Expect what you wish for

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From time to time, we make a list of the gifted but underutilized performers who, in our view, should be given another chance to share their proven talents with the viewing and listening public.

This is what we need so that local entertainment will be able to avoid being as predictable as it usually is, with only a few currently popular stars getting the best roles from month to month, until they’ve used up most of their creative “capital”!

Some “forgotten” personalities may no longer be as popular as before, but they’ve become even better performers in the interim, so we should benefit from their improved portrayals.

Recently, one of the “former” stars we said should be seen again is the former boy wonder of Filipino movies, Niño Muhlach.

—Well, expect what you wish for! Only a few days after we wrote that article, we caught Niño guesting on a cooking show. And, a few days after that, we think we saw him on a midnight talk show! Best of all, only a week later, we saw Niño play a corrupt general on “Juana C., The Movie.”

Belief

His spirited portrayal was one of the better things about the movie, so we were gratified to see that we were right in our belief that he still has a lot to share with today’s viewers—even if it has been decades since his glorious reign as the most popular and gifted child talent in the land.

—When it rains, it pours! After the recent spate of renewed Niño “sightings,” the best development to cap everything for Niño would be an indie film revolving around him. —Any takers?

Another item on our recent wish list was the hope that, after “Katy!,” more original Filipino musicals would be produced to “tell our own stories and sing our own songs,” and further debunk the “colonial” notion that “Broadway” musicals are the way to go.Well, we hear from our theater colleagues that some such projects are already in the works! So, expect the homegrown musical scene to be more dynamic and eventful starting early next year—or, if we’re both lucky and plucky, even before the 2013 theater season sings its swan song!

Incidentally, we’ve been rapped by some colleagues for recently suggesting other topics for new Filipino musicals. Shaking a testy finger at us, they warn that some of those ideas could be coopted by other artists, so how could we be so “cluelessly” generous?

Frankly, while we appreciate their concern, we don’t think it’s such a big deal, because “sharing” has been part of our career since way back when.

For instance, when we conduct scriptwriting workshops, we suggest “nuggets” of theme, topic, character or plot for our better students to work on, to give them a boost up early in their careers, when they need the help most.

To cite just one example, we once asked the gifted writer, Jerry Gracio, what he thought would happen if God decided to pick as his visionary-healer, not a saintly person, but confoundingly enough, a sinner? That suggestion led Jerry, who’s now one of our most in-demand screenwriters, to mull the “ironic” possibilities over, and come up with the screenplay of the acclaimed film, “Santa Santita,” for Laurice Guillen.

Happy to help, no problem at all. There are “triggering” ideas enough for everybody—especially if they’re as promising as Jerry—who’s now one of our most acclaimed screenwriters!

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