Former child wonder Niño Muhlach burst into tears when he recalled how his father took care of his finances at the height of his popularity.
The ‘80s actor was one of the panelists in the 1st Child Summit organized by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and held April 25 at the Mabini Hall of Malacañang Palace.
Niño became emotional when the topic of trust funds for young stars was discussed. Aside from Niño, other resource persons that afternoon were Aiza Seguerra, Sheryl Cruz, Rayver Cruz, Robi Domingo, and Roderick Paulate.
Niño said: “Ngayon pa lang natin pinag-uusapan ang child labor laws pero naisip na yun dati ng daddy ko. Ang trust fund ko dati, hindi lang 20 percent ng kita ko ang pumapasok…100 percent automatic.
“Tapos yung mga ibang artista na sikat, bahay ang pinapatayo pero ako building. Lahat yun nasa pangalan ko.”
His Daddy Alex also built a four-storey apartment building for Niño.
The former child actor revealed: “Hanggang ngayon, magku-cruise kami sa May 4, siya ang magbabayad ng ticket ko. Pa, baka gusto mo pati mga apo mo. Sama mo na lahat.”
TRIBUTE TO HIS DAD. Niño, who appeared in hit movies such as Ang Leon at ang Daga (1975) and Darna at Ding (1980), stood up and paid tribute to his Daddy Alex. Tears rolled down his face as he said: “Pa, thank you so much for everything.”
Members of the audience gave a round of applause for the father-and-son team.
In a separate interview with Niño after the forum, he told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) why he became emotional.
“Binaggit kasi ni Direk Maning [Emmanuel Borlaza] na dumadaan [nuon] ang daddy ko sa [location] para alamin kung bakit nagsu-shooting pa ako hanggang 10:30 p.m., e, ang usapan hanggang 10 p.m. lang.
"Biglang bumalik lahat sa utak ko kung gaano ako kasuwerte.
“Yung daddy ko naisip na niya na dapat hindi lang 20 percent ang tinatabi para sa trust fund, kung hindi 100 percent.
“We have to reach out to the parents na dapat sa kanila mismo manggagaling ang pagpo-proteksiyon sa mga bata.”
At this point, Niño took out his cellphone and showed photos of his two sons: 10-year-old Alessandro Martinno and 2-year-old Alonzo Andretti.
“Sila ang rason kung bakit up to now, marunong akong mag-appreciate ng mga maliliit na bagay.”
Are his sons interested in joining showbiz?
“Itong bunso, medyo,” he said with a smile. “Actually, may mga companies that have asked him to audition. Kung gusto niya, okay lang. Hindi naman masama ang naging experience ko sa showbiz.”
ON AMALIA FUENTES. Asked about the word war between his aunt, Amalia Fuentes, and talent manager, Annabelle Rama, at the wake of Amalia's ex-husband Joey Stevens, Niño declined to comment.
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“Medyo mahirap magsalita…si Tita Nena [referring to Amalia] kamag-anak, si Tita Annabelle malapit rin sa amin.
"Si Ate Liezl [Martinez] nga hindi masyadong nakikialam, anak siya…what more ako, pamangkin lang naman ako?
“Siyempre kamag-anak namin siya [Amalia], pero medyo I don’t want to comment.”
The former child actor hopes the quarrel will be resolved soon.
“E, sino-sino pa ba ang magkikita-kita [sa showbiz]? Sana magkaayos agad.
“Minsan kasi iniintriga o di kaya may magkukwento, ‘Sabi ni ganito…’ E, lalong lumalaki, so sana wag na lang palakihin.
"Sana magkita na lang sila sa isang lugar. Pareho pang mataray yung dalawa, kaya mahirap pakialaman.”
He believes a mutual friend can help Amalia and Annabelle resolve the issue.
“Naniniwala ako na ang makakaayos nito ay isa sa mga kaibigan nila…isa sa mga batch nila.”
DIRECTING A TV PROJECT. Niño, who has been away from showbiz for several years, is planning to make a comeback. This time, he will work behind the camera as a director.
He revealed: “I’ve been directing stage plays for the past 14 years and ngayon, meron akong independent films.
"I signed a contract with Viva last October 2011. I have a 3-year contract with them and I’m supposed to direct a teleserye for a network.”