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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 10, 2023



AT THE PRESSCON: KEN CHAN with Direk Louie Ignacio and Producers April Martin, Pauline Mae Publico and the legendary living icon Dennis C. Evangelista. 

KEN CHAN has proven his acting talent playing varied roles where he all excelled, like the transwoman in “Destiny Rose”, the mentally challenged dad in “Special Tatay” and as a man afflicted with a double personality disorder in “Ang Dalawang Ikaw”. 

His last movie, “Huling Ulan sa Tag-araw”, paired him with his perennial ka-love team, Rita Daniela, but now, he goes solo playing the title role in a new drama film directed by Louie Ignacio, “Papa Mascot”. 

The movie is the initial project of a new movie company, Wide Films International Productions of April Martin and Pauline Mae Publico. 

It will open in theaters nationwide on April 26. 

Ken will play the role of a loving dad to child star Erin Espiritu. 

They will be supported by Gabby Eigenmann and Liza Dino as a couple who wants to get his daughter away from Ken, Miles Ocampo as Ken’s co-worker who sympathizes with him, Sue Prado as Ken’s mom, JC Parker as Ken’s former girlfriend in the province, Joe Gruta as Ken’s grandpa and Jericho Arceo as Ken’s best friend. 

How does Ken feel starring in his first solo film without the usual love team to rely on? 

“Siempre po, it’s exciting pero, to be honest, nakakapanibago at nakaka-pressure din. Tuwing may bagong project naman ako, sa TV man o sa big screen, siempre kinakabahan ako, maraming doubts at kinukuwestiyon ko ang kakayahan ko. 

"But thanks to the people around me, like Direk Louie, they encourage me, pinalalakas ang loob ko na magagawa ko what they expect me to do. Ang sarap lang sa pakiramdam na buo ang tiwala nila sa akin.”

He finds his role in “Papa Mascot” very challenging. “When I read the script, sabi ko, ang bigat ng material. First time ko kasi na gumanap bilang ama to a 6-year old child. 

"I played a dad before sa ‘Special Tatay’ but baby lang yung anak ko roon. Dito, we interact na at sa mangyayari sa story, marami kaming pagsubok na pagdaraanan. 

"To prepare for my role, I watched again ‘Special Tatay’ and movies about father and child, like ‘I Am Sam’ and Kuya Baron’s ‘Doll House’.”

He’s delighted that the child actress playing his daughter, Erin Espiritu, is so good on camera. 

“Ang liit pa niya, pero ang bilis umiyak at four pages of dialogue, mabilis niyang name-memorized at naide-deliver nang maayos. Tiyak na paiiyakin niya ang viewers in so many scenes.”

Aside from playing a father role, he was completely deglamorized in the movie. 

“Tricycle driver akong galing sa hirap. Sabi ni Direk Louie, gusto niya, naaamoy ng viewers na mabaho ako. 

"Three times a day ako maligo pero dito, hindi ako naligo, marusing talaga ang dating ko. 

"Nilublob pa ako ni Direk sa putik in one scene at nakatulog akong puro putik ang paa ko. 

"I did a lot of sacrifice for this movie and it’s worth it kasi it’s about a father’s sacrifices for his daughter. ‘Papa Mascot’ ang title kasi my daughter enjoys it when she sees me in my mascot costume.”

He was able to relate to his role as he is really the breadwinner in their family. 

"He did everything to help heal his dad who got afflicted of the big C. But now that his dad is cancer free, his parents separated when they found out that he has many other families. 

“Kami pala ang fifth family niya. But hindi ako galit sa dad ko. Tatay ko pa rin siya, but tanggap ko ang sitwasyon and I communicate with my half brothers and sisters sa social media. 

"But I told my brothers na dapat, wala sinuman sa amin ang susunod sa yapak ng ama namin na maraming pamilya.”

He is just happy that God continues to bless him. He is now included in the cast of GMA-7’s hit afternoon soap, “Abot Kamay na Pangarap”, as a doctor who will be working with Jillian Ward. 

Before the year ends, he’s scheduled to tape GMA’s TV remake of the hit movie, “Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?”  

And all the businesses he has put up are doing very well, including gas stations and Cafe Claus, the Christmas-themed coffee shop he owns that now has four branches, with the first one in front of the Tandang Sora Market where the presscon of “Papa Mascot” was held. 

Has he seen Rita Daniela’s child? 

“Yes, nabisita ko na sila sa bahay nila. Ang cute ng baby niya. Sabi ko nga, kunin akong ninong.”

His director, Louie Ignacio, is doing a lot of sexy flicks for Vivamax. Will he be ready to try one? 

“Okay lang. I’m now 30, so I think I’m mature enough to do more mature scenes.”

Direk Louie butts in at this point. 

“It will all depend sa GMA Sparkle. Kung papayagan siya. E, kilala siya as a wholesome soap actor, so we don’t know if he’d be allowed to do more mature vehicles for the big screen.”