Robin beyond his action star image
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Beyond his action star-leading man image, Robin Padilla is hard to miss when one makes a list of patriotic celebrities. He speaks his mind — in straight Filipino.

“It’s very important. It didn’t just happen overnight (na) parang kabote,” replied the actor-talent show judge (in the vernacular) when The STAR inquired about his makabayan awakening and stance. “At a young age, my parents, especially, my dad, raised us sa kabayanihan (to be patriotic).”

His brand of nationalism has been nurtured at home. He has a governor-assemblyman father and grandfather. Brother Rommel is a board member. Thus, politics runs in the Padilla family.

“Kasi yung pag-ibig sa bayan (ay) kasama dyan ay kultura (love of country includes [love of] culture),” Robin added. “How will you be able to love your country if you don’t know your history? … Kailangan mong kilalanin kung saan ka nagmula.” As Robin implied, such awareness is where Pinoy pride comes from and the jumping-off point to revisit and redeem one’s culture. He attributed this sense of consciousness to that confining and challenging part of his life.

“Lahat yan ay namayani nang nakulong ako. I found time to read,” Robin recalled. “When I went out (and with my earnings) from my work, I was able to go to and visit different countries.”

Spain was the “fertile ground” for Robin to know more about his country, once a province-colony of the former.

“It keeps a (comprehensive) archive and documents about us. I studied,” he said. “Medyo nahirapan ako, medyo nagastusan ako kasi I needed to hire an interpreter (providing me English translations to Spanish texts). It was all worth it. Katulad nung sinasabi ko, hindi tayo makakatayo na nakataas ang noo, lalo sa harapan ng mga dayuhan, kung hindi natin kilala kung sino tayo.”

His concern for his country resonates what MoneyGram and its Idol Awards for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are all about. As some academics argue: Bayan (nation) is taumbayan (people). That explains that Robin is the choice to be the brand’s ambassador or voice.

Robin’s concern for his country resonates what MoneyGram and its Idol Awards for Overseas Filipino Workers are all about. As some academics argue: Bayan (nation) is taumbayan (people). That explains that Robin is the choice to be the brand’s ambassador.

Provider of payment services and money transfer, the company recognizes the hard work and dedication of OFWs in giving their families a better life. Awardees are Cecille Acantalicio of Camarines Sur; Marilyn Ayson, Merline Faigmanio and Mary Jane Toling (Quezon City); Jophil Cabahug (Cebu); Jade Colaljo (Iligan City); Ryan Deyto (Caloocan City); Remie Magkalas and Rose Cabilen (Laguna); Michelle Gomez and Emilia Moncada (Cavite); and Aldrich Pablo (Cabanatuan City). Aside from the plaque and the P30,000 cash prize, winners will be reunited with their families. They will have a three-day getaway in a resort.

This endeavor says a lot of Robin as an idol or ’tol (brother) of the masang Pilipino. Its roots can be traced back to his establishment of Kabayan, the foundation and the Liwanag ng Kapayapaan (an interfaith organization that finds ways on how Muslims, Christians and Jews will join and work together. In other words, it encourages dialogues and promotes unity in diversity.).

Following that track and his family’s political leaning, Robin seems ready to give politics a try. To many, the time is ripe. 

“Politics cannot give the earnings (I get from acting),” shared Robin, whose school-going children are based abroad. “...of course, I will not sacrifice show business. Mahal na mahal ko ang trabaho na ito.” Robin stars opposite Jodi Sta. Maria in Sana Dalawa Ang Puso and has endorsements. He was a judge in the last season of Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT). After all, Robin has helped those in the “social periphery” with his capacity as an actor.

“Nakakatulong naman ako ng direkta,” he said. Robin added that he frowns upon red tape and bureaucracy in the government — and finds (senate) investigations too much for him. “Minsan lang akong manonood ng hearing dun, sumasakit ang ulo ko. Isang (salita) lang pagtatalunan ng limang oras.”

Asked again if entering politics is part of his future plans, Robin said, “Mahirap kapag inutusan tayo ni mayor... Kung ako, tandaan niyo yan, talagang hindi ko po linya yan, siguro linya yan ng kapatid ko na si Rommel. He is the politician, he is a board member. Siya lang...  yung para kay Rommel (ay) para kay Rommel. Yung para sa akin (ay) para sa akin.” Clearly, Rommel can do both showbiz and politics, while Robin remains the showbiz born.

Meanwhile, the movie on Marawi is something the public should look forward to from Robin.

“We have to remember that Marawi is our past, present and future,” said Robin on what the war crisis-siege signifies and represents. “Kapag ang Marawi ay hindi natin na-solve, malaki ang problema natin. All of us should focus our attention on it and show our concern (for the affected and displaced kababayan).” He emphasized that we have to fight for our rights and defend “ang pagka-Filipino natin.”

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