CARLO MUNOZ: THE LUCKY 'SECOND CHOICE'
Quezon City, July 13, 2002 (STAR) FUNFARE by Ricardo F. Lo - Curtain-raisers:
• Effective Monday, July 15, GMA’s newscasts will switch timeslots, with Mel Tiangco’s Frontpage advanced to 6 p.m. and Mike Enriquez’s Saksi moved up to 10:30 p.m. Now, could it be true that also effective Monday ABS-CBN will bring back The World Tonight, hosted by Angelo Castro and Tina Monzon-Palma, to replace Karen Davila’s Headlines? According to some sources, Karen will be given a new 30-minute segment after The World Tonight.
• Somebody who looks like Kris Aquino is often seen these days at a condo unit "somewhere in Pasig City" owned by somebody who looks like Parañaque City Mayor Joey Marquez. You guessed it: Tuloy ang ligaya!
• If you’ve been wondering why Coney Reyes looks somewhat "healthy" these days, it’s because of the 6,000-mg. of Calcium she’s taking daily. You see, during the surgery on her throat cancer more than five years ago, Coney’s thyroid glands (which control a person’s weight) were also removed. * * * The photo of Carlo Muñoz on this page with his three trophies (two for Best Supporting Actor from the FAMAS and the Star Awards and one as Best New Movie Actor from the Guillermo Mendoza Foundation) was taken at the Moomba Restaurant (near corner of Roces Avenue and Quezon Avenue, Quezon City) and not at the Muñoz home in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City. Funfare requested Carlo to go to Moomba with his three prize possessions so he could be photographed by Richard Chen who was at Moomba for a pictorial.
"At home," said Carlo who’s sporting a mustache and a goatee which give him a manly/mature look, "I display them on top of the bar in our dining room so when people drop by, ’yon kaagad ang makikita nila."
That’s how proud Carlo is of those trophies which he won for a role (in Yamashita: The Tiger’s Treasure, Regal’s entry in last December’s Metro Filmfest) originally intended for Piolo Pascual. (Carlo was also nominated by the Metro Filmfest and the Urian Awards.)
"I’m lucky as a second choice," admitted Carlo who made it to the Star Awards and the Guillermo Mendoza Foundation affair but not to the FAMAS (it was his Kuya Leandro who received the trophy for him because he was then busy taping for Pangako Sa’yo). "Even in many of my TV shows, madalas akong second choice so I’m challenged to do my best all the more. Always naman, things turn out well, kaya okey lang."
Yamashita was Carlo’s fourth movie, coming after Star Cinema’s Narinig Mo Na Ba ang L8est? and Got 2 Believe and Maverick Cinema’s Love Text, and before Star Cinema’s Dekada ’70 (intended for the Metro Filmfest in December) in which he plays the NPA comrade of Piolo Pascual (as one of the children of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon).
He has just "graduated" from the ABS-CBN soap Pangako Sa’yo where he played Tonton Gutierrez’s (as Jericho Rosales father) sidekick who turned psychotic when he fell in love with and was spurned by Amor Powers (Eula Valdez).
"My Pangako role was more of a kontrabida but I don’t mind. I can play either a bida or a kontrabida easily. Once I get into the character," added Carlo, "everything comes easy."
A member of the ABS-CBN Talent Center’s Star Circle Batch 7, Carlo almost retreated to the US three years ago when his career seemed to have been derailed (too many new faces in ABS-CBN, you know, and if you don’t have the right "connections," you can be overlooked and bypassed no matter how talented you are).
He began making heads turn when he played the title role in The Walter Navarro Story on Charo Santos-Concio’s Maalaala Mo Kaya. Bigger and meatier roles soon followed, capped by a "starring" role (with Gracia) in the PLDT series of commercial which cast him as the ideal son Billy (which has become his monicker).
"I thought of working in the States and taking a film course," said Carlo who is a cross between Ben Affleck and Jason Biggs (American Pie, etc.).
With time to spare now that he’s not doing any soap or any movie, Carlo regularly works out and hones his craft by watching as many films (video) as he can.
"I’m now looking for a nice school for singing," he said. "Sayang naman ang singing talent ko if not developed," he added with a smile. Robin is Mother Lily’s boy In this country where honesty is, though the best, not the usual policy, everytime an honest employee (a waiter or a taxi driver, etc.) finds a sum of money and returns it to the owner, he is hailed on the front pages as a hero.
In showbiz, it usually takes a court order for a star to return a down payment (or advance payment) given by a producer who oftentimes end up holding an empty bag.
That’s why when Funfare learned that Robin Padilla returned the P1.8 million given to him by Regal Matriarch Mother Lily as advance payment for a movie he was supposed to do with Judy Ann Santos, I thought that his gesture is one for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. (Would other stars do the same? I doubt it very much!)
It turned out that Robin also signed a contract with Viva Films for a movie with him and Judy Ann. Naturally, Mother Lily was not pleased, prompting Robin to shell out P1.8 million from his own savings and gracefully give it to Mother Lily (no interest, please!).
"I admire Robin for his integrity," said Mother Lily. "He was even humble enough to say ‘sorry’ to me."
It’s interesting to note that when Robin was released from the National Penitentiary a few years back, Mother Lily was the first producer to welcome him back into society with a dinner (along with Robin’s mom and brother Rustom) at Shangri-La Makati, with no strings attached.
There’s mutual respect between the two who have become virtually foster mother and son.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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