Richard is now a Regal Baby

FUNFARE UPDATE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

For the first time in the history of Mano Po, Regal Films’ successful franchise, a pure Chinese is being cast in the seventh of the series, none other than Richard Yap who has easily shed the “Ser Chief” image he created in the ABS-CBN soap Be Careful With My Heart and developed a reputation as a fine drama actor (with Star Cinema’s The Achy Breaky Hearts as his latest starrer, with BCWMH leading lady Jodi Sta. Maria and Ian Veneracion).

Mano Po: Chinoy, to be directed by Ian Lorenas, is Regal’s probable entry in the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in December. The six others were: Mano Po: My Family; Mano Po: My Home; Mano Po: My Love; Mano Po: Ako, Legal Wife; Mano Po: Gua Ai Di; and Mano Po: A Mother’s Love.

Richard signed the contract the other day with Regal Matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde and her daughter Roselle Monteverde who is now at the helm of the company.

“Part of the movie will be shot in China,” said Mother Lily, like another Mano Po movie which was also partly filmed in Beijing. “It’s not a rom-com.”

So far, according to Roselle, the movie’s cast is not yet complete, but with Janella Salvador sure to be among them.

Mother Lily was mum when asked if the story would be based on real life. Some of the previous Mano Po movies were “inspired” by real people including Mother Lily and some prominent members of the Chinese community.

Born and raised in Cebu by a traditional Chinese family, Richard can very well identify with the story.

At the presscon following the contract-signing, Richard admitted that he went against the Chinese custom of marrying another Chinese, prompting his parents to drop him from the family business.

“I married a Filipina (a former flight stewardess),” added Richard, “and among us siblings, I am the only one with a son.” That sort of melted his parents’ hearts and they made peace with him. “Ako lang ang nag-perpetuate ng lahi namin.”

(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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