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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 7, 2022



“PEPITO MANALOTO” is one of the most successful comedy shows on GMA-7. 

It started in March 2010 with Michael V as Pepito winning in the lotto, then it stopped for a while and was relaunched in September 2012 as “Pepito Manaloto: ang Tunay na Kuwento”. 

It had another relaunch in October 2020 as “Pepito Manaloto: Kuwento Kuwento” and when the pandemic came, a younger cast took over in a prequel called “Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento” with Sef Cadayona and Mikee Quintos as the young Michael V and Manilyn Reynes. 

Now, the original cast is back in “Pepito Manoloto: Tuloy ang Kuwento, Book 3” and it will air starting this Saturday, June 11. 

The comebacking show had its zoom presscon with the original cast in attendance: Michael and Manilyn as Pepito and Elsa, Jake Vargas and Angel Satsumi as their kids, Chito and Clarisse, plus John Feir as Patrick, Mosang as Baby, Ronnie Henares as Tommy, Chariz Solomon as Janice, Janna Dominguez as Maria, Jen Rosendahl as Berta and Arthur Solinap as Bert. 

They all admitted they felt sad when their show was temporarily shelved after ten years, but they’re now so happy they’re all back as they really missed each other’s company so much. Did they watch the prequel? 

“Yes,” says Chariz. “I was amazed sa creative team how they wrote about the past life of Pepito and showed ang mga nangyari sa buhay niya in ‘Unang Kuwento’ kasi it gave more back stories about the characters. 

"And I’m so happy for Sef Cadayona as the young Pepito kasi he deserves the role. But now na tuloy na uli ang show with the original cast, siempre happy kami to be all together again. 

"At least, sa unang kuwento, nabigyan ng foundation ang viewers kunsaan ba nanggaling talaga ang kuwento nina Pepito at Elsa at ano ba ang naging buhay nila noong bata pa sila.”

“Siempre, when it was announced na papalitan muna kami ng prequel, nalungkot kami lahat kasi ilang years na kaming magkakasama.” says Jen Rosendahl. “Sobrang saya ng nabuong friendship among us cast members and we’re all family na. 

"Pero nakakatuwa ring panoorin sina Sef, Mikee and Pokwang to known na ito pala ang story before. Parang nagsimula uli sila from the start. But we’re all super happy na babalik na kami ngayon, kasi nami-miss na naming lahat yung every Thursday, magkakasama kami sa taping.” 

But they’re also sad that their director, Bert de Leon, passed during the pandemic. 

“We feel his absence sa taping ngayon,” says Ronnie Henares. “We miss him a lot, but I’m sure he would want us to go on and he’d not stop us from doing what we love to do. 

"And with Bitoy as our new director, we put our trust and confidence in him and we look forward to his new leadership in directing the show.”

What did they do while they’re on vacation from the show? 

“Ako, I watched our past episodes sa youtube.” says Jake Vargas. “Kasi sobrang nami-miss ko ang company ng co-stars ko at naiiyak ako while watching kasi sobrang nakaka-miss naman talaga ang magandang samahan namin.” 

But even if they were not taping, they keep in touch. 

“Iba kasi talaga yung samahan namin, e,” says Manilyn. “So we update each other as to what’s happening in our lives. And we are so happy when we’re told na ibabalik na ang dating kuwento. 

"But at least, with the prequel, nalaman na ng mga tao ang background ng bawat characters. Siempre, nang magkita na kami uli sa taping, nagulat kami kay Angel, who plays our daughter. 

"Antagal namin siyang hindi nakita at tumangkad na siya. She’s now even taller than Jake, who’s her kuya. She was just 3 years old when she joined the show and now, nagdadalaga na.”