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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 22, 2022



RAYVER CRUZ was absent at the presscon of “Bolera” last momth as he was then doing a series of shows in Canada with Catriona Gray.  

But now, he’s so happy that the new primetime series is rating very high on GMA Telebabad and the reaction of netizens to his performance as Miguel, one of the two leading men of title roler Kylie Padilla, is very positive.  

“I’m lucky kasi maganda talaga yung role na ibinigay nila sa akin,” he says. 

“He is considered a phenomenon in the game of billiards. Bata pa siya, kinakitaan na siya ng kakaibang skill in playing billiards kaya inalagaan siya nang husto hanggang maging champion siya.  

"As the country’s top billiards player, he has competed and won abroad. He is driven in his game and very competitive.”  

The character comes off as quite cocky, which Rayver is not. 

“Yes, may kayabangan siya kasi he knows his capabilities and he is sure of how good he is,” he adds. 

“He’s got a dominant personality at medyo maangas ang dating niya kasi alam niyang magaling siya. Quite over-confident and arrogant, which is very far from who I am in real life.” 

When Kylie Padilla as Joni enters the competition scene, he gets threatened as he quickly sees Joni’s potential to be a very successful billiards player. 

“Siempre, sa simula, they don’t see each other eye to eye, kasi nga they are rivals. Ako, right handed player dito at siya naman, left handed player kaya magkaiba ang training namin. 

"But later on, may back story si Miguel, the character I play, at malalaman ng viewers na mabigat din pala ang pinagdaraanan ko. 

"As for Kylie, bilib ako sa kanya. Very focused and committed siya sa role niya as Joni.” 

Does he really play billiards?  

“Oh yes. My father was the one who taught me how to play it. It was one of our family bonding activities, kasama ang mga kapatid ko. Magaling talaga maglaro ang daddy ko. But for my role as Miguel, I have to undergo more training to be convincing as a billiards champ.” 

Real life billiard champions Johann Chua and Geona Gregorio were their coaches-trainors on the lock in set of “Bolera” in Pampanga. 

“Game consultants din sila for the whole show para maging convincing ito. Tinuruan nila kami how to execute the difficult pool shots na mahirap gawin. 

"It’s very technical, and very challenging, but very fulfilling sa pakiramdam kapag nagagawa mo nang tama yung mga pinagagawa nila sa iyo. Lalo na yung jump shot, which is the signature shot of Miguel. 

"I really had to master it muna before we tried to shoot it on cam.” 

Rayver’s career really took a turn for the better when he transferred to GMA Network. 

“I cannot complain sa dami ng exposure that they give me. Sunod-sunod ang assignments ko at magaganda ang roles ko, like in ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko”, “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Buhay Ko”, “Nagbabagang Luha” and now, “Bolera”. 

"I also get to do a hosting job in “The Clash” and I get to perform in ‘All Out Sundays”. 

"Sobra talagang maraming blessings na dumarating sa akin. Thanks to GMA and thanks to the Lord.”