By Evo Joel Contrivida

“The cast is very interesting. I love the people involved, I work with them for several years. It’s going to be an experience of a lifetime as a performer.”


After the smash hit Heneral Luna, actor John Arcilla wished to portray on screen the life story of Heneral Antonio Luna’s brother, the great Filipino painter, Juan Luna.  He believed that  Juan’s life is more colourful than Antonio.  He admitted to us that there were already some talks with some producers to make his dream come true, but it’s not official yet since discussion of him portraying another Luna is such an immortal case in Philippine Cinema.

“Gustong-gusto ko kahit kapatid nya, kasi magkaiba sila ng temper. Juan Luna is more water like ang kanyang temper, yung malapot, mabagal pero tidal wave.” Arcilla said.

Arcilla explained during  the launch of his new musical  why he wanted to give Juan a face on the silver screen. He believed Juan’s life is more challenging. In fact, he had many questions that probably could be answered by acting as it is.

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“He’s supposed to have a catharsis, an expression as huge as the world,. Ganun kalaki ang art nya, and then bakit sya papatay ng tao, at mahal pa nya, so isn’t that interesting?” he asked.

Arcilla  first made a big break in showbiz via his famous TVC line “Coffee na lang dear,” also informed us that he wish to portray the slain hero, Ninoy Aquino, who was even killed by his fellow Filipino.

John will be back in the big screen via Bird Shot, also produced by Artikulo Uno Productions, under the direction of Mikhail Red. The  film was a grant from foreign funding and will premier outside the Philippines come 2017.  The movie according to John is an environmental film focusing on the controversy of the Philippine Eagle.

Aside from the said movie, Arcilla is also part of Encantadia, the revived fantaserye over GMA 7. it is set to premiere on prime time this July. John is playing King Hagorn, the main villain of this reboot soap.  He claimed that he is so proud of this soap because of its high quality and with big budget for a TV production.

It’s just the beginning of the third quarter of the year, and there’s no stopping the award-winning actor from doing more films.  And this time he is scheduled to act as one of the member of a so- called Boy Band who aged, for the first original Filipino production of Spotlight Artist’s Centre, the Dirty Old Musical  (DOM).

With Arcilla in the play are Robert Xena, Michael Williams, Nonie Buencamino and Ricky Davao. Inspired from the music of the 80s,  the play tackles mid-life crisis and growing old of a band who shot to fame with one wonder song as a hit. Their struggles with their  ex-girlfriends, health issues and even professionalism are the main theme of this light and comedy story of The Bench Boys.

Arcilla is not new to theatre, he did Kabesang Tales recently and his last musical was Banaag At Sikat by Tanghalang Pilipino, a few years ago.


Dirty Old Musical will  be staged at the Music Museum on September 1 and eight more shows. Also in the cast are Miss Saigon alumna Ima Castro, Kitkat, Fred Lo and nmore. This is the third production of Spotlight.  Among their past productions were the revival of Magsimula Ka and Katy The Musical.

“Were very proud of the songs that we’re using for this musical, we had two original songs from Gary Granada, medyo it was challenging kasi mga busy, na postpone na to twice kasi hindi kami mag-meet, ayaw naming palitan ang cast.” Spotlight Executive Producer Isay Alvarez said.

Dirty Old Musical is based on a libretto written by Rody Vera, direction by Dexter Martinez with Myke Solomon as musical director.

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