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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.

Jan 20, 2014

Singer-Actor Dante Ponce Makes A Comeback After Staying In The U.S. For 20 Years

REMEMBER DANTE Ponce? Managed by Boy Abunda’s Backroom, his career as a singer-actor was starting to bloom in 1993, having recorded an album for Alpha Records. He also did a movie for Viva Films, “Hanggang Saan Hanggang Kailan” with Dina Bonnevie and Alice Dixson. Then all of a sudden, he left the country. What happened to him?

“I fell in love,” he says. “Everyone discouraged me then kasi sayang naman daw ang naumpisahan ko ng showbiz career. But I already made my decision. I got married at 24. My wife is a doctor based in the U.S. and so that’s where we settled down. We lived in California, in Virginia then in Hawaii where I established my career as a photographer, mostly for weddings. We now have four kids, three girls and one boy. Glys is 18, Armand is 16, Jasmine is 14 and Sofia is 10. My wife is now based in Brunei as a consultant to the Sultan. They’re putting up a cancer center and she’s an oncologist. Madalas siyang umuuwi rito. It’s our mutual decision na bumalik sa Pilipinas. My kids were so happy to experience Christmas here for the first time.”

Any regrets about leaving showbiz? “None, I have a beautiful family. But it’s not easy to uproot yourself, huh. Na-missed ko talaga ang showbiz. And now that I’m back, I feel that this is really where I belong. Actually, nagbakasyon lang ako rito and Bettina Aspillaga of Backroom brought me to ABS-CBN. When Direk Wenn Deramas saw me, kinuha agad ako to play Gen. Barredo in ‘Galema’, ang stepfather ni Matteo Guidicelli at pangunahing kalaban ni Zuma. I didn’t expect na makukuha ako agad. So nag-gym muna ko kasi bulky ako noon. Nagpakondisyon. I thought, it’s a short role, pero humaba at kasama pa ako sa series hanggang ngayon. I heard we’re extended until March kasi ‘Galema’ is rating very well. Tapos, sinama rin ako ni Direk Wenn sa ‘Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy’ where I played Vice Ganda’s doctor.”

He has no illusions that he can still be a top matinee idol. “I’m 43, siempre I’ll get roles na bagay lang sa akin. I won’t hesitate to accept father roles. Basta I’m glad to be back in showbiz and I’m thankful to my wife for being very supportive.”