Like former Sen. and now Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation & Recovery Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Robin Padilla also hid from the long arm of the law years ago when a warrant of arrest was issued against him for illegal possession of firearms.
“I joined the NPA in the mountains in Bicol,” Robin told Funfare, “but I lasted there for only one month and a half because Liezl (Sicangco, then his wife) and my mom (Eva Cariño) talked me into surrendering. It was Mama who visited me first and I told her, ‘Huwag n’yo na po ako ibabalik.’ Then Liezl followed. Sabi ni Liezl, ‘I understand what you’re fighting for pero kung may kasalanan ka, dapat pagbayaran mo.’ I thought about it. Mahirap naman ‘yung nagrerebolusyon na mayroon kang tinatakbuhan kaya bumaba ako.”
Robin was ordered put behind bars by then Pres. Fidel Ramos and released after five years on the strength of a law authored by then Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr.
Asked if, pushed against the wall, he would do it again (hide in the mountains, that is), Robin joked, “I won’t survive without a woman…kung hindi ko kasama ang asawa ko” (referring to his wife Mariel Rodriguez who is currently enjoying her personal time between jobs after the TV5 show Wil Time Bigtime, which she co-hosted, folded up).
In 10,000 Hours, his 39th Metro Filmfest entry co-produced by N2 Productions, Philippine Film Studios and Viva Films, Robin is reliving his own “escape” dramatized with similar events in Lacson’s much-publicized mysterious “disappearance.” Robin plays a father deprived of quality time with his children and a husband yearning to be with his beloved wife.
Defending Lacson whose exploits largely inspired the movie touted as “fiction based on true events,” Robin said, “It doesn’t sound nice to say na tumakas si Senador. He hid to show that he was innocent, and to find the person who could prove it. Naipit siya ng mga may kapangyarihang sinungaling. He was later cleared by the court.”
(The presskit described 10,000 Hours as “an action-drama heavy on conspiracies and dark secrets of the past, richly-inspired by true stories in the life of former Sen. Panfilo Lacson. But more than a simple tale of a humble and dedicated police officer who rises to become a senator of the land, [the film] delves into more important issues and truths moviegoers will surely be interested in.)
It’s Robin’s first time to participate in the annual Metro Filmfest as a bida; the first was in the late ’80s with Bagets Gang where he appeared as a support. Directed by Robin’s buddy Bb. Joyce Bernal, 10,000 Hours’ all-star-cast includes Michael de Mesa, Mylene Dizon, Alden Richards, Bela Padilla, Pen Medina, Carla Humphries, Cholo Barretto, Markki Stroemm, Winwyn Marquez, Bibeth Orteza, Joem Bascon and Antonio Aquitania.
Actually, Robin submitted another entry, Sa Ngalan ng Ama (with, as co-star, his nephew Daniel Padilla who is cast with Kathryn Bernardo in Pagpag, Siyam na Buhay, Star Cinema/Regal Films’ entry) which he himself would have produced but the MMFF committee deemed it too violent and turned it down.
“Except for wearing glasses and speaking with my mouth hardly opened,” Robin qualified, “Direk Joyce and I agreed that I should not copy everything about the Senator.”
And how does he explain the title?
“They say that 10,000 hours, roughly equivalent to one year and 24 days, are the prescribed time na mape-perfect mo ang isang bagay, swimming for example or shooting…kahit ano.”
Is the movie making revelations that will shock the public?
“You know,” Robin revealed, “what I know is that the Senator hid in Rome. We wanted to shoot in Rome but we were not given a permit to shoot outdoors, so we decided to shoot in Amsterdam for 10 days. That’s where we shot the outdoor chasing scene which is one of the movie’s highlights.”
Like fans of action movies, Robin hopes that 10,000 Hours will revive the popularity of the genre.
Who or what killed the genre?
Robin said, “Kanya-kanyang panahon ‘yan. Whoever is the lead, siya ang masusunod. Naging mayor ang Star Cinema so,” he hesitated before adding, “alam mo naman ang mga artista ng Star Cinema, puro pa-pogi so what could we do? With 10,000 Hours, we hope that Viva Films can help revive action films. Viva naman talaga ang gumagawa ng action films. It’s about time.”
Incidentally, is Robin going to renew his contract with Star Cinema/ABS-CBN which expired last Oct. 15?
“No problem. The only thing we’re discussing is the working hours. I cannot do the kind of work that I was doing for ABS-CBN.”
Is Mariel part of any package deal he might enter with the Kapamilya company?
“No, no, no,” said Robin. “Mariel is happy being a housewife.”
Are they planning to have a baby now that Mariel has the time?
“Not yet,” said Robin. “We are okay as we are. If we change our lifestyle, baka magkahiwalay kami. Happy kami sa buhay namin ngayon.”
And who’s the real person that he’d love to portray in a movie?
It’s Ping Lacson, definitely, said Robin.
“I used to admire him only 80 percent. But when I read his speeches, naging 100 percent ang bilib ko sa kanya, especially when I learned that he’s the only senator who refused to get pork barrel. When he exposed the anomalies in the government, doon ako mas lalong bumilib sa kanya.”
Three things that he admires about Lacson?
“Matapang, honest at,” Robin added with great admiration, “higit sa lahat madaldal. Talagang ibinubulgar niya ang dapat ibulgar.”