Da King meets the Da Sexy
- Ricky Lo () - March 20, 2000 - 12:00am

ent1If you happened to be in the vicinity of Banawe Street in Quezon City last Friday morning and you chanced upon a San Miguel delivery-truck driver in delightful argument with a beautiful tomboy, you must have wondered why they looked curiously like FPJ and Ara Mina. Well, they were Da King and Da Sexy, all right, and chances are that you didn't see the almost hidden cameras grinding nearby.

It was FPJ and Ara's first shooting day for FPJ Productions' new action-romance-comedy offering, aptly titled Ayos Na ang Kasunod (directed by Boots Plata who was also behind the FPJ blockbuster 1999 top money-maker, Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko), the catch line of the San Miguel TV commercials of which FPJ himself (a great beer lover) is the topbiller.

ent1FPJ plays Ramon Trinidad (the name embossed on his breast pocket) and he looked dapper in the San Miguel uniform (he said he had four such shirts for use in the shooting). Ara plays the tomboyish daughter of Tia Pusit, a carinderia-owner who orders beer from FPJ who eventually falls for the manly Ara (guarded and protected by seven burly brothers) and turns her into a woman.

With a kiss, yes! They have no less than four kissing scenes, in fact.

Ara is the favorite leading lady of action superstars, having done movie with Rudy Fernandez (Palaban), Lito Lapid (Tatapatan Ko ang Lakas Mo), Bong Revilla (Alyas Pogi 3), Ace Vergel (Jacob: CIS) and Monsour del Rosario (Code Name: Bomba).

But it's with Da King that Ara is very nervous about for the simple reason that, well, working with Da King is a frightening prospect, indeed! But only in the beginning. As soon as the first-time jitters are gone, Ara will surely get the hang of it and starts wishing that the shooting never ends.

"I was tongue-tied during our shooting this morning," recalled Ara over lunch at the nearby Chinatown Restaurant where the Ayos Na ang Kasunod stars met the movie press. "Para akong nagla-lock-jaw. So this is how it is working with an FPJ."

Da King has a way of putting at ease his leading ladies on whom he showers not only kingly attention but food, glorious food, like what he did with Judy Ann Santos (and the rest of the cast and crew, for that matter) when they were doing Isusumbong.

Shooting of the movie (a quick follow-up to FPJ's Ang Dalubhasa which opened last January and is well on its way to surpassing Isusumbong's blockbusting box-office record), written by Pablo S. Gomez (one of FPJ's few favorite writers), was slightly delayed because FPJ had to shed some pounds he gained during the long holiday season when he and his wife Susan Roces's relatives came for vacation. There was an endless round of parties, you know.

"My waistline is back to 34 inches," said FPJ who did brisk walking (his usual workout) up and down the hills of Antipolo where he has a rest house. "Also, we kept on improvising the script, until we came up with a story that's a cross between Ang Syota Kong Balikbayan (the movie he did with Anjanette Abayari) and Pitong Gatang (an FPJ classic)."

The idea of teaming up with Ara began two years ago when he and Ara met at the birthday party of MTRCB Chief Armida Siguion-Reyna. He told Ara, "Let's do a movie together." Who was Ara to say no?

By the way they swapped jokes at lunch, it was easy to see that FPJ and Ara were hitting it off on the right foot, working well on similar vibes. Told

jokingly that Ara could hardly wait for their one love scene. FPJ shot back, "Only one love scene? We have four!" All to be shot Take One, hopefully.

Meanwhile, FPJ has set aside the shooting of the sequel to Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko, also with Judy Ann, because he is not satisfied with the script which is, according to him, "Medyo pilit na pilit." The sequel will have an entirely new storyline, not a continuation of Isusumbong, again with Boots Plata at the helm.

After lunch, FPJ and Ara went right back to the set to resume their street argument.

"We're off to a good start," said FPJ, "Maganda ang chemistry namin ni Ara. You'll feel it right on the first day of shooting."

To that, shall we say, "So good, ayos na ang kasunod!"?

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