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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 23, 2016

Alfred Vargas Now A Congressman But Misses Acting Too, So He'll Soon Shoot A New Movie, 'Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa' For Direk Perry Escano

CONGRESSMAN ALFRED VARGAS was looking so rotund when we last saw him campaigning before the May election. Now, he looks slimmer, thanks to self discipline.

“I got myself a personal trainer and a nutritionist to help me sa workout ko at sa diet ko,” he says. “I’ve lost 15 lbs na but I need to lose 10 lbs more kasi I’m starting to shoot a new movie in November. This is ‘Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa’, a Cinemalaya entry. Director Perry Escano sent the script to me and I liked it a lot, so nag-yes ako agad. Pero poor farmer ang role ko kaya dapat pa akong mas pumayat.”

Perry says the film is about child warriors in Mindanao and the principal child actors in the movie are Mark Justin Alvarez and Micko Laurente, supported by Mon Confiado, Lou Veloso and Marife Necesito. “It stresses the importance of education kaya Alfred’s character, napilitan maging teacher to prevent kids in their place to become child warriors, even if he himself doesn’t know how to read and write,” adds Perry.

Alfred was introduced as part of ABS-CBN Star Circle Batch 10 in 2001 after he graduated from the Ateneo majoring in Economics. This batch includes Dennis Trillo and Bea Alonzo. He then moved to GMA where he starred in several soaps and he also went sexy in movies like Seiko’s “Bridal Shower” (for which he won a new movie actor award) and “Bikini Open”. In 2010, he ran as councilor in QC and won, later winning some most outstanding councilor awards and the Gintong Palad Award for Public Service. In 2013, he ran for congress and won unopposed as representative of QC’s 5th district of Novaliches. He did ‘Supremo’ in 2012 and won a couple of best actor awards as Bonifacio. His last film was ‘Separados’ in 2013, but he did a cameo in “Felix Manalo”.

“Na-miss ko talaga umarte,” he says. “Now, aside from ‘Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa’, Direk Mark Reyes offered me a role in the new ‘Encantadia’. I was in the original as Aquil and also in the sequel, ‘Etheria’. I said yes, but I don’t know yet what role he has in store for me.”

He campaigned for Mar Roxas. Is it true they have a Plan B to oust Pres. Duterte? “Walang ganun. It would be bad for the country. Ako, personally, I support the drive against drugs. In our district, ang daming sumuko at bumaba talaga ang krimen dahil sa peace and order campaign ng government.”
He’s personally sad for what happened to Mark Anthony Fernandez. “We’ve worked together in some soaps so we’re friends at magkasing-edad kami niyan. He’s so talented at mabait na tao. He deserves another chance. Lahat ng mga artista who are into drugs, willing akong tumulong, pati sa pagpapa-rehab.”

Alfred is turning 37 on Monday, October 24, and he feels so blessed as his family life is also very happy. On July 23, 2010, he married his Fil-Italian wife, Yasmine Espiritu, in civil rites and now, they’ll have a church wedding on July 23, 2017 at the Manila Cathedral, with their daughters Alexandra, 6, and Aryanna, 5, as their flower girls. His dream for his first term in congress is for all representatives from the showbiz block to unite and help the local film industry.

“Ang dami kasing taga-showbiz na nasa congress ngayon, like Vilma Santos, Yul Servo, Lucy Torres, Sol Aragones at iba pa. So, sana, makapagpasa kami ng bill na tutulong sa industriya ng pelikula natin. Sa China, ang ratio ng Chinese films na ipinalalabas is 90% compared to foreign films na 10% lang. We don’t know yet kung ano ang details for us, but we really need to help our film industry at this point na our films like ‘Ma Rosa’ and ‘Babaeng Humayo’ are winning awards abroad.”