloria, the wife of Bong’s iconic character Tolome or Bartolome, in the show?

“I don’t want to make a plus or a minus at this point,” said Bong. “Let’s see what will happen in Season 2.”

Bong (seen with wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado) has announced that a Season 2 of Walang Matigas na Pulis sa Matinik na Misis is now being planned. In the first season, Beauty Gonzalez played the role of Gloria, the wife of Bong’s iconic character Tolome or Bartolome.

Going around the Philippines for his political job as a senator, Bong was thrilled that people got to call him Tolome even off camera.

“That means, the public got to like my latest TV project,” he said. “My favorite was the first episode and the finale. We’re so happy that people were always anticipating the episodes.”

Jimmy Santos, who was with the original cast on the big screen, joined the TV version and created a riot on the set.

“We were always laughing on the set,” Bong said of his fellow comedian. “We were almost crying while laughing. While doing this show, at a time when the senate was on recess, even when I was tired while taping, I was very happy.”

For next year’s summer Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Bong is set to team up with young actress and former child star Jillian Ward for Lagot Ka sa Tatay Ko, to be directed by Enzo Williams. The latter also worked at the helm of Walang Matigas na Pulis sa Matinik na Misis.

“The script of my movie with Jillian is finished, but I’m still polishing some parts,” Bong offered. “It will be comedy, action and drama.”

“We want to help resurrect the local film industry and make cinema alive again. Let’s all work together to do it. I’m also encouraging my fellow actors to help,” he added.

Jillian starred with Bong in Tony Reyes’ Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote (2010). Two years after that, she and Bong were seen in Reyes’ Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote at si Ako (2012).

Bong was only seven years old when he was exposed to the glitz and glamor of show business. Clearly, he started in showbiz 50 years ago.

He didn’t mind playing bit roles at first in the action films of his dad, Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. The first was Armando Herrera’s Hulihin si Tiagong Akyat (1973).

“I had a very short role then,” Bong said. “It was really my dad who involved us in the production of his films.”

Acting is in his blood, according to Bong. More than public service which came much later when he was already in showbiz, showbiz was really his first love. He did not aspire to be in politics. That came much later.”

When he became a teenager, Bong started making his own name in the entertainment industry. He starred in the film, Bianong Bulag, where he played the young lead. The film was topbilled and directed by his late father.

Bong was 17 years old when his dad introduced him to veteran talent manager Lolit Solis and entrusted his career to her. To date, Bong has been managed by Lolit for four decades.

It was in 1983 when father and son worked in the memorable action-drama, Dugong Buhay, megged by Carlo J. Caparas.

“My dad was really my mentor,” Bong admitted. “Not just in making movies. He was the one who molded me into becoming an actor.”

For his golden anniversary in show business, the veteran action star will invite both Kapamilya and Kapuso artists to the occasion, which also happens to be his 57th birthday on Sept. 25.

“I cannot ask for anything more now that I will celebrate my 50 years in showbiz,” Bong said.

“I’m really thankful to the Lord for all the blessings that He gave me and my family. I’m thankful to all those who believed in me through the years.”

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