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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.

Apr 21, 2023



KEN CHAN was understandably feeling ecstatic at the SM Megamall premiere night of his heartrending movie, “Papa Mascot”, as his co-stars in GMA Network came to show their full support for him. 

All of them congratulated him after the screening for his fine performance as a poor working class man whose whole family was ruthlessly killed by a corrupt police officer played by Gabby Eigenmann. 

He then kidnaps the baby daughter of Gabby and wife Liza Dino and raises the child as his own, but the real parents would later try to get back the child, played by the talented tot actress Erin Espiritu, from him, leading to some tragic consequences.   

In his thank you speech, Ken first expressed his gratitude to the network where he belongs, GMA.  

“Lubos po akong nagpapasalamat sa Kapuso management at sa Sparkle dahil pinayagan nila akong gumawa ng ganitong material na talagang out of the box for me,” he says. 

“Sa TV po, may limitations kami. Hindi puedeng magsabi ng bad words. Clean image po ako, so bawal makitang nagsisigarilyo ako on screen. 

"But in this movie, nagawa ko ang lahat ng mga di ko nagagawa sa TV. Kabi-kabila ang pagmumura ko rito at panay ang hitit ko ng sigarilyo. 

"Lahat ng bawal kong gawin on TV, talagang nailabas ko po rito sa ‘Papa Mascot’ and I felt I really grew as an actor dahil sa challenges ng role ko rito as Nico, the Papa Mascot.”

He also thanked the producers, April Martin and Pauline Mae Publico of Wide International for bankrolling this dramatic film.  

“Salamat sa naging tiwala nila sa akin in this, their company’s first film project. I really felt their generous support. 

"And of course, our director, si Louie Ignacio, who tailor made the role of the Papa Mascot for me.”

He felt he was given his freedom by Direk Louie.  

“Ibang-iba ang role ko as Nico sa mga nagawa ko sa TV, so parang ang feeling ko, nakalaya ako. 

"I was completely deglamourized  and Direk Louie guided me all the way in interpreting my role. I am so grateful that those who saw the movie sa premiere night liked it. 

"Ang sarap po sa pakiramdam na nagustuhan nila ang ganitong pelikulang may magandang aral at very relatable for the whole family. 

"Excited ako ngayong mapanood ito ng ating general audience and even viewers abroad kasi isasali ito ni Direk Louie sa film festivals sa ibang bansa.”

He also paid tribute to his co-actors. 

“Napakasuwerte ko rin pong puro batikang aktor ang nakasama ko rito like Kuya Gabby Eigenmann and Ate Liza Dino Suguerra as the real parents of Erin, at si Ms. Sue Prado as my mom, Joe Gruta as my grandpa, 

Tabs Sumulong as my aunt who lends me the Papa Mascot costume, and si Miles Ocampo as my best friend who helped me sa problems ko with my child. And of course, si Erin, napakagaling na bata.”

We’re hoping that “Papa Mascot” will be supported by local viewers when it opens in theaters nationwide on April 26. 

If this, his first venture as a solo actor, would succeed, does this mean that he will already forsake his love team with Rita Daniella that viewers supported in several high-rating shows?   

“Ay hindi naman po. Basta may project ang GMA-7 para sa amin, ready po akong gawin yun kasi may fans nga ang tandem namin na nagre-request na magsama kami uli. 

"But it all depends sa management kung pagsasamahin pa kami uli ni Rita in future projects.”