The year 2010 has been a very good one for actor-politician Monsour del Rosario.
After six months in office, the actor-athlete is enjoying his life and newfound calling as a public servant. He won as councilor of Makati City in the May 10, 2010 elections.
"Happy ako na nanalo ako. Nung birthday ko, May 11, na-proclaim akong konsehal!" a still-overwhelmed Monsour told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), when we interviewed him in his Makati City Hall office before he took his holiday break.
"Unang-unang magandang nangyari, nag-campaign ako mula December of 2009 para sa election ng May 10. So, how many months 'yon? Six months, from December to May, 2010. Kampanya nang kampanya.
"Happy ako na nanalo ako, pero hindi kaagad nagkaroon ng magandang takbo sa City Hall," continued Monsour.
But he would rather not elaborate on the problem.
"Basta, nagkaroon ng problema, ng tensiyon" he simply stated. "Kasi siyempre, ibang camp, e. Dalawang camp. Ako naman, gusto ko lang naman magtrabaho at makatulong, makagawa at makisama sa lahat."
Monsour hinted at factions involving supporters of newly-elected mayor Junjun Binay and then outgoing vice mayor Ernesto Mercado. Mercado ran for mayor of Makati City but lost to the son of former Makati City mayor and now vice-president Jejomar Binay.
The tension-filled start which characterized Monsour's entry into politics ended after a few months.
"Well, buti naman at naayos. Nagka-stress ako doon, e. Ang nerve ko dito, naipit. Naipit yung nervous system ko dito," he said, pointing at his nape.
"Naospital ako, out-patient, almost every day nasa therapy ako. Hindi ko lang sinasabi dahil sa away-away dito. E, ayoko ng gulo, gusto ko masaya lahat.
"So, nung nag-ayos sila, nagkabati-bati last September, medyo maganda na ang takbo [sa City Hall]... May, June, July, and August, ang gulo-gulo no'n.
"In October, nagkaroon ng barangay elections, tumulong ako ng konti sa mga kakilala ko sa mga barangay," said Monsour.
DOING ACTION. Before October ended, an offer for Monsour to star in a action series came, and he was just too willing to appear on it. He says he doesn't think this poses a problem to his duties as council member.
The action series titled PNP P.A.C.E.R.: Special Action Force is to be aired this January 2011 on TV5.
It is helmed by veteran action-drama director Romy V. Suzara.
"'Di ba? Action, bida pa ako, lead star pa!" smiled Monsour, obviously happy and proud about his new TV starrer.
By the way, P.A.C.E.R. is the acronym for Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
His appearance on the series would be the first acting job for Monsour after being elected into office.
An independent production for TV5, the action series is about the documented heroic exploits of a team of policemen belonging to the special force unit.
Aside from Monsour, the show also stars Dan Fernandez, Roi Vinzon, Alvin Anson, Levi Ignacio, Patrick Patawaran, and singer-actress Geneva Cruz, the sole female lead in the role of a lady cop.
Character actor Ricardo Cepeda guested in the pilot episode.
"Bago ako umalis, [papuntang] Amerika nung October 30, nag-shooting kami ng ten days para sa pilot episode," he told PEP.
To be aired weekly, PNP P.A.C.E.R.: Special Action Force will have a special pilot episode that, Monsour says, was done like a full-length feature film.
"Para siyang pelikula na one-and-a-half hour and running time!
"Ang direktor namin, si Romy Suzara! Siya ang director ni Daboy [the late Rudy Fernandez] sa maraming blockbuster movies noon: Bingbong Crisologo, Markang Bungo, Pepeng Shotgun....
"Lahat ng mga pelikula ni Rudy Fernandez na idinirek niya, blockbuster lahat 'yon. Pagdating kasi sa storytelling, ang galing ni Romy Suzara."
CO-PRODUCERS. "Ang producer namin sa pilot episode ay mga [PNP] generals sa Camp Crame," Monsour added.
This early, preparations are underway for a grand launch of the TV series, which Monsour chose not to detail, yet.
But the producers and everyone involved in the series are hoping the whole effort would sit well with the TV5 management.
"Of course, ipapakita nila 'yon sa may-ari ng TV5, kay MVP [Manny V. Pangilinan], at pag nagustuhan ang project, magiging co-producer na rin ang TV5, hopefully.
"Yung premiere episode namin, when the PNP officials saw it, ang kuwento sa akin, nagustuhan daw nila...sundalong-sundalo daw kasi ang dating. So, action talaga!
"Maglalagay din daw sila ng malaking billboard sa Camp Crame na nakahawak kami ng baril, naka-cap, tapos naka-uniform ng pulis na PNP. Naka-fatigue uniform ng Special Action Force... parang Expendables [ni Sylvester Stallone]!
"Maganda siya, excited ako!" Monsour exclaimed.
PNP MORALE BOOSTER. More than anything, according to Monsour, the new action series is a morale booster for the country's police force.
"Ginawa 'yan ng mga officials ng PNP para ma-boost ang morale ng lahat ng [nasa] PNP, at maiba ang image.
"Kasi dun sa nangyaring Hong Kong fiasco [last August 23 at the Quirino grandstand], na namatay lahat ng turista, na nagkabarilan sa bus, napasama ang image ng PNP.
"Kaya ito, para maging proud [uli] ang mga pulis pag napanood nila, 'Yan ang pulis! 'Yan ang military! 'Yan ang PNP!"
Based on true police exploits, PNP P.A.C.E.R: Special Action Force promises a weekly fast-paced action fare meant for viewers of this acion genre.
"Proud sila sa mga exploits, iba-ibang kuwento 'yon," said Monsour. "May gagawin kaming [kuwento ng] highway patrol, ng nasa Intelligence [CIDG], mga special action force na iba-ibang kuwento 'yon.
"Nung pinanood ng mga pulis [ang pilot episode], ang feedback daw, proud na proud sila na pulis sila," Monsour said.