Bong Revilla: An agimat that works

- Ricky Lo -

They say that Sen. Bong Revilla inherited much more than looks, showbiz savvy and business acumen from his father, former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. (inset). He also got the senior’s fabled agimat (amulet) which continues to work magic for Bong as it did his father during his heyday. The agimat is believed to empower its possessor with indestructibility and, ehem, boundless libido. On record, Ramon Sr. has 81 children whose names are accounted for (alphabetically presumably) in a “confidential” list kept in a vault. Each child is well provided for.

As of last count, Bong has seven (one deceased) children with wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, one love son from a previous pre-marriage romance and, according to the grapevine, two with another woman. Ten in all, count ‘em, still 71 short of his father’s sterling, unprecedented testimony of manhood.

Teased about it, Bong smiled, his eyes disappearing into slits, and conceded that he might never equal, much more surpass his father’s record.

‘Be a good father and an even better husband.’ (Bong and his family, from left: Luigi, Jolo, Gianna, Ram, Inah and husband Vince del Rosario Jr., wife Rep. Lani Mercado, Ludette and Bryan...— Photo by VER PAULINO

Of Ramon Sr.’s children, Bong is said to be a favorite because he’s the one who looks exactly like his father who acted as Bong’s “godfather” on Bong’s showbiz baptism in 1982 in a movie aptly titled Dugong Buhay written by National Artist/Komiks King Carlo J. Caparas with whom Bong and his father have fostered a successful partnership (see accompanying story on “jump” page). You can just imagine what colorful and dramatic story Caparas would come up with if he were to write, direct and produce the Bong Revilla biopic, tracing Bong’s start in showbiz and how he managed to easily move away from the giant shadow cast by his father, his entry into politics following in his father’s footsteps to the Senate (where to from there…the presidency?), his checkered love life (wife Lani once invited Bong’s rumored “exes” to his birthday bash) and how he keeps a happy balance between his twin demanding careers as actor/producer and Senator.

He’s topbilled in Carlo J. Caparas’ Ang Panday 2, a joint venture between the Revilla-owned Imus Productions and GMA Films for the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival, which is predicted to once again rule the box office.

On the occasion of his 28th anniversary in showbiz this year, Conversations deemed it wise not to take Bong to task by answering delicate questions (about the recent family tragedy that hogged headlines, etc.) and instead asked him to make a list of “the 28 lessons” he has learned about love and life so far, in the same manner that Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos did recently when she turned 58 on Nov. 3.

1. Put God above everything.

2. Be a good father and an even better husband.

With Marian Rivera in Ang Panday 2.

3. Listen to your parents. They will never put you in harm’s way.

4. Know your roots.

5. Value your family. They are your greatest treasure.

6. Never take anything for granted.

7. Never procrastinate. There is no way to make up for lost time.

8. Work hard.

9. Be giving. You will be surprised how you will be rewarded.

10. Always listen.

11. Value the people around you.

12. Never compromise what is right.

13. Always tell the people you love how much you love them.

14. Perception is important to many, but substance is always more important than form.

15. Service is its own reward.

16. Always say thank you.

17. Everyone is important. No one is too big or too small to help and contribute.

18. Aim high and hit the mark. For there is no task too big to accomplish, if you are determined to go for it.

19. Make sure you never get detached from the people who put their trust in you.

20. You are only as good as your word. Never promise something you cannot live up to.

21. Read and listen to the news.

22. Always be humble.

23. Respect the position you have been entrusted with.

Bong with Panday director Mac Alejandre (in black), sister Andeng Bautista-Ynares (executive producer, second from right) and co-stars (from left) Buboy Villar, Kris Bernal, Marian, Iza Calzado and Phillip Salvador as the major villain. — Photo by VER PAULINO

24. Always strive to be a better person.

25. Always work to improve your skills.

26. Forgive. It is poison to keep grudges.

27. Take care of your health.

28. It is nice to hear good things about what you do, but getting criticism is just as important.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit http://www.philstar.com/funfareor follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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