MANILA - ANC host Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV plays a small but crucial role in the docu-drama "The Last Journey of Ninoy" about slain Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
However, as Bam revealed in an interview on ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda", he was initially reluctant to accept the title role in the 52-minute documentary. He was asked to come on the project about a year and a half ago.
"Sabi ko, you know, 'I never acted in my life. Hindi naman ako artista.' So sabi ko baka hindi ko mabigyan ng hustisya 'yong role," he said.
But when he found out that the documentary's team were doing it for free or for a small fee, Aquino immediately jumped at the chance. "Nahiya naman ako. Sabi ko, 'Who am I to say no to this project, when everyone else is so bigay na bigay doon sa proyekto'," he said.
Bam said he was less initimidated by the role when Jun Reyes, a commercial director by trade, told him that he would only be required to stand around in some scenes. However, he was still taught by an acting coach on set.
"[Jun Reyes] said 'Huwag kang mag-alala kasi hindi ka naman talaga aarte. Tatayo-tayo ka lang doon kasi re-enactment lang siya.' Pero pagdating ko doon, the first day of the shooting, may acting coach bigla. So, sabi ko, teka lang parang... medyo may konting acting talaga," he said.
Bam described the docu-drama as "heartwarming." He confessed that he was emotional during the documentary's filming and that he cries every time he watches the movie. Though his scenes are few, he said he feels honored to play the role of a great leader and martyr.
"You know, I've watched it about 4 or 5 times already. Every time, naiiyak pa din ako. Kasi unang una 'yong buhay niya means so much not only to me but to all of us Filipinos," he said.
Bam said that his father Paul, the brother of Ninoy, was also part of the project as the voice of Ninoy Aquino. He said they learned so much from doing the film, including historical facts that they never heard of.
"I also didn't know this, but he left [the] US pala a week earlier than the 21st, tapos pumunta pa siyang Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, [and] Taiwan before going to the Philippines," he said.
"The Last Journey of Ninoy" details the last few days of the former senator. Produced by Unitel Productions and the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation, the film is now showing at the Powerplant Mall.
The film was originally slated to premiere on August 4, but was postponed when Ninoy's wife, former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino, passed away on August 1 due to cardiac arrest.
The documentary was also shown on August 21, the death anniversary of Ninoy.