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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.

Aug 7, 2021



RURU MADRID is so fortunate to be given an action-adventure project intended for primetime viewing as big as GMA’s “Lolong”, now taping on location in a rustic resort Quezon Province. 

He plays a young man who befriends a big crocodile named Dakila. He has no less than two leading ladies: Shaira Diaz and Arra San Agustin. 

They will be supported by a powerhouse cast led by award-winners like Christopher de Leon, Jean Garcia, and Bembol Roco, plus Malou de Guzman, Rochelle Pangilinan, Ian de Leon, Mikoy Morales, Paul Salas, DJ Durano, Marco Alcaraz, Maui Taylor, Leandro Baldemor and the comebacking Priscilla Almeda.

Ruru says the star-studded line up inspires him to give his best in all his scenes. 

“When I saw the list of actors in the cast, sabi ko, wow! Impressive kasama sina Tito Boyet de Leon and Bembol Roco who are both veteran actors. It’s really an honor na makatrabaho ko silang lahat. 

"I just can’t wait na matapos na namin itong proyektong ito at mapapanood sa atin pong mga Kapuso. GMA really left no stone unturned to make sure it will be an adventure of a lifetime for Kapuso viewers.”

He got hurt in doing his own stunts for the various action scenes. 

“Grabe, mahihirap talaga ang mga eksena. Nagkasugat-sugat ako, nagkapasa-pasa, but for me okay lang kasi I truly feel so blessed na sa akin ipinagkatiwala ng GMA ang proyektong ito. 

"Ang magagawa ko lang in return, is talagang ibubuhos ko po ang lahat dito para  mapaganda ito nang husto. Ayokong dayain ang action scenes kaya ako mismo ang gumagawa.”

He’s also proud that “Lolong” carries a valid and timely message. 

“Ang maganda sa show, it’s not all exciting action kundi may tender love story rin and may maganda at mahalagang mensahe about environmental protection, kung paano natin dapat pangalagaan ang kalikasan at ang mga hayop sa paligid natin.

"Parehong magaling ang directors naming sina Rommel Penesa and Rado Peru even sa paggamit ng animatronics and graphics to show the crocodile in action. Parang gawa ng Disney ang dating ng mga eksena.” 

Do you know that the idea for “Lolong” actually came from top broadcaster Jessica Soho of GMA Public Affairs?  

“The inspiration came from all the crocodile stories we featured in ‘Kasama Mo, Jessica Soho’, in far-away islands like Balabac in Palawan showing humans versus crocodiles,” she reveals. 

“I thought it would be interesting to weave reality with fiction and come up with a riveting adventure drama on primetime TV. I’m also hoping that the story would help educate our viewers about these fascinating but feared creatures with whom we share our many rivers, lakes, and seas.”

 Dakila, Ruru’s crocodile friend in the story, is made of fiberglass body and silicone skin. He is fondly referred to as the "highest paid actor" in the series as Dakila needs to be manned by 14 people. 

Using pneumatic technology and an air compressor operated by a technician, Dakila’s tail can wag and his snout can open. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) will also be used to make the creature more frighteningly realistic.