<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 31, 2023



ENCHONG DEE has been the victim of gay rumors before and he avoided accepting gay roles. 

But now, he plays a transgender role with so much glee and wild abandon in “Here Comes the Groom”. Didn’t he have any qualms accepting this swishy role? 

“It was Quantum Film producer po, si Atty. Joji Alonso who personally called me to offer the role at kapag si Atty. Joji po ang kausap nyo, parang wala ko kayong ibang masasagot kundi yes,” he says. 

“She said ako talaga ang naisip niya for the role at sabi ko naman, sige laban po. Kailangan ko ng ganitong materyal. Let’s do it! Isa pa, ako yung groom sa title, e.”  

He says what he has gone through in the past is common knowledge. 

“Siguradong ako alam nyo yon. But I’ve realized na this year, I want to surprise my audience. 

"I want to do something new for the audience to appreciate my craft and look me as a good actor and not someone who’s just holding on with what happened in the past. 

"What happened then, tapos na yun. I will just look forward into the future and I will not allow na masira yun because of something that happened in the past. 

"My future is in my hands, nasa akin na yun.”

And Enchong really did a superior job in “Here Comes the Groom”. He plays Junior, the son of Keempee de Leon and Gladys Reyes who is about to wed Miles Ocampo when an accident causes him to switch bodies with Kaladkaren as a gay beauty pageant contestant named Wilhelmina.  

“Direk Chris Martinez made it clear na hindi ako gay rito kundi a trangender woman. Magkaiba yun. 

"Babae ako, hindi bakla! At ang hirap pala maging babae! 

"Yung character ni Wilhelmina, buong-buo na sa script as written by Direk Chris. But Kaladkaren also helped me a lot in portraying her on screen. 

"I’ll always be thankful to her for being so generous. Kahit natutulog na siya, ginigising siya ng production staff para itanong kung paano ko dapat na i-deliver ang line ko as her.”

Kaladkaren says she also wants to thank Enchong.  

“Kasi tinulungan niya rin ako on how to act like a man. At first, iniisip ko, oh my God, lalaki ako rito, anong gagawin ko? 

"Kasi, it’s so hard for a transwoman like me na magpakalalaki dahil tinalikuran ko na yun nang matagal ng panahon. 

"Kinalimutan ko na tapos ngayon, heto, lalaki na naman ako. Kailangan kong magboses lalaki, kumilos, lumakad na parang lalaki. Sabi nga ni Enchong, it’s a blast from the past.”

How would she rate Enchong’s portrayal of her in the movie? 

“I’ll give him 10 out of 10,” says Kaladkaren. “Kasi I could see naman how hard it is for him na maging girl, maging isang transgender woman. 

"But nakuha niya yung nuances, pati yung pagpilantik ng mga daliri niya kapag action na. Inalalayan ko siya, but he is really very willing to learn. 

"Alam mong magaling siyang artista kasi he is willing to step out of this comfort zone, get out of the box para maging believable ang performance niya. 

"Mahirap mag-transgender woman kung talagang straight ka at matigas na lalaki, di ba?”

Enchong has so many hilarious scenes in the movie and in fairness to him, he was consistent in all of them. 

One of his best scenes is when his best friend, Tony Labrusca, who is also the best man in his wedding, confesses to him that he is gay and has feelings of love and lust for him. 

Another riotous scene is when Miles Ocampo becomes very aggressive on the night of their wedding and practically rapes him, but he does his best to ward off her advances. 

For his very persuasive performance, we believe Enchong deserves to get an acting nomination for “Here Comes the Groom”.