MANILA, Philippines – Horses have played a huge role in the life of action star-turned-lawmaker Lito Lapid.
It all started when he was in elementary school, when he volunteered to help take care of horses because he wanted to learn how to ride them.
“Hindi ko pwedeng tanggalin ang kabayo sa buhay ko. Kapag tinanong mo si Lito Lapid, ang itatanong agad, ‘Nasaan ang kabayo ni Lito Lapid?’” he said in an interview in the October issue of StarStudio magazine as he shared how he would wake up at 4 a.m. to take the horses to a mountainous area.
Lapid worked as a stuntman and eventually became known for his movies involving horses such as “Alamat ni Leon Guerrero,” “Ang Pagbabalik ni Leon Guerrero” and “Geronimo,” which served as the highlights of his film career.
His horse-riding roles endeared him to the masses, and eventually earned him a seat at the leadership table. He has served as vice governor in Pampanga and is currently a senator of the Philippines, with his term to last until 2016.
“Parang naging suwerte ko na ang kabayo,” he said. “Exercise din ‘yan eh.”
From his humble beginnings as a son of a laundrywoman, Lapid now owns a sprawling provincial home in Porac, Pampanga which stands on 30 individually titled lots. The property also includes fruit-bearing trees, rice fields and open pasture for grazing animals, as well as a swimming pool.
The action star-turned-politician also owns six thoroughbred racehorses and a collection of ceramic figurines. All over his home are crests featuring two horses and the initials “ML,” which stands for Manuel Lapid, his real name.
For his television debut on ABS-CBN, Lapid stars in the upcoming series “Little Champ,” which tells the story of a young boy and – you guessed it – a horse.
“Sabi ni Direk, kapag sinabi na magaling sa kabayo, sino ang papasok sa isip mo? Eh di si Leon Guerrero. Kayo po ‘yon. Kayo ang bida talaga dito, ‘yung bata at ‘yung kabayo. Kaya naisip namin kayo kasi ‘pag naisip ang character na magaling sa kabayo, talagang Lito Lapid at Leon Guerrero,” he said of his newest project, where he will work alongside new child actor JB Agustin.
“Sumikat ako, kasama ko, kabayo. Babalik ako sa acting, kabayo pa rin,” he added.
To see pictures of Lapid's provincial home, buy a copy of the October 2012 issue of ABS-CBN Publishing's StarStudio magazine.
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