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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.

Jul 17, 2022



RURU MADRID has reason to rejoice. 

His action-adventure drama, “Lolong”, continues to rule the ratings on primetime since it debuted on July 4. 

The ratings hit as high as 17% plus, which is a quite a feat since the show it replaced, “First Yaya”, was also a toprater, getting a nightly rating of anywhere from 15 to 16%. 

“It’s worth all the long wait, all the hardships, blood, sweat and tears that we put into the production of the show which was three years in the making,” he says. 

“We had a total of three lock in tapings in the wilderness of Quezon Province. Inabot kami hindi lang ng pandemic kundi ng bagyo. Para kaming OFW’s na nawalay sa aming pamilya.”

But his preparation for the show started even before the actual taping. 

“I was already preparing months before the cameras began grinding. I had my regular gym workouts plus running, as I know I have a very physical role that shows me shirtless in a number of scenes. 

"I also trained in boxing and mixed martial arts for the many fight scenes I’d be doing.”  

He figured in several accidents while taping the show. 

“Sa fight scenes pa lang with Paul Salas, who plays one of the villains, ilang beses na kaming nagkasakitan no matter how careful we tried to be,” he sighs. 

“Napako ako rito in one scene, napilay ang paa ko in another scene, but it’s all worth it. No regrets whatsoever. Charge it to experience and part of the job lang ang lahat.” 

He says the directors, Rommel Penesa and Conrado Peru, along with the rest of the cast and crew, should share credit and honors for the huge success of what is now the number one primetime series on local TV.  

“Our directors were really inspired and also inspiring throughout our locked in taping. They were not discouraged by all the hardships and hitches we encountered along the way. 

"We have a big cast led by veteran stars like Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco, Jean Garcia, and my leading ladies, Shaira Diaz and Arra San Agustin, pati all the supporting stars, lahat kami naging very close during the taping. 

"We became a tight family who comfort each other kapag may nade-depress sa hirap at sa haba ng taping. Everyone was a good team player, walang naging pasaway, lahat puro professional.”   

He says he will never forget “Lolong” for the rest of his life. 

“I know mahaba pa ang itatakbo ng career ko, but ‘Lolong’ will always have a special place in my heart. The friendships we’ve formed here will stay with us. I’m really proud of this group who showed their passion for their craft.”  

Ruru is currently in Seoul, Korea taping for the reality show “Running Man” but he is keeping track of what is happening in “Lolong” every night. His co-stars in “Running Man” are all happy for him and the success of his first primetime show where he plays the title role. 

These are Mikael Daez, Glaiza de Castro, Kokoy de Santos, Lexi Gonzales, Buboy Villar and Angel Guardian. 

They will he staying in Korea for two months. You can say that Ruru’s career is truly on a roll as “Running Man” seems like to be another surefire hit like “Lolong”.