Lloyd Samartino enjoys status as a freelance actor; talks about late wife Jo Ramos

Lloyd Samartino on his status as a freelance actor: "For me, unless itatali ako ng isang istasyon at bibigyan ako ng trabaho talaga for one year, kung wala yun, I like being freelance."


Halos magkasabay na pumasok sa showbiz at parehong naging matinee idols noong 1980s sina Lloyd Samartino at Gabby Concepcion.

Pero ayon kay Lloyd, sa tinagal-tagal daw nila sa industriya, ngayon pa lang sila magkakasama ni Gabby sa isang proyekto—ang P.S. I Love You, ang bagong primetime teleserye ng TV5 na mapapanood na simula sa Lunes, November 21, pagkatapos ng Glamorosa.

"I was telling nga the writers, in all the years na artista kami ni Gabo [palayaw ni Gabby], ngayon lang kami magkakatrabaho.

"Kaya lang, wala kaming matinding eksena except for one little scene.

"Sabi ko nga, sana binusisi n’yo na nang husto.

"But who knows, maybe for future work, di ba?"

Nakausap ng PEP.ph si Lloyd sa presscon ng P.S. I Love You na ginanap noong Miyerkules ng gabi, November 16, sa Bramante Piazza Ballroom ng Renaissance Tower sa Ortigas, Pasig City.

LOVING SHOWBIZ. Matapos ng ilang taon ng pag-aartista, pansamantalang namahinga sa showbiz si Lloyd at naging abala sa ilang bagay.

Isa na nga roon ang kanyang business.

"Actually, I have an apartment rental company. I build small buildings, yung mga five-story, sa may Makati area.

"So, yun ang talagang inayos ko muna."

Pero sadyang hindi makalimutan ni Lloyd ang pagiging artista.

"And then they started calling me again.

"Actually, it was Direk Maryo J. [de los Reyes] who asked me, ’Can you start acting again?’

"Sabi ko, ’Sure.’

"Tapos ayun, nanganak nang nanganak.

"I did Habang Kapaling Ka with GMA, I did Dyosa with Anne Curtis sa ABS-CBN.

"And then, ang dami pang iba."

Bago nga ang P.S. I Love You, ang huling soap na ginawa ni Lloyd ay sa GMA-7—ang panghapong drama na Sinner or Saint, na pinagbidahan nina Bianca King, Alessandra de Rossi, at Dennis Trillo.

Ano ang meron sa showbiz at binalikan niya pa rin?

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"Actually, nung umalis ako, na-realize ko na this is what I love doing pala.

"I like my friends in showbiz.

"Yung mga naging kaibigan ko, even yung mga press, yung mga artista na kasabayan ko."

Dagdag ni Lloyd, "You know, nung umalis ako at tumira ako sa States for seven years, inside my heart... although I worked for Columbia Pictures, sabi ko I miss my showbiz family.

"I mean, I don’t miss the politics in showbiz and the intriga, but I miss the friends that I made.

"So, sabi ko sa sarili ko, if I decide to come back to the Philippines, I don’t want to do anything else but to act.

"Kaya lang, realistically, alam mo naman ang pag-aartista, kailangan aalukin ka.

"Hindi ka naman pwedeng, ’Kunin n’yo ako. Kunin n’yo ako.’

"Kasi they will not pay you decently anymore.

"So, I have to wait until the offers came. And before that I got married [with Jo Ramos]. Then I had a son.

"My wife died recently.

"My acting career started to pick up again about ten years ago pa. Surprisingly, it hasn’t stop.

"I was very, very blessed."

WORKING FOR DIFFERENT TV NETWORKS. Happy naman daw si Lloyd na nakakapagtrabaho siya sa tatlong higanteng TV networks: GMA-7, ABS-CBN, at TV5.

"Basta patalun-talon lang ako, I mean, GMA, ABS, and now TV5.

"This is the first time I worked with Viva," saad niya.

Ang P.S. I Love You ay co-production ng TV5 at Viva Entertainment.

Advantage ba para sa kanya na nakakapagtrabaho siya sa iba’t ibang networks?

"I think so. For actors like us, mas okay yun.

"Kasi karamihan ng hinahawakan ng mga istasyon naman usually are the young ones, e, or younger ones.

"O kaya yung mga artista na sa kanila na nag-umpisa at inalagaan nila.

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"Pero yung mga katulad namin, free kaming gumawa kahit saan.

"For me, unless itatali ako ng isang istasyon at bibigyan ako ng trabaho talaga for one year, kung wala yun I like being freelance," diin ni Lloyd.

WORKING WITH DINA. Ginagampanan ni Lloyd sa P.S. I Love You ang role ni Antonio Tuazon, ang mayamang asawa ni Kristine, played by Dina Bonnevie.

"Yun ang twist dun, e. The story starts out with Dina and me. We’re very much in love.

"Tapos siguro after two weeks or so, I get murdered.

"So, one of the twists is did Gabby do it or not?

"Medyo ganun ang twist ng story," paliwanag niya.

Hindi nga raw akalain ni Lloyd na hahaba pa ang role niya sa teleserye dahil nga special participation lang siya kaya ine-expect niya mga ilang araw lang siyang magte-taping.

"Actually, when they called me, it was just for three days.

"Siguro dahil nakita nila yung chemistry namin ni Dina, humaba ng two weeks."

Pang-ilang project na niya ito kasama si Dina?

"Probably this is my second soap with Dina. But I’ve only done one film with her which is Anak with Boyet [Christopher de Leon] pa.

"Nagkakuwentuhan nga kami, ’Dina, do you remember? Nililigawan ka pa ni Vic [Sotto] noong araw. And then you got pregnant when we were doing Anak.

"Dahil ang sungit-sungit niya noon. Naglilihi siya siguro."

Matapos ang ilang taon na hindi nila pagtatrabaho, how is it working now with Dina?

"I love it!" sambit ni Lloyd.

"You know, frankly, I always love to work with veterans... I don’t know if we’re called veterans.

"But iba kasi pag magaling ang katrabaho mo. Alam mo, ang bilis ng trabaho.

"Nagkakaintindihan kayo sa tinginan.

"And Dina is an ace actress. She continues to get better. She looks even better now than she did.

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"And I was telling her, ’Ang sarap mong kasama ngayon. Hindi ka na maarte. You know nag-grow up na tayo.’

"Ang sarap na niyang katrabaho ngayon."

JO RAMOS. Samantala, natanong din ng PEP kay Lloyd ang tungkol sa yumao niyang dating asawa na si Jo Ramos, anak ni dating Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos.

Hindi naman naging maganda ang paghihiwalay nina Lloyd at Jo ilang taon na rin ang nakararaan. Nagkaroon sila ng isang anak, si Sergio, na 17 years old na ngayon.

Aware ba siya na nagkasakit si Jo ng lung cancer, na naging dahilan ng pagkamatay nito noong June 27 ngayong taon?

"Hindi, kasi hindi ako kinakausap ng wife ko for a long time.

"And that was one of the problems we had when we separated, our relationship regarding our son.

"But my parents-in-law helped out and naayos naman namin.

"My wife kasi is very secretive, e.

"When she started to get sick, hindi namin alam na ganun na kalala.

"Kasi nga, hindi na kami nagkikita, e.

"I mean, pag nagkikita kami ng anak ko, hindi naman siya nagkukuwento.

"Kasi tinago niya rin sa anak ko, e.

"Sabi ng doktor, nag-start yung sakit niya siguro a year and a half ago pa.

"My wife kasi is a smoker, e. May mga cancer talaga na aggressive, e.

"Nagulat talaga kaming lahat. Even my in-laws were shocked.

"Actually, they only found out how serious it was ten days before she died.

"Kasi she really kept it quiet. Nagki-chemo nga siya nang tahimik.

’I guess she doesn’t want to alarm our son.

"Ako nga, nalaman ko a week lang before she died.

"Then I went to see her sa hospital. But tulog siya palagi."

Ayon kay Lloyd, binisita niya raw ang puntod ng dating asawa nitong katatapos lang na Undas.

HIS SON. Paano tinanggap ng anak nila ang nangyari sa kanyang mommy?

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"Up to now, he’s having a hard time. Kasi he was the world of my wife.

"After kasi we separated, binuhos niya lahat sa anak ko.

"She’s a very hands-on mom. Siya ang naghahatid-sundo sa anak ko. Talagang siya lahat."

Sa ngayon daw nakatira ang anak niya kina dating Pangulong Ramos.

"Wala sa akin ang anak ko. Nasa in-laws ko kasi nag-aaral, e. He wants to take up music."

Ang in-laws din niya ang nagpapaaral kay Sergio.

"My father-in-law set up a college fund for all of his grandchildren.

"So, noon pa ’yan noong ikinasal kami ni Jo.

"Kasi kami yung huling anak niya na ikinasal, e.

"Sinabi niya [FVR] na, ’I’m setting up a college fund for all the grand kids para wala na kayong aalalahanin.

"Kung saan nila gustong mag-aral, anywhere around the world, it’s taken cared of.’"

Nakikita at nakakasama naman daw niya si Sergio any time na gusto niya. Nakakalabas din sila four or five times a month.

STILL SINGLE. Matagal na rin daw single si Lloyd.

"I’ve been single... you know my wife kasi we’ve been apart for over ten years before she passed away.

"But I enjoy being single. I can date whoever I want.

"And I think for my career it worked to my advantage."

Mag-aasawa pa ba siya ulit?

"Right now, I’m into dating lang... non-showbiz.

"Siguro I can marry again if I feel like marrying again."


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