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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 16, 2013

Martin Escudero In His Most Emotionally Draining Role As An HIV Positive

MARTIN ESCUDERO admits Rufa Mae Quinto hit his manhood with her knee during a love scene they did in TV5’s “Positive” that begins to air tonight at 8 PM after “Madame Chairman”. “Unforgettable yun, pero hindi naman niya sinasadya,” he says. “E, ang nipis ng shorts na suot ko, so naramdaman ko talaga. Hindi ko na lang pinansin kasi ayoko namang mailang siya sa’kin, so I just suggested ako na lang ang magha-handle ng eksena. First time ko gumawa ng ganung scene na napaka-intimate so I focused on it talaga para lumabas na convincing ang eksena namin as lovers.”

He is dead serious with his role in “Positive”. “Gusto ko, lahat ng pinagdaanan ng character kong si Carlo Santillan, maranasan ko rin. Kaya nagprisinta akong, like him, magpa-HIV test din ako rito. I’m really proud to be part of a meaningful show that aims to help raise awareness about AIDS and HIV. Kami ng mga kasama ko sa cast underwent an immersion program sa AIDS Society of the Philippines para mas maintindihan namin ang sakit na ito. Through the show, those who are afflicted with it will realize it’s not a death sentence. At yun namang hindi, it’ll will warn them para mag-ingat. Make just one mistake and you can never go back.”

Martin as Carlo narrates the story. He admits that he was a problem boy as he tried booze and drugs as a young man, bedding one woman after another. But he went through rehab and changed his life for the better. He married Janice (Helga Krapf) and became a call center operations manager. But just when they’re expecting their first child, he test HIV positive and his life crumbles. He then makes a list of all the women he went to bed with to find out who among them gave him the AIDS virus. This includes Rufa Mae Quinto, who’s married to Ramon Christopher; Malak So Shdifat, his flirtatious assistant in the office; Bianca Manalo, a yoga instructor; and Mercedes Cabral, a free spirited girl.

Martin has won best actor awards for “Zombadings”, but he says his role in “Positive” is even more challenging and emotionally draining. “Grabe ang ordeal na pinagdaanan ng character ko rito. I now understand how AIDS-stricken people are coping with their lives on a day-to-day basis. I can’t imagine how would it be if I were in their shoes, or how their families are coping with the stigma. It’s hard to let go of my role. Nadadala ko hanggang sa bahay ang angst ni Carlo and it lasts for several days. This will run for 13 weeks, ni wala pa kami sa kalahati, so marami pang emotional pain ang pagdaraanan ko in our next taping days.”