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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.

Aug 8, 2018

Meet New Young Actor Vance Larena Playing A Lead Title Role In The Inspiring Musical Drama, 'Bakwit Boys', An Entry In The Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino

VANCE LARENA is a newbie actor whose real first name is Kierwin. Vance is his screen name. Just like JC Santos and JM de Guzman who are now established movie and TV actors, he started in theatre while still in high school with plays like “”Lorenzo Ruiz”, “Katips” and “Orosman at Zafira”. He took up operations management at San Beda College but his real passion is acting.

He was in third year law proper in San Beda when Director Kip Oebanda met him and got him to play the role of the fraternity master in “Bar Boys”, a film about law students. He then decided to take a leave from law school to focus on film acting and played bit roles in movies like “Bar Boys”, “So Connected” and “Liway”. Turning 25 on September 28, he plays his first lead role as Elias Datul, one of the title rolers in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino entry, “Bakwit Boys”.

“Ako yung gumaganap na kuya ng three boys played by Nikko Natividad, Ryle Santiago and Mackie Empuerto,” he says. “Nang masira ng bagyo ang hometown namin sa Isabela, napilitan kaming mag-evacuate sa lolo namin in Pampanga. Yung word na Bakwit, galing sa evacuate. Pero sa kabila ng sinapit naming setback sa buhay, hindi kami nawawalan ng pag-asa because of our love for music and songs. Balak naming maging maging boy band na napapakinggan sa radio. Si Devon Seron as Rose, a girl from Manila, ang makaka-discover sa amin and will help us achieve our dream. Nag-audition ako for my role and I didn’t expect my role will be this big. I’m glad napili ako ni Direk Jason Paul Laxamana kasi nga I not only act, but I also get to sing. Nag-click naman kami agad ng actors who play my brothers at magkasundo kaming lahat. Kasi kung hindi, it will manifest in the movie.”

The movie features six original songs by singer-songwriter Jhaye Cura from Tarlac, who was discovered by Direk Jason Paul. They are sung by the members of the cast, but some also have pop versions rendered by other singers like “Tayong Dalawa” by Ice Seguerra, “Ligtas Ka Na” by Sean Oliver, “Fiona” by Mark Oblea and “Patibong” by Jay-R. These songs are included in the original motion picture soundtrack.