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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.

Mar 20, 2023




ROMNICK SARMENTA has been in showbiz for 46 years now. He started as a child actor in the role of Peping in “Gulong ng Palad” when he was only 4 years old. 

He laid low during his tween years but as a teenager, we remember him being managed by Jobert Sucaldito who asked us to interview him for his comeback. 

He then joined “That’s Entertainment” where his love team with Sheryl Cruz and they did a lot of movies as teen stars for Seiko Films like “Puso sa Puso”, “Langit at Lupa”, “Pardina”, “Everlasting Love”, etc.    

He was married to Harlene Bautista for many years and they had 4 kids but he’s now with Barbara Ruaro and they have their own baby. 

Turning 51 years old on April 28, Romnick usually now plays supporting or father roles in TV drama anthologies and teleseryes. 

But he is currently starring in a lead role in IdeaFirst Company’s “About Us But Not About Us”, a psychological drama which is an official entry in the Summer Metro Manila Filmfest that starts showing on April 8, Black Saturday. 

He plays Ericson, a fortyish macho gay UP professor who has an intricate relationship with one of the students he mentors, Elijah Canlas as Lancelot. 

How did he get the role? 

“Direk Jun Lana told me about his project with only two characters shot in a single location,” he says. 

“He sent me the script and I read it. There were some parts in it that I didn’t expect would move and I caught myself getting teary-eyed while reading some of the lines. 

"I realized how good the script was kasi naapektuhan ako agad. Maganda ang takbo ng story, yung flow, yung kwento, yung batuhan ng lines.”   

Didn’t he have second thoughts when he was told he’d be playing a gay role?  

“No. I did a transexual role before in ‘Miguel/Michelle’ and I won best actor in the Asian TV Awards in 1999 for a telemovie I did with GMA-7, ‘Bakla’. 

"So the role is not new to me.” 

He really likes Jun Lana’s storytelling style on screen.

“The setting of the story is just inside a restaurant and it’s all conversational. 

"In a conversation, you usually don’t know what the person you’re talking to would say. 

"So tatanggapin mo lang kung ano ang ibabato sa ‘yo, then you try to react and respond. Kaya the whole thing is very spontaneous and natural ang dating.” 

His character, Ericson, is basically a do-gooder. 

“The way I understood my character, sometimes you want to do the right thing. You want to be helpful. 

"You want to be a human being, but people take advantage of you, like what happened to Eric. 

"You get caught up in situations that every human being will find themselves in. 

"You are either unable to express yourself fully or you are able to express yourself fully but is misunderstood. Hindi mo alam ginagamit ka lang pala.”   

Liza Soberano just confessed she was just compelled to be an artista. 

He was very young when he started acting. Didn’t he feel like he was robbed of his youth? 

“I can’t speak about the experience of other people. That’s their personal experience. 

"There can be some things that I can be sour about in this business. But when I look at it, whatever it is, I feel I just have to be grateful for everything. 

"I’m grateful for all the lessons I learned. No one forced or pressured me to act. 

"At that time, I really thought all children were doing what I was doing and it’s just part of growing up. 

"I was already a teenager when I realized I was working and earning money as an actor.”

Romnick’s portrayal of Eric in “About Us” is surely one of the finest performances we’ve seen in recent years. 

Don’t miss it when “About Us” opens in theatres on April 8! Let’s support the Summer Metro-Manila Filmfest!