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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.

Dec 17, 2021




RICCI RIVERO is one basketball player who has matinee idol good looks so we’re not surprised that Dondon Monteverde gives him a launching movie in the romantic-comedy, “Happy Times”, directed by Ice Idanan and written by G3 San Diego. 

The 23-year old UP cager has done supporting roles before in films like “Multo” and “Rabid”, but now, he plays the romantic lead of Kim, a popular campus jock who befriends schoolmate Sharlene San Pedro as Toni. 

Sharlene thinks Ricci is out to court her but the truth is that he is making friends with her just to get closer to her prettier sister, Heaven Peralejo as George. 

Director Ice Idanan says she had no problem at all with the main cast. 

“They’re all good, It’s as if the characters were tailor made for them. Walang kahirap hirap. Hindi nila kailangan masyadong mag-prepare. 

"They’re just playing themselves. But the film took three years to complete kasi sumisingit lang kami sa schedule ni Ricci when he is free from school and from his basketball activities.” 

How did he feel when Dondon told him he’d have a launching movie?

 “I felt overwhelmed. Sabi ko, do i deserve this? I prayed, sabi ko, Lord, they’re planning daw to do a launching film for me. 

"Help me, please Lord, tulungan Mo ako na magawa ko ito nang maayos and portray my role as well.”  

Ricci says it was really hard because of his schedule. 

“Kasi I have classes and I’m into basketball. I was getting discouraged but they didn’t get discouraged. They said kaya mo yan. Get some rest and when you’re free, then shoot tayo. So paano ko kakayanin if I myself don’t believe that I can do it. 

"So heto, sa awa ng Diyos, natapos din and palabas na sa Upstream.ph.” 

Has his acting improved from the time he started appearing in the movies and on the TV “Gen Z”? “I feel malaki ang improvement. Kapag devoted ka sa craft mo, magagawa mo yan.  

"Ako, I’m willing to learn. I try to accept our mistakes when they correct me and it helps me improve. Nobody’s perfect naman. 

"The important thing is we are open to learn and I always cling to God and pray to Him for guidance. I really enjoy doing films. I want to learn better in my craft as an actor.”

 How is it working with his co-stars, Sharlene San Pedro and Heaven Peralejo?  

“My co-actors are my teammates. They’ve been ahead of me in the business, so I ask them kapag nahihirapan ako kung paano magbato ng linya or mag-react. 

"They really helped me a lot. Direk Ice naman is my coach. We’re just happy na natapos din namin ito after three years.”

So does that mean he will now focus on showbiz? 

“No,  I will not leave basketball kasi mahal na mahal ko yun. But I enjoy meeting other people sa showbiz. Dati mahiyain ako, so sa shoot, I reach out and communicate para mas maging magaan ang trabaho. 

''Magkaiba ang mundo ng basketball and showbiz, e. Mas maraming bashers sa showbiz. Sa’kin naman, ok lang kung ano masasabi nila, kung yun ang perspective nila about me. Pero kung may mali talaga ako, then babaguhin ko. E, yung iba, nang-iinis lang talaga.”

Can he relate with his role as Kim in “Happy Times”? 

“I am not as confident as he is in the movie, kasi siya, feeling niya star siya sa campus. Hindi naman ako ganun. Also, in the movie, he’s not okay with his dad, but in real life okay kami ng family ko.”


His movie’s title is “Happy Times”, so what are his own happy times?  

“Playing basketball, being with my family, shooting this film kasi I became close kay Direk Ice Idanan and the cast and we really bonded well. Sana po, you guys will support our film that is now showing on Upstream.ph.”