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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.

Mar 23, 2021



RAYMOND BAGATSING is currently nominated in the coming Star Awards (for the year 2019) as best actor for his title role performance in the biopic, “Quezon’s Game”, which already won him acting honors in an international filmfest in Houston, Texas. 

He now gets to play another demanding role as an enigmatic doctor in a mental hospital in “Nelia”, produced by A&Q Productions.

“I quickly accepted role when it's offered to me as it’s very intriguing,” he says. “As Dr. Ray, the viewer would think I’m a good and devoted doctor.

"But it will be revealed later na may surprise twist pala sa character niya and he’s not as normal as he may seem.”

Is it the first time for him to work with Winwyn Marquez who plays the title role of Nelia? 

“No, we did a soap on GMA-7, ‘One True Love’, but she’s still very young then. Now, she’s a bit more mature, beauty queen na, so mas experienced na at bagay sa role ng Nelia.”

How will they shoot the movie at this time that the cases of Covid are surging anew? It’s the film’s director, Lester Dimaranan, who answered the question: 

“We’ll make sure that we follow all the health protocols required during the shoot.

" May nakaantabay ring health workers on the set to supervise sa location which is a new hospital in Nueva Ecija that does not operate yet. We want to secure the whole place to insure the safety of everyone.”

Now that people are being urged to just stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, is Raymond ready to just stay put and not go out? 

“Oh yes,” he replies. “I’m used to just staying at home, kasi even when I was still based in Australia, sanay akong mag-isa. 

"I only go out when may meetings ako for work and kung may events that I have to attend. Kung wala, I just watch movies at home with my dogs and cats. 

"I now pray that everyone will stay safe and meet the challenges of this pandemic.”

Winwyn welcomes the chance of working with Raymond again. 

“He’s amazing as he’s always totally focused on his character. Pagdating pa lang niya sa set, he’s already his character and I want to be like that, specially for my role as Nelia who has multiple personalities. 

"We have many scenes together and I really hope that I will learn how to internalize the way he does from him.”

The producer, Atty. Mary Melanie Quino, who also wrote the script, says Winwyn fits the role of “Nelia” perfectly. 

“We want an actress na maganda at morena. Ang hirap pumili, kasi kokonti lang sila. But when I saw sa GMA ang shows na ginawa ni Winwyn, we chose her kasi magaling siya at makakaya niyang gampanan ang role.” 

Her company maybe new but they have lofty and noble intentions. 

“We want to contribute quality films to the industry and give the audience something new and different during the pandemic, something that will not just entertain them but also stimulate their mind. 

"We assure you ‘Nelia’ is going to be different from other local movies that you’ve seen before,” she adds. "It's shooting right now on location in Gapan, Nueva Ecija."

Well, that's quite a tall order but, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we can only wish them good luck for them to achieve their intentions in their maiden film venture.