John Arcilla: Laurenti Dyogi my hero; I was Ara Mina's first kiss

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — John Arcilla revealed that Laurenti Dyogi is his real-life hero who saved his career and made it possible for him to have Ara Mina's first TV kiss. 

The "Ang Probinsyano" actor shared these juicy details during his guesting on Philstar.com's online show "Slam Book."

"He saved my career," John said of the current head of ABS-CBN's TV Production and executive producer of the hit reality show "Pinoy Big Brother." 

"When I had my first Best Actor Award in 1996 at the Manila Film Festival, after that there was this parang chismis about me na ako ay mataas na humingi ng talent fee and ako ay not easy to work with because I'm from theater and I'm a swell-headed actor," John recalled. 

John starred in the star-studded film "Mulanay: Sa Pusod ng Paraiso" in 1996. The film highlights the stories and struggles of doctor to the barrios and the community they serve. It also stars Jaclyn Jose, Nonie Buencamino and Gina Alajar. 

John played Lino, a local "bangkero" (boatman) of the town of Mulanay in Quezon where the story of the movie is set. For his performance in the film, he earned the Best Supporting Actor Award at the 1996 Metro Manila Film Festival. 

John shared that he did not know where the rumor came from. He was from theater and was trying his luck on mainstream TV and movies.
"Suddenly after my award, nawalan ako ng project. Walang kumuha sa akin for several months because ganu'n ang tingin nila sa akin. Sabi lang sa akin ng isang publicist, maybe they don't want to get me in the film industry baka meron kang mga ka-kumpitensya kaya ka ginagawan ng issue," John shared. 

The "Heneral Luna" star admitted that he was depressed after that incident. He thought that his acting citation should have been a promotion that would lead to more projects, but the opposite happened. 

John was willing to let it go until a TV director by the name of Laurenti Dyogi called him up for a job. 

It was a turning point for John who was tapped to play a role opposite then newbie, sexy star Ara Mina, in the weekly crime investigative documentary show "Calvento Files" (1995 to 1998).

"Pagkatapos ng shoot, sabi ni Lauren Dyogi sa akin, 'Okay ka naman pala ka-trabaho e.' Napatulala ako. That was after several months na wala akong trabaho," John recalled.  

John would often look back and share an interesting anecdote about his return project.  

"'Yun nga ang palagi kong bina-brag kay Ara Mina. Sabi ko, 'Ara Mina, I was your first kiss sa Calvento Files.' Bagong-bago pa lang si Ara Mina noon. Bata pa siya," John shared. 

Interestingly, they are co-stars in the current hit drama "Ang Probinsyano." 

"Magmula noon, sobrang bumalik ang confidence ko kasi muntik na akong mawalan ng place noon sa industry. Bumalik 'yung sigla ko and then dumami 'yung projects ko," John said. 

He went on to play roles in TV shows like "Pangako Sa'Yo" (2000) and "Encantadia" (2005). 

John said that it is hard to choose which among his roles is his favorite. "Heneral Luna" is undoubtedly unforgettable because it made him a popular culture reference. "OTJ" is another remarkable project because it earned him the prestigious Copa Di Volpi at the 78th Venice Film Festival. He is the first Filipino to have won the coveted acting award. 

RELATED: WATCH: Why John Arcilla wants to heal the greedy; what he looks for in a public servant

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