Vina and Robin reunite for ‘Bonifacio’
Robin Padilla was the ultimate macho man, a “bad boy” on and off screen. He was rough, he was tough, and hardly spoke a word of English unless necessary. The chiseled, handsome face that millions of fans fell in love with, belied this brashness.
Vina Morales was a sweet-faced, innocent-looking mestiza, much younger than Robin. Her voice catapulted her from singing competitions to a burgeoning film career.
Their pairing was hardly automatic—Padilla with Sharon Cuneta in “Maging Sino Ka Man” (1991) seemed more like a sure thing.
But Robin and Vina had something special. Chemistry wasn’t apparent until the first film, “Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum,” hit the
screens that same year. They went on to star in “Miss na Miss Kita” (1993), “’Di Puwedeng Hindi Puwede!” (1999) and “Eto na Naman Ako” (2000). They reunited in a “Maalaala Mo Kaya” episode in 2011.
Fil-Am director Enzo Williams sought Robin’s opinion when casting Gregoria/Oryang in “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo.” The actor suggested Vina. (The original plan, with Iza Calzado, fell through due to scheduling conflicts.) Seeing Vina with Robin, Enzo knew he had the perfect pair.
The movie is an official entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival. In a fest ruled by comedies, fantasies and horror films, “Bonifacio” could just stand out as one with educational and cultural value.
Daniel Padilla and Jasmine Curtis-Smith play the young, modern pair learning about the lives of Andres and Gregoria. Other stars featured are Eddie Garcia, Jericho Rosales, Isabel Oli and Gabby Concepcion.
The heart of the film is the relationship between Andres and Oryang. So the chemistry between Robin and Vina is crucial.
“Just a few looks, a few movements, and we’re okay,” Robin says of their understanding. “[With us,] the first take is often the best shot.”
Production expenses have exceeded the original budget. A big set was constructed for the battleground in Pagsanjan.
The filmmaker, cast and crew regard their work as something with long-term value. Vina explains: “You can tell that we worked hard on this, and we can proudly pass it on to the next generation. [Film outfit] Philippians Productions didn’t mind splurging, seeing that this movie will be appreciated for a long, long time.”
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