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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 25, 2021




ELIJAH CANLAS won an international acting award in Estonia and the Urian and FAMAS best actor awards last year. This is for his role as a wayward teenager who’s diagnosed to be HIV positive in “Kalel, 15”. 

He considers 2020 as a real blessed year for him as he also gained full stardom via the online Boys Love hit, “Gameboys”.

Before 2020 was over, the company managing him, IdeaFirst, cast him in the TV5 soap “Paano ang Pasko?” which proved to be such a big hit that it’s extended beyond the Christmas season and is now retitled as “Paano ang Pangako?”  Its story now mainly revolves on Elijah.

“I play Noel, raised by my mom, played by Julia Clarete,” he says. “But, growing up I never really knew who my dad is. 

"Then it turns out that his family is alive pa pala, headed by Tita Bing Loyzaga as their matriarch, who wants to destroy the family I grew up with headed by Tita Maricel Laxa.”

So where does the conflict lie? 

“Gusto akong kunin ni Tita Bing from my mom’s family as my dad turns out to be her son and I’m their heir. She will do everything to get me from them and they will tell me secrets that will make me want to join them. 

"We’re lucky na designed lang ito noon as a Christmas special, but na-extend kasi nga nag-click sa audiences and the network saw its potential as a teleserye.”  

He’s so happy to be working continuously. “Masaya talaga ako kasi first time ko gumawa ng ganitong soap. Ang shoot namin has two separate units. 

"Marami akong eksena with both units involving the two rival families, kaya patalon-talon ako sa magkabilang units. I’m so proud of my role kasi as Noel, sa akin nga umiikot ang story.”

Right after their lock in taping for “Paano ang Pangako”, he’ll start shooting Book 2 of “Gameboys”, whose first season is still being shown on Netflix. They have released the trailer of the new season of “Gameboys” and the response is overwhelming.

“When the teaser of ‘Gameboys 2’ was released, we were so happy kasi grabe ang positive reaction,” he says. “May over a hundred thousand tweets agad, tapos andaming views sa youtube. Sobrang encouraging ang response ng fans. 

"The show is such a blessing then kasi it was shown sa panahon ng pandemic. So the challenge now is: what will we do to make sure mas maganda ito sa Book One?”

How is it doing most of his scenes with Kyle and Miles as his main co-stars in “Paano ang Pangako”? 

“Pareho silang masarap katrabaho. Actually, nakaka-pressure katrabaho si Miles kasi napakahusay niya, so you will be challenged to do better. 

"With her, ramdam na ramdam ko ang emotions ko and I really get affected kaya mahirap mag-detach sa character after the scene. 

"At masarap din siyang kakuwentuhan, magkasundo kami kahit sa food na gusto naming kainin sa set, like french fries na nago-order pa kami online.”

How about Kyle Velilno? 

“Kyle maybe a kontrabida sa show, but he’s not a villain in real life. Masaya kami sa set. Maganda ang reaction ng fans sa amin kasi na-miss yata nila ang pag-aaway namin noon sa ‘Gameboys’, pero ibang dynamics naman itong sa ‘Paano ang Pangako’, kasi si Miles na ang pinag-aagawan namin this time and not Kokoy.”

What if he and Kyle are the ones to be paired next time in a BL show? It’s Direk Perci Intalan who answers. 

“There are many possibilities in this world,” he says. “Yung ganyang nag-aaway sila ngayong parang aso’t pusa, puedeng later, sila naman ang maging magkapareha. Maski sa ‘Paano ang Pangako’, I’m being asked kung magkakaroon ba ng Book 3. 

"It all depends kung patuloy na magiging mainit ang pagsuporta ng viewers, baka magaya kami sa hit shows abroad about families, like ‘Dynasty’ or ‘Dallas’. Ang maganda sa ‘Paano ang Pangako?’, there are so many characters from both families so this opens up to a lot of possibilities for future