Leah Salterio

Gringo happy with the choice of Robin to star in his biopic

May 26, 2024 Leah C. Salterio 432 views

GringoRobinACTOR-politician Robin Padilla gets an important acting project recently to play the true-to-life role of Gringo Honasan in the soon-to-be-filmed bio-pic of the retired Philippine Army officer.

“Robin has always been on top of the list to play Gringo,” disclosed lawyer-producer Ferdie Topacio. “But we had reservations because he might be busy in the Senate. We really wanted him in the movie. So, we asked for something less than the lead.”

Initially, Padilla was assigned to play an important, but not so long role, that of erstwhile military intelligence chief, Victor Corpus. “So that is what we asked from Robin,” said Topacio. “Parang special appearance lang and special participation.

“We now he is really busy in the Senate. But when we approached him and talked to Robin, he immediately asked, ‘Bakit ayaw niyong ako si Gringo.’ So how can we say no?”

The role of Honasan is now in the bag. The bio-pic will start filming second week of June in Baguio at the site of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), where Honasan graduated in 1971.

He joined the stelar batch of the famous Class ’71, where Ping Lacson, Edgar Aglipay, Victor Batac also belong.

The script of the Honasan biopic has been submitted by award-winning screenwriter Eric Ramos, who worked on the “Mamasapano” project that Topacio’s Borracho Films produced in 2022.

“Eric delivered the script of ‘Mamasapano’ to us and explained everything that will happen in less than two hours,” Topacio recalled.

Director Lester Dimaranan, who megged “Mamasapano,” will work at the helm of the Honasan project.

It was Honasan himself, who talked to Padilla, for the latter’s important role. “Gringo was very happy when Robin said yes,” shared Topacio. “Whenever I do a film project, all the stars really align.”

The production bigwigs are now looking for the actor to play the young Honasan in the film. The name of Daniel Padilla floated, but the actor is tied down to doing film projects with Star Cinema, according to Topacio.

“I have talked to my compañera, Annette Gozon, and we will get talents from GMA’s Sparkle,” Topacio said.

The Honasan film is a possible entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Fesival (MMFF) this December.

Topacio sought the assistance of incumbent secretary of National Defense Gilbert Teodoro for the Honasan film. “We need tanks, we need to shoot inside Camp Aguinaldo and Gibo agreed to help us,” the lawyer said.

They will have to find another locale for EDSA, where the People Power revolt will be filmed. “Iba na ang itsura ng EDSA ngayon,” Topacio maintained. “Wala pang fly-over noon. We have to shoot somewhere else for EDSA.

“Ang hirap burahin noon sa post-production if we use EDSA today. It will be very expensive. That will be the highlight of the film. Mabigat itong project na ‘to because of the costumes and even the vehicles. We have to depict the year 1986. Then, we also have to do the seventies when Gringo was in the PMA.”

Honasan’s daughter-in-law, Barbie Almalbis, was tapped to write the theme song and she already gave her nod. His musician daughter, Kai Honasan, will help work on the music.

Paolo Gumabao will play Red Kapunan, the best friend of Hanasan. Young actress Jesy Silva will essay the wife of the young Honasan. Stage actor Rolly Inocencio will portray Fidel Ramos.