MANILA, OCTOBER 6, 2011 (MALAYA) ETHEL RAMOS (‘I can’t imagine myself following the footsteps of such a great and respected actor like Ronnie Poe. – Derek Ramsay’)

IT’S almost a done deal that Derek Ramsay will play the title role of the remake of the action-drama film, "Totoy Bato."

The first venture of the Viva-Caparas Studio, the original "Totoy Bato" movie was topbilled by Ronnie Poe, known as the "King of Local Movies." Ronnie had Charo Santos for his leading lady then. Incidentally, Charo is now the president of ABS-CBN, where Derek is under contract.

Fresh from the success of the currently showing drama-romance flick, "No Other Woman," co-starring him with two sexy stars, Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes, Derek was ecstatic on hearing the good news. "Oh my God, I can’t imagine myself following the footsteps of such a great and respected actor like Ronnie Poe," he exclaimed. "What I will promise, though, is I will do my best."


Of the big success of "No Other Woman" at the tills and the good reviews it is getting from both the moviegoers and critics, Derek said he is overwhelmed.

"Ang hirap sabihin kung ano ang aking nararamdaman," he remarked, smiling. "Ngayon ko na-realize ang true meaning of overwhelmed. For really, I am."

Derek is keeping his fingers crossed that his upcoming movie, "Praybet Benjamin," with Vice Ganda playing the title role, will be a box-office success, too.

"In ‘Praybet Benjamin,’ I play an entirely different role naman. Iba kaysa character which I portrayed in ‘No Other Woman.’

"And I admit, it’s a role equally as challenging," he stated. "It’s never easy to do a comedy role. More so, kapag ang kasama mo ay si Vice Ganda, who seems to have been born, sabihin na natin, to do comedy.

"Yes, Vice Ganda is a natural comedian."


Vice Ganda, no doubt, shines in "Praybet Benjamin."

He plays Benjamin Santos, whose grandfather, played by Eddie Garcia, is a former general in the military. The retired general expects that Benjamin, being the only grandson in the family, would follow his lolo’s footsteps.

Here’s the rub, though, Benjamin is gay. And his grandpa doesn’t know it.

Suffice to say, he had no choice but to enter the military when his lolo was captured by terrorists. Here, his strength is put to a test, all because of his dear grandpa.

Inside the camp, a fellow soldier, played by Nikki Valdez, develops a fondness for Benjamin. But it’s the officer assigned to them, played by Derek, that he wants to go after.

"Ay, naku, this film is laughter from beginning to end," said Wenn Deramas, who truly excels as a director for comedy films. "Talagang makikita sa pelikula how effortlessly Vice Ganda makes people laugh.

"E, magagaling din ang kanyang mga co-stars sa pelikula. Kaya, parang makakaamoy na kami ng big box-office hit again, tulad ng ginawa naming movie ni Vice Ganda, ang ‘Petrang Kabayo’."

Vice Ganda’s co-stars in "Praybet Benajamin," aside from Eddie, Nikki and Derek, are Carlos Agassi, Malou de Guzman, Kean Cipriano and DJ Durano.

All of his stars, Direk Wenn revealed, willingly endured physically-demanding scenes, starting from the trainings and the combat scenes.

Like "No Other Woman," "Praybet Benjamin," which is due for release on Oct. 26, is a joint venture of Star Cinema and Viva Films.


Don’t be surprised if Raymart Santiago appears only occasionally on the big and small screens, unlike before. Although, of course, he is still seen in "Futbolilits," his ongoing series on GMA 7.

Much of his time these days, according to Raymart, is spent on his new venture, a restaurant called Red Garlic, which is located in Blue Ridge, Katipunan, Quezon City. He has for his business partners some friends who, like Raymart, go for real good food.

The restaurant offers mostly recipes which he said are mostly a big favorite among eaters, like him and his business partners-friends, such as pasta, bagnet, sandwhiches, steak, etc.

Their specialty is a recipe which combines roasted pork and sardines, which his mom, former actress Cielito Legaspi, concocted.

"When my mom serves this particular recipe niya when all of us her children, plus, of course, our respective families visit her in her house (which she shares with son, Rowell Santiago, yes, the actor-director and the only unmarried child), ay, we all savor it.

"It’s a kainan na maituturing na to die for. Pero, huwag matakot ang mga customers namin," Raymart said with a laugh. "Minimal ang presyo namin nito. And all the other food we serve."

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved