Robin refuses to impersonate Bato, gives his own take

January 25, 2019
Robin Padilla and Direk Adolf Alix
Robin Padilla and Direk Adolf Alix

ROBIN Padilla is glad to be back doing an action flick in “Bato, the Movie”, the filmbio of former PNP Chief Gen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa. “Ang tagal ko na ring hindi nakapag-action,” he says. “My last movies were ‘Bonifacio: Unang Pangulo’, a historical drama in 2014 and 'yung romcom namin ni Sharon Cuneta, ‘Unexpectedly Yours’, in 2017. So tuwang-tuwa ako dito sa ‘Bato, The Movie’ dahil reunion namin ito ng mga dating kong kasama sa action flicks, like my co-stars na si Efren Reyes who plays Mayor Duterte, Ricky Davao who plays my dad, Joko Diaz who plays a rebel leader, Val Iglesia as our fight instructor at marami pang iba.”

It’s said he’s the original choice of Gen. Bato himself to play him on the big screen. “Noong una, akala nila, tatakbo rin ako sa Senate, so they made sure muna na I’m not running when they offered it to me. Nang mabasa ko 'yung script, nagustuhan ka agad, kasi very inspirational ang buhay ni Gen. Bato. Just like Manny Pacquiao who’s supporting him, pareho silang galing sa hirap pero nagsikap, at dahil sa strong faith nila kay Lord, nalampasan nila ang mga pagsubok at nagtagumpay. Para silang mga lalaking Cinderella, e.

“Ipinakita rito ang influence ng parents ni Gen. Bato sa kanya who helped in shaping his morals and principles so he will serve the people and be a defender of the oppressed when he grows up. It will show his early struggles as a policeman until he became the PNP Chief battling drugs in Operation Tokhang. Hopefully, the movie will help inspire ang mga kababayan natin para gumaya sila kay Gen. Bato na kahit galing sa hirap, nagsumikap hanggang magtagumpay sa buhay.”

Also in the powerhouse cast of “Bato” are Beauty Gonzales as his wife, Nancy de la Rosa; Kiko Estrada and Alyssa Alvarez as the young Bato and Nancy; Kiko Matos as a Malaysian terrorist, Gina Alajar as Bato’s mother, Polo Ravales as an MILF leader, plus Gardo Versoza, Chanel Morales, Archie Alemania, Mon Confiado, Menggie Cobarrubias and many more.

The film is directed by Adolf Alix, who’s better known doing indie dramas like “Muli”, “Donsol” and “Whistleblower”. So how is Binoy’s experience working with Adolf?

“Hindi ako nahirapan at all kay Direk Adolf kasi wala siyang insecurites, kaya nagkasundo agad kami. We collaborated well. Basta ang importante sa kanya, mahagip mo 'yung gusto niyang palabasin sa isang eksena. Sa umpisa pa lang, sinabi kong hindi ako impersonator kaya hindi ko basta magagaya si Gen. Bato. I will come up with my own interpretation.

“Okay naman sa kanya, pero 'yung kilos, 'yung lakad ni Gen. Bato, pinagsikapan kong gayahin. Kasi ako, sanay gumanap sa character ng kriminal kaya ang kilos ko, kilos-kriminal. So dito, 'yung stance ko, 'yung galaw ko, dapat kilos-pulis.

“Ang nahirapan ako rito, 'yung paghagulgol, kasi in real life, si Gen. Bato, tigasin siya, pero malambot ang puso at damdamin niya kaya madaling matangay ng emosyon niya kapag may mga naaaping biktima ng krimen. Kung natatandaan nyo, di ba napaiyak siya noon sa Senado? Nagpakalbo si Gen. Bato at sabi niya, hindi siya magpapatubo uli ng buhok hangga’t may masasamang tao sa Pilipinas. Sabi ko, naku, mahabang laban 'yan at matagal pa bago humaba uli ang buhok niya.”

Is there any similarity between him and Gen. Bato? “Yes, pareho kaming takusa, takot sa asawa. Ipinakita 'yan dito sa movie. Four star general siya, pero 'yung wife niya, five star general daw, kaya siya ang sumusunod dito.”