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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.

Sep 14, 2018

Monsour Del Rosario Back In 'The Trigonal', Admits Rift With Current Makati Mayor Abby Binay, Now With Pres. Duterte's Camp

MONSOUR DEL ROSARIO had a happy reunion with old time writers he says is his ka-batch when he first joined showbiz in 1986 managed by the late Bibsy Carballo. “Takot na takot ako sa inyo noon. Hindi ako marunong mag-Tagalog masyado. Si Rey Pumaloy, lagi akong chinachansingan,” he laughs.

He was a taekwondo champ who forayed into showbiz and started doing supporting roles in the movies of more established action stars like Phillip Salvador, Ramon Revilla and Lito Lapid, then he was launched as a solo action star and even did films for international release like “Bloodfist”, “When Eagles Strike” and “Demonstone”. Now, he is the congressman in Makati’s first district. He used to be allied with the Binays but he’s now with the Duterte camp. What happened?

“Wala akong problema sa Binay family, only with the current mayor, Abby Binay, and her husband,” he says. “I was close to their family. I even campaigned for them and I was supporting them for so many years. Then I was surprised nang ipatawag ako ni Mayor Abby and told me they won’t support me anymore. Hindi kasi kami magkasundo ng husband niya. Matigas daw ang ulo ko. May mga pinagagawa kasi sa’kin na against my principles. Sumama talaga ang loob ko, but after they dropped me, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called and isinama ako sa provincial sorties nila. They saw malakas ang name recall ko sa tao who accept me warmly wherever I go. After meetings, people would stay to have my picture taken with them. So now, they’re offering me to run as senator sa ticket nila. But I also have an offer from former Mayor Junjun Binay to run under his ticket. Yes, maglalaban ang magkapatid as mayor in Makati and I cannot decide yet kung I’d run for the senate or seek reelection as congressman.”

He’s now back before the camera in the new action movie, “The Trigonal”, which is about an underground martial arts competition. It will open locally on September 26 and is later set for international release. “My last film was 12 years ago pa, with Ronnie Ricketts. Other offers came but puro contravida. May offer din sa’kin ang ‘Probinsyano’ but my role was as a congressman na protector ng drug lords, so I turned it down. Then I met my childhood friend Vince Soberano who’s into directing and asked me to star in his film. Sabi ko, I can’t do it full time because we’ll shoot for one month in Negros. Siempre, priority ko ngayon ang congress. I recommended to him si Ian Ignacio, the son of stunt director Levi Ignacio na former student ko in Olympic Taekwondo Training School. Sabi ko, support na lang ako so I play the martial arts master of Ian sa paglaban niya sa Trigonal competition. I go to Negros only on weekends to shoot my scenes. Lahat ng naka-miss ng martial arts movies will surely enjoy this movie na very Hollywoodish ang treatment.”

As a former Olympian, Monsour hopes the government will give more support to our athletes so they’ll have better chances of winning in international competitions. “We can have new sports heroes who we can develop. I was appointed as Chef de Mission of the Southeast Asian Games to be held in Manila next year. My dream is for us to be among the top 3 countries with the most number of medals.”

Monsour is happily married to Joy Zapanta and they have two kids. Is he in good terms with ex-girlfriends Dawn Zulueta and Agot Isidro? “Oh yes. We’re good friends. Si Dawn always sends me Christmas card with photos of her family. Her husband Anton is a good friend of mine. Yung two sons nila, tinuruan ko yun ng taekwondo. Si Agot remains a friend although I seldom see her.”

He’s now with Duterte while Agot is an avowed anti-Duterte? “Okay lang yun. I respect her opinion and I know she respects mine. We can disagree naman without being disagreeable.”
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