MANILA -- Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. was only seven years old when he was exposed to the glitz and glamor of show business 50 years ago.
He didn’t mind playing bit roles in the action films of his dad, Senator Ramon Revilla, Sr. The first was Armando Herrera’s “Hulihin si Tiagong Akyat” (1973).
“Dinadaanan lang ako ng camera before,” Revilla told ABS-CBN News. “Ang daddy ko talaga, bata pa lang kaming mga anak niya, he would involve us in the production of his films.”
Acting is in his blood, according to Revilla. “Kaya ‘yung parang lukso ng dugo, showbiz talaga,” he asserted. “’Yung sa public service, dumating na lang ‘yan, nandito na ako sa showbiz.
“Hindi ko pinangarap ang pulitika. That came much later. Sana nag-abogado ako. Showbiz talaga ‘yung first love ko.”
When he became a teenager, Revilla started making his own name in the entertainment industry. He starred in the film, “Bianong Bulag,” where he played the young lead. The film was directed by his late father.
Revilla was 17 years old when his dad introduced him to veteran talent manager Lolit Solis and entrusted his career to her. To date, Revilla has been with Solis for 40 years.
It was in 1983 when father and son worked in the memorable action-drama, “Dugong Buhay,” megged by Carlo J. Caparas.
“Ang daddy ko talaga ang naging mentor ko,” admitted Revilla. “Hindi lang sa paggawa ng pelikula kung hindi pati sa pag-arte, siya ang humubog sa akin hanggang sa aking paglaki.”
It was in 1987 when Revilla starred in Pepe Marcos’ “Boboy Tibayan: Tigre ng Cavite,” which became a blockbuster hit that opened more doors and opportunities for him in the industry.
For his golden anniversary in show business, the Titanic Action Star will invite both Kapamilya and Kapuso artists to the occasion, which happens to be also his 57th birthday on September 25.
“I cannot ask for anything more now that I will celebrate my 50 years in showbiz,” Revilla said. “I’m really thankful to the Lord for all the blessings that He gave me and my family.
“Hindi ko maaabot ang lahat ng ito kung hindi dahil sa Panginoon. Kasama din ang lahat ng nagtiwala sa akin through the years – producers, directors, production staff, stuntmen, my fellow artists and the fans. I’m really thankful to everyone.”
Revilla’s better half, Rep. Lani Mercado, volunteered to arrange and organize everything that will happen on September 25.
“I want all our friends in showbiz who will attend to set aside politics,” said Revilla. “I really want both Kapamilya and Kapuso artists to be there.
“We must all realize na iisa ang dugong nananalaytay sa amin. Dugong artista lamang, dugong showbiz. So dapat magkaisa lang. Sama-sama tayo. Huwag nating hatiin ang industriya because of politics.”
Revilla is preparing for an action-drama film with former child star Jillian Ward, who starred with him in Tony Reyes’ “Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote” (2010).
Two years after that, Revilla and Ward were seen in Reyes’ “Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote at si Ako” (2012).
Their new film together, with a working title “Lagot Ka sa Tatay Ko,” is slated to be shown possibly in the summer Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) next year or Father’s Day next June.
“Buo na ang script pero pina-polish ko pa,” Revilla said. “Enzo Williams will direct. It will be comedy, action and drama na rin.
“Gusto natin makatulong sa film industry. Buhayin natin ulit ang cinema. Tulong-tulong tayo. Kaya I’m also encouraging my fellow actors to help.”