Ramon Bautista and his "hindi-ako-makapaniwala" fame

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When he's not entertaining people, Ramon Bautista works on his documentary project "tungkol sa lipunan at pagbabago sa media," and teaches at the UP Film Institute. "Seryoso at mahiyain po talaga akong tao sa totoong buhay," he reveals. The Manila Times (July 17, 2008) cited Ramon's thesis Makina, a short animated film on greed, and Mga Bangkang Papel sa Swimming Pool ng Kumukulong Arnibal


He's now known as an "Internet superstar," popular music VJ then DJ, and commercial model in demand.

But when Ramon Bautista was a kid, stardom did not figure in his dreams. In an exclusive interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), he said, "Pangarap ko po talaga maging astronaut kaso lang, walang space ship dito..."

So, the boy who never considered himself "artistahin" lived the life of an average Ramon during his college days at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. "Mahiyain ako nun. Sobra. Andiyan lang ako sa isang tabi, walang pumapansin," he recalls.

Until he made one decision that changed his life forever.

He narrates: "Si RA Rivera po, classmate ko ng college, same po ang course namin. Dati po, iba yung course namin pero, nakita po namin ang papanget ng gawa ng film students kaya nag-shift kami.

"Kasi 'kala namin, kaya namin yung ginagawa nila. 'Tapos yun nga, nagkatotoo...kaya nga talaga naming makagawa ng panget! 'Tapos ako yung artista niya, 'tapos artista ko rin siya sa mga project ko. Para kaming 69, ganun."

The works found their way to cyberspace.

"Gumagawa-gawa kami ng mga short film. Si RA Rivera nga ang direktor. Pinasikat niya ako at pinangakuan niya ako ng kasikatan.

"Naalala ko, nilagay niya sa mga music video ni Dan Michael, yung master magician, dun sa Internet. Napanood niyo na ba yun? Dun Nagsimula ang lahat."

(He spoofed David Blaine, the American illusionist famous for his street and close-up magic, according to New York Daily News. Ramon gave a comic twist to his tricks, which do not always go as planned, by ignoring the baffled reaction of the people.)

It didn't take long before he realized, "Ang dami na naming fans!" He quickly adds with a laugh, "Ang yabang, 'noh!"

BEYOND INTERNET. His magic paved the way for his own program, The Ramon Bautista Show, with the defunct MTV.His style was wacky and side-splitting. His deadpan humor fascinated the viewers, including advertisers.

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Next thing he knew, he was endorsing the big commercial brands—Nescafe, Petron, McDonald's, Adventure, Smart—and even the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Ako Mismo campaign.

Ramon Bautista appears brazen in most of his projects, but he says he's just enjoying what he does. "Enjoy lang ako sa ginagawa ko. Ang labas, parang alam na alam ko. Parang ang galing-galing. Pero minsan, hindi ganun ang dapat kalabasan. Ang nagiging labas, katawa-tawa, kaya okay na," he explains.

Remember his McSaver Moves?

Here's his background story, "May nagturo...may tinuro yung choreographer na sayaw na maganda. 'Tapos nung ginawa ko, parang napangitan siya pero natatawa na siya. Sabi niya, 'Sige, okay na 'yan.' Sabi ko, 'Ma'am, pasensya na hindi talaga ako dancer, e. Wala talaga akong ka-talent-talent na tao. Talagang mahiyain lang ako."

When the TV ad was aired, the result was quite hilarious: Imagine a guy in his sporty aerobics outfit teaching people, regardless of their location, some moves!

Aside from his exposure in commercial spots, Ramon enjoys radio airtime via his show with ü92.1 FM, the Brewrats.

He tells PEP, "Walang nangyayari sa buhay ko, e, masaya lang ako sa pinaka-cool na show at pinaka-cool na radio station...Kasama ko sila Tado atsaka si Angel, 7:00 to 10:00 ng gabi, Monday to Thursday. Okay naman... nakakatawa naman yata kami-kami. Ako, natatawa 'ko sa 'min, ewan ko lang yung iba. Pero parang tambay-tambay lang, wala masyadong kakuwenta-kuwenta yung pinag-uusapan namin. Pero parang masaya lang magkakasama kaming barkadang gago lang."

How about a career on television?

"Sa TV? Sa gilid-gilid lang ako, TV world, e. Ewan ko kung kaya ko yung mga nasa Channel 2 and Channel 7. Magagaling sila at ang dami na nila dun. Kaya ako siguro, dun na lang ako sa mga ibang klase. Ewan ko kung anong tawag dun pero parang kagaguhan lang na bagay dun sa gilid-gilid. Parang yung mga magagaling ay yung mga Vhong Navarro at Vic Sotto!"

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The guy doesn't make plans. He's happy with what he has achieved so far, and intends to take things one step at a time.

"Wala pa sa isip ko. Masaya na 'ko sa mga nagagawa namin kasi yung mga nagagawa namin baka hindi puwedeng gawin sa TV kasi, pang-viral lang, pang-Internet o kaya pang-commercial lang, ganun...Mga magkakaibang animal sila kumbaga."

OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT. By his numerous roles—magician, commercial model, radio host, VJ, filmmaker, "action star"—people's thought-balloon could go, "Nagse-seryoso ba ito?"

But believe it or not, his real-life character is the antithesis of the person you see on TV ads or hear on the radio. "Propesor po ako sa U.P. [Film Institute, Diliman]," he states. Sir Ramon is presently teaching two subjects, "kasi busy sa showbiz career."

He adds, sounding like a "terror" teacher, "Kapag nagtuturo ako, seryoso talaga ako. Sabi ko [sa estudyante], 'Ibabagsak ko kayo kapag hindi kayo nakinig at pag tatanga-tanga kayo!'"

Addressing his fans, Ramon says, "Seryosong tao po ako sa tunay na buhay, sensitive at masarap magmahal. Sana makita nila yun para maka-crossover na 'ko sa boy-next-door road. Kasi minsan na akong naging action star, e."

When asked what secret formula he cracked to become famous, he paused—as if marveling at the things happening to him—then, said. "Hindi ko rin alam, e. Hindi ako makapaniwala!"

But we're sure Ramon Bautista's fans will just echo one of his famous lines, "Itsalottafan!"


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