MICHAEL V’s real name is Beethoven Bunagan and he first gained fame as a rapper in 1991 when OctoArts Records discovered him with his song, “Maganda ang Piliin”, which he did in response to Andrew E’s monster hit then, “Humanap Ka ng Panget”. We remember him being presented then by OctoArts (he was so skinny) along with a female rapper, Lady Dianne, who has since faded back into anonymity. Bitoy (his nickname), in turn, achieved fame and fortune through hit songs (like “Sinaktan Mo ang Puso Ko”), movies, TV shows. He has also won several best comedy actor awards both here and abroad. He is likewise a bonafide Youtube star with his vlog having 300,000 subscribers.
And now, as he turns 50 years old on December 17, he is adding another milestone to his already checkered career as a film director. His debut movie is entitled “Family History”, the script of which he also wrote, and this is not surprising since he is a bonafide family man. He’s been married to his wife Carol for 25 years and they have four children: two daughters (Yanni and May) and two sons (Milo and Migo).
He credits his wife for his success as she helps him manage his time and assignments and do whatever it is that has to be done, like the movie, where Carol serves as a business manager as their company, called Mic Test, is co-producing the movie with GMA Pictures. “Ako rin ang sumulat ng theme song,” he adds.
So why did he venture into directing? “Kasi may ideas ako na kapag ibinigay ko sa writers, paglabas, it gets diluted, iba na. Ganun din naman sa director, iba rin ang nagiging interpretation, and I tell myself, hindi ito 'yung nasa isip ko, a. So now, I want complete control, para I can really do anything and everything that I want and need to do sa material. Seeing your own concept or vision being translated into the actual product, that is really very fulfilling.”
“Family History” is a combination of drama and comedy. “Para lang totoong buhay,” he adds. “Di ba, may parts na nakakaiyak, meron din namang nakakatawa. Basically, drama ito, about a family na may problema sa relationship nila, with me as the father, Dawn Zulueta as the mother, Miguel Tanfelix as our son and Bianca Umali as his love interest. Then nagkaroon ng health issues ang isa sa amin. Hindi ko na sasabihin kung sino so as not to spoil it for you. At doon, with them facing a crisis, mas na-test nang husto ang family namin. But siyempre, marami ring comic scenes kasi hahanapin ng audience sa’kin 'yung matawa sila kapag pinapanood ako since nasanay silang nagpapatawa ako in ‘Bubble Gang’ and ‘Pepito Manaloto’. And as a comedian, I make it a point na mas gandahan lagi ang content ng material ko para naman tumaas din ang standards ng viewer and help them grow sa taste nila for entertainment.”
‘Family History’ also stars Paolo Contis, John Estrada, Nonie Buencamino, Ina Feleo, Kakai Bautista, Mikoy Morales, Nikki Co, Jemwell Ventenilla and Vince Gama, with the special participation of Dingdong Dantes and Eugene Domingo. It opens in theaters nationwide on July 24.