MMFF 2020: ‘Pakboys Takusa’ star Andrew E grateful to be a Kapamilya

MANILA — Even when other talents saw the need to transfer to another network when ABS-CBN lost its franchise, rapper-comedian Andrew E opted to stay as a Kapamilya, where his career clearly had a second wind.

Since 2010, when he was invited to be a regular judge on “It’s Showtime,” Andrew E has been given a chance to be visible again on TV. Subsequently, he even headlined a Star Cinema film, Randy Santiago’s “Raketeros,” shown in 2013.

In 2016, Andrew E ventured into TV acting and joined the cast of the primetime teleserye, “Dolce Amore,” playing the biological father of Liza Soberano.

The following year, Andrew E sat as one of the Sing-vestigators in the first season of the reality competition, “I Can See Your Voice.” The TV program is now on its third season, that started this pandemic, with Andrew E still on the roster of regular talents.

“I consider myself as a Kapamilya,” Andrew E stressed. “Marami na akong ginawa for the network. Grateful ako always to every project na binigay sa akin.”

Back in the ’90s, Andrew E. became one of the biggest music stars when his “Humanap Ka ng Panget” became a rap anthem. He subsequently became an actor, when he was paired with many good-looking actresses.

From beauty queens to sexy stars even the Megastar, Andrew E had the prime of his career having worked with big names. He starred opposite Sharon Cuneta in Eddie Rodriguez’s “Megamol” (1994), Maricel Soriano in Ben Feleo’s “Manchichiritchit” (1993) and Charlene Gonzalez in Feleo’s “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko” (1994).

“Noong pinasok ko ang showbiz, I know for a fact, I am not a part of this,” Andrew E. asserted. “Naisip mo bang mag-aartista ang isang tulad ko at makikilala ng tao?

“Ang dami kong sinalihan na auditions before. Even sa ‘That’s Entertainment,’ nag-audition ako. Hindi ako nagdamdam. Tanggap ko lahat ng nangyari sa akin.”

Andrew E. was first paired with Ana Roces in Feleo’s “Alabang Girls” (1992). That same year, they co-starred in Feleo’s “Mahirap Maging Pogi.” In 1993, Andrew E. and Roces again worked in Feleo’s “Pretty Boy.”

Word got around that Andrew E previously courted Roces, but no romance happened then. Today, they have remained good friends.

After more than two decades, they are working together anew in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, “Pakboys Takusa,” directed by Al Tantay for Viva Films. Last year, Tantay also worked at the helm of Andrew E’s comedy starrer, “Sanggano, Sanggago’t, Sangwapo.”

“Hindi ako nagtatampo or hindi ako marunong maghinanakit,” Andrew admitted. “A lot of people nagtaka why this face was launched before. Everything, kailangan lang maging thankful ka.”

Apparently, Andrew E is getting a second wind even in his film acting career. “Somebody told me before, how ungrateful ang [showbiz] industry,” Andrew E said. “Kahit na ano ginawa mo, hindi ka pasasalamatan.

“Kung hindi ako pasalamatan, ayos lang sa akin. No harm done. Even before I started, I always told myself, ‘Just do your best. Make sure, tatatak sa tao ang ginawa mo. Make sure they will value what you did and they will value you.’ Hindi mo na dapat hanapin to please value me.”

He is simply thankful that he got to reunite on the digital screen with Roces, whom he admittedly courted before. “Closure na itong film for Ana and I,” Andrew E said. “Busted ako before. Talagang busted. Malaking realization ‘yun sa aking career na talagang hindi kami ni Ana.”

Andrew E was content to playing support on TV. “Tatay ng bida, kaibigan, uncle. I worked with superstars before. Boss Vic [Del Rosario] told us, may trust pa rin siya sa amin. He assured us nandiyan pa rin ang mga fans.”

In “Pakboys Takusa,” one of the two comedy entries in this year’s MMFF, the other being Topel Lee’s “Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim” with Vhong Navarro, Andrew E shares stellar billing with fellow comedians Janno Gibbs, Dennis Padilla and Jerald Napoles.

After only four days, the “Pakboys Takusa” trailer immediately went viral and registered 23.7 million views on YouTube.

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“Nagpapasalamat ako sa more than 20 million views on our trailer.,” Andrew E said. “The fact that Jerald Napoles was included in our cast, very thankful kaming kahat. Same melody ang aming comedy, no manipulation.”

“Pakboys Takusa” is set to re-introduce Andrew E’s kind of comedy to a younger audience. “Ang platform of our movie is for the millennials, for the younger generation,” Andrew E said.

The comedy film is not a replacement for “Private Benjamin 3” with Vice Ganda or Fifth Solomon’s “The Exorcism of My Siszums” with Alex Gonzaga, who both backed out of the MMFF.

“Pakboys Takusa” stood on its merit, according to Viva Films executive, June Torrejon-Rufino. “Even if the film will be shown online, there’s nothing we can do. We have to go with the new normal. We are still happy that ‘Pakboys’ still became a part of this year’s MMFF.”

All entries will be shown via Upstream, the latest digital screen for the MMFF entries.

“We cannot deny the fact that it is better to watch this movie on the big screen,” said Andrew E about their fiilm. “Kasi, ‘pag tumawa ka, may kasama kang tatawa. May kahampasan ka sa comedy. Ito ay isang masaya pero pilyong pelikula, dahil pilyo din ang director naming.”

Still, they are nonetheless thankful they are part of this year’s MMFF. “Around the world, in Asia or Europe, mga malulungkot na OFWs at kababayan na nasa abroad. You cannot quantify the happiness that we will bring to the OFWs,” Andrew E said.

“In terms of returns, ma-monitor agad online when you watch the movie. They can watch it at their convenience and own time. That’s the silver lining of online streaming.”

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