For Alfred Vargas, his role in Banal, a Metro Manila Film Festival entry, is bigger, much meatier, compared to his previous MMFF movies.
"Ito ‘yong third ko," said Alfred to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last December 24 during the recent Parade of Stars. "In the past, meron akong Bridal Shower , ZsaZsa Zaturnnah ."
Don't get the hunky actor wrong. He clarified that he'll forever be proud of Bridal Shower and ZsaZsa Zaturnnah. It's just that this time, he finds his role in Banal more challenging and unique.
"This is my biggest role so far sa [Metro Manila] Film Festival," said Alfred proudly. "It's my first time to play a cop. Leader ako ng unit ko sa Special Weapons and Tactics."
Banal, the first directorial job of GMA News and Public Affairs reporter Cesar Apolinario, is an interesting mix of action, drama and suspense—quite different, said Alfred, from the other MMFF entries.
"It's about a Papal assassination attempt dito sa Pilipinas and dahil nga sa ganung klaseng plot, pinaghalu-halo yung action, drama and suspense, so siguro nga kakaiba siya," explained Alfred about the film, which also stars multi-awarded actor Christopher de Leon.
Banal opens in theaters all over the country on New Year's Day. And so, it's a normal working day for the hard-working actor.
"January 1 kasi ang showing namin," he smiled, dressed in a black SWAT-inspired attire. "So I'll do the rounds sa promo ng movie. I really want to promote this movie because bilib ako sa ginawa namin."
Alfred confessed that he makes it a point to watch his films in the moviehouse—in the company of all the unsuspecting moviegoers. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing the actual culmination of months of hard work unfolding before the big screen, he enthused.
"Yes," he beamed, flashing a thumb's up for emphasis. "That's the real pleasure of being an actor. You worked hard filming the movie for two to three months. ‘Yong pinaka-pleasure and pinaka-fulfillment you'll get is watching it on the big screen and a lot of people watching it!"
But, of course, before helping in the January 1 promo blitz of Banal, Alfred will spend time with his family to welcome 2008.
Despite his roots as a Bulakeño, he confided that he's not fond of loud firecrackers.
"Sa Bulacan, malakas ang mga paputok doon 'tsaka magaganda," he said about the New Year traditional revelry in his hometown, "pero kung ako lang, hindi ako magpapaputok."