Since August this year, John Lapus has managed to stay on the showbiz radar even if he became less visible on TV.
His last regular shows in the Kapuso channel had been the teleserye Makapiling Kang Muli and talk show Showbiz Central.
But all that free time turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Sweet got to freelance for a few films.
These included the Aga Muhlach and Regine Velasquez romantic comedy Of All The Things, the Cinemalaya independent film entry Posas, and the Cinema One Originals independent film Mariposa: Sa Hawla ng Gabi.
He also makes a presence in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote, at Si Ako.
“Ang iniisip ko na lang na ang showbiz ay hindi permanente, di ba,” he told the members of the media on Wednesday, December 19, during the press conference for Vivand Production’s lineup of live stand-up shows in 2013.
“I would like to dwell on the solid six years that I was with GMA na nung six years na yun, talagang namayagpag naman ang career ko nang bongga!
“Binigyan naman nila ako ng mga palong-palong na mga shows.
“Kasi mahirap magsalita, magbintang!
“Ang iniisip ko na lang, they gave [me] the first time to be one of the major hosts of a showbiz-oriented talk show, Showbiz Central.
“At nakabili ako ng bahay at lupa sa six years ko na yun with GMA. Ngayong wala e iniisip ko na lang na ganun talaga.”
Asked teasingly if he had already paid for the house and lot he purchased, Sweet snickered and replied, “Yun na nga hindi pa! Yun ang problema hindi pa bayad! So, hindi puwedeng matengga.”
He said he waited for the Kapuso network to offer him a project. His manager, Ricky Gallardo, had even been persistent in getting Sweet a job. It was during this time that GMA-7’s rival network offered the comedian a job.
“So, andito na, dumating na ang offer ng ABS-CBN. Well, I have no choice but to accept it, di ba?” Sweet said it was only practical of him to yes to the Kapamilya network. He has after all monthly bills and a house to pay for.
RETURN TO HOME NETWORK. Sweet confirmed his return to the ABS-CBN Network last December 13 at the press conference of Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote, at si Ako. (CLICK HERE to read related story)
Prior to transferring to GMA-7 in 2006 to be one of the hosts of talk show S-Files, Sweet was originally with ABS-CBN.
The comedian relayed this again on Wednesday afternoon adding that his contract signing for ABS-CBN will most likely take place next year.
He explained, “Kasi inuna ko na lang muna mag-story con [at] makapag-taping kasi for airing yung soap opera by January 2013.”
Next year, Sweet will join the cast of Kahit Konting Pagtingin with Star Magic talents Angeline Quinto, Sam Milby, and Paulo Avelino. The comedian, during his tenure in ABS-CBN, will be managed by Star Magic, the talent arm of the Kapamilya channel.
Sweet excitedly talked about his new project: “Maganda yung role ko, e! I’ll be like Angeline Quinto’s fairy godmother.
“Alam mo naman ang soap opera lagi siyang merong ano, meron siyang … Oo, laging may comic relief, saka yung bida laging mahirap ’tapos biglang gaganda, yayaman!
“I will be the one to do that for Angeline!
“So maganda yung role, lagi kaming magkasama!”
HOMECOMING. Sweet’s return to ABS-CBN officially took place last Thursday, December 13. The comedian’s former boss, ABS-CBN business unit head Deo Endrinal, and his staff threw the comedian a homecoming party.
Sweet told, “Other than that, yung unit na kumuha sa akin to go back to ABS-CBN is the unit of Deo Endrinal, who was my boss from the very start when I entered showbiz in 1993 after college.
“Si Deo talaga yung boss ko, that’s why I was so emotional at the same time very thankful na nung nawalan naman ako ng trabaho, yung unang boss ko pa rin pala yung kukuha sa akin, di ba?”
He exclaimed, “What [better] way to come home in ABS-CBN than to actually work with your original boss and his team na mga kaibigan ko!”
Sweet said that he and Deo go way back. They first worked with each other in talk show Showbiz Linggo (1992-1999).
“Dun kami nagsimula. Ngayon, [nasa]drama na siya. Yung mga team niya are my kumare and kumpare na dati sa talk show!”
He added, “Nung nag-story con nga ako, [sabi ko sa kanila,] ‘Ay! Dito ka rin pala!’
“Last Thursday lang nangyari yung homecoming ko. It was really very emotional kasi nagdatingan lahat ng mga kaibigan ko dun na ngayon mga boss na—mga executive producers, business unit heads… yung iba direktor na!
“Na-promote na sila ngayon. Lahat sila sinalubong nila ako. It was a really a very grand and heartwarming homecoming last Thursday!”
KAHIT KONTING PAGTINGIN. Mentioning his upcoming soap once again, Sweet said, “Ang maganda niyan, ang bilis ng pangyayari kasi.
“After the story con, pinictorial [pictorial] na agad kami, ’tapos look test.”
And right after the New Year, the soap will start airing.
“January 2013! Agad-agad!” Sweet exclaimed.
Will Sweet play a kontrabida in the teleserye?
The comedian replied, “Una mahadera ’tapos may twist yung character ko din."
He cracked a joke, “Alam ko nga parang aagawin ko ’ata si Paulo Avelino!
“Actually, di pa confirmed ito, ha. Kinakalat ko lang baka pag-isipan nung writer.
“Bilang inaagaw rin siya [Angeline] ni Sam e ang point ko e maki-agaw na rin ako kay Paulo naman!”
QUEERS OF COMEDY. In 2013, Sweet also gets to do the stand-up comedy show Queers of Comedy, with his comedian friends Philip Lazaro, Kim Idol, Ador, and Petite. The five humourists are slated to take the stage on January 18 and 19, 2013.
The show is part of Vivand Productions’s lineup of live comedy acts for 2013 which include Candy Pangilinan’s Candy’s Be U, plus, Mitch Valdez and Nanette Inventor’s Tit for Tat.
A delighted Sweet said of the project, “So, very busy agad-agad ako for the opening of the year. Maliban sa Kahit Konting Pagtingin, ito na ang Queers of Comedy [kung saan] matagal nang binabalak ni Mamu, Andrew de Real, ang aming director, na pagsama-samahin kami.
“Ayan napagsama-sama na! Masaya kasi, e!
“Ang stand-up shows na mga tulad nito, mas magiging siya masaya pag kasama mo mga kaibigan mo! Para lang kayo naglalaro…”
The show, Sweet hinted, will have comedian-singer Allan K as a guest.
GIRL BOY BAKLA TOMBOY. Sweet’s launching movie under Viva Films will be shown next year.
He excitedly told, “Viva ang nagpapirma! Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy ang title niya!”
Under the direction of Wenn Deramas, Sweet portrays 4 characters— a girl, a boy, a gay person, and a lesbian— who happen to be quadruplets.
According to Sweet, Diamond Star Maricel Soriano already agreed to play the role of the mother of the quadruplets.
“Excited ako! First time ko magto-tomboy! Yung girl, nagawa ko na e, yung boy nagawa ko na!”
He also said, “Sabi ni Direk Wenn Deramas, napansin daw niya, pag mas nahihirapan ako sa ginawa kong pelikula, mas nanalo ako ng award.
“So, itodo niyo na. Lalo niyo na ako pahihirapan! Apat na yung gagawin ko!
“So, dalawa lang puwede mangyari niyan: manalo ako ng award o mamatay ako sa hirap!”
LEADING LADIES AND FIRST ON-SCREEN KISS. When asked who would he want to portray the leading lady’s and leading man’s characters, Sweet answered, “Naglalambing na ako sa Viva na ibigay naman sa akin yung kapwa contract artists ko!
“Ano ba namang syota ng tomboy si Ms. Rufa Mae Quinto, kaibigan ko naman siya.
“Puwedeng girlfriend ni boy si Anne Curtis o kaya si Cristine Reyes!
Finally, is he ready for his first kissing scene on the big screen, Sweet said, “Sana! Ako pa? Mahilig ako sa ganyan!
“Basta sinabi ko sa Viva, kahit sino man ang leading man ko diyan basta [yung] papayag na makipag-kissing scene!
"Tutal girl naman yung role niya, dapat may kissing scene, di ba?
He added in jest, “Ako naman, okay lang sa akin na magkaro’n ako ng kissing scene. It’s about time. Matured na rin naman po ako!
Sweet kiddingly pointed out, “Si Eugene Domingo nakipag-kissing scene at the age of 40. Si Ai Ai din 40-plus na rin, di ba, nung nagkaro’n sila ng mga kissing scenes sa mga pelikula nila?
“Ako 39 pa lang! So hopefully… gusto ko nga, sana mauna ako, e!”