Ramon Bautista: Unlikely star
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2014 - 12:00am

In showbiz, there are different types of stars. Some are likely stars, the ones you’re sure will become celebrities either because of their looks, their talent or their showbiz pedigree, while others are of the unlikely or accidental kind. These are the ones who didn’t count or plan on a show business career but ended up in the limelight anyway.

Ramon Bautista obviously belongs to the latter category. A college professor at the University of the Philippines, Ramon is a true-blue Iskolar ng Bayan. He was schooled at UP from nursery to graduate studies. His ties to the academe run deep, as both his parents are employed by the UP administration. Ramon himself also finished his college studies at the university’s College of Mass Communications where he pursued a degree in Film and Audio-Visual Communications.

Ramon had a group of friends, mostly fellow artists that included the late comedian Tado who was killed in the Florida bus crash last February. Whenever they had free time on their hands, one of the things they would do to amuse themselves was make short, humorous videos on random subjects and topics, and these videos with their witty, street-smart humor and commentary — which eventually found their way to the Internet via YouTube — became Ramon’s ticket into the limelight. “Barkada ko si Tado, at normal sa amin ‘yon, yung gumagawa kami ng mga low-budget videos, mga behind-the-scenes na kami na ang director, kami na ang writer, kami pa rin ang artista,” laughs Ramon. “Ang objective lang namin, as human beings, magpasaya, mag-enjoy, to have fun.”

What Ramon didn’t count on was that a whole generation would latch on to the videos and open up a world of opportunities for him. Now, aside from just being a college professor, he has become a book author, an accidental actor (he had a cameo role in the film based on his best-selling book, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo, which starred Kim Chiu and Xian Lim in the lead roles; in 2011, he also appeared in the indie film San Lazaro which was shown at the Cinemalaya festival that year) and an all-around celebrity. He’s even bagged some major endorsements on his own, and has an unofficial title (he’s called an Internet Action Star).

But Ramon stops short of calling himself an artista. He may be in showbiz, but he doesn’t see himself as an actor. Rather, he is someone who stumbled into showbiz on the way to somewhere else. He also can’t think of himself as someone acting because “I don’t know how to memorize scripts,” he says. “Yung mga ginagawa namin na videos, spontaneous and immediate ‘yon lahat.

In fact, he never even thought he would be sharing the stage with the likes of Kim and Xian, or the young loveteam of Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, who are his fellow endorsers for Oishi. At a recent Oishi event, Ramon was prepared for the loud screams that accompanied Daniel and Kathryn’s appearance, but after the event, he was surprised by the number of people that came up to him for photo-ops and autographs. But he cheerfully obliged each one, even making time to chat with them before sending them on their way. Says Ramon: “Yung thought na dahil sa iyo, nabubuo ang araw nila, okay na ‘yon.”

Even after all this time, the fame, the fans and the endorsements, Ramon still doesn’t think of himself as a celebrity. In fact, he would avoid the limelight if he could. “Sa totoo lang, mahiyain ako, eh,” he says. “Pero nandito na ako, kaya nilaban ko na lang.” And while he’s here, Ramon will just make the best of it.

BAKIT HINDI KA CRUSH BUT RAMON COLLEGE OF MASS COMMUNICATIONS CRUSH MO DANIEL AND KATHRYN DANIEL PADILLA AND KATHRYN BERNARDO FILM AND AUDIO-VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS INTERNET ACTION STAR KIM AND XIAN RAMON
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