Felix Roco considers his body as a canvass

Members of the foreign press who watched Engkwentro were surprised to learn that its lead star, Felix Roco (main and inset), was not a gang member in real life. Inset photo shows Felix's tattoo on his back. This indie film will be screened in select SM cinemas starting December 11.


During the celebrity screening of award-winning indie film Engkwentro last night, December 9, lead star Felix Roco openly admitted to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) his love for tattoos.

"It's something I've always wanted to do since I was a kid," he revealed. "Wala lang, I'm just fascinated with it. Kasi feeling ko, my body is a canvass, e."


When PEP visited Felix on the set of Engkwentro earlier this year, we were able to see Felix's tattoo on his back consisting of cursive letters stating: "Amo A Mi Familia." The phrase is Spanish for "I Love My Family."

Felix said that he has already lost count of all his tattoos. Apparently, the 20-year-old son of local cinema legend Bembol Roco has plenty of these bodily embellishments scattered across his skin. He also shared that his tattoos are mostly Oriental in design.

"Hindi lang sa back," he said, showing a noticeable tattoo stamped on his left wrist. On this note, would he consider adding another design to his growing collection anytime soon?

"Depende," he replied.

BAD BOY IMAGE. With his many tattoos and a triangular-shaped black earring that he wore during the screening, Felix seems to give off a bad boy vibe. He said it was this that helped him internalize his role in Engkwentro, where he plays a leader of a local teenage gang.

"Hindi ako nahirapan sa character ko kasi I kinda related to Richard [his character in Engkwentro], kasi may pagka-bad boy siya," said Felix, who admitted that he was part of a fraternity in high school. "But what was before," he emphasized.

Felix's bad-boy appeal also translated onscreen because the foreign press in Venice had genuinely mistaken him for a real gangster. He said, "Akala talaga nila na gangster ako. Sobrang nabilib ata sila sa acting ko, e," he said with a laugh. "Akala nila taga-slums talaga ako."

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Engkwentro
will be screened in cinemas on December 11, 12 & 13 at SM Mall of Asia, North Edsa, Megamall, and Cebu. By January 2010, it will be screened at SM Davao, Iloilo, and Bacoor.

Inspired by real events, Engkwentro follows the last 24 hours of two teenage brothers on opposite sides of a gang war.


Written, directed, and produced by 22-year-old filmmaker Pepe Diokno, Engkwentro took home two awards at the 66th Venice Film Festival: the Horizons Prize for new trends in cinema, and the US$ 100,000 Lion of the Future" Luigi de Laurentiis" Award for Best Debut Film.

To prepare for his role, Felix trained for three months in parkour, a sport that makes use of free-running and the ability to dodge randomly-placed obstacles in an emergency situation. In Engkwentro, his character is seen sprinting and carefully snaking through the cramped walkways of the slums.

Felix also shared that wore an unwashed white shirt for three months to help him get into his character. "Binibigay na lang sa akin yung T-shirt. So sinusuot ko na lang without complaining," he said.

PROUD DAD. During the screening, PEP was also able to have a chat with Felix's father, Bembol Roco, who says that he is very proud of his son's accomplishments. But Bembol admitted that it was never his plan for Felix and his twin brother Dominic to enter showbiz.

"Never did," he told PEP. "Actually, it was their choice to go into the industry." He added that he and his wife fully support their children no matter what they decide.

Being in the industry for so long, Bembol Roco has made his own mark in local cinema. How different is Felix's acting from his?

"I can't say much pa right now because I haven't really seen much of his work," he replied. "Although from the few times that I've seen him, magaling. He's got what it takes to be a good actor."

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To date, Felix is busy with GMA-7's afternoon show, Daisy Siete 24: My Shuper Sweet Lover. He also recently wrapped up shooting for Regal Film's Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Shake Rattle and Roll XI and Joel Lamangan's indie films, Sagrada Pamilya and Dukot.

CLICK HERE to read PEP's review of Engkwentro.


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