Bad Guys of Philippine Showbiz

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Action ring has the late Fernando Poe Jr., comedy field has Dolphy, and the world of kontrabidas has Eddie Garcia. With over 60 movie and TV projects and 20 acting awards under his belt, the 86-year-old character actor has proven that he doesn't have to take the "lead" to succeed.


Aman faces 20 heavily armed goons encircling him. Alone yet undaunted, he drawshis gun. Bullets fly. Soon the lone man—wounded with just a few gashes, hisclothes slightly torn—stands over the dead guys strewn on the ground. He declaresgravely, “Hindi pa tapos ang laban.”

Applause! Onceagain the hero overcomes.

But,come to think of it, the bida captures our full attention only after hesuccessfully guns down the goons, right?

Throughoutthe movie we yelled or muttered, “Mamatay ka sana!” at the cruel, brutal, devious, macho kontrabidas.In the end, they earn their karma, good!

Forall that—or rather, because they were so good—hats off to the character actorswho played their despicable roles to the hilt.

PEP(Philippine Entertainment Portal) pays homage to the men we love to hate: thebad guys of local showbiz. Thelist is in two categories: the villains of action films and the evil charactersof drama.

ACTIONMOVIES

EddieGarcia. This veteran actor was first known as a kontrabidaduring his earlier years in showbiz, before he became a lead in action andsexy-comedy films. He was no ordinary villain. Majority of the kontrabidas inlocal movies reported to him and called him “Boss.” He was the “Bida ng mga kontrabida”in Philippine showbiz. No other evil character could match his feat.

Eddieportrayed all possible roles for male villains in the movies—from the DOM(dirty old man) in Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayonto the iron-fistedgrandfather in Pati Ba Pintig ng Puso, to the corrupt leader in KapagPuno na ang Salop.

Theversatility of Manoy, as he is fondly called, gave him the chance to play thewicked roles opposite Da King Fernando Poe, Jr., Drama King Christopher deLeon, Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos, and even Comedy King Dolphy.

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MaxAlvarado+.He was the original Lizardo, the arch-nemesis ofthe late FPJ in the movie Panday and in all its three sequels. Althoughhe was finally slain by the hero Panday in Panday, Ika-apat na Aklat,Lizardo resurrected in the 1993 film adaptation, Dugo ng Panday. Here,Max played the disembodied head of Lizardo.

Hisportrayal in Ang Kampana sa Santa Quiteria, an FPJ-starrer, won him theFAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) BestSupporting Actor award in 1971. That same year, he was given the samedistinction by the Quezon City Film Festival for his performance in AlyasBagsik.

Whenhe died in 1997 of cardiac arrest, the action-film heroes and fans oflocal showbiz mourned, “Hindi na natin maririnig ang halakhak ni Mang Max.”

PaquitoDiaz and Romy Diaz.These two brothers were commonly seen in the movies ofFPJ. Their mission in life was to kill the King of Philippine Movies butthey always failed.

Paquitowas known for his roles as a filthy-rich character, or as the leader of asyndicate, or sometimes, as a corrupt police officer. By his side werebodyguards, all fully equipped with weapons, who were usually thefirst targets of the hero's fire power.

Romy,on the other hand, usually ended up as the right-hand man of the mainantagonist. He got slapped by the master more than a couple of times because ofhis foolish acts. His devilish laugh was famous.

The trademarkof the Diaz brothers? Their bigote. For a time, women actually avoided moustachedsuitors whom they associated with the bad characters of Paquito and Romy.

JohnRegala.John was the reel adversary of Jestoni Alarcon. Theirtandem produced action films like Lihim ng Golden Buddha, Walang Panginoon,Babayaran Mo ng Dugo, Kunin Mo ang Ulo ni Ismael, Jerry Marasigan, WPD,amongothers.

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Hisspecialty: drug addict, gang leader or madman. John was also known for histear-jerking performances as kontrabida. The producers and directors took noteand eventually launched him as an action star.

Hislatest appearance was in the teleserye Mga Angel na Walang Langit,where he portrayed the role of Harry, an unbalanced guy who imprisoned Domeng(Johnny Delgado) in his home to appease Harry’s sister (Sylvia Sanchez).

JorgeEstregan Jr.Who can forget his Mohawk ‘do and punk get-up, withmatching chains and spike bracelets? When the son of the late George Estreganentered showbiz almost 20 years ago, he initially bagged the role of a brattykid. Later, he characterized roles such as a gang leader and even a rapist.

Thenephew of former president and action hero Joseph Estrada played kontrabida tobig actions stars like Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid, Robin Padilla, PhilipSalvador, and Ronnie Rickets.

But in 2004, Emilio RamonEjercito III in real life, said goodbye to being a showbiz bad guy to become agood local official in Pagsanjan, Laguna.

RezCortez.This B.S. Electronics and Communications Engineeringgraduate established his contravidapotential in Lino Brocka’s Insiang(1976)as the sleazysuitor of Hilda Koronel’s character.

After hismovie break, Rez became a steady cast member of movies top-billed byNora Aunor (Annie Batungbakal, Bongga Ka Day) and AlmaMoreno (Mga Bilanggong Birhen and Rebecca Marasigan).

Healso starred in three more Lino Brocka films: Angela Markado(1980), Burgis(1981), and Bayan Ko Kapit saPatalim(1985).

Itwas easy to spot him because of his Afro curls. It was easy to note his wickedcharacter because of his thick eyebrows. And it was easy to remember him as anactor because of his versatility—he could be your best friend or the SimonPeter in your group; the man you trust or the rapist; the honest policeman orthe syndicate leader.

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Rezis one of those few villains who gives justice to both wicked and righteousroles.


DRAMA FILMS

AlbertMartinez. Before he tried his hand at character acting, Albert used tobe one of showbiz’s favorite leading men. His mestizo features made him theperfect screen partner for Dina Bonnevie and Snooky Serna. Eventually, hishandsome face defined the drama stereotype for the Pinoy kontrabida.

TheAlbert who used to be the guy you’d introduce to your parents became the “man witha thousand faces”—obsessed or mentally-disturbed suitor, possessive boyfriendor husband, and perfectionist or strict dad.

Remember his portrayal of Benicio Chuatoco's role in Sa Piling Mo? He was the controlling husband of Catherine (Judy Ann Santos). When Benicio found out that his wife and Adrian Tuazon (Piolo Pascual) used to be childhood sweethearts, he did everything to keep Catherine and Adrian apart.

Benicio was so immersed in his character that when he delivered this line, Catherine was stunned. “Ayaw mo akong maging gago, ha? Hindi mo ako ginustong maging gago, alam mo yan! Kahit kailan kaya kong pumatay para sa’yo!”

Albert also made life difficult for the screen characters of Nora Aunor,Vilma Santos, Joyce Jimenez, and Lorna Tolentino.

EduManzano. The witty, humorous Edu Manzano used to be a “Too bad you’rebad” movie character. He was a just a bit player as kontrabida, but his portrayals wereimpressive. He was devious, big-headed, and even played a wife beater. He workedwith the finest actors in Philippine cinema: FPJ, Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta,Dina Bonnevie, Maricel Soriano, Christopher de Leon, and Lorna Tolentino.

Rememberhis role in Ama, Ina, Anak? Imagine Angelica Panganiban’s fear when heboomed, “Ilayo niyo ang batang iyan sa harapan ko!”

Hislatest portrayal of Ariston Borromeo in the TV remake of Walang Kapalit proves that Edu still has what it takes to be bad.

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PenMedina.Hepersonifies the saying, “Tahimik ngunit mapanganib.”

Penearned the ire of moviegoers when he played the role of booty-bandit Gabino in Deathrow.He turned the life of 16-year-old prisoner Sonny (Cogie Domingo) into a livinghell. After several days of bullying Sonny, Gabino cornered the haplessteenager and sodomized him.

Hismost notable performance was when he played Hagorn in Encantadia, one GMA-7’sgrandest production and most popular TV series. Christopher de Leon was said tobe envious of Pen for bagging the role of the power-hungry King of Hatoria, whobecame the main adversary of the four Sang’gre sisters Amihan (Iza Calzado),Alena (Karylle), Danaya (Diana Zubiri), and Pirena (Sunshine Dizon) who turnedout to be his daughter.

PEP’s other choices are Efren Reyes,Jr., Bomber Moran, Charlie Davao, Ruel Vernal, Dick Israel, and Roi Vinzon for action movies. Andthere’s the Eigenmanns—Michael de Mesaand Mark Gil—and sometimes, fatherand son Eddie Gutierrez and Tonton Gutierrez for drama.

SPECIAL THANKS:PEPsters Loi Reyes Landicho andSheryll D. Remo for sharing your list with us and to www.nostalgiamanila.blogspot.comfor Max Alvarado’s photo.


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