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I am not my father! |


I am not my father!

WONDERBLOG - Ping Medina -

Let’s make this one crystal clear. I admit that having his surname adds a premium to how people in the showbiz industry treat me, but please do not compare me to my father. First of all, I am not my father.

When I had to play the young version of Hagorn, the lead villain my father played in the mega-hit TV show Encantadia, not to mention it’s an iconic role that pretty much made him a household name, I hated every time someone would tell me that I should be as good as my father.

Unlike him, I never had the great pleasure of experiencing the golden age of Philippine theater, when it was still a viable career option and heavily backed up by Imelda Marcos. In his days with Gantimpala and Teatro Pilipino, he trained with the top character actors of today, Joel Torre and Ronnie Lazaro.

I will never have the chance to experience working with legendary directors such as Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, and Mike De Leon. And I will never get to act in such — how should I say this — ”daring” films like Scorpio Nights and Virgin Forest. (Although I would really love to. Really.)

It is true that he is somewhat of an acting institution, as he is fondly called Tito Pen of the “Pen Medina School of Acting”, so I will always credit him for teaching me all the valuable basics I know about acting. And I’m sure there’s a lot more up his sleeves, hence, he will always be the better actor.

As for my face, I would have to say we don’t look alike. At least, not when he was my age now. As a budding actor, I saw him as a young man in Karnal (1983) by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. You have to understand that he had a smaller face back then — my father’s nose was so huge I couldn’t take my eyes off it during close-ups.

But he did turn out to be something of a Sean Connery of the Philippines. Like perfectly aged single malt whiskey, my father grew that distinctive crown of snow while everything broadened and matured to accommodate the space of his nose.

There was this one time I let loose a photo of him from a defunct magazine — my topless father being sexy with a nice body and all in his late 40s. Suddenly, I had friends on Facebook telling me how hot my aging father was. One even went as far as saying that she would gladly have my dad’s baby, which left me with a lot of mixed emotions.

And I guess it helped his popularity and astig factor when he started being visible in all these public demonstrations. He even went on TV shows to take on the politicians he so despised, and actually trumped those seasoned public speakers at their own game.

Unlike him, I didn’t grow up in the province of Pampanga to witness an actual mercenary execution right on the street in broad daylight. I was never acquainted with any of the Kapampangan farmers robbed of their CARP rights.

I never endured the loss of freedom during the dictatorship, rallied for the President to step down, and braved the savage SWAT teams in the streets of Mendiola amid crackling gunshots and the stench of burning cars. I was never there to witness the magic of the first EDSA revolution.

I would’ve never had the courage to wear a “GMA RESIGN” T-shirt during a SONA rally, then enthusiastically cross over to the pro-GMA camp to convince them they’re on the wrong side. And convince some of them, he did.

So it’s guaranteed that you won’t be hearing me shout “P-Noy resign!” at the top of my lungs, as I am more interested in the man’s dating career. Though I got a really big kick when I heard that he got thrown out of a congressional hearing one time for being “too loud.”

But all comparisons aside, the most important thing my father taught me is that I could be anything I want. When I had this huge juvenile crush on Zhang Ziyi, he told me that no one can tell the future. Who knows, maybe that Chinese superstar, an international actress famous around the world, desired by men of all continents, just might be my girlfriend someday.

He taught me I could be whatever I want, everything is possible, and that is something I will carry for the rest of my life. Everything I am today is probably a conscious decision not to be him. And for that, I owe him everything.

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