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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.

Sep 22, 2023




COMEDIAN JERALD NAPOLES and his real life sweetheart Kim Molina have separated. 

After doing several movies and TV shows together, Kim is now paired with Empoy Marquez in Bobby Bonifacio’s horror-comedy, “Zombabe”. 

Jerald, in turn, stars with Ryza Cenon in the comedy-drama, “Instant Daddy”. 

This is an adaptation of the hit Mexican movie “Instructions Not Included” shown in September 2013, exactly 10 years ago, and raked in $100 million in its worldwide release when its budget is only a measly $5 million. 

It has also been successfully remade in France and Brazil.

The story is about a hunky cab driver, Jerald as Val, who is surprised when a former lover, played by Danita Paner as Julie, suddenly appears and leaves him their baby daughter for him to raise, when he didn’t even know they begot a love child. 

Ryza Cenon as his helpful neighbor, Kate, helps him with his child, Mira (child star Althea Ruedas.)

Directed by Crisanto Aquino and scripted by Fenzer Baterna, Jerald, Ryza and Danita are supported by Jao Mapa, MC Muah, Nikko Natividad, Benj and Nicco Manalo, Marnie Lapus, Rabin Angeles and many more. 

How does it feel to be separated from Kim after they did several movies together? 

“Okay lang naman as we have our own individual career paths and different branding,” Jerald says. “Part din ito ng aming growth as actors, na maipareha naman kami sa iba.”

Has he seen the original Mexican movie? 

“No, but I know that it is a big international hit and I’m just thankful to Viva na sa akin nila ibinigay ang project na ito. 

"Very challenging yung role for me kasi wala naman akong anak in real life, pero dito, dapat na maipakita ko yung love ko for my daughter lalo na ng bumabalik na si Danita as her mom at pilit siyang kinukuha sa akin.

"I also have to give credit to Althea kasi napakagaling din niya as my daughter sa napakarami naming iyakan scenes dito.”

Won’t viewers used to seeing him in comedy be alienated seeing him doing drama?  

“Kaya nga big challenge sa akin itong ‘Instant Daddy’ kasi sanay na ako at mas identified sa comedy, which I can do kahit walang script at improv lang. 

"But as an actor, I would like to show that I can do other kinds of roles. 

"I want to show na malawak ang range ko in acting at para bago rin naman ang makita nila sa akin.”

Is it true that he is not the first choice for the lead role of Val? 

It’s Direk Cris who answers: “Yes, when it was first offered to me, they had a big drama actor in mind, then a big comedian, pero ipinaglaban ko si Jerald hanggang dulo,” he says. 

“And you’d see we made the right decision kasi napakagaling ni Jerald not only in the comic but also the dramatic scenes.”

Did he make any changes in adapting the Mexican film? 

“Yes, marami. Kasi the original has a Western setting, so I have to make it more acceptable for Filipino audiences. 

"And I also felt I need to inject more Filipino values. So, marami nga kaming binago. Sa original, stuntman yung father, dito taxi driver si Jerald. 

"Pati yung structure ng family niya, mas pinakapal namin. But lahat ng changes na ginawa namin, we sent to the Mexican producers and they approved it naman.”

We ask Jerald how is it working for the first time with Direk Cris Aquino, Ryza and Danita?

“It’s great! We all had fun on the set. Si Direk, ang bilis mag-shoot. Kailangang laging one take lang, so it’s a challenge for us actors as we always have to give our best para hindi na kami umulit. 

"As for Ryza and Danita, they are both great actresses at masaya lang kami sa shoot.”

In real life, what kind of daddy would he be if Kim and him would have their own kids? 

“I’d like to be more like a friend, barkada lang para sa anak ko. Ako kasi, maaga naghiwalay ang parents ko. My dad is an OFW. But we have a relationship naman. 

"Tuwing uuwi siya, he comes to visit me at nagkikita kami. But basically, I was raised by a single mom na maaga pa, pinamulat na sa’kin na wala na sila ng ama ko, pero wala silang samaan ng loob at natanggap ko naman yon.”

Don’t fail to watch “Instant Daddy” when it opens in cinemas nationwide on October 11.