Janno Gibbs, Bing Loyzaga, Manilyn Reynes in one movie for first time

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Nov 12 2021 06:47 AM

Janno Gibbs in 'Mang Jose.' Handout
Janno Gibbs in 'Mang Jose.' Handout

MANILA -- More than two decades ago, Janno Gibbs first essayed a superhero character when he starred in Baby Navoa’s “Ang Pagbabalik ni Pedro Penduko” in 1994 that even had a successful sequel, Erik Matti’s “Pedro Penduko II: The Return of the Comeback” in 2000.

This time, Gibbs is back in another superhero role in “Mang Jose,” taken from Parokya ni Edgar’s 2005 hit of the same title. Acquiring the rights from the band was actually a project of directors Dan Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone, who produced the movie.

“Sila bumili ng song na ‘Mang Jose’ from Parokya ni Edgar,” Gibbs told ABS-CBN News. “Medyo naubos ang budget namin sa song, but it was worth it.”

“Mang Jose” started filming in late 2020 and the project was originally intended for the big screen.

“We started in the last months of 2020 and we continued until the early 2021,” Gibbs offered. “Natagalan because we were trying to wait for the opening of the movie houses.

“We wanted this to be in the theaters because this is a new superhero movie. But Vivamax came in, so ‘Mang Jose’ will be streamed on Vivamax,” he said. 

Gibbs cannot be thankful enough to be back in another superhero role. “After ‘Pedro Penduko,’ ang dami nagre-request for me to do another superhero movie. Ang ganda ng costume ko for ‘Mang Jose.’ Highlight ng movie ang costume talaga. It’s a scene-stealer,” he said.

In the first “Pedro Penduko” in 1994, Gibbs was only in his mid-20s. “Hindi mahirap ang stunts ngayon, but in the first ‘Pedro Penduko,’ bata pa kasi ako noon,” he explained. “Although 90 percent ng action dito sa ‘Mang Jose,’ ako talaga ang gumawa.”

“Action comedy is my forte. That’s my lane pagdating sa movies. I love doing action scenes. I’m a fan of action movies, kaya kahit mahirap, enjoy na enjoy ako sa mga fight scenes.

“I’m a little older now, so mas mahirap na ngayon. But we have a very young team behind us. Our director, Raynier Brizuela, is very young. He’s a lot younger than me. The cinematographer and scriptwriter are also young.”

For Gibbs, doing the fight scenes in his superhero costume was particularly difficult. “Mabigat siya, mainit, plus ‘yung goggles ko, hindi ako masyadong makakita,” he lamented. “So doble ang hirap pagdating sa fight scenes.”

Although he did his first titular superhero film 27 years ago, Gibbs is not throwing in the towel to do another superhero character.

“Honestly, I think physically, I have one more superhero movie in me,” he attested. “I believe kaya ko ang isa pa.”

Manilyn Reynes in 'Mang Jose.' Handout
Manilyn Reynes in 'Mang Jose.' Handout

“Mang Jose” marks the first time that Gibbs is working with his wife, Bing Loyzaga, and his former love team partner, Manilyn Reynes. In fact, it was Gibbs who suggested they all starred in this movie. 

“Pero baka last time na rin siguro na magkakasama kami,” he smilingly teased. “‘Pag magkasama kasi ‘yung dalawa sa tent, si Bing at si Manilyn, puro ako ang pinag-uusapan nila at nilalait nila. Kawawa lang ako.

“We’re all good friends naman, kaming tatlo. Proof to that is pwede ko silang iwanan sa isang tent na magkasama. Hindi ko lang alam kung nag-aaway sila.”

Gibbs actually requested for Reynes to be in the cast of “Mang Jose.”

“Spoiler alert, siya ang pinaka-main villain ni Mang Jose,” Gibbs disclosed. “So to be with her in a movie again makes it even more special.

“Working with Manilyn is always a pleasure. We’ve done a lot of work on TV the past years. We even did a drama series five years ago. Sa movies, walang dumadating na material. Sobrang tagal na naming hindi nagkakasama sa movies.”

Bing Loyzaga in 'Mang Jose.' Handout
Bing Loyzaga in 'Mang Jose.' Handout

Even the inclusion of Loyzaga to the cast was Gibbs' idea. They first worked together, playing their real-life roles as husband and wife, in Edgardo Viñarao’s “Hindi Ako Ander,” back in 1996.

“I was the one who requested for Bing to be in ‘Mang Jose’,” Gibbs admitted. “I really wanted the three of us together in this movie, kasi hindi pa nga nagagawa. I think it’s high time na bago kami tumanda ng tuluyan, magkasama-sama naman kami in one movie.”

Gibbs’ young co-stars Jerald Napoles and Mickoy Morales were initially challenged, if not intimated, to work with him. “Kailangan, at par kami with Janno Gibbs, kasi ‘Pedro Penduko’ ‘yan,” Napoles pointed out.

“Ngayon, siya ‘yung ‘Mang Jose’ na pinapatugtog namin nung nag-aaral pa kami. The song itself is very iconic na. Tapos may icon pa nagaganap. So sabi namin, buti na lang nakakatawa tayo. Kahit papano, alam na namin ang humor ng bawat isa.

“It was not a challenge in a bad way. Marami pa kaming natutunan kasi si Kuya Janno, very collaborative din.”

Morales also had high regard for Gibbs after wrapping up the film. “Hindi siya ‘yung tipong salang, balik sa tent,” he said. “We really talked about our scenes and even outside ng pelikula, nabuo rin ang friendship niya.

“Yung pagiging collaborative niya at ng buong production, nakakapanibago for me. This is not my comfort zone. These are not the people I’m used to working with. So may slight pressure sa akin to step it up and really think outside the box, bukod sa binibigay sa akin.”

There will be an advance screening of “Mang Jose” on November 17, but the regular streaming will start on December 24.

Last June, “Mang Jose” premiered at the 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, where it was screened in the World Fantastic Blue Section.