Mark Bautista’s tell-all memoir, Beyond the Mark, caused quite a stir when it was released in February 2018.
One particular chapter, which talked about his “bromance” with a “guy friend,” was too hot a topic that it allegedly triggered a news blackout in a TV network.
Mark never found out if such news blackout was ever enforced.
“Well, ayoko nang isipin kasi hindi naman ako nagpa-block no’n,” he said. “Hindi ko rin alam kung totoo o hindi.”
The 34-year-old singer-actor only knows that he’s become busier this year, which happens to be his 15th anniversary in the entertainment industry.
Yes, it’s been 15 years since the Cagayan de Oro lad surreptitiously boarded a ship en route to Manila to try his luck in the big city and eventually made his showbiz dreams come true.
Mark has started drawing plans for his big anniversary concert that will take place on November 15 at the KIA Theatre in Cubao, Quezon City.
“May lineup na kami,” he said of his solo concert, aptly titled Chapter 15. “Guests na lang ang kulang.”
But before he’ll begin rehearsing for Chapter 15, he’s focusing his energies on the musical play Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, in which he plays a major role.
Jointly produced by 9Works Theatrical and Globe Live, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! tells the fictionalized story of the iconic musical trio, APO Hiking Society, using around 25 of their hit songs.
At the recent presscon for Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, Mark told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) how he got into his follow-up to the 2015 musical adaptation of the 1985 classic movie, Bituing Walang Ningning.
“Si Sheila Valderrama ang nag-inform sa akin na parang may APO musical,” he said. “In-schedule nila ako na parang ito ’yong go-see or audition date. Pumunta ako. I saw some friends.”
For his audition song, Mark chose "Ngayon at Kailanman," a well-loved ballad composed by George Canseco and originally performed by Basil Valdez.
“You know, ang weird,” he said, grinning, “no’ng pumunta ako, hindi ako ready to sing an APO song.”
Thankfully, the people behind the APO musical didn’t require the auditionees to sing an APO song.
Mark explained why he decided to sing "Ngayon at Kailanman:" “Siguro dahil the day before niyan, kinanta ko ang song na ’yan, so ’yan ang pumasok sa isip ko agad.”
Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! runs from August 3 to 26 at the Globe Auditorium of the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in the Bonifacio Global City complex in Taguig City.
Then maybe he can also star in the musical adaptation of his autobiography, Beyond the Mark, if ever it will be turned into one.
“Well, I don’t know,” he beamed. “Kung dumating man ’yon, why not? Anything is possible.”
What he dreams of doing for the next 15 years is to perform anew on world stage, which he has done for Here Lies Love, a rock musical by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim.
Mark played the role of the late Philippine president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the show’s original run in 2014 to 2015 and the rerun in 2017.
“Dream ko lagi na may gagawin abroad,” he said. “Kasi kung nagawa ko na lahat dito, and nabitin ko ang mga nagawa ko sa abroad, so gusto ko lang mag-explore pa do’n.
“Ano pa ang puwede kong gawin habang hindi pa ’ko gano’n katanda. Ayaw kong magsisi ako pag tumanda ako, ‘Shocks, what if kung ginawa ko ’to, tanggapin kaya ako sa abroad kung nag-audition ako ng ganito. Makuha kaya ako?’
“’Yon lang, gusto ko lang na wala akong pagsisihan pag tumanda na ’ko, parang wala akong pagsisisihan. So ’yon ang dream ko. Kung hindi man next year, hindi ko alam kung kelan.”