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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.

Nov 4, 2023



MATTEO GUIDICELLI’s career is on a roll. After not having acted for sometime, he now has a new TV action-drama series on GMA-7, “Black Rider”, that starts airing this Monday night right after “24 Oras”, and a new fantasy-action movie, “Penduko”, for Viva Films.

His last acting assignment on TV was “Bagani” on ABS-CBN in 2018, then he focused on hosting game shows like “Masked Singer Pilipinas” and “Born to be a Star” on TV5. 

When he moved to GMA early this year, it was also initially as one of the regular hosts of the long-running Kapuso morning show, “Unang Hirit”.

On the big screen, he played lead romantic roles before in such movies as “My Cactus Heart” and “Somebody to Love”, but his last full length film was “Mina Anud” for Regal, where he played an offbeat role as a drug lord and got good reviews for his hilarious out-of-the-box performance.

In “Black Rider”, he plays the role of Paeng Policarpio, an ally of Ruru Madrid who plays the title role.

So how is his experience doing his first teleserye with GMA? 

“I am happy and thankful to GMA News and Public Affairs na siyang producer ng ‘Black Rider’,” he says. 

“Ang babait ng lahat ng mga kasama ko rito. From the cast led by Ruru and Yassi Pressman, to all the producers, production assistants and the staff. 

"Lahat sila, very warm and accommodating, kaya naman we always have positive vibes on the set. Karamihan sa kanila, ngayon ko lang nakatrabaho but, magaan kaagad ang working relationship ko with all of them.”

He says there are a lot of challenges in doing an action series but thanks to their two directors, Rommel Penesa and Richard Arellano, they have a very productive set.

“At the end of the day, we are always moving forward and there are no hitches as our directors certainly know their job,” he adds. 

“They lead all of us and guide us to make sure the big action set pieces are all accomplished well for the camera. All of us are just excited to always give our best.”

On the big screen, he feels so blessed to have been chosen to play the role of Pedro Penduko in Viva Films’ official entry in the coming Metro-Manila Filmfest opening in theaters this Christmas Day.

“I know Pedro Penduko is iconic in local movies and many other actors have played him before, so it’s overwhelming for me to be selected by Viva to play him in this latest screen incarnation,” he says. 

“‘Penduko’ is a family movie and he is the most challenging character I’ve played so far. He is a hero who will be a good example for young people today as he is always full of hope, very passionate, driven, tough. And he never loses his smile.

"He will be facing a lot of challenges  and struggles throughout the movie, but he never loses that optimistic smile on his face.” 

He says he can totally relate to Pedro’s bright side.

“We should all be like that, troubles may come our way but we should never lose hope. Even through tough times, I always find time to smile because I always tell myself, ‘What is life without a smile?’ It’s definitely better than a frown or a smirk.” 

Pedro Penduko is a provinciano who goes to the big city to find work. 

“I can relate with that kasi ako rin, galing sa Cebu, and I came to Manila to try showbiz. Si Pedro, he goes to the city and it’s there that he discovers he has special powers.

"And as they say, with great power comes great responsibility, so what will he do with his power? 

"Will he use it for good or bad? Our writer-director, Jason Paul Laxamana, made sure the audience will get valuable insights about life and responsibility from this newest version of ‘Penduko’.”

He is asked if he’d ever invite his wife, Sarah Geronimo, to join him as a Kapuso. 

“We never know,” he says. “She is officially with Viva and it will all depend on Boss Vic del Rosario kung ano ang his plans for her. But it would be nice if we could work here together.”

He no longer wants to answer questions as to when they will have a baby. 

“A baby is a gift from above, so it all depends on the Lord kung kailan Niya kami bibigyan. We leave it all up to Him.”