Friday, March 1, 2013

No Saint but not the Devil

At the launch of her latest product endorsement— the pain reliever Ponstan—actress and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, consummate pro that she was, fielded questions about huge national headaches, tossed by host Cito Beltran. In a phone interview with Inquirer Entertainment shortly after, she admitted that the ticklish queries had caught her by surprise. At the launch, she said she was “honored” to have been asked, but that she wasn’t keen on being the running mate of possible presidential candidate Noli de Castro in 2010. She was concentrating on being governor at the moment, she said.

She was sad that intrigues were derailing “good programs,” she added. “Corruption is everywhere, even in the private sector.” Santos told Inquirer that the only way to stop corruption was for “everyone to change.” She said she was intently following political goings-on, particularly the current Senate hearings. The state of the nation was “frustrating,” she said, “[but] I refuse to lose hope.” She said her husband, former Sen. Ralph Recto, often quizzed her on current events. Also, “I listen to the radio on my way to work.” In times of confusion such as these, she asserted, it’s best to “first study all the sides of a story and not to react recklessly.”

Plus factor - She conceded that celebrity is a “plus factor” in politics. “When my [constituents] say I inspire them, that is the best compliment. Being an artist, I know that’s what I give to people.” Trust is one more thing she has earned, she said, “through hard work and honesty. If I cannot deliver something, I say it. I don’t like people waiting in vain.” She pointed out, “No one is perfect. I am no saint, but definitely I am not the devil.” Her husband guides her every step of the way, she said. “He’s my political adviser. He checks all the documents to make sure I wouldn’t get in trouble with the Ombudsman.” Definitely, she said, she isn’t one to be swiftly lured by easy money. “Sanay akong kumita ng pera (I’m used to earning my keep). I’ve been working since I was 9,” she quipped. “I tell my constituents: Please allow me to do movies and commercials. You know how well show business pays.”

In fact, she is one of the highest paid stars in the industry. Apart from Ponstan, she is also the endorser of Bear Brand milk and Ariel detergent. There are three movie offers from Star Cinema—with John Lloyd Cruz, son Luis Manzano and Sharon Cuneta. Plus, she is raring to take the indie route. She looks forward to start work on Raya Martin’s “Independencia” in September or October. “It’s something new for me. We will shoot for just 10 days, everything inside a studio.” - Bayani San Diego Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, 02/21/2008


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