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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.

Jun 30, 2013

Sen. Ralph Recto Says Wife Gov. Vilma Santos To Run For President

GOV. VILMA SANTOS took her oath for her 3rd and final term as Batangas governor last Friday and we were invited to the momentous event held at the Marble Terrace, Capitol Grounds. There was a thanksgiving mass, then she took her oath of office from hubby Sen. Ralph Recto, who she calls her mentor, then she swore into office her Vice Gov. Mark Leviste, board members, mayors, vice mayor and councillors. It’s easy to see that Gov. Vilma is really well loved by the Batanguenos, who came in droves to witness the oath taking. A victory party was later held with several entertainers from VSR (stands for Vilma Santos Recto) Talents doing song numbers and everyone was also treated to a sumptuous lunch with no less than nine food stations scattered all around the capitol grounds.

Gov. Vi found time to hold a press conference later and she was very warm to all the press people who came all the way from Manila. What are her plans for her final term? “Una sa lahat, I want to thank all the Batanguenos sa patuloy nilang pagtitiwala sa’kin. I was mayor of Lipa for three terms. Governor for two terms, so that’s a total of 15 years na, and now I have three more years to serve them. I aim to continue giving them the basic needs in my HEARTS program to improve their lives. H is for Health, E is for Education/Environment, A is for Agriculture, R is for roads/infrastructure, T is for technology/tourism and S for science/social services. Priority ko to modernize agriculture, give tractors, threshers and dryers to rice farmers. I also want to improve our tourism. Kasi ang gaganda na ng kalye namin, lalo na ang Star Toll, so I want to invite more tourists, even domestic tourists. Yun nga lang, kulang pa kami sa hotels, so I want to invite investors to build new hotels in Batangas where tourists can stay.”

Vice Gov. Mark Leviste said Gov. Vi got the highest number of votes in the entire history of Batangas and also the highest rating from constituents: 95%. “I wouldn’t that grade from my kababayans without the help of Vice Gov. Mark and the board members of the Sangguniang Bayan, so I want to thank them for their cooperation,” Gov. Vi adds.

“It’s because you are a very inspirational leader,” says Vice Gov. Mark.

So will she run as senator or vice president in 2016? “Like I said, hindi ako nagpaplano. I never planned to be mayor or governor. It’s the people who decided for me. I’ll just do whatever is right for the majority of the people. Si Ralph nga, paulit-ulit sinasabi sa’kin, Vilma for president. Vilma for president! Sabi ko, magtigil siya. For president naman daw ng senior citizens, implying na magiging senior citizen na ako,” she laughs.

We tell her showbiz people are proud of her because she’s one showbiz citizen who did exceedingly well in public service. “Hindi ito naging madali, yung artistang naging public servant. Kasi, bilang artista, nasanay akong I’m treated na parang reyna, inaasikaso. As a public servant, nabaligtad yun. Marami akong isinakripisyo. Unang-una, di na ko basta makapagpelikula. Kailangan magpaalam muna ko sa mga kababayan ko. And when I came to Batangas, it’s barako country. E, ako, babae, artista pa, but over the years, I think I was able to prove something to them. I was able to win their trust. My years in Batangas are eye-openers for me. I saw the reality of life and they’re priceless. My life became more meaningful.”

Is she aware that the trailer of her new movie, “Ekstra”, already got 110,000 hits in the internet and a lot of people have expressed their desire to see it?

“Yes, alam ko. At kinakabahan nga ako. Ngayon lang ako nagka-movie na trailer pa lang, grabe na ang ganda ng feedback. Meron na ring nakapanood ng buong movie at gustong-gusto raw nila. Tatawa ka sa maraming scenes, pero iiyak ka rin. Kaya nga I told my producer, Atty. Joji Alonso, gusto ko nang mapanood ito bago kami mag-premiere night sa Cinemalaya at CCP on July 28. Kasi, baka naman overrated masyado. But talagang nae-excite ako rito kasi first indie movie ko ito. Nanonood talaga ko ng indie films, e. I buy original copies, ha, not pirated. P600 ang isa. Curious kasi ako how they do it. Tuloy-tuloy ang shots, natatapos daw in 10 days, and yet lumalabas na really meaningful. So many projects were presented to me but itong ‘Extra’ ang nagustuhan ko kasi nga it’s a tribute to extras. Imagine, I started acting at 9 at bida agad ako. Title roles agad ang mga ginawa ko, like ‘Trudis Liit’ and ‘Ging’. For the first time, gaganap akong extra and show what experiences extras go through in real life. Yun ang pinakita namin dito ni Direk Jeffrey (Jeturian). Yung buhay extra. And now, I can say I enjoy working with my indie family. Nagtiyaga sila sa’kin kahit one day a week lang ako puede mag-shooting, usually Saturday when I don’t report sa Kapitolyo. It’s a fulfilment for me to be able to do this movie on my 50th anniversary in showbiz.”

How come her two sons are not present at her oath taking? “Naku, alam nyo naman si Luis, sa dami ng ginagawa, hindi ko puedeng ipilit sa sked niya na isingit ito. As for Ryan Christian, ayoko namang mag-absent siya kasi kasisimula pa lang ng classes niya. E, he’s graduating from high school this year.”

She seems to have accepted Jennylyn Mercado into their family? “Mabait naman siya and I can see, masaya si Luis sa kanya. A few days ago, she came to me, may pinagawa sa’kin on cam kasi siya raw ang leader ng group nila sa ‘Sunday All Stars (SAS)’. May pinagawang participation sa’kin, and I did it.”

Her participation was shown in “SAS” yesterday. “I won’t go into details, basta panoorin nyo na lang.”

Now that election is over, will she be going back to Twitter? “All I can say is I read the messages for me at sumasagot ako, but I won’t say kung anong user name ang ginagamit ko. Basta hindi nyo alam, ako pala yun. I don’t want kasi to make it official dahil I’m sure, yung mga bashers, aatakihin ako. E, ako, mapagpatol din ako gaya ni Sharon (Cuneta) so hindi ko na lang ire-reveal kung ano ang user name ko.”