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'I believe in karma': JK Labajo goes beyond P500 bill in portraying Ninoy Aquino

Maridol Ranoa-Bismark - Philstar.com
'I believe in karma': JK Labajo goes beyond P500 bill in portraying Ninoy Aquino
"Ako Si Ninoy" stars JK Labajo (center) with Sarah Holmes, Johnrey Rivas, Marlo Mortel, Cassy Legazpi, Joaquin Domagoso, Nicole Laurel, JM Yosures,  Bodje Pascua, Pinky Amador and others.
Philstar.com / Maridol Ranoa-Bismark

MANILA, Philippines — When it comes to bashing, Juan Karlos "JK" Labajo, the voice behind the hit song "Buwan," has been there and done that.

It has reached a point where he can explain what’s behind this prevalent practice, especially where celebrities like him are concerned.

“Whatever you do, there will always be people who will believe their version of  the truth. But I believe in karma,” he pointed out at the press conference for Vince Tanada’s upcoming film "Ako Si Ninoy."

Good karma has come his way when Tanada handpicked him from a group of other actors to play national hero Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. in the musical film "Ako Si Ninoy."

At first, Labajo admitted having mixed feelings. He felt happy, but scared as well. He explained that he has always been a musician who acts. He’s a musician first, an actor second. He hasn’t been acting for quite some time.

Besides, he was born in 2001, decades after the national hero was shot dead on the airport tarmac on August 21, 1983. While JK knows Philippine history, his main impression of Ninoy is that his face appears on the P500 bill.

But Tanada, who also wrote the script, insisted. The award-winning director showed physical similarities between the hero and JK. An interview with JK showed he has the wisdom to answer questions well.

JK wore a wig that covered his curly hair because Ninoy’s hair was straight. He endured two to three hours of putting on makeup that covered his tattoos. He watched all historical documentaries he can get hold of.

JK knew it was a role of a lifetime, and much of the film’s credibility and success is in his hands.

But he also knew it was worth it. He wasn’t playing just any character. He was playing a man “who sacrificed for our country, stood by his beliefs and values a hero.” Most of all, he was portraying a source of inspiration.

JK saw similarities between the national hero and Juan dela Cruz. The similarity, JK explained, lies in the element of heroism.  

The ordinary Filipino, noted JK, sacrifices everything for his family every single day. The OFW leaves home to earn for the family back home. The single mom works hard to feed her child. The student activist takes to the streets to fight oppression.

These are the every day heroes JK celebrates, along with Ninoy, of course. This makes Ninoy Aquino as relevant as ever.

("Ako Si Ninoy" also stars Sarah Holmes, Johnrey Rivas, Marlo Mortel, Cassy Legazpi, Joaquin Domagoso, Nicole Laurel, JM Yosures,  Bodje Pascua, Pinky Amador and others).

WATCH: 'Ako Si Ninoy' trailer

RELATED: ‘Super worth it’: Kris Aquino bedridden but happy after Disneyland tour with Josh, Bimby

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JK LABAJO

NINOY AQUINO

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