By Nickie Wang/ Manila Standard Today
Is Cesar Montano going to run for a political post again? Well, the right person to answer this question is no other than Cesar himself.
The actor plunged into politics when he made a sudden decision to join the Senate slate in the 2007 elections under the administration’s TEAM Unity. Critics said it was an immature and bad decision. Apart from the fact that actors are no longer popular in winning the elections, Cesar’s senatorial bid was unexpected and his platform was too limited to arts and culture development, relatively unpopular among voters.
“No regrets at all. I learned a lot of things from that experience,” said Cesar during a short talk with the press after the launch of Western Union Gold Card at Teatrino in Greenhills recently.
Cesar is challenged by a clamor asking him to enter politics again. This time, Boholanos are asking him to run as a governor in his hometown.
“I’m almost considering it,” said the 46-year-old actor and occasional movie director. “What delay my decision are questions that I need to answer like, ‘Can I live there for five days and stay here in Manila for just two days to check on my kids?’ Or ‘Can I just transfer my kids there to study, what about my shows and shooting?’ And there are more questions that I need to discuss with my wife,” Cesar explained.
The actor is considering other matters that do not just involve his family but also the people and the province he would be serving in case he’d be voted for a government position. He mentioned that his presence in Bohol would be greatly needed as the father of the province.
The finality of his answer also depends on the decision of his wife, Sunshine Cruz. The Singing Bee host said he is consulting Sunshine and that they are both going to decide on the matter.
“We’ve talked about this thing but I told her that there’s no need to hurry deciding on it. I told her that we could decide later on, maybe on the last quarter of the year,” the actor said, noting the sentiments of his wife and family.
Once final with his decision, Cesar would be up against congressmen from the province who are in their last terms. There is also a strong possibility that the incumbent vice governor of the province would be his strong rival. When asked about the qualifications that suits him for the position, the award-winning actor exclaimed, “The island of Bohol is a tourist zone, I’m in [the] film business. Movie is a great and a very powerful medium to elevate the tourism of an island. I’m saying that because na-prove ko na ’yan with Panaghoy Sa Suba that won 37 awards from abroad. I was able to introduce Loboc River through the film, and dumagsa ang mga tourists sa lugar after that.”
Panaghoy Sa Suba, also referred as Cry of the River, is a 2004 film that earned different accolades here and abroad. Cesar produced, directed and starred the film.
Cesar is excited about a new project that he is willing to do this year even if he wouldn’t get any support from any big film outfits.
“I’m interested to do the [movie on] Francisco Dagohoy, kasi talagang taga-Bohol ’yun. Si Francisco Dagohoy, led the longest revolt in the Philippines, his story is part of our history. Another one is Eskaya, parang alibata ’yan… Alibata [a pre-Spanish writing system] from Luzon, Eskaya from the south,” Cesar discussed.
Eskaya, which Cesar is very excited about, is actually a name of an indigenous group found in the mountainous area of Bohol. Its language Eskayan interestingly has no clear relationship with any known language.
“Many people think that early Filipinos were illiterate. They didn’t know that Filipinos could communicate, we could write, we could read already, even before, way before the Spanish came to the Philippines. We need to share this to the world. I’m thinking of doing it this year, kahit indie I will do it, the Philippines has to do it,” the determined actor said.
Cesar added that he is in regular talk with his Hollywood contacts that would be instrumental in introducing Bohol as good place for location shoot for international movies.
“Two weeks ago, I was in the US. Kausap ko ’yung nag-produce ng The Great Raid [Cesar’s first Hollywood film] and Titanic. I meet people and I gather stories suited for international release. ’Yung mga stories na pwedeng gamitan ng 70 percent na salitang Ingles para maging American picture, parang Slumdog [Millionaire]. We don’t lack talents, we only need to be aggressive, and we need contacts,” the actor related.
He already foresees the project that he might get involved with once elected. To the question that connects him to running as a governor of Bohol in the elections next year, “I’m 70 percent sure,” was his answer.
“Isa pa ’yan na pwede kong gawin sa Bohol . But if I can prove to our Hollywood connections that Bohol is one of the safest places to shoot a movie, then with just one film, ang tourism ay aangat,” he ended and coined the word Bohollywood.