RONWALDO MARTIN is the 19-year old half brother of Coco, who’s 16 years older than him. He first joined showbiz using the screen name Ron Cieno in Direk Dante Mendoza’s “Captive” and in the indie films “Tumbang Preso” and “Kasal”. He became Ronwaldo Martin in the Kampangan film “Ari, My Life with a King” that won awards here and abroad. He supported Barbie Forteza in another acclaimed film, “Laut”, about Badjaos. He played one of Nora Aunor’s sons in “Kabisera”, but he got really noticed as the feisty street kid whose baby was kidnapped in last year’s “Pamilya Ordinaryo”.
Ron never got to college. He admits he’s shy and not very articulate so when writers interview him, he makes sure his manager, Ferdie Ramos, is around to help him answer their questions.
Like his Kuya Coco who first made a name doing indie films, Ron is happy with the indie projects he’s now getting. How supportive is Coco to him? “Very supportive,” says Ferdie Lapuz. “Lahat ng gamit niya sa shoot, from shirts, pants, pati underwear, binibili ni Coco.”
“Binibigyan niya rin ako ng acting tips, lalo sa drama kasi hirap akong umiyak dahil masayahin ako, e,” adds Ron. “Mahigpit si Kuya sa’kin. Siya ang humahawak ng kita ko at binibigyan niya lang ako ng allowance. Gusto rin niya, kung wala akong shoot, by 9 PM, nasa bahay na ako. Istrikto po siya. Minsan, may lumapit sa’king mga bading, sinampal ako ni Kuya sa harap nila. Akala niya, nilalandi ko yung mga bading, e hindi naman. Malaki ang takot ko sa Kuya ko kaya ako na umiiwas sa mga bading. Ayaw rin niyang maghubad ako sa pelikula. Huwag ko raw gayahin ang ginawa niya noon. HIndi ko rin naman kaya, pati yung pakikipaghalikan sa kapwa lalaki.”
So he doesn’t have a girlfriend? “Meron po. Kilala ni Kuya. Kapitbahay namin sa Novaliches. Three years na kami. Basta ang bilin ni Kuya, wag akong mambubuntis.”
He now plays a demanding role as Marlon Pogi, a young thug who becomes the friend of title-roler Raymond Francisco in “Bhoy Intsik”, directed by veteran filmmaker Joel Lamangan. “I saw him in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’ at sabi ko, magaling ang batang ito,” says Direk Joel. “Very raw siya and a natural actor, bagay sa role niya in ‘Bhoy Intsik’ as a child na iniwan ng nanay, lumaki sa loob ng sementeryo, nakatira sa sirang bus, but street smart. I like him kasi masunurin siya, nagagawa kung ano gusto mo ipagawa sa kanya, at hindi nale-late sa set.”
Ronwaldo is good but he has never taken any acting workshop. “Kaya nga magaling siya, kasi hindi aral ang acting niya,” adds Direk Joel. “Hindi naman porke nag-workshop ka, magaling ka nang artista. Si Nora Aunor nga, never nag-workshop yan, pero ang galing-galing niya.”
“Bhoy Intsik” is an entry in the SinagMaynila Filmfest and will be shown starting tomorrow, March 9, up to March 14 at SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, Gateway and Glorietta Cinemas.