Multi-talented writer Joey de Leon turns his back on movies

Joey de Leon feels disillusioned with the state of local movies. "[Metro Manila Film] Festival na lang ang tingin kong nagkakabuhay," he told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last March 11 during the press conference for his latest record Kagat Labi under EMI Philippines.


Ace comedian Joey de Leon would rather pursue writing than act in movies.

"Actually, love ko talaga ang magsulat, e... Writer ako talaga before anything else," confided Joey last Tuesday, March 11, at the presscon-launching of his new CD titled Kagat Labi (EMI Philippines) held at Magellan Function Room of the Discovery Suites in Ortigas, Pasig City.

Joey's talent as a writer is no secret. Aside from acting and TV hosting, Joey also has a column, De Leon's Den, in Manila Bulletin. He is also a songwriter, having penned some of the most memorable tunes found in the OPM catalog like "Ipagpatawad Mo," "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw ko," "Boyfriend Kong Baduy," "Iskul Bukol," among others.

"Mas gusto kong writer ako una bago artista kasi ‘pag writer ka, ang dami mong magagawa," continued Joey. "Puwede ka gumawa ng kanta, puwede ka gumawa ng istorya, puwede kang gumawa ng script," he explained.

Writing has become Joey's second nature, so much so that he can't live without pen and paper. Scribbling notes is also one great way to counter boredom.

"Hindi ako nanonood ng TV," confessed Joey. "Sa eroplano hindi ako basta natutulog. Nakakatulog ako sa pagod sa kakasulat... Basta ako may ballpen agad 'tsaka folder."

DONE WITH MOVIES. But while Joey's love for writing has intensified over the years, the same cannot be said of his interest in making movies, even though offers and scripts have continuously arrived at his doorstep.

"Ang dami kong script. Wala, e. Honestly, hindi na ako naaano [nae-excite] sa pelikula," he shook his head.

Only a good storyline that is unique, without hackneyed formulas, could make Joey reconsider his stand.

"Siguro ano, ‘yong mga special na hindi inuulit," Joey vaguely stated. He further explained, "Original projects, siguro baka sakali. Pero ‘yong mga regular lang na comedy, regular lang na drama, regular lang na pa-cute, pagtitiisan mo na lang ‘yon."

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He cited the upcoming movie of good friend Vic Sotto and Comedy King Dolphy as the kind of project that might give the local movie industry a much-needed boost.

"Tulad ngayon may ginagawa si Vic na project. Vic and Dolphy, baka sakali, may istorya, ‘yong mga ganun ang sinasabi ko para magkaroon ng sipa. Meron nga silang iniisip, e, mag-asawa kami ni Lolit [Solis]. ‘Yong mga ganoon, tapos lalagyan mo ng lips-to-lips, baka sakali," he smiled, obviously making a joke about his StarTalk co-host.

As all the press people erupted in laughter, Joey stressed his point seriously: "Ibig kong sabihin, ganoon dapat ang ibigay mo sa tao. Hindi ‘yong comedy na ganun pa rin, action na ganun pa rin. Iba, kailangan iba na ang dating para mabuhay."

So, while the perfect storyline is yet to come, Joey would rather concentrate on doing television shows and even commercials.

"Mas masarap sa TV, e," said Joey. "Sarili mo ang oras, naka-aircon ka pa. Pelikula, ayoko na ng punta ng Tanay o may shooting tayo sa Daranak, ‘yong mga ganun, kayo na lang!"

Joey created some of the most memorable characters in Philippine movies like Starzan, Pandoy, Barbi, among others.


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