‘Unli-bala, unli-tauhan’? John Arcilla has serious, funny answers to ‘Probinsyano’ memes

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2021 05:48 PM | Updated as of Jun 09 2021 08:15 PM

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Screen veteran John Arcilla, whose villain character in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” has been hunting down Coco Martin’s Cardo for years, has both serious and funny answers to fans’ observations that he seems to have “unli-bala” and “unli-tauhan” in the iconic series.

“Magagalit ang sponsor!” Arcilla quipped, as he explained the likely reason his character Renato Hipolito, as well as Cardo’s Task Force Agila, are not shown re-loading their firearms onscreen.

“Pag kinuhanan pa namin ang lahat ng pagpapalit nila ng bala, mauubos ang isang episode!” he said, laughing.

Speaking with ABS-CBN News, Arcilla also offered a more serious explanation as to Hipolito’s “unli-tauhan,” or gunmen, who came in waves to attack Cardo as seen in the series’ recent, record-breaking episodes.

“Magaling ako sa intelligence as Renato Hipolito,” Arcilla said of his character, a terror group leader who successfully infiltrated national government, first as secretary of defense, and later as senator.

His connections as a terrorist as well as a corrupt government official, would likely afford Hipolito dozens of hired guns.

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At the same time, Arcilla pointed out that “Ang Probinsyano” seeks to entertain with larger-than-life sequences, among them Hipolito’s relentless pursuit of Cardo and Agila. Some scenes, he said, would ultimately call for suspension of disbelief, if they are to be enjoyed.

Aside from feedback to memorable scenes in the series, Arcilla has personally received messages from viewers about his portrayal of Hipolito, including some that admittedly concerned him at one point.

“Actually, naging anxiety ko iyon for a while,” he said, referring to threats from obsessive fans related to his character.

While Arcilla has since learned to handle better such messages, he lamented how some viewers are unable to distinguish between an actor and their screen portrayals.

“Iyon din siguro ‘yung naging dahilan kung bakit nakipagbiruan ako sa [followers] lately, para ipakita sa kanila na, ‘Come on, don’t take it seriously! This is just a teleserye, we’re just giving you some fun.’

“At the same time, we’re also trying to give some relevance. Of course, we also want to impart some lessons, kung ano ‘yung nangyayari sa ating society, sa ating family, hindi lang naman purely entertainment,” he said.

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