How Xia Vigor showed support for onscreen dad Janno Gibbs

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
How Xia Vigor showed support for onscreen dad Janno Gibbs
Xia Vigor plays the feisty teen daughter of Janno Gibbs, a timid and cowardly father who suddenly becomes an action hero in Viva Films’ action-comedy, Itutumba Ka Ng Tatay Ko. Showing on Jan. 24, the film also marks Janno’s directorial debut and Xia’s return to acting.

MANILA, Philippines — Former child star Xia Vigor plays the feisty teen daughter of Janno Gibbs in Viva Films’ action-comedy, Itutumba Ka ng Tatay Ko, which is also the actor’s directorial debut.

“My role here is Tintin. This is something new for me because I’m a bit boyish here and with my bullies (in the film), I really fight back. My character is palaban… and very protective of my father,” the Fil-Brit teen actress told The STAR in an interview.

“As for my experience working on this film, I was very happy making another film with Viva. Because the last film I did was Wedding Dress and I was only 12 years old. So, I’ve been away for several years. The last movie of mine that was shown in cinemas was Miracle in Cell No. 7,” she said.

“Sometimes, people don’t recognize me anymore because they are used to seeing me when I was very little. It’s exciting to see people in theaters again watching this movie and finally seeing my movie on the big screen once more.”

In Itutumba Ka Ng Tatay Ko, Janno is not just a co-star Xia shares the most scenes with, he’s also her director.

“It was easy working with him. This is interesting because it’s my first time to work with a co-actor who was also the director pa and I find it easy to work with someone like that because magkasama talaga kami sa scene,” she said.

“He was able to guide me in a lot sa mga eksena, acting and adlibs and all of that. He really played a big role in also my acting because I’m also not used to doing comedy, usually drama talaga so, I was glad that he got to help me with that.

“For a first-time director, super professional na agad and dahil po, na mention din niya sa akin dati, kahit sa ibang mga movie niya, talagang mahilig na po siya makialam sa mga director, with the shots, in script revisions that’s why po siguro parang experienced na siya agad. So I’m happy to have worked with him and I hope in future projects, I’ll be able to work with him again.”

In the film, Xia also got to share scenes with the late father of Janno, veteran star Ronaldo Valdez, who tragically died last Dec. 17, 2023.

Asked about how she reacted to the news and showed support for her grieving onscreen dad, she said, “I didn’t really want to mention a lot about that kay Tito Janno because I already know that he’s been going through a lot. But I let him know that I am here to support him and I’m here for him. So I just messaged him, nag-condolence po ako, and it’s just sad for me even more to see that marami pa pong mga rumors about kay Tito Janno.”

The actor earlier called out “fake news peddlers” for exploiting and putting a malicious spin by dragging his name to his father’s death during a Jan. 15 presscon. He also asked and received a public apology from the Quezon City police for “mishandling” the investigation of his father’s case.

Amid what Janno had experienced, the 14-year-old who is mature beyond her age also called on for more responsible social media usage. “So I just hope that maging lessons ito sa mga tao na let’s use social media wisely. We can either make or break a person and talagang kaya makasira ng career… ang press people or bloggers or kahit sino mga tao sa mga simpleng comment nila,” she said.

“So, I hope itong nangyari kay Tito Janno, sana tigilan na ng mga tao at lesson po natin na maging careful tayo sa paggamit ng social media.”

Xia herself has been recipient of negative comments online. This was during her stint on the Your Face Sounds Familiar 2016 edition for kids, where she became popular for impersonating Taylor Swift.

However, she also got bashed with comments saying, “Parang sine-sexualize po daw ako, ganun. Dahil bata pa po talaga ako nun, I didn’t understand all of the comments.

“But my mom just told me that if ever I get hurt or something like that by the comments, she taught me to be pain-proof and she told me to ignore the bashers and just learn from them na mas magiging maingat tayo sa mga mistakes na ginagawa natin sa social media and sa public.

“But for me, personally I don’t see anything wrong sa ginawa kong performance in Your Face Sounds Familiar because I was just impersonating Taylor Swift. However, there are really comments from people that you can’t avoid. Hindi po ako na-hurt talaga kasi yung mommy ko, marami po siyang sinabi sa akin like (again) being pain-proof now sa mga bashers.”

For her, being “pain-proof” is a kind of mindset that one has to really adopt.

“I think it’s a kind of mindset na kailangan itatak mo talaga sa mind mo (that you really need to instill in your mind) that if you don’t understand the deeper meaning of it, it won’t really work for you… When I encounter negative comments, automatically, I think of what my mom told me.”


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