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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.

Jun 13, 2022



MICHAEL V took a leave of absence from his two GMA regular shows, “Bubble Gang” and “Pepito Manaloto”, after he got infected by the covid virus.

“Pepito Manaloto” offered a prequel called “Ang Unang Kuwento”,  showing the characters when they were younger, with Sef Cadayona as the young Michael V and Mikee Quintos as the young Manilyn.

Now that things have more or less returned to normal, Miachel V is back in both shows. 

But in “Pepito Manaloto”, he’s not only back playing the title role but is now also directing the sitcom after its regular director, Bert de Leon, passed during the pandemic in November of last year. 

Directing is not new for Michael V as he has already helmed a full length film, “Family History”. 

He also shares that when they taped some “Pepito Manaloto” episodes abroad in the U.S. in 2013, he was the one who directed himself and his co-stars. So how is it handling two jobs now as actor-director of “Pepito Manaloto”?  

“It’s very demanding, physically and mentally, kasi hands on ako,” he says. 

“Dati, may time ako makipagkuwentuhan with the other cast members during breaks. But now, there are times I cannot take a break as I myself do the script revisions.”

As the director, while the others are taking a break, he is preparing for the scenes they will shoot next.

“I plan kung ano yung gagawing shots sa susunod na sequences. Mahirap, but it’s all very fulfilling. 

"Pero parang transition period lang ito. Eventually, I will have to pass the directing job to the directors Direk Bert has mentored in the show. Even now, they’re always there to support us. 

"And up to now, we all miss Direk Bert who’s been with us since the show started ten years ago.” 

He says he has made some technical changes in the show. 

“Siempre, balik lahat ng original cast members like Manilyn Reynes as my wife Elsa, then Jake Vargas and Angel Satsumi as our kids, plus the supporting cast. 

"Pero meron kaming mga iniba ng konti, lalo na sa template ng shots to make it as basic as possible, para easier to digest for the audience. 

"It would be very evident when you watch the new show, but I think hindi pa rin naman nalalayo sa original vision ni Direk Bert.”  

He also wants to thank all his cast members for trusting him. 

“They’re all very helpful,” he adds. “I can feel na nandiyan lang sila palagi to support me.  

"There are times na may nakakalimutan ako and they’re the ones who recall kasi naaalala nila yung mga nangyari in the past sa show and they remind me about it. 

"Without everyone’s cooperation, I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off, so I really want to thank them all for collaborating with me.”