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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 19, 2021



             RITA AVILA and her 'LAS HERMANAS' daughters: YASMIEN, THEA, & FAITH

RITA AVILA plays the mother of Yasmien Kurdi, Thea Tolentino and Faith Da Silva in the new GMA Afternoon Prime soap, “Las Hermanas”, that started airing this week at 2:30 PM right after “Eat Bulaga”. 

And now, she has also started shooting a new drama movie for ace Director Joel Lamangan, as written by Troy Espiritu who did “Ma Rosa” and “The Right to Kill” for Brillante Mendoza. 

The film is entitled “Walker” and no, it’s not a promo for that brand of briefs, but a movie about a family of prostitutes who are also called street walkers. The script is written by Troy Espiritu and produced by a new movie company called New Sunrise Films.  

Also starring in the movie’s big ensemble cast are Allen Dizon in a bida-kontrabida role as a corrupt cop who is the personification of evil; Sunshine Dizon as Rita’s eldest daughter and Allen’s mistress; Elora Espano as Rita’s second daughter; Edgar Allan Guzman as Elora’s husband; Alexa San Agustin as Rita’s third daughter; 

Dincent Lucero as Alexa’s husband; Barbara Miguel as Rita’s youngest daughter who is mentally slow; Dorothy Gilmore as Rita’s mother who she doesn’t know is also pimping Barbara to foreigners;  Jim Pebanco as Allen’s police chief who lusts for Elora, Dave Bornea as an idealistic new cop, Rico Barrera as a congressman who abuses Elora.

In “Walker”, the audience will surely be annoyed with Rita in her role as Dolores, an aging former sex worker who now sells younger street walkers to prospective clients? Didn’t she hesitate to accept the role? 

“Napakaganda nung role, hindi ko puedeng palagpasin,” she says. 

“And I welcome working with Direk Joel Lamangan again. We worked before in ‘The Flor Contemplacion Story’ and ‘Muling Umawit ang Puso’, both with Nora Aunor. Pero ang tagal na noon, 1995 pa.” 

And she enjoys the challenge of playing a sleazy pimp. 

“Bilang artista, gumanap na ako ng sari-saring characters, some negative ones. Natatanggap naman ng audience, so I like this role na nagbubugaw ng younger sex workers. 

"Tinanggap ko nga ang movie ni Direk Jay Altarejos, ‘Walang Kasarian ang Digmaang Bayan’ with Oliver Aquino and Sandino Martin, na minura ko pa ang presidente. Nung una, napaisip ako, kasi malaking tao siya. So teka muna...”

But after some contemplation, she decided to do the scene. 

“Kasi naisip ko rin, I am just playing a character. Hindi naman ako yun mismo. E, artista nga ako, di ba? Sa tunay na buhay, di ko naman magagawang naising mamatay o murahin ang presidente. 

"Hello. Pero siempre, na-bash ako agad nang lumabas yung news sa social media, kahit hindi pa naman nila napapanood yung movie.”

But there was once an offer that she didn’t accept. “Siempre, as an actress, even if you welcome different challenges, may roles naman iniiwasan ako. But isa lang naman ang project na tinanggihan ko noon, kasi lalabas akong kakampi ng demonyo at kakausapin ko pa siya. 

"Natakot ako kasi ilo-launch pa that time yung children’s book ko na ‘The Invisible Wings 4’ which is about angels. Basta about the devil, ayoko.”