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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.

Nov 5, 2010


HE’S NOW KNOWN as Toni Gonzaga’s beau but Director Paul Soriano definitely has a career and identity of his own. The eldest of four sons of former Director Jeric Soriano, his grandpa was the late LVN Pictures matinee idol, Nestor de Villa, definitely one of the best looking actors of the 50s and 60s. “I’m the first apo so I was close to him,” Paul says. “I was so affected when he passed. I was also close to the late Nida Blanca, his ka-love team then.”

A communications graduate at Santa Clara U in California, he got the chance of working as a P.A. for Oscar-winning writer Paul Haggis when Haggis was doing “Flag of Our Fathers” with Clint Eastwood. Born on October 17, 1981, he’s been directing TV commercials for four years now and made his full length film debut last year in “A Journey Home” starring Toni that got positive reviews.

He now megs his second indie film, “Thelma”, an inspirational story about the struggles of a young runner, played by Maja Salvador, determined to hit it big in sports to help her family in the province. Playing Maja’s parents are John Arcilla and Tetchie Agbayani, with Eliza Pineda as her younger sister and real life champ Elma Muros as Maja’s coach on and off cam. Paul co-wrote the film with Froi Medina and Rino Que. He also co-produces it with Rino and his wife Samantha Chavez-Que. To be shot next week in Ilocos Norte using the advanced Arri Alexa digital camera, cinematographer is Odyssey Flores and musical scorer is Archie Castillo. They hope to finish filming by December for a March release.

About Toni, his GF of 3&1/2 years, Paul says they seldom see each other. “She’s busy with her movie with John Lloyd and ‘Kokey’ on TV. We only get together on Sundays when we go to church then have dinner with her or my family.” Incidentally, Toni was just second choice for Kokey.

When do they intend to tie the knot? “She’s so busy now with her career and I don’t want to take that away from her. We admire Judy Ann Santos so much and how she handled everything, doing it at the right time. But I hope we can do it after my 4th film in two years since I’d be 31 by then.”