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Bong Revilla intends to return to MMFF in 2019

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By Faith Reyes

“It’s nice to be back.”

BONG REVILLA

BONG REVILLA

This is what former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. said when he met the entertainment press during an event dubbed “welcome back” held a few weeks after his release from detention.

Revilla was released from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center on Dec. 7 following his acquittal from the plunder case.

“Halos anim na taon ang nawala sa aking buhay. I’m 52 years old now, so parang 10% ng aking buhay ang nawala sa akin. Masakit na karanasan but this will make me a better person, a better leader and a better husband to my wife,” Bong said.

The former senator learned valuable lessons during his four years in detention, including his realization who his true friends are. Among those who never left his side are movie producer Lily Monteverde, Marichu Vera Perez, Lolit Solis, and actor Tirso Cruz III, whom he said visited him several times and composed songs with him.

“Maraming aral dito. Dito ko nakita kung sino talaga ang mga tunay na kaibigan, tunay na nagmamahal sa iyo, kung sino ang laging andiyan para sa iyo,” he said.

Being away from the limelight for quite some time, Bong definitely missed doing movies and being a part of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), where he was a consistent participant. Bong has made several fantasy movies in the past, including the “Panday” series.

“Na-miss ko ang telebisyon, ang pelikula. Parang nakita ko na iyon ’yung nami-miss nga mga kabataan ngayon eh, fantasy. Medyo mahal siguro pero kailangan ’yung ibabayad nila eh worth it,” he said.

Will Bong join the festival this year?

“Merong Bong Revilla na mapapanuod niyo sa MMFF,” he said.

While it’s still too early for the annual festival, Bong already has few celebrities in mind that he would like to act with. Among them are Maine Mendoza, Miss Universe queens Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray.

“Magagaling na artista, gusto ko sila makasama. Hindi lang naman isang pelikula ang maaari nating gawin,” he said.

Bong is also open to working with Kapamilya stars Coco Martin and Vice Ganda, who are also annual MMFF participants.

“Pwede rin, pwedeng kay Vice. Pwede kahit sino, kung sino ’yung gustong kumuha sa akin.”

While in detention, Bong made use of his time writing scripts, creating concepts and maintaining his physique. Bong was able to write five scripts.

BONG'S WIFE, Lani Mercado with Regal Entertainment's Lily Monteverde

BONG’S WIFE, Lani Mercado with Regal Entertainment’s Lily Monteverde

“Siyempre ang tagal ko sa loob, so you have to keep yourslef busy. Palagi ako nag-e-exercie, push-ups, sit-ups,” he said.
Aside from going back to acting, Bong said that he wants to continue helping the showbiz industry.

“Patuloy na pagsuporta sa ating industriya, tulad ng ginawa natin dati na paglaban sa mga pirata, sa deduction ng amusement tax, at kung papaano pa tayo makakatulong sa ating industriya,” he said.

Bong feels that the local movie industry is facing challenges, especially regarding viewership, as the ticket prices soar high. He suggested that stakeholders, such as producers, theater owners, and actors, must work together to bring back the industry to its glory days.

“Sa totoo lang, ang masa, hindi na nakakapanuod ng pelikulang Pilipino. Iyon ang dapat pagusapan ng mga producers, theater owners, kung ano ang dapat gawin para kung gusto talaga natin buhayin ang industriyang Pilipino. Siyempre hindi papayag ang mga theater owners na basta mo lang ibababa ang presyo ng bayad sa sine. Pero kung tayo naman ay gagawa ng batas para pababain iyan, dapat ay hindi naman ma-a-agrabyado ang mga theater owners,” he said.

Bong added, “Ang mga nakakapanuod na lang ng sine ngayon ay ’yung may kaya na lang. Sa isang pamilya, kung dalawa o tatlo kayo, kulang na ’yung isang libo. Talagang hindi na kakayanin. Kung tumaas pa ng tumaas ang bayad sa sine, talagang wala ng makaka-afford. Mamatay na ang industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino. I-consider natin na dapat ibaba.”

Recalling his ordeal, Bong shared it was extremely difficult being in detention and away from his family.

“Maraming luha ang lumabas sa aking mga mata. Sa tuwing sinasariwa ko ang mga pangyayari sa buhay ko, masakit,” he said.

It was his father, Ramon Revilla, Sr., who advised him to forgive the people who have hurt him. As Bong welcomes the new year, he wants to start anew.

“Pero ganumpaman, tinanong ko nga ang tatay ko, sabi ko, ‘Daddy, ano po masasabi mo sa mga taong nanakit sa akin?’ Sabi ng daddy, ‘Anak, patawarin mo na sila.’ Noong sinabi sa akin ng tatay ko iyon, naluha ako. Siyempre, hindi mo maaalis ’yung galit mo sa dibdib. Plastik naman kung sabihin ko na wala, okay lang iyon. Four years and six months or six years na nawala sa buhay mo. Pero noong narinig ko sa aking ama iyon, parang narinig ko na rin ang boses ng Panginoon, kaya masasabi ko lang, pinatawad ko na rin ’yung mga tao na nang-api sa akin,” he said.

Bong added, “Mas maganda na let’s move forward. Sa haba ng panahon na iyon, dumaan tayo sa proseso. Proseso na kung sa tutuusin ay pwede mong takbuhan, nasa Holy Land po ako bago ako ikulong, pero hinarap ko ang kasong ito dahil naniniwala ako na wala akong pananagutan sa batas.”

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