Baron Geisler swears he is now a changed man because of fatherhood

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Feb 19 2021 06:07 AM


MANILA -- After he settled down and became a family man last year, Baron Geisler now worries about the milk and diapers of his daughter, something that never became his concerns in the past.

Now based in Cebu City, where he relocated with his wife, physician Jamie Evangelista, whom he married in 2019, Geisler is now a proud dad of Talitha Cumi or Tali, his daughter who just turned one last January 28. He admittedly worries about different things these days.

“Sinubukan ko ang simpleng buhay sa Cebu,” Geisler told ABS-CBN News. “Sobrang simpleng buhay. It kind of worked. Nakatulong siya na magpa-humble sa akin.”

He even sold his car and opted to embark on business ventures in Cebu, like apparel and a barber shop. “Kapag dumami na ang projects, madali ng bumili ng car at magpagawa ng bahay,” Geisler reasoned out.

“I know marami rin nakakaranas ng pinagdadaan ko ngayon. I learned how to live a simple life. You don’t need a lot to be happy. As long as you have a roof above your head, food on the table, shoes. Even air-conditioning, bonus na lang ‘yan. And good friends are important.”

After nearly three decades, Geisler, who joined showbiz as a child performer in 1994 via “Ang TV,” remains a sought-after actor. Last December, he inked a management contract with Viva Artists Agency (VAA), where he started working on a TV series and even a film.

Ever the controversial actor who previously figured in one altercation after another, Geisler can be likened to a boy who cried wolf every time he gets into trouble and comes out seemingly unscathed.

Yet, a good actor will never be out of the limelight because he is always given a chance to bounce back. This time, however, the 38-year-old Geisler claims being a father softened him. 

‘”Yung character ko ngayon, hindi na ako maangas,” Geisler said. “Maybe, kailangan ko ang angas na ‘yan kapag kailangan ng pamilya sa pagbanat ng buto. Dahil may pamilya na ako, ayoko na ng gulo, for the sake of my wife and daughter.

“As much as possible, kung may maghahamon sa akin, tatakbo na lang siguro ako. Ayoko na ng kaaway, especially kung kaibigan natin.”

BAD BOY IMAGE

Geisler is best remembered in the youth-oriented series, “Gimik” and the widely-followed weekly afternoon soap, “Tabing Ilog.”

Tagged as the “Johnny Depp of the Philippines” because of his stellar acting and bad boy image, Geisler is known for those two sides of the coin. As part of Viva now, Geisler assured he will still give his nod to bad boy roles.

“You will see that in my movies and teleserye,” Geisler said of being a bad boy. “It’s not even an image. Baron is different now. I’m also treading a different path.

“Everyone knows that I’m a father and a husband now. Those are my major roles now. Not just for the meantime, but forever."

Geisler is known for his early portrayals in such films as Rory Quintos’ “Anak” (2000), Gilbert Perez’s “Jologs” (2002) and Wenn Deramas’ “Ang Tanging Ina” (2003).

In 2008, Geisler won best actor in Francis Xavier Pasion’s Cinemalaya entry, “Jay,” where he essayed a gay producer in the critically acclaimed title role. 

Geisler was later seen displaying his innate acting talent in director Mark Meily’s “El Presidente” (2012), the historical biopic on General Emilio Aguinaldo, with ER Ejercito in the title role. It became an official entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Geisler insisted he was the one who shied away from the industry. In 2018, he acted and co-produced the documentary project, “Beastmode: A Social Experiment,” directed by Eshei Mesina and Banuk Amante.

“Beastmode,” which also starred Kiko Matos and Khalil Versoza, premiered in The Netherlands and was also shown in schools.

In 2019, Geisler worked with director Brillante Mendoza in the film, “Bangsamoro,” where he and Piolo Pascual play brothers affected by the crossfire. "It was a very heartwarming story,” Geisler shared.

They were joined by Christopher de Leon and Laurice Guillen. “Grateful ako kay Piolo,” admitted Geisler. “He was busy so his original role, he gave it to me. We even had to learn the Maguindanaoan dialect.”

Also in 2019, Geisler essayed the villain role of Dante in FPJ’s “Ang Probinsiyano.”

LOCKDOWN SHOOT

Last January, Viva already gave Geisler an acting project and included him in the teleserye, “Kagat ng Dilim.” No wonder, he is excited to work again.

“I am very grateful to be included in the roster of talents of Viva,” Geisler allowed. “May pang ekonomiya at pang-gatas na ako ngayon. I’m very blessed to be part of the Viva family.”

Adding to his credentials recently are aspiring poet, businessman and dedicated father.

Geisler will also be seen in director Darryl Yap’s “Tililing,” where he is joined by Donnalyn Bartolome, Yumi Laxamana, Candy Pangilinan, Gina Pareno.

‘Tililing’ is a funny and crazy film,” Geisler said. “I remember we were still shooting when the lockdown was declared last year.

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“When I signed up with Viva, they made me feel that I truly belong. They listen to me. They are giving me importance. They are very open-minded and open with creative suggestions. Everything that we talked about, I know they are not just promises. I am very happy to be back in the industry.”

Geisler had realizations in 2020 that admittedly became important to him. “Now, family comes first,” he insisted. “More than any material things, family is the most important thing in the world.

“I learned how to be compassionate towards other people. Hindi na ‘yung puro what’s in it for me? I learned how to remove selfishness and to be of service to other people. Naging frontliner din ako for a time. I was going to the barangays and doing the feeding program.”

The actor also learned discipline. “By God’s grace, I just obeyed and followed the rules,” Geisler said. “I stayed home. I had that total surrender and obedience. I renewed my spiritual contact with my Creator for strength.”

ONE-MAN SHOW

His normal day always includes playtime with his daughter Tali. “Even if she has a yaya, nire-wrestling ko siya,” Geisler shared. “Sa Cebu, there’s this exercise program that we do regularly. Tuma-tumbling siya. I roll over with her. It’s such a nice bonding moment for the two of us. Ang sarap ng feeling.”

The couple is looking forward to their church wedding one day soon. “We want to have one more baby,” Geisler admitted. “We are hoping for a boy. Before I turn 40, I want to do that. Papatulong kami sa siyensiya.”

Back in 2017, Geisler also made his theater acting debut when he played Tikbalang in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Aurelio Sedisyoso.” He expressed his desire to act onstage again. In fact, he was recently approached by singer-actor Roeder, while they were both in Cebu.

“Roeder asked me if I’m willing to do a one-man show,” Geisler disclosed. “I said, ‘Why not?’ I suggested to him to just pair me with [actress] Angeli Bayani. We can do a reversal of roles, like in [Tennessee Williams’] ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ Maybe something experimental.”

The year 2020 was not productive for Geisler as an actor and that was understandable. Yet, overall, he never regretted anything that happened last year.

“I consider 2020 as a blessing in disguise,” Geisler maintained. “Marami akong natutunan. I got to take care of my daughter. Naging hands-on pa kami ng asawa ko, si Jamie.

“Magkano na ang gatas ngayon? I would monitor and say, ‘Dalawang lata na lang ito. Kailangan nating bumili.’ I think mas nakilala ko rin ang sarili ko last year. I read a lot of books. Itong nangyari sa atin in this pandemic, dito mo mate-test ang character ng isang tao.”

Geisler can now attest that God indeed provides. “Ang pangkabuhayan ko, whenever I pray, God answers. The universe provides. A miracle will happen. May pambili ako ng gatas at diaper para kay baby Tali.

“I always pray to God on days when I feel na wala na ako sa industriya at wala ng kukuha sa akin. Lord, please give me an opening. Just one call to start again.

“He hears my prayer. Kung may magsarado man na pintuan. He will open a window of opportunities. This is it with Viva.”

Also last year, Geisler learned to be more responsible with every action or responsibilities given to him. “Especially the opportunities given to me. I gave up material things and I learned to be selfless,” he pointed out.

“I realized I had a lot of character defects. Along the way, I got to process that with my real friends in Cebu, especially my wife. I was able to fix my dried spots and character defects.

“I am still working on that. No one is perfect. I know it takes time for a person’s behavior to really change, 180 degrees. I could see naman na malaki na rin ang improvements ko. “

GRATEFUL

Geisler will remain grateful to his mentors in the industry. When he was still doing “Tabing Ilog” on ABS-CBN, he recalled how director Andoy Ranay got peeved when he reported to the set without knowing his lines.

“Binato niya ‘yung script sa mukha ko. Tapos nag-walk out siya. I told myself, I will not let that happen to me again.

“Tito Johnny Delgado also approached me. He gave me books that really helped and guided me. Even Direk Erik Matti was a mentor to me.”

Geisler admitted he was really selfish previously, especially when he was younger. “What I think about is my time, what I want and what works for me. Now, I have to think about the people who go in to the set to fix the lights, cameras ahead of time. I have to think of people before we seat inside our sweet cars, reading our script.

“I gave up my being selfish. I gave up material things. I learned to be selfless. May nagtanong sa akin what I learned in 2020. I just learned how to be more responsible with every action or responsibilities given to me. Especially the opportunities like this na binibigay sa akin ng Viva ngayon.”

Active for nearly three decades in the industry, Geisler realized the reason he wants to stay as an actor. “God’s gift ang talent,” he attested. “I might as well use my talent to influence, entertain and make people happy. I know my purpose and I realized why God brought me back to the industry.”

Still, Geisler sets no limitations on the projects that he will do. He previously agreed to do nudity in “Jay.” Yet, he knows he is no longer suited to do it again now that he has a daughter.

“I believe that all the things that Viva will have me do as an actor is well guided and well thought of,” Geisler said. “Even sexy scenes, hindi na bagay sa akin ngayon na tatay na ako.

“All the things that Viva will make me do as their talent and as an actor, I just trust their decisions. They know what’s right for me.”

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