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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 3, 2019


the whole cast of MADRASTA - fr left: divine aucina, almira muhlach, manilyn reynes, gladys reyes, thea tolentino, juancho tirivno, arra san agustin in the title role, kelvin miranda, anjo damiles, pythos ramirez

JUANCHO TRIVINO already a played a lead role as a dwarf in “Magkaibang Mundo” three years ago, but after that, he went back to playing supporting roles in “Destined to Be Yours”, “Tsuperhero”, “Inday Will Always Love You”, and “Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko”. That’s why he’s glad that he’s now given another lead role in “Madrasta” that will replace “Dahil sa Pag-ibig” on GMA-7’s Afternoon Prime starting this Monday.

“I’m happy na reality based ang ‘Madrasta’ at hindi telefantasya ng first starring role ko bilang duwende sa ‘Magkaibang Mundo’,” he says. “This time, I play a doctor na hindi alam na pinagtaksilan pala siya ng asawa niya, si Thea Tolentino, at sumama sa lover nitong si Ahron Villena. I was devastated and tried my best to win her back but she really abandoned me and our two children.”

He then meets Arra San Agustin, a nurse who he once saved from trying to commit suicide after she was deceived by illegal recruiters when she tried to work in Canada. They fall in love and his marriage to Thea was annulled, so he got the chance to marry Arra. Their wedding scene is a big-budgeted sequence shot on top of a hill and Arra arrives on the scene while on board a helicopter. Then Thea arrives on the scene to stop their wedding. How is it working with Arra?

“It’s our first time to work together and she’s very surprising!” says Juancho. “In person, parang sobrang mahinhin and soft spoken ang personality niya, but she can transform into someone more passionate and fiery kapag hinihingi ng eksena. I’m sure marami siyang gugulating viewers dito as she’s really doing a very good job. She deserves to be launched in ‘Madrasta’.”

How about Thea Tolentino? “Nagkasama na kami noon when we were starting sa ‘Teen Gen’ and in ‘Half Sisters’. We’ve just worked again in ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’. Her talent is continuously growing. Palagi niya akong napapahanga kasi akala mo, hindi makabasag-pinggan in person pero kapag umarte na sa harap ng kamera, matatameme lahat ng kasama niya.”

It’s common knowledge that he is now officially on with his “Unang Hirit” co-host, Joyce Pring. Won’t she get jealous with him romancing both Arra and Thea in “Madrasta”?

“Hindi selosa si Joyce, e. Alam naman niyang pinahirapan muna niya ako bago ko siya napasagot. Four months ko siyang niligawan, traditional courtship. And we’re now so in love with each other. We’re very compatible so she knows I’m faithful to her. Also, kilala niya both Ara and Thea at friends naman sila.”

Playing his mom in “Madrasta” is certified contravida Gladys Reyes as Dr. Elizabeth Ledesma, the owner of a hospital who will be mean to Arra and cannot accept her as a daughter in law. “I’ve worked with her in many teleseryes at magaling talaga siya, so nakaka-intimidate pa rin. But I’m very comfortable with her at masarap siyang kabatuhan ng dialogue.

"I’m just thankful I’ve attended a lot of workshops, including yung kay New York acting coach Anthony Bova, so prepared naman ako for the big drama scenes that I’m required to do right now. Actually, very challenging ang role ko sa ‘Madrasta’ kasi first time ko to do a very mature role of a married man with kids. E, before, more on teenybopper roles ang ginagawa ko. It’s good marami akong pamangkin and I know how to relate with kids, so it helps a lot.”