Freeman Cebu Entertainment

No tantrum acts for these ‘little bossings’

Vanessa Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Vic Sotto has fielded Metro Manila Film Festival entries of the fantasy genre for as long as we can remember,  that he feels his 2013 comedy sans the magical elements is a nice, refreshing change.

“I’ve been doing that [fantasy genre] for the past ten years, if I’m not mistaken. We came up with an idea to bring together Bimby and Ryzza. We thought this would be a good movie for the Christmas season. First and foremost, when I think of a project, iniisip ko kung magugustuhan ba ng mga bata,” the veteran comic everyone fondly calls ‘Bossing’ said during yesterday’s press conference of “My Little Bossings” at Radisson Blu Hotel.

The well-loved ‘Eat Bulaga’ host was joined by co-stars Kris Aquino (who has a special participation in the film, appearing in only five scenes), James ‘Bimby’ Yap, Ryzza Mae Dizon and Jose Manalo. They later on headed to SM City Cebu’s Event Centre for a promo show, enticing their Cebuano fans to support the film in hopes of ruling this festival’s box-office results.

Now how did big stars appearing in rival networks get together to cook up a movie that ended up being Bimby’s baptism of fire in acting, so to speak? As Vic shares it, he offered Bimby, through Kris, a cameo role for a 2012 movie. But the actress-host had other ideas: if ever Bimby would appear on the big screen, she wanted it to be a full-length role and with her son as one of the main characters.

“I told her that was a very good idea,” Vic said. “Tamang-tama naman, bigla nalang sumulpot itong si Ryzza na parang kabute. Nabuo yung konsepto na pagsamahin yung dalawa at bagay naman sila. We offered it to Kris, at go kaagad siya. We would like to thank her for entrusting Bimby to us for his launching movie.”

Vic takes on the role of Torky Villanueva, who works as personal accountant to Barbara ‘Baba’ Atienza (played by Kris), a Forbes Park-based cash management specialist. When Baba’s partner Marco Guzman accuses her of masterminding a huge pyramid scam, she goes low-key to investigate Guzman and expose him as the real scam artist. While she does this, she entrusts her six-year-old son Justin (Bimby) to Torky’s care.

Ching (Ryzza Mae) is brought home by Torky’s niece Ice (Aiza Seguerra) after the orphanage the little girl was in closed down. Laughter and chaos ensues when Justin (the elite kid) and Ching (the English-inadequate orphan) live under one roof.

Vic said, “This is a bit different from what I usually do with the ‘Enteng’ series. And I think we made the right decision to push through with this film. We have a good product, a family-oriented concept which deals with a lot of Filipino values about relationships and friendships. You know how Filipinos have the tendency to forgive and mend conflicts when it’s the Christmas season. This is also a showcase of the talents of our future superstars – Bimby and Ryzza.

While handling child actors can often be a handful, Kris said there were no display of tantrums whatsoever from Bimby and Ryzza during filming. “Mabait talaga yung dalawa. I’m super grateful that Bimby’s first work experience is with this cast because everybody was so professional. Ryzza is sobrang magalang at mabait katrabaho. Hindi nag-fi-feeling na sikat. That’s why the ‘dabarkads’ were a very positive influence to Bimby,” the country’s Queen of All Media professed.

The production also made certain that child labor laws would be strictly followed. They saw to it that the two tots had a comfortable environment on set and would not incur any school absences due to their filming schedule. “Bimby has very good grades and is very active in extra-curricular activities, while Ryzza is in the top five of her class so we made sure to really implement their allowed number of working hours,” said Vic.

“The experience they get from working and playing at the same time is priceless. And I know for a fact that whatever these kids are earning are being put aside for their future. With the leadership of our director, Marlon Rivera, we made sure that the atmosphere during shooting will not seem like work, especially that we have kids as stars. Gusto namin yung atmosphere na parang naglalaro lang tayo. At ang kasarap nilang kalaro. Hindi mo mapapansin ang oras pag kasama mo yung dalawa,” Vic added.

Kris said that during out-of-town mall shows, they take pains to give Ryzza and Bimby a good time through side trips and activities. “Even our promo here in Cebu, we made time last night na mag-Sutukil, kumain kami ng lechon. This morning, the kids woke up early to go swimming and try the banana boat in Plantation Bay. We’re trying to make them feel that in these promo shows we do, hindi lang diretso sa mall. At least, makapag-enjoy yung dalawa.”

‘Cebu took care of its own’

Vic and Kris, both sought-after product endorsers in their own right and declared by BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) as top taxpayers of the country, were also asked what projects they hope the government will implement for the ‘little bossings’ in the Visayas who survived the wrath of Yolanda.

The president’s sister took the chance to praise her brother’s decision to appoint former Senator Ping Lacson as rehabilitation czar. She said. “I read that all PAG-IBIG loans will be extended and that houses will be built for those who were affected. But of course, it doesn’t end there. We need additional funds for rebuilding Visayas. I have great confidence in former Sen. Ping Lacson . We all know na kamay na bakal talaga siya. We need somebody who will use whatever funds we have with transparency and efficiency. As a taxpayer, I’m happy that someone like him whom I admire is in charge of this. Sana by next year, makabangon na tayo at matulungan na ang lahat na kailangan matulungan.”

“I’ve seen it here in Cebu how generous you have all been,” she continued. “I know Bantayan was affected, and Cebu took care of its own. I think that’s very impressive how you shared your surplus to Leyte and Samar. That is a lesson for us that those of us who have more should share.”

For his part, Vic was of the opinion that the aid should go on until each one of our affected countrymen are able to stand on their own. “Mas maganda kung tuloy-tuloy. I know that it will be a long process. I don’t think one year will be enough to rebuild. It’s all up to us. Sabi nga namin sa ‘Eat Bulaga,’ lahat kakayanin basta sama-sama tayong lahat sa pagba-bayanihan. Dapat talaga tuloy-tuloy ang tulong hanggang sa makabangon na talaga ang mga kababayan natin sa Visayas. Hindi yung magbibigay dahil lang Pasko.”

“My Little Bossings” also stars Aiza Seguerra, Jaclyn Jose, Paolo Ballesteros, Barbie Forteza, Neil Coleta, and Neil Sese, with the direction of Marlon Rivera.

Produced by OctoArts Films, APT Entertainment, M-Zet Entertainment and Kris Aquino Productions, with a story and screenplay from Bibeth Orteza, it starts showing on cinemas nationwide on Christmas Day. (FREEMAN)

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