Allen Dizon recalls sex-symbol phase
MANILA, Philippines - One of the most in-demand sexy actors during the late ‘90s was Allen Dizon.
This hunk of an actor, still physically formidable at 34, did more than 30 sexy movies during his prime - when doing “pito-pito” skin flicks was very much the vogue during a murkey chapter in our cinema.
It's a chapter that also pays a nod to the "bomba" phenomenon of the Seventies - as documented and analyzed by passionate film archivists and even the electic-minded members of the Manunuri.
The stars from that bygone era have since turned toward the path of respectability and critical acclaim, although their early, freewheeling, and frankly more enjoyable films are still available in YouTube for the appreciation of any open-minded scholar of film and pop culture.
Allen's contribution to cinema includes films with saucy titles like "Hilig ng Katawan," "Tatlong Makasalanan," "Malikot ang Agos ng Tubig," "Tumitibok, Kumikirot," and "Shirley."
Among the latest entries in his still-developing filmography, as catalogued in imdb.com, is one different animal altogether - the historical drama "El presidente."
Diverse film body
Allen's latest film is something that can be assigned to (if categories are in order) the "critically-acclaimed" territory - the Sineng Pambansa entry "Lauriana," by the great Mel Chionglo (himself no stranger to sexy melodramas).
Here Allen does another sex scene, but this time within the scrupulous confines of committed cinema.
Allen has no qualms about the diversity of his film body. He is even candid enough to admit that it was really all about the money at first.
“Lahat naman ng pumapasok sa ganyang trabaho, [iyan ang] unang reason," he said. (Everybody who goes into that line of work does it for that reason.)
"During my time, ang daling kumita ng pera basta willing kang maghubad [it was easy to make money so long as you were willing to go in the buff] and do the love scenes.
"I must admit, nag-enjoy din naman ako [I had a good time]. But I was very careful with the money I earned doing those skin flicks.
"Hindi ako waldas na tao. Lahat ng pinaghirapan ko, naipon ko, and I am proud to say na lahat ng meron ako ay dahil sa pagtatrabaho ko.” (I'm not a spendthrift. A lot of what I earned, I saved, and I am proud to say that everything I own came from work.)
Allen runs a number of enterprises in his home province of Pampanga where he lives with his wife and children. He has also ventured into film-producing and financed some independent films.
Change in image
"I am thankful to have good mentors in my business and career," he said.
"When I reached my 30s doon na ako nag-decide na tigilan ko na ang pagpapa-sexy [that's when I decided that I had enough of going sexy].
"Hindi na kasi magandang tingnan [It doesn't look good for me anymore]. Ibigay na natin sa mas bata sa atin [Let's leave that to the younger ones].
"Tsaka iba na ang mga hinihingi sa akin, eh [And they were asking me to go further]. Gusto na nila ng [They wanted] frontal nudity.
"Hindi ko na kaya iyon. Kaya tama lang [I couldn't do that anymore. So it's just right] that I decided to reinvent myself as a serious actor."
If the industry has its share of exploiters, he also has good friends there. Through their support, Allen was able to make his transition to real acting, generating critical notice for performances in films like "Sigwa," "Dukot," "Paupahan," and "Twilight Dancers."
Best Supporting Actor
The last-mentioned film, directed by Chionglo, still has its links to Allen's early films. But perhaps in the same mold as Lino Brocka's "Macho Dancers," "Twilight Dancers" was fueled by an earnest thematic agenda and it led to Allen's winning the Best Supporting Actor awards at the FAMAS and Star Awards in 2007.
"Matagal din bago ako natanggap as an actor [It took a while before I became accepted as an actor]," he said.
"Meron pa rin na ang tingin sa ‘yo ay bold actor. Hindi naman kasi agad mawawala iyon." (Some still see me as I was before. That won't just go away.)
"But slowly I gained respect. Noong i-cast na ako sa mga teleserye, doon na nila nakitang iba na itong si Allen Dizon." (When they started casting me in teleseryes, that's when people saw that Allen Dizon had changed.)
Soon enough he was being offered different roles, especially when the indie-film market took off.
"Parati na lang akong kinukuha, lalo na si Direk Joel Lamangan. Isa siya sa mga taong naging malaking tulong sa pagbabago ng image ko as an actor.” (I would always be hired, especially by Joel Lamangan. He was one of those who were a big help in my change of image as an actor.)
Besides Chionglo's "Lauriana," Allen's other notable film in 2013 is Lamangan's "Burgos: A Mother's Love."
Allen said he was at first hesitant to do the love scene in "Lauriana," together with lead actress Bangs Garcia. But in the end, he couldn't say no to Direk Mel, also because of his admiration for the filmmaker's artistic integrity.
But after "Lauriana," that's it with love scenes for Allen. “Sa tunay na buhay na lang [Only in real life],” he laughed. - Rappler.com
Here's the trailer of 'Lauriana' from Mark Joseph Llona's YouTube: