PRIMETIME TV audiences are undoubtedly hooked nightly to the long-running action-drama series, “Ang Probinsyano,” topbilled by Coco Martin. Every character in the series has become marked with viewers.
Edu Manzano, particularly, plays a really important role as President Lucas Cabrera in “Ang Probinsiyano.” Soon, however, Manzano has to make his exit from the series to give way to his political candidacy.
How Manzano will leave “Ang Probinsyano” is the “best-kept secret in the Philippines,” he said. In fact, he noted that no one knows how it will happen.
The actor will be seen in the primetime series only until this Friday. The next day, he starts his campaign for congressman in San Juan for the May elections.
“More than three years later, the interest of viewers in ‘Probinsyano’ remains strong,” Manzano attests. “It’s unbelievable.”
Not few have their respective speculations or theories on how President Cabrera will leave the series. When Manzano goes around to campaign, he hears everybody guessing.
“Either I will go on a state visit when I leave, there will be a coup d’etat and I can never go back or I will be jailed,” he offered. “There are those who suggest that I hide in exile.
“When I go around to campaign, people in San Juan, they tell me, ‘Edu, huwag kang papayag na patayin ka. Tumakas ka na lang. Itatago ka namin dito sa San Juan. Walang makaka-alam.”
Manzano predicts he will most probably tape until his last day. “Maybe I will tape until 12 noon on the 28th because we always do that, tape during the day and air that same night.”
He knows a lot of things will happen in the series even after he leaves. “John Arcilla is still there and he’s a bad man,” Manzano offered. “Lorna Tolentino recently came in as Lily. Rowell Santiago is back as the president.”
Taping for “Ang Probinsyano” takes place in Fairview, Quezon City three times a week. The actors report to the set as early as 7 a.m. and finish at midnight. Seeing the same faces and working with all those actors allowed Manzano to get closer and bond regularly with his male co-stars. They were always clowning around. Often, they also explored to eat out.
“After a while, the food tastes the same,” shared Edu. “So instead of eating the food in the catering, we discovered a non-air-conditioned eatery beside a motorcycle repair shop near the area we’re taping. Kubo na may nagluluto ng masarap. Kahit amoy langis, we often ate breakfast and lunch there.”
“In ‘Probinsyano,’ there’s a sense of family,” noted Edu. “You start to learn more about the people you work with, like John Arcilla, Franco Laurel and Gian Magdangal. They start to open up and share more about themselves.”
Manzano cannot be any prouder that he joined the series. He recently won Best Supporting Actor for “Ang Probinsyano” in Gawad Tanglaw Awards.
“Ang Probinsyano” is now running on its fourth year.
“When you talk about dramas, you know the lead was always a girl. This (‘Ang Probinsiyano’) is the first action-drama topbilled by a guy,” Manzano said. (ABS-CBN News)