Ronwaldo: Moving out of Coco’s shadow

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Ten years ago, Coco Martin was launched into stardom via Brillante Mendoza’s Masahista at the Locarno International Film Festival where it won a Golden Leopard Award.

Ten years later, Coco’s younger brother Ronwaldo was re-introduced in Carlo Enciso Catu’s Ari (My Life with a King) that won the Best World Film Award at the Harlem International Film Festival.

Both indies were Kapampangan. Is Ronwaldo following in his Kuya Coco’s footsteps?

“Not really,” answered Ron who, before Ari, had done three other indies, using the screen name Ron Cieno, Brillante’s Captive, Kip Oebanda’s Tumbang Preso and Joselito Altarejos’ Kasal. “Nagkataon lang na pareho kami sa indie nagsimula.”

Since last April when he shot Ari, Ron has appeared in four more indies: Laut directed by Luisito Ignacio (with Nora Aunor among his co-stars), set to compete in a European film festival in February next year; Tuos by Derick Cabrido (also with Nora in the cast), shot entirely in Iloilo and is a finalist at the 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival; Pamilya Ordinaryo, another finalist at the 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, directed by Eduardo Roy Jr.; Kabisera, another Nora Aunor starrer co-directed by Arturo Boy San Agustin and Real Florido.

Will Ron, like Coco, graduate to mainstream films or perhaps star in a soap?

“Not so soon,” said Ron. “Gusto ko po munang mahasa ng husto ang pag-arte ko kagaya ng kuya ko na matagal muna bago nag-TV at lumabas sa mainstream. I’m happy doing indies even if the talent fee is not really that big because I get a chance to do various roles.”

Any pointers/reminders from his Kuya Coco?

“He told me that I should be fully prepared before I try TV. I don’t want to let him down.”

Which of the five indies is his favorite?

“I can’t pick one because I like my roles in all of them,” said Ron. “In Ari, I play a high school student who gets oriented in Kapampangan culture through poetry. In Tuos, I am the love interest of Barbie Forteza. Our dialogue is in Kinaray-a so I have a tough time memorizing my lines. In Laut, I am the boyfriend of Gabbi Garcia. Our dialogue is a mix of Tagalog and Sama D’laut. In Kabisera, I play one of Nora’s children; our dialogue is in Tagalog. And in Pamilya Ordinaryo, I play a snatcher. My son is kidnapped and the story revolves around my search for him.”

His dream is to do a movie with his Kuya Coco.

“Idol ko si Kuya. I heard that there’s a plan but I’m not sure kung matutuloy.”

From his earnings, Coco has built not just one house but several, side by side on a huge compound somewhere in Fairview, Quezon City, where all the family members live.

“That’s what Kuya has been reminding me -— to save,” said Ron. “My earnings go straight to the bank. It’s Kuya who keeps my passbook. He gives me a weekly allowance.”

Coco is the eldest of five children. Ron is the fourth and youngest among the boys.

How is Coco as a brother?



“Mabait po at saka mapagmahal sa aming mga kapatid.”

Incidentally, Ari is an official entry at the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival’s New Wave which runs from Dec. 17 to 24. The film is produced by The STAR’s correspondent Ferdinand Lapuz together with Myra Lopez and Carlo Mendoza for Holy Angel University. Executive producers are Geromin Nepomuceno, Robby Tantingco, Jocelyn Aniceto and Jim Baltazar.

Ferdinand is Ron’s manager. It was also Ferdinand who re-discovered Coco for Masahista which was based on Ferdinand’s original concept. Before Masahista, Coco appeared in bit roles.

Written by Tantingco, Ari also features Kapampangan actors Francisco Guinto, Cecile Yumul, Eurocina Pena, Policarpio Batac, Felix Garcia, Celita Paz, Jeremiah Dionisio, Darwin Ocampo, Cyril Nucum and Jonalyn Ablong. Chloe Carpio is Ron’s love interest.

‘Good vibes’ bring good karma to AlDub

Is there some kind of a “demolition job” against Maine Mendoza (shown with screen sweetheart Alden Richards in a still from My Bebe Love, the tandem’s first big-screen project)? All too suddenly, negative stories meant to ruin Maine’s clean image have been coming out, but Maine remains calm and collected, simply telling everybody “Good vibes” instead of pitting one side against the other. Good karma.

At the recent presscon for Bebe Love, Alden shrugged off rumors linking him to Julie Ann San Jose, saying, “Let’s not drag anybody (into the mess) since they are not here.”

In barely four months, Alden and Maine have starred in more than a dozen commercials…and counting. They are now the Commercial King and Queen, hands down.

The good news is that, according to Alden, the house his family is building in Laguna is almost finished, hopefully ready to be blessed before the year ends. Alden said that he’s spending the holiday season with his family while Maine is spending Christmas and the New Year in Japan.

Asked at the presscon if there’s “something” between them, Maine said, “Friends lang kami.” Alden reacted with a bedimpled smile.

(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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