‘Eraption’ on Friday Night Live

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Minutes before Pres./Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada arrived at the Sampaguita Events Place Friday night, a video tracing his rise from San Juan mayor to senator to vice president to president and now as Mayor of Manila was shown on the giant monitor that served as backdrop of the venue, while the guests savored a dinner of home-cooked delights (laing, adobo, rellenong bangus, etc., with minatamis na saba, maja blanca and biko as desserts), direct from the family kitchen of Marichu “Manay Ichu” Maceda who organized the long-delayed get-together.

Before eight, Erap in his signature jacket walked in, warmly welcomed by showbiz veterans and movie writers, some of whom Erap has known for years, including (aside from this writer) Ronald Constantino, Cris Belen and husband Nards Belen, Mario Hernando, Nestor Cuartero, Chit Ramos, Veronica R. Samio, Leti Celi-Reyes, Alice Vergara, Erlinda Rapadas, Bong de Leon, Remy Umerez, Virgie Balatico, Mercy Lejarde, Bibsy Carballo and Lolit Solis who broke her self-imposed in-bed-by-eight rule and stayed way past 10 o’clock. (Sorely missed was Erap’s long-time friend Ethel Ramos who is recovering at home from a bad fall.) The new breed of movie writers looked up to Erap as both an idol and a tito. Also present was Diego Cagahastian, Erap’s trusted man.

The gathering was a follow-up to the “senior-prom” reunion Erap also hosted for the “old guards” of showbiz in November last year in the same venue. Almost a hundred graced that momentous event, with some of them (pictured) making a “re-appearance” Friday night.

It felt like a family get-together that turned into a Friday Night Live enlivened with old love songs by a guest singer (with piano accompaniment; newscasters Lhar Santiago of GMA’s 24 Oras and Mario Dumaual of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol sang one song each), raffles (with cash prizes) and an Erap quiz game. Those who came up fastest with the right answers (as confirmed by Erap) also got cash prizes.





• For what five films did Erap win Best Actor (that elevated him to the FAMAS Hall of Fame along with the late Charito Solis, Best Actress)?

Answer: Markang Rehas (1962), Geron Busabos, Ang Batang Quiapo (1964), Ito Ang Pilipino (1966), Patria Adorada (1969) and Kumander Alibasbas (1981).

• What was Erap’s first movie?

Answer: 10,000 Pag-Ibig (LVN Pictures, with Eddie Rodriguez and Charito Solis as lead stars).

• Did Gerardo “Manong Gerry” de Leon direct Erap in a movie?

Answer: Yes, in The Moises Padilla Story.

• What was Erap’s last movie?

Answer: Tanging Pamilya (Star Cinema), which also starred Dionisia “Pambansang Mommy” Pacquiao.

• What was the theme song of Asiong Salonga, the movie that made Erap a star?

Answer: La Paloma (also used as theme song of the movie remade and starred in by Erap’s nephew E.R. Ejercito).

• Who among the actresses present was one of Erap’s girlfriends (too many to count)?

Answer: Daisy Romualdez. (“For a while only,” said Daisy, confirmed by Erap. “Our theme song was How Soon,” the song sung by Lhar Santiago.)

The question, How many girlfriends has Erap had?, was never asked, the answer to which no movie writer knew and Erap himself would certainly not confirm.

“This get-together is Erap’s dream come true,” said Manay Ichu. “The ‘senior-prom’ reunion last year was planned for a long time and Erap wanted a similar affair with movie writers, especially the veterans.”

As the guests bade one another goodbye, Erap stayed on for some reminiscing with Eddie Gutierrez and wife Annabelle Rama, Boots Anson-Roa (Erap’s leading lady in some of the “Erap” movies) and husband lawyer Francisco “King” Rodrigo, Delia Razon and Liza Lorena.

The lady singer asked Erap if she could serenade him and Erap agreed. She started to sing Maalaala Mo Kaya (theme song of the Sampaguita movie starring Carmen Rosales and Rogelio dela Rosa) and then she requested Erap to sing part of the song. Erap obliged but stopped after a few lines, laughing.

That song summed up the mood of the evening…O kay sarap mabuhay/lalo na’t may lambingan/ligaya sa puso ko ay di na mapaparam…

Good night, sweet dreams. Until the next reunion…

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













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