Saturday, June 10, 2006

TADO JIMENEZ (2002)

NOTE: Some time back in 2002-2003, to make ends meet, I wrote articles for a Baguio-based newspaper SKYLAND NEWS and for PINOY WEEKLY. Here are some of the articles tha came out which I am sharing and saving here on my blog.

BIG TIME NA SI TADO
ni SIGFREID BARROS-SANCHEZ

BUGTONG-BUGTONG. Hindi si Diether, hindi si Piolo; hindi si Marvin, hindi si Jericho; lalong hindi si Martin at hindi si Edu. Pero host ng sariling show. Paminsan-minsan nagkokonsiyerto. Lumabas na sa “Trip” at “Pangako Sa ‘Yo”. Nasa “Utang Ni Tatang” at “Radyo”. At madalas niyang raket, MTV, shortfilms, at isang kakaibang brew.

Hindi mo mahulaan?

Tado.

Hindi. Hindi kita minumura. ‘Yun ang pangalan niya: “Tado”. Siya ang bagong komedyanteng ipinaparada ng ABS-CBN sa kasalukuyan sa iba’t ibang mga programa nito. Nakasalamin si Tado na parang nerd, mahaba ang buhok, maliit, payat, at madalas nakapormang hippieng anti-gera: may beads, tie-dye na T-shirt, pinutol na pantalon ng ROTC, at itim na medias na sumasalungat sa kulay puting Chuck Taylor. Dahil nga komedyante ang pagkapakete sa kanya, hindi siya tipong Rexona Boys. Hindi makinis at maputi ang kanyang balat, walang accent at walang maintindihan minsan sa mga Ingles niya, at, marahil, hindi rin kasingkinis ang kanyang kili-kili.

Bagamat hindi produkto ng isang sikat na komersyal sa TV, pumaimbulog ang pangalan ni Tado nang maging isang cult hit ang “Strangebrew,” isang palabas sa unTV 37 tuwing alas-tres, alas-siete, at alas-diyes ng gabi, kung saan dinadala niya tayo at ng kanyang sidekick na si Erning sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Pilipinas para magtanong ng mga bagay na matagal na nating gustong malaman at mga bagay na hindi natin alam kung gusto nating malaman.

“Payag ho ba kayong magkabalikan si Guy at si Philip Salvador?” tanong nito minsan sa isang hardinero sa Lung Center. Sinagot naman siya ng seryosong hardinero, “Nasa sa kanila na ‘yon kung talagang nag-iibigan ba sila, e.”

Ganito ang uri ng comedy ni Tado. Spontaneous na mali-maling mga tanong na sinasagot naman ng spontaneous na mali-maling mga sagot. Ayon sa kanya, hindi nila intensyon ng direktor ng programa na si RA Rivera na maging katawa-tawa ang kanyang mga nakakausap pero sa takbo ng kuwentuhan at interviewhan, at dahil na rin siguro sa mababang budget, kung ano ang kanilang nakukunan ay ‘yon na ‘yung lumalabas. Wala nang Take 2 o Take 3 kumbaga.

Parang nu’ng isinilang siya.

Strangebrew

Dalawampu’t walong-taon na ang nakakaraan nang isinalang siya ng kanyang amang si Jose sa hulmahan ng kanyang ina na si Asuncion sa Leyte. Panganay sa dalawang magkapatid, nagtungo ang kanilang pamilya sa Maynila noong magha-hayskul siya at lumaki sa isang magulong kapitbahayan sa Pasay.

Simula pa lang ay nagpamalas na siya ng kakaibang kilos na nagbigay ng maagang konklusyon sa kanyang ama na kakaiba kumpara sa nakararami ang timpla ng anak. Nahilig itong mangolekta ng mga tabs ng Coke in cans upang balang araw ay gawing wheelchair pag nalumpo raw siya at mga cactus na itinuturing niyang sacred plant. Sa mura ring edad ay nahilig na ito sa pagbubutingting at paglilikha ng sariling sining, bagay na kanyang dinala nang siya’y tumuntong sa PUP-Sta.Mesa. Clinical Psychology ang kursong kinuha niya rito dahil ayon sa kanya, “wala kasing nakapila”. Napabarkada siya sa isang cultural group sa pamantasan kung saan mas lalo niyang nahasa ang kanyang pagiging “artist”. Sa panahon ding ito, inamin niya na naging magulo at palaaway siya. Anim na beses siyang nakulong, tatlong politically-related at tatlo naman sa kasong nag-ugat sa pagsigarilyo sa loob ng jeep hanggang sa marijuana possession. Tipikal na artist, loose, adventurous, at unconvential.

The True, The Good, & The Beautiful (?)

“Risen from the dead ‘yan,” ani ng independent director na si Jon Red. Si Direk Jon ang kauna-unahang nag-cast kay Tado bilang artista noong 1997 nang hindi dumating ang paborito nitong aktor na si Raul Moret. Papel ng isang pinahihirapan at pagkatapos ay sinalvage na aktibista ang naging papel ni Tado sa mala-short film na “The True, The Good, & The Beautiful” ng Foundation For Worldwide People Power (FFWWPP).

“Amuyong lang ako doon at taga-provide ng location,” ayon sa aktor. Nagtatrabaho na bilang writer sa PTV-4 si Tado nang mabalitaan niyang may filmmaking workshop ang Mowelfund. Tinanong niya ang isang kabarkada, na nagkataon palang kapatid ng cinematographer na si Larry Manda, kung paano makapasok sa Mowelfund at dahil walang pera, nakipag-X-deal na lang siya na magtatrabaho sa pamosong film school ng bansa hanggang sa mabayaran ang tuition.

Dahil na rin sa sistemang barkadahan ng Mowelfund, naisama pa si Tado sa mga susunod pang shortfilms ng mga iba pang baguhang direktor. Noong 1998 ay isinama siya ni Glenn Cruz sa 16-minuto na film nito na “Rehab”. Sinundan ito ng 1999 digital breakthrough na trilogy na “Motel” kung saan nagmarka ang kanyang “virginal” acting sa kuwentong “Desperado” ni Nonoy Dadivas. Nagkara-karate naman siya noong 2000 sa “Bruce,” isang tribute short ni Toppel Lee kay martial arts legend Bruce Lee at nag-cameo role kamakailan sa “Piso, Dalawampiso” ni Dennis Empalmado. Kung susuriin nga, mas marami pa siyang kita at raket kesa sa mga gumagawa ng maliliit na pelikula.

“Oo nga, e,” natatawa rin nitong naisip. “Una kasi, puro ka-edad natin ‘yung mga gumagawa ng shortfilms so kahit papaano me pagsasaksakan ako ng role. Pero hindi ko naman talaga inisip na isali ako o aakting ako. Part lang kasi ako ng production. Raket lang ‘to talaga. Nadaanan lang, kumbaga.”

Trip

Kung trip lang nga na maituturing ang naging paglalakbay na ito ni Tado, isang napakamakahulugang biyahe na ang kanyang napasadahan. Itinuturing na Pambansang Tour Guide ng Bayan dahil sa kanyang papel sa “Strangebrew”, kasama na rin siya sa mga programang “Klasmeyts,” “Okey, Fine, Whatever!,” at ilang mga piling episodes ng “Hirayamanawari” ng Dos. Mga ilang buwan na ang nakakaraan, lumabas siyang hippie-dormmate ni Jericho Rosales sa katatapos lamang na teleseryeng “Pangako Sa ‘Yo”. Dahil dito, hindi maiwasang hindi siya makilala ng mga tao, maging sa pinakasuluk-sulukan ng Baguio.

“Hindi ako makatawad sa palengke kasi nakikilala na ako,” kuwento ni Tado. “Putok na putok no’n ‘yung “Pangako…” kaya panay ang tanong sa akin, “Si Jericho? Si Jericho? Asan si Jericho?””

“Pero nagji-jeep pa rin ako hanggang ngayon,” bawi nito.

Malaking adjustment rin kay Tado ang paglipat ng kanyang sining mula sa maliliit na teatro gaya ng UP Film Center patungo sa komersyal na boob tube. Unang-una, iba ang disiplina ng mainstream sa indie at shortfilms.

“Iba ‘yung humor nila,” pag-amin nito. “Sumasakay na lang ako kung ano ‘yung agos do’n. OA. Hindi ka makapag-ad lib kasi supplied ‘yung humor unlike sa “Strangebrew” na abstract.”

“Atsaka malala ‘yung disiplina, pare,” dagdag ni Tado. “Call time alas-otso, ma-late man ako limang minuto lang. Magsu-shoot kami 10:30 o 11:00 na! Tapos hindi maayos ‘yung breakdown. Kung ano ang maisip, tira-bahala. Sa kanila hindi kupal ‘yon pero sa Mowelfund hindi puwede ‘yon! Maling gawain ‘yon! Mas magaling pa nga akong mag-ilaw kesa sa mga taga-Dos! Alam mo naman ang ilawan do’n: “Bulaga Lighting”!”

Utang Ni Tatang

“Ano nga ba ang utang ni Tatang?” Ito ang madalas itanong ng karakter ni Tado sa pelikulang tuluyang nagpasikat sa kanya sa tirahang-masa. Bago pa man siya sumabak sa obra na ito ni Jon Red, naging bahagi na rin siya ng tatlo pang pelikula: “Trip” ni Gilbert Perez, “Radyo” ni Yam Laranas, at “Akala Mo” ni Lyle Sacris. Rumaket din siya sa mga MTV ni Robert Quebral gaya ng “Harana,” “Swimming Beach,” at “Sori Na” ng Parokya Ni Edgar at isang MTV ng Rivermaya. Nagkaroon rin siya ng banda noon, ang Gitaw, kung saan napasama ang isa nilang kanta sa isang compilation album ng Documento Records. Subalit, sa pelikulang “Utang Ni Tatang” siya hinayang na hinayang.

“Hindi ako naniniwalang hindi ‘yon kaya ng audience. Hindi siya na-market ng todo kasi sa incentive pa lang sa Manila Filmfest at sa video rights e bawi-bawi na ang producer. Takot pa rin silang sumugal sa isang pelikulang tulad ng “Utang”,” tahasan nitong banggit.

“Ang problema kasi sa mainstream, nakikita nila na threat sa kanila ‘yung mga bagong director. Alam mo naman sa industriya natin, ang mga gumagawa ng pelikula e ‘yung mga tatay e dating director at natuto lang konti, gumagawa na rin. Darating ‘yung time na malalaman ng mainstream na may iba pa palang paggawa ng pelikula,” komento nito.

Pangako Sa ‘Yo

Kapag walang taping at walang raket na shortfilm, ginugugol ni Tado ang kanyang panahon sa kanyang tatlong babaeng anak na sina Leidulataja, 6, Diosa, 4, at Indi, 2, mula kay Lea Segovia na kanyang kasintahan sa kolehiyo. Sa isang inuupahang bahay sa Marikina, nawawala ng bahagya ang kanyang angst at kabulastugan sa piling ng tatlong batang tinatawag siyang “ama”.

“Perseverance, study well, and good sleeping habits. ‘Yan ang ibinibilin ko sa kanila kasi ‘yan ang principles ni Tado, e,” magkahalong kalokohan at seryoso nitong namutawi sabay banat na, “Pero ayokong gayahin nila ako. Ayokong maging artists sila. Putang-ina! Walang pera sa art!”

Sa kasalukuyan rin ay pinagpaplanuhan na niya ang kanyang kauna-unahang shortfilm na siyang matagal na niyang gustong gawin. “Parang Woody Allen film na Steve Buscemi lang ang artista.” Idol niya kasi si Buscemi at mas dito ibinabagay ang acting kesa sa madalas mapansing Garth na character ni Dana Carvey sa Wayne’s World. “Mamarka talaga sa ‘yo kahit maliit ang role niya.” Tinatapos rin nila ng kanyang mga kasama ang isang tribute film kay Rox Lee, ang ama ng mga Pinoy indie filmmakers, sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng sequel sa “Juan Gapang” nito. Bumuo rin siya ng bandang new school punk, ang Big T.T. (Time Tado) na nag-ambag ng isang kanta sa soundtrack ng “Utang”. At kung matutuloy rin ang planong isapelikula ni Jon Red ang dalawa nitong scripts na “kuBeta” at “Martial Law Babies,” may nakareserba nang role kay Tado dito.

“Makulit ‘yan pero sumusunod naman,” ayon sa kanyang “discoverer”. “Tulad ng comment niya sa “Still Lives” ko, gano’n din masasabi ko sa kanya: may effort.”

At kung saka-sakaling magkaroon ng pagkakataon si Arvin Jimenez na tanungin ang kanyang alter ego na si Tado, ano kaya ang mala-Strangebrew na kanyang itatanong?

“Malamang wala akong matanong,” ayon sa kanya. “Siguro sasabihan ko na lang na tuluy-tuloy lang at kapag napatunayan mo na ang sarili mo sa ganyan, lahat ng sasabihin mo tama na.”

Sa pagtapak sa big time ni Arvin Jimenez aka Tado, isa lang ang hinihiling natin na sana’y maipangako nito. Na nawa’y maging wais, hindi ‘tado, ang mga diskarte nito.


BIG TIME BECOMES TADO
by SIGFREID BARROS-SANCHEZ

JOLOGS Generation’s cult icon, Tado Jimenez, is slowly feeling the bad effects of success. Baguio was the first to teach him an important lesson.

While roaming around the city’s famous ukay-ukay stalls in Session Road, he was surprised that he couldn’t get a discount like anybody else. He happened to be one of ukay-dom’s top supporter in Manila via the Bambang and Alabang, um, “branches” but it seems Pine City is not receptive of his wisecracks to cut rates unlike a few years before when he was there.

“Nagkataon pala, putok na putok na ‘yung “Pangako Sa ‘Yo”,” he narrates. “Nakilala ako nu’ng mga tindera. Sa “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” ‘to, e, sabi nila. Kaya, panay tanong sa akin, “Si Jericho? Si Jericho? Asan si Jericho?” Akala nila kasama ko si Jericho at nagsu-shoot kami sa Baguio.”

For those who have erased their memory of the teleserye that made byword the names of Angelo and Ina, aka Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa, Tado played the role of Jericho’s hippie-nerdy dormmate in Manila who, at one episode, gets to bed sexy seductress Bea Bianca (Vanesa del Bianco).

For those who are always glued to their TV sets during primetime, he is that familiar face now regularly beamed on ABS-CBN’s “Okey, Fine, Whatever” and “Klasmeyts”. He can also be seen some mornings of Sundays donning different characters for children’s show “Hirayamanawari”.

As for the Daing-Tuyo-Itlog (Dyologs) Generation, he is no other than one-half of the country’s Official Tour Guide via unTV 37’s cult hit program “Strangebrew”. Actually, it is in this NU 107 UHF Channel, seen everyday every 3PM, 7PM, and 10PM, that Tado and his sidekick-driver Erning became instant celebrities in the tradition of Beavis and Butthead, Ernie and Bert, or even Angelo and Ina.

“’Tang-ina naman, ‘tol! Labo no’n! Hindi naman tayo si Jericho at Kristine!,” he quickly rebuts. “Hindi ko nga matanggap sa sarili ko na komedyante daw ako. Raket lang ‘to talaga. Nadaanan lang kumbaga.”

Radyo

Tado is definitely not a Jericho. He’s not even close to a Marvin or a Diether or a Piolo. Nor is he Power Boys material although his popularity has reached that status and he has some shares of shrieks but for different reasons. With his looks --- long hair, nerd-like glasses, reed-thin body, and a japorms that belongs to the grunge era --- he is absolutely not commercial material. His voice may not even pass for an NU 107 radio jock. But what he possesses is the complete package that the masa loves to chomp and gobble in a Pinoy comedian. His skin tone and built is the Rene Requiestas-type, his peskiness is a cross between a Dolphy and a Chiquito, and his barok-English ways reminds us of that man we, funnily, once put in power.

“Ang gusto ko talaga mala-Woody Allen o Steve Buscemi,” Tado seriously notes. “Gusto ko talaga si Steve Buscemi kasi mamarka talaga s’ya sa ‘yo kahit maliit ‘yung role.”

And Buscemi he tried to aim with his first four film assignments.

Utang Ni Tatang

“Ano nga ba talaga ang utang ni Tatang?” continuously asked Tado’s character in Jon Red’s independent movie “Utang Ni Tatang”. To critics and art film buffs, the flick signified better projects to come for the 28-year old actor who is Arvin Jimenez in real life. His role gave birth to a new breed of comedian as he earned continuous laughs, alongside screen veterans Ronnie Lazaro, Joel Torre, and Jeffrey Quizon, during its premiere at the Manila Film Festival last June.

“Makulit talaga ‘yan pero sumusunod naman,” recalls Direk Jon. “May effort.”

Before “Utang”, Tado had the opportunity to work for some of filmdom’s young and visually talented directors by playing small roles like a security guard in Yam Laranas’ “Radyo”, a provinciano bum in Gilbert Perez’s “Trip” and as a goon in Lyle Sacris’ “Akala Mo”. But the dismal moviegoer-support for Red’s “Utang” affected him the most despite it winning Best Cinematography and Best Production Design in this year’s Manila Filmfest.

“Hindi ako naniniwalang hindi kaya ng market ‘yon,” Tado explains. “Hindi naman na-market ‘yon ng todo kasi sa incentive pa lang ng Filmfest bawi na sila tapos may video rights pa. Ni wala ngang lumabas na trailer sa TV, e!”
The movie, despite a meager budget of less than P3-Million and a less than a week “guerilla” shoot in Tarlac, earned praises for being the only intelligent film of the entries and the only one that dared go against the flow of traditional Pinoy storytelling and filmmaking.

“Nakakahon kasi sila na kailangan lahat ng pelikula may bold. Takot silang sumugal,” he fumes. “Ang problema kasi sa mainstream, nakikita nila na threat sa kanila ‘yung mga bagong direktor. Hindi naman sila balak i-overthrow, e. Gusto lang ipaalam ng mga independent directors sa mainstream na may iba pa palang klase ng paggawa ng pelikula. Na hindi porke’t direktor ang tatay mo at natuto ka ng konti sa paggawa ng pelikula ay puwede ka nang magdirek.”

Trip

If you’re finding it hard to understand why a comedian like Tado could say a mouthful about the film industry’s state, you’ll be even more surprise to find out that he holds in his hand a filmmaking certificate from Mowelfund, the country’s premiere film school.

His trip to strardom started in 1997 when, while working as a writer for a PTV-4 show, he chanced upon an advertisement for a filmmaking course in Mowel. He quickly packed his artist suit and rode the first jeep to its Cubao office right away. Although not having enough money to pay the tuition, he made a pact with the Mowelfund elders to pay them his balance by working for them.

One of his first jobs for Mowelfund was scouting probable locations for shortfilms of the foundation’s promising young filmmakers. It was while Jon Red was shooting a project entitled “The True, The Good, & The Beautiful” for the Foundation For Worldwide People Power (FFWWPP) that Tado’s thespian side was first tapped. Direk Jon’s favorite actor, Raul Moret, failed to arrive at the shoot and the director was desperately in need of an activist figure that would endure bullet torture and slaps from military-like actors. Tado, a real activist in his PUP-Sta.Mesa days, was picked.

The role would earn for him other slots at Mowelfund shorts. He was cast for Glenn Cruz’s 16-minute work “Rehab” in 1998 followed by a bigger part in the digital breakthrough trilogy “Motel” where he played, in Nonoy Dadivas’ “Desperado” episode, a loser who is about to lose his virginity to his boss’ wife in a motel. Toppel Lee then utilize his potentials in “Bruce” in 2000 in a Bruce Lee tribute shortfilm before getting a slot in Dennis Empalmado’s first outing “Piso, Dalawampiso” this year. His being a favorite among young filmmakers has earned him a reputation as an heir to the throne of Ronnie Lazaro, a favorite among Raymond Red’s contemporaries. Heck, he may be even earning bigger than the starving young directors he had lent his talent to!

“Oo nga, e,” he laughs after thinking it over. “Puro ka-edad kasi natin ‘yung mga gumagawa ng shortfilms so kahit papaano me pagsasaksakan ako ng role.”

His body of work doesn’t stop there. He has been a common fixture in MTV director Robert Quebral’s works such as “Harana,” “Swimming Beach,” and “Sori Na” for Parokya Ni Edgar and a Rivermaya tune which title he forgets. “Maikli pa buhok ko do’n, medyo skinhead,” is what he recalls.

In between these, he also has time to jam with his new school punk band Big T.T. (Time Tado) which song was included in “Utang’s” soundtrack (the one used during the rumble scene). He used to sing also for short-live spontaneous band Gitaw where no one knows how to play an instrument nor even sing. A track of theirs is included in a Documento Records compilation album and can still be downloaded.

“Ang gusto ko talagang gawin e gumawa ng short film ko. Darating ‘yung time na gagawa rin ako,” Tado swears.

kuBeta

Although the 2002 NU 107 Rock Awards is fast approaching, Tado quickly silence speculations that he is returning as this year’s host. “Wala namang nag-host ng dalawang taon na magkasunod, “ he says. For now, he is focusing on the new season and the new life given to him and Erning’s show after e-mails bombarded the NU office for new episodes for the duo. Also, a leading beer company now sponsors the show, provided that “Strangebrew” does a “Spot The Beer Contest”. Tado says it’s not selling out. He and director RA Rivera still controls all the creative inputs of the show. “Pa-chienes lang ‘yon,” he defends.

With these developments, we are assured that Tado will still ask us unproverbial questions like “Payag ho ba kayong magkabalikan si Guy at si Philip Salvador?” or “Bakit walang buko pie sa Ilocos?” during the rest of the season. Baguio may even get another glimpse of the guy who once asked an owner of the city’s strawberry farm a very simple question of spelling out his trade but to surprisingly negative results (“Naka-Take Three kami pero mali pa rin”). That is if his plan to shoot the show’s Christmas episode in the Spratlys doesn’t push through.

“Ang weirdo siguro Christmas nila do’n, di ba? May Christmas light kaya do’n?” he asks this writer as if preparing his first question for the episode.

If Jon Red’s plans pushes through by early next year, he may be tackling two more film assignments via his mentor’s “kuBeta” for World Arts Cinema and and “Martial Law Babies,” a finalist at the Cinemanila Scriptwriting Contest. While waiting for these and during TV taping breaks, he plays “ama” to his three girls Leidulataja, 6, Diosa, 4, and Indi, 2 by wife Lea Segovia.

“Perseverance, study well, and good sleeping habits. ‘Yan ang binibilin ko sa kanila kasi ‘yan ang principles ni Tado,” the cactus-collector shares.

We walk back to his place while connecting some people we know ala- “Jologs”. Some hiphop-clad teenagers were calling his name amidst the music booming from their jeep. In another vehicle, pretty young indays sheepishly smile upon recognizing him. He carefully answers in a familiar grin, as if saying, “Bow your heads! Tado, King of The Jologs Community, has arrived!”

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ngayon ko lang nalaman na ka-eskwela ko si Sir Tado. :D pakiramdam ko tuloy kahapon lang ako pinanganak!

December 29, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger bigtimetadofamily said...

nice salamat tado jimenez

January 21, 2010 at 6:01 PM  
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June 3, 2013 at 12:44 AM  

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