Mark Fernandez: No room for mistakes with dad Rudy

Mark Anthony Fernandez: No room for mistakes with dad Rudy

/ 12:10 AM December 02, 2023

Mark Anthony Fernandez

Mark Anthony Fernandez

The ’90s matinee idols, Gwapings, and today’s heartthrobs, Hashtags, combine their charms in Viva Films’ “Para Kang Papa Mo (opens in cinemas on Dec. 13). Written and megged by Darryl Yap, it is topbilled by Mark Anthony Fernandez, Eric Fructuoso, Jao Mapa, Nikko Natividad, Zeus Collins and Kid Yambao.

The comedy-drama is about a dad with a gay son. Back in the day, the dad had gay benefactors. It’s sort of history repeating itself on a different level. Make that his, her and their story.


Here are quotes from Mark (M), Nikko (N) and Darryl (D):


M: I will always be a proud son. My Papa (Rudy Fernandez) is my idol, but if I had to pinpoint one trait of his that wasn’t OK, it was his being unable to forgive completely. So it was better not to do him wrong. There was no room for mistakes with Papa.

N: I thought my gay role was going to be easy because I assumed na magpapatawa lang ako like what I do on social media. But may drama pala, so I had to step out of my comfort zone.

D: I don’t want to label our film as gay-themed. It is a family film that tackles an issue that has never been touched in Philippine cinema. I always take a risk in my films. Even if not everybody will like it, as long as it elicits a reaction and makes an impact, that’s fine by me.

M: As Gwapings, we have matured as actors, but baby-faced pa rin kami. We were known for doing comedy during our “Palibhasa Lalake” days. But in this film, we let our dramatic side show.

N: Since my dad and I are not on good terms, it was quite hard for me to internalize during our father-son scenes with Mark.

D: Our film is sort of a tribute to ’90s comedy. That was the time when people were not easily offended by jokes. Unlike now when everything must be politically correct. But it also has a touch of millennial comedy because of the Hashtags. So, it’s that combination that sets our film apart.


M: If my son tells me he’s gay, I will talk to him as an adult and advise him. I will give him complete freedom.

N: It was a gamble for me to do this film coz friends told me that working with Direk Darryl might make me get “canceled” on social media due to the controversial nature of his movies. But I’m glad I didn’t listen to them because Direk and I have built a real connection that will last even when our movie is over.

D: One message I want our film to impart is that we must not blame our parents for the bad stuff in our lives. It all boils down to our choices and decisions.

Matteo’s real ‘agimat’



Matteo Guidicelli can hardly contain his excitement for his very first Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) movie, “Penduko” (opens on Dec. 25), to the point that he and his wife, Sarah Geronimo, have put their Christmas travel plans on hold.

He is even game to go topless (like his look on the movie’s poster) during the MMFF parade of floats. Matteo breathes new life into the Pinoy superhero as he leaves the audience breathless with that Penduko mystique.

Here are quotes from Matteo:

I don’t want to be overconfident about our film, even if people tell me it’s likely to be the MMFF top-grosser. But I’m excited for the audience to experience the Penduko universe we created.

Sarah knows I enjoy putting myself in danger, so she didn’t get alarmed even if I had rigorous training for my fight scenes. Penduko is part of Pinoy pop culture so I gave it my all.

I have always been more Pinoy than Italian. Doing this movie made me appreciate Pinoy heritage all the more.

I saw myself in Penduko because after every fall, I get back on my feet smiling … just like him.

My Army Ranger training kind of prepared me for this film. So the action stunts were second nature to me.

I did not watch the Penduko movies of Ramon Zamora, Janno Gibbs and Matt Evans. I just watched snippets because I wanted to come in with a fresh take and not as a copycat. Our version reflects how the world is today, with social media and digitalization interlaced with Pinoy culture.

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When I was in the Army, soldiers showed me their agimat, which they claim kept them alive through all the battles. So there’s no harm in believing in agimat. My lucky charm is my gold necklace, which I never take off even while I’m sleeping. Its pendants are a cross, Mama Mary, a corn and a South Sea pearl. But my real agimat is Sarah.

TAGS: Dollywood, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Matteo Guidicelli

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