Vice Ganda: The price of success

(The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Detractors say success has gone to his head. Vice Ganda admits that yes, he has always been proud of himself. In fact, the star of Petrang Kabayo crows that he has mellowed.

Mayabang na ako noon pa. Mas mabait na nga ako ngayon. I’m more cautious with how I act and talk these days.”

He knows fame has a price. And one of them is living in a fishbowl.

“My world has become smaller,” he states. “I was free to do what I wanted to do before. Today, one small mistake is magnified. Many people are looking at you.”

So he has learned to be careful.

The come-backing host of Showtime has left his crying days behind him. Vice Ganda is now in danger of overexposure. He has Showtime every day. He endorses Globe. Viva Films will release his launching movie, Petrang Kabayo, starting Oct. 13. He has mall shows for Petrang Kabayo on Oct. 3, 5 p.m. at Glorietta 5 Atrium.

The movie’s premiere night is set on Oct. 10 at SM Megamall Cinema 10.

Vice Ganda has no time to rest after this. He leaves for the US for a concert series on Oct 15 to 17. Viva’s recording arm just signed him up for an album.

“Yes, I’m afraid of overexposure,” Vice Ganda admits.

The pressure of living up to expectations is overwhelming.

“It’s the same kind of pressure I felt when I had a concert in Araneta Coliseum,” he relates.

 His director Wenn Deramas and manager Ogie Diaz’s faith in him erases all of Vice’s self-doubts. If they think he’s ready to step into the shoes Roderick Paulate first wore as Petrang Kabayo in the ‘80s, then he can.

“When I was confirmed for the role,” recalls Vice Ganda, “ I asked myself if I’m making the right decision.   Mas mauna ang takot. Up to now, the reality of (having a launching movie) has not sunk in.”

As far as direk Wenn is concerned, Vice has nothing to fear. After all, the director of Ang Tanging Ina himself came up with the idea of casting Vice as Petrang Kabayo.

“I saw him in Showtime. Panay ang bira niya at sobra siyang nakakatawa,” says the director. “Tinatawag siyang kabayo. I texted Boss Vic (del Rosario of Viva Films) and asked him to turn on his TV set and watch Showtime. He agreed that Vice would be great as Petrang Kabayo.”

So direk Wenn wasted no time calling Pablo S. Gomez, who holds the rights to the story. Gomez also felt happy about the new movie.

Vice Ganda’s version is a complete departure from the original Petrang Kabayo. Direk Wenn asked Mel Mendoza-del Rosario, who wrote the screenplay, to come up with a totally different plot.

“ Let’s give Vice a chance to show his talent, his own style,” direk Wenn urges.

If that means seeing Vice covering his naked body with a big snake, or carrying the weight of three people astride a calesa, so be it.

Vice will do everything — and anything — for this one big shot at stardom.

“Let it not be said that I faded out of the scene because I was lazy at work. Kaya kong paghirapan ang trabaho ko kaya alam ko ring alagaan ito.”

Vice has no illusions that he will stay in the business forever. That’s why he’s making hay while the sun shines. His US-based mother’s four-door apartment near Visayas Avenue in Quezon City will soon become one big house her dutiful son built just for her.

“She’s getting older and I want her to stay here for good,” Vice explains. “I don’t want her to work anymore.”

Say what you want to say about him. At the end of the day, Vice will only smile and tell himself it’s all worth it. Especially if he has made the love of his life — his mom — happy along the way.  

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