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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 26, 2023



AFTER DOING two films where he played Pres. Marcos, Cesar Montano agrees to do a teleserye again, “Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan”.

We thought he’s avoiding doing teleseryes as they’re so time consuming.

“Well, the original movie of ‘Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan’ was directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya,” he says. 

“Alam nyo naman ang mga pelikulang pinagsamahan namin, like ‘Jose Rizal’, ‘Muro Ami’ and ‘Bagong Buwan’, all acclaimed films at malaking bahagi siya ng career ko, so how can I say no to this project? 

"Also, I’m playing the role originally played by Manoy Eddie Garcia, and it’s an honor to do it now as a teleserye.”

He wants to thank Viva for getting him in the show. 

“Tuwang-tuwa nga akong gawin ito as a tribute to the great director na naging personal friend ko rin,” he adds.

“And I feel so blessed with the directors of the series, Jerome Pobocan and Tots Sanchez, pati yung mga writers. 

Dahil teleserye ito, they expanded the story at napakaganda ng back stories na ibinigay nila sa mga tauhan sa kuwento. 

Puro magagaling sila, pati ang main co-stars ko ritong sina Cristine Reyes at Marco Gumabao. Masarap silang kaeksena kasi they really know their craft.”

After the press preview of the show’s first week at Gateway, Cesar got a lot of congratulatory greetings for his fine performance as Cenon, the wealthy tycoon who falls for Cristine Reyes as Helen, who’s much younger than him. 

The audience was really rooting for their romance. How does he feel about it?

“I didn’t expect us that the response would be that great but siempre, tuwang-tuwa ako na naging ganoon ka-effective ang mga eksena namin,” he beams. 

“Ang laki ng impact ng story sa viewers and I’m happy as it means we are doing a good job. Pati ako, kinikilig sa scenes with Cristine at nagihiyawan pa ang ibang viewers. 

<br>But sina Cristine and Marco rin, they make a beautiful couple on and off the screen.”

Cesar is now a senior citizen at 60 and is now a grandfather with his son Diego Loyzaga having a baby daughter in Australia. How does he feel about it?  

“I’m proud na may apo na ako but I have yet to see her. Sa picture pa lang. Nasa Australia pa at di pa niya dinadala rito. 

"Excited na nga akong makita nang personal yung baby. Sabi ko, ako ang magi-spoil diyan.”

What is his secret in looking much younger than his age? 

“Keep the nice and happy memories in my heart. I always dwell on the good memories, specially about love.

"I think yung ang nakakapagpabata sa akin. You should not dwell on the negative aspects of your life.

"You should stay just in the bright places, full of sunshine.”

Then he starts singing “You Are My Sunshine”, which is obviously for his ex-wife, Sunshine Cruz, who just said in an interview that she has totally forgiven and forgotten what happened between her and Cesar in the past.

Recently, he went back to school and he just got his masters for public safety administration. 

“Wala akong masyadong ginagawa noong pandemic, so I took the opportunity para mag-aral. I was so thankful kasi ang dami kong bagong natutuhan from the course.

"Ang classmates ko are people working in government agencies like lawyers, firemen, policemen. It’s so helpful and I encourage other public servants to take it.”

Cesar won best director for his wartime drama, “Panaghoy sa Suba”. He now wants to direct again, a sequel to “Muro Ami”.

He has also finished a new historical action-drama, “The Blood Brothers”.

Meantime, don’t miss “Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan” that is now showing weekdays at 4:40PM on TV5, Sari-Sari Channel on Cignal TV, Satellite Ch.3 and Cignal Play.