Anthony Roquel was popularly known as Tonette Macho, a gay character in the popular sitcom "Iskul Bukol." Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN Christian Fellowship on Facebook
MANILA -- A former gay comedian is now a straight man, thanks to his religious faith.
Anthony Roquel, best known as Tonette Macho, the gay character in the sitcom "Iskul Bukol," shared his transformation during an ABS-CBN Christian Fellowship on Thursday.
"Ang kabaklaan ko dati on a scale of one to ten, is 11. I tried everything that moves," Roquel said.
At that time, he believed that he was born a homosexual and that he will surely die one. According to Roquel, he knew he was gay since the age of six and lived as a homosexual man for 32 years.
However, an invitation from actress Coney Reyes and an experience in Hong Kong led him to be "free" from the lie that he has been living.
In 1991, after his stint in "Iskul Bukol," Roquel worked as a casting director for Reyes. At that time, the actress treated them to a trip to Hong Kong.
However, they were stranded in the foreign country after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
According to Roquel, he prayed as he wanted to go home and see his family, after being stranded for nine days.
Roquel and his group were among the first passengers to arrive in the country after the disaster. After his experience, he knew he was ready to accept the Lord.
"Sabi ko kay Ate Coney, ready na ako. Pero gusto ko, 'yung cheap na Born Again," he said, referring to how he used to think of Christians dancing and singing in fellowship.
Roquel became a Christian in 1991. "When I accepted Him, I was never the same," he said.
His past as Tonette
Roquel considered his stint in "Iskul Bukol" as scandalous such that he received a warning from the then Board of Censors.
"Walang sinabi ang mga sexy stars dati. Kapag binigyan mo ako ng kapirasong tela, susuotin ko 'yun. Tapos magsusuot ako ng maikling short, ka-dangkal lang. Damit ko na 'yun," he said.
Upon becoming Christian, Roquel realized that there were some factors in his childhood that led to his being gay, including having an absentee father.
"Akala nila kapag nagtrabaho sila sa abroad, sila ay pagpapalain. Akala nila kapag iniwan nila ang kanilang mga maliliit na anak, pagbalik nila sila ay yayaman," he said.
"Nabilanggo ako ng 32 taon sa isang kasalanang hindi ko ginusto. Ang kasinungalingan na ipinanganak akong bakla at mamamatay akong bakla," he added.
Roquel has since changed his lifestyle. From being a homosexual, he is now a straight man who follows the Lord.
From Tonette to Bro. Anthony
Roquel, who now prefers to be called Brother Anthony, spends his time sharing the word of the Lord to those who want to be transformed. From being a homosexual, he is now a conservative, believing that God only created men and women, and not homosexuals.
For him, being a homosexual is the devil's way of getting back at families.
"The truth is, walang ipinanganak na bakla, walang ipinanganak na tomboy. Kaya maraming bakla at tomboy dahil galit ang diablo sa inyong pamilya," he said.