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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.

Feb 16, 2020


jane oineza and rk bagatsing

RK BAGATSING says stardom was not given to him on a silver platter. He now gets to do lead roles in teleseryes and in movies, but getting started in showbiz was definitely not a picnic for him.

“Gusto ko talaga mag-artista noon pa man, so pumila ako sa talent search shows and auditioned sa Pinoy Big Brother sa ABS and also sa Starstruck sa GMA, pero hindi ako nakuha,” he says. “Mas madali ang naging pagpasok ng kuya ko sa showbiz (Raymond Bagatsing) kasi he did TV commercials tapos nakuha na siyang artista, tuloy-tuloy na.

"There were times na I get so depressed kasi wala akong work. I was an athlete in school, from grade school to college, but I got injured so hindi na ako makapaglaro at di ko alam kunsaan ako pupunta.”

In his frustration, he attempted to leave showbiz, feeling it might not be for him.

“I tried working sa call center, pero nasa dugo ko talaga ang showbiz at pag-arte talaga ang dream ko, so bumalik din ako. Nakuha ako sa indie films.

"Sunod-sunod yung ginawa ko, but I was really noticed sa ‘Apocalypse Child’ with Sid Lucero, my idol, where I got nominated as best supporting actor.

"Then nakuha na ako sa ABS-CBN to do soaps, sunod-sunod. Pinakahuli ko nga ang ‘Nang Ngumiti ang Langit’.”

He and Jane Oineza now star in Regal’s latest offering, “Us Again”, where they play ex-lovers who broke off then meet again after five years, hoping to rekindle their romance and try to find out if their love for each other has remained.

He was once linked to Jane when they did the soap “Araw Gabi”. Were they ever really on?

“No, kasi never naman niya akong niligawan, e,!” he laughs. “We really had good rapport while doing ‘Araw Gabi’. First time namin doon to work together at nagkasundo agad kami kasi sobrang gaan niyang katrabaho.

"Sa set, tawa lang kami nang tawa. After work, we also hang out kasi masaya siyang kasama but never umabot sa isang serious relationship. We lost touch after that kaya nga happy kami when Regal got us to work together once more here in ‘Us Again’.

"This is my second movie with Regal after ‘Cuddle Weather’ that paired me naman with Sue Ramirez.”

So why doesn’t he woo her seriously?

“Naku, I just broke up with my non-showbiz girlfriend. It’s a mutual decision at walang third party concerned so friends pa rin kami. Pero ayoko namang masabing on the rebound lang ako. At saka, gusto ko munang papagpahingahin ang puso ko. But definitely, Jane is girlfriend material. Marami ngang may crush diyan, e.”

In “Us Again”, why did the characters he and Jane play, Mike and Margie, split up? “We had other priorities then kasi. She wants to pursue being a doctor, ako naman, struggling artist na tipong lost, di alam ang gagawin sa buhay.

"But we didn’t have proper closure, which I think, is very important in any relationship para makapag-move on kayo pareho nang maayos. Unfair namang nag-away lang kayo, tapos di na kayo nag-usap ever.

"Respeto na rin sa partner mo na isara nyo nang maayos ang chapter na yun sa buhay nyo. Kaya nga, dito sa movie, when we meet again after five years, may sparks pa kasi hindi na-resolve yung issues namin in the past.”