MANILA, Philippines – Robin Padilla described the story of retired Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa as a “Cinderella Man” tale, something he said was similar to the life of senator and boxer Manny Pacquiao.
At the press conference of the movie Bato: The General Ronald dela Rosa Story on Thursday, January 24, Robin said, “Masaya naman po ako na dahil ginampanan ko naman ‘yung buhay ni General Bato. Dahil sa akin pong palagay, kapag pinagtabi mo si Manny Pacquiao at si General Bato, iisa lang ang story nila. Dahil sa saksakan ng hirap ng mga tao pero hindi sila namahay doon sa pagiging mahirap. Gumawa sila ng paraan, ginamit nila yung una, yung tapang nila at ginamit nila yung pananampalataya nila sa Diyos para umangat sila at makarating sila sa pagtulong sa mga mahihirap.
(I am very happy because I was able to portray the life story of General Bato. Because I believe, when you put Manny Pacquiao and General Bato next to each other, they have one story. Life was very hard for them but poverty did not stop them. They did something by first, using their courage and their faith in God for them to rise from the challenges and give by helping the poor.)
“Kaya po ako eh, kung ano man ang nakikita n’yo sa TV na friendship ni Manny Pacquiao at General Bato, totoo po iyon. Dahil pareho silang Cinderella Man.” (That’s why whatever friendship you’ve seen between Manny Pacquiao and Bato on television, that’s real because both of them are like Cinderella Man.)
Cinderella Man is a term used for the rags-to-riches story of a person who started poor and became successful. It is also and the title of the 2005 movie starring Russell Crowe.
Incidentally, it was actually Manny who was one of those who asked to talk to him about doing the life story of Bato. He joked that he was “kidnapped” and sat down with the producers about the movie.
Bato: The General Ronald dela Rosa story was supposed to have been shown early but has been scheduled for a January 30, 2019 release.
Bato is set to run for the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. The campaign season officially starts on February 12 for senators and party-list groups.
Some have criticized the movie as being a form of propaganda and early campaigning.
Jake Joson, who is with the team of Manny Pacquiao and one of those behind the movie clarified: “Matagal na pong natapos yung script nung pinag-usapan namin ni senator Manny. Si General Bato po ay undecided. Talagang wala po siyang plano pumasok sa gobyerno dahil sa gusto n’yang samahan ang pamilya niya, dahil in the course of his career, puro trabaho po ang iniintindi niya. So nakikiusap ‘yung pamilya niya kung pupuwede sila naman.
(We’ve finished the script when we talked with senator Manny. Back then, General Bato was undecided. He really had no plans to enter the government because he wanted to spend time with his family. Beacause in the course of his career, all he did was work. So his family really asked if it could be their turn to be with him.)
Jake said that upon shooting, some people talked to Bato about helping in public service.
“Dahil sa dami ng tao nakausap niya, ‘yung epekto ng war on drugs na ginawa niya sa ating mga kalsada, ay talagang totoong nararamdaman po ng tao ‘yung peace and order, kasama po ni President Digong (Duterte), eh wala po siyang choice kasi he’s just following orders. At tsaka ‘yung bugso ng mga tao na nararamdaman niya. So sumabak po siya sa pulitika. Pero bago pa siya nag-file, ginagawa na po namin ‘yung pelikula. So coincidental lang po ang lahat.”
(But so many people talked to him, the effect of the war on drugs that he did on the streets, people felt the peace and order. With President Digong, he had no choice because he’s just following orders. And at the same time, he felt the people’s pulse. So he’s entering politics. But before he filed his certificate of candidacy, we were already doing the movie. So it was coincidental.)
Ricky Davao, who plays the role of Bato’s father in the film, said that his life story is worth telling to the people.
“‘Yung kuwento ni General Bato is a story worth na telling. Kasi siyempre sasabihin na propaganda, it’s not. It’s a very good story. It’s a family story, it’s a love story na action rolled into one. It’s a film worth telling,” he said.
(The story of Bato is worth telling. Because of course, people will say it’s propaganda but it’s not. It’s a very good story. It’s a family story, it’s a love story with action rolled into one. It’s a film worth telling.)
Robin meanwhile appealed to the people to look beyond the political side of the movie.
“Sana huwag tayong ma-involve sa kontrobersiya ng politika. Kasi nakakalungkot naman po iyon. Kung mapagbintangan n’yo kami na gumagawa kami ng propaganda, sana naman po ‘yung ganun klaseng tao, ganung ulat, isantabi muna natin,” he said.
(I hope we don’t get involve in the controversy of politics. Because that’s very sad, the way you accused of making propaganda. I hope those type of people, those kinds of reports you can set aside.)
“Maraming tao ang nagkaroon ng trabaho dahil dito. At sana naman po tingnan n’yo ‘yung istorya. Bago sana n’yo mahusgahan kami, panoorin n’yo yung istorya ni General Bato kung worth it ba na gawing pelikula.”
(Many people got work because of this movie. And I hope you look into the story. Before you judge us, watch if the story of General Bato is worth the movie.)
Bato: The General Ronald dela Rosa story stars Beauty Gonzalez as Nancy dela Rosa, Bato’s wife, and Efren Reyes as Duterte. Kiko Estrada, Alyssa Muhlach, Joko Diaz, Kiko Matos, and others also star in the film.
The movie is directed by Adolfo Alix Jr. – Rappler.com