FINE PERFORMANCES IN ‘BAGITO’
by Pablo A. Tariman
The latest teleserye replacing the slot of “Pure Love” on Channel 2 has many things going for it.
It has a good story fit for a film, it has the right actors sensitive to their parts and it is a good look at what the younger ones are up to in the age of Twitter and Facebook.
“Bagito” directed by Onat Diaz is another exploration on the theme of coming of age starring the 14-year old Andrew Alvarez played by Nash Aguas.
Aguas has a natural profile of innocence and the transition from boyhood to unexpected rites of manhood is the teleserye’s most absorbing moments. He is naturally attracted to the opposite sex but he tempers it — if he could — as he coped with constant reminders from his parents played with equal sensitivity by Angel Aquino and Ariel Rivera.
His “initiator” played by Ella Cruz as Vanessa is another fine discovery. She is not new to the rites of love and finds herself in deep trouble as one drunken night, she mistook Aguas for her boyfriend and led him on.
The barkadas (played by Alexander Diaz, John Bermundo, Joaquin Reyes, Brace Arquiza, Grae Fernandez, Paolo Santiago and Marco Pingol) provide credible support. They were so good they’d probably land in the showbiz after this teleserye exposure.
What happens as Aguas copes with sudden transition in his life is the major appeal of “Bagito.”
To be sure, the same subject has been touched in the Lino Brocka film, “Miguelito” starring Aga Muhlach and in another teleserye, “Angelito, Ang batang Ama” featuring JM de Guzman.
On the other hand, “Bagito” offers layers of fresh insight into the life of today’s teen generation.
When they were once younger the age of the young stars of “Bagito,” Rivera, Aquino and Agot Isidro opine this younger generation are definitely more advanced and thus exhibit a level of maturity that eluded them when they were their age.
Said Rivera who plays Aguas’ stepfather. “It’s probably because they have easy access to information, they are natural practitioners of the new technology and they are all active in social media at very young age. I didn’t have the aggressiveness that they have now and I really admire that they mature at a very young age.”
Being the mother of two daughters, Aquino said it wasn’t hard portraying Aguas’s overbearing mother because in more ways than one, she is that kind of mother to her daughters. “I just have to adjust my approach because I am playing mother to a son in this teleserye. Like my character, I worry a lot about many things involving my children to the point of being so super ‘makulit.’ I can relate to the teenage mother in this teleserye because I was a mother at 19 and I wouldn’t want young people to go through what I went through in real life. In that sense, it was easy acting my part. At the same time, it is difficult and painful because you have to draw deep into your personal life to make the character come alive.”
Aguas admitted his ‘initiation’ scene was the most difficult to shoot in the teleserye. “The scene was to be shot at night. But early in the morning of the taping, I was already worried about that scene. I have no real experience on that and so was my partner, Ella Cruz, who played Vanessa. I just have to trust my director and the coaching I got from them.”
Ella said she is the exact opposite of her role in “Bagito.”
Rued she: “I have no experience in the ways of love and everything was just pure acting and good guidance from my director. What happened to my character is something I don’t want to wish on myself. Still, I am glad that you liked my portrayal. It means I succeeded in doing my homework.”
Direk Diaz said the teleserye is indeed another coming of age soap and his first very first teleserye. “I like doing subjects on how we were when we were once young and I am a fan of Brocka’s ‘Miguelito.’ Hopefully, I can portray the younger ones now in my own generation with more insight.”
“Bagito” starts airing on Channel 2 November 17 before TV Patrol.