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For 2018, Robin Padilla returns to the teleserye grind

Robin Padilla. Photo  by Joy Torrejos

CEBU, Philippines — If you want Robin Padilla in your movie, you’ll have to go the extra mile.

Despite being known as the resident bad boy of Philippine cinema, Robin has also become an advocate for many causes: peace in Mindanao, anti-malaria, and calamity assistance to name a few.

This need to stand for something has also been extended to the kind of acting projects he says yes to, such as his latest big screen starrer “Unexpectedly Yours” with ex-girlfriend Sharon Cuneta (a film that was supposed to be a Sharon Cuneta-Gabby Concepcion reunion).

Aside from movie studio friends and leading ladies he couldn’t refuse, Robin took on the project, grudgingly at first, because Sharon needed him, and also because of the message behind the movie.

It’s no secret that Robin loves his country and fights for peace, but this time he’s also added another task on his list. Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, “Unexpectedly Yours” was about how 50-year-old Patty portrayed by Sharon and her daughter Yanni’s (Julia Barretto) lives are shaken up when Robin as Cocoy and his nephew Joshua Garcia as Jason, come knocking on their door.

“Sa panahon ngayon maraming malulungkot na kababaihan. Panahon na ng empowerment ng kababaihan. Pag gumagawa ng pelikula kailangan may message yan, hindi lang pakilig, sa mga bata siguro pwede,” the actor muses, saying it was about time there was a film that shows how love works during a certain time of a woman’s life.

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“Progressive dapat ang storya at may mensahe,” the 48-year-old says, adding that he no longer wants to do superficial and mundane films. He did “Unexpectedly Yours” because he was convinced of the advocacy and the discourse behind it.

Even one of the film’s writers, Vanessa Valdez, commended Sharon for taking on the role of a 50-year-old menopausal woman and the adventures in dating at such a time—something most actresses would shy away from. But Sharon and Robin are not much different—known for being candid and laidback, the duo’s reunion project 26 years since their first movie “Maging Sino Ka Man” and 16 years after “Pagdating ng Panahon” became a treat not only for Robin-Sharon fans and OFWs, but for the celebrities themselves as well.

“Masaya kami, tawanan lang ng tawanan. Kami ni Sharon, iba na mga topic namin. Marami kaming napag-uusapan,” Robin says. They often talk about the country, their political views, and even the younger generation.

Robin is currently working on “Marcelo del Pilar”— one of his advocacy films geared to reawaken patriotism among Filipinos, which was put on hold for “Unexpectedly Yours.”

He definitely had a lot to say about the country’s current status, but unlike some, Robin is also taking strides in solving the problems that he points out. For one thing, he launched “Tinig Marawi,” a movement which aims to help the government rebuild the war-torn city of Marawi. It also aims to support its residents through livelihood and shelter opportunities.

Despite his affinity for public service, Robin has no interest in going into politics, but sees no excuse to not help those in need even if he doesn’t have an government position.

“Yung ginagawa ng gobyerno, nagtatayo sila ng bahay… kukumpetensyahin ko yon, hindi ko sila kakalabanin. Yung pabahay nila kukumpetensyahin ko, pagandahan tayo,” Robin,  social intervention of Marawi’s children and personally distributed P5 million worth of relief goods to displaced families, says in his simple manner.

He also adds that Filipinos should stop bickering with each other and learn from the situation that terrorists were able to infiltrate the country and wage chaos. “Papayag ba tayo na sisiga-siga dito mga foreigners? Hindi ako papayag,” Robin quips.

Aside from “Marcelo Del Pilar,” Robin also wants to honor Filipino soldiers through another film production and also plans to present “Bad Boy 3: Bagani” which he made to answer the clamor of fans 27 years after the action-packed “Bad Boy” franchise came out in 1990.

It’s been a productive 2017 for Robin, saying the influence he’s been given is a gift that he needs to put into use.

This year, Robin will return to primetime television via ABS-CBN’s  “Sana Dalawa Ang Puso.” In a teaser released on Christmas Day, the series features Jodi Sta. Maria in dual roles: one is a sophisticated woman, while another is a rugged tomboy. It also stars Richard Yap, and is set to be launched alongside two other shows: “Asintado,” a crime drama top-billed by Julia Montes, and “The Blood Sisters” starring Erich Gonzales as triplets Agatha, Carrie, and Erika.

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