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Vhong Navarro talks about Manong Gilbert
By Napoleon Quintos
The sudden passing of movie and TV director Gilbert Perez came as a shock to showbiz insiders, especially Vhong Navarro who worked with the director in several films. The comedian told ABS-CBN.com during an interview on the set of I Love Betty La Fea that doing movies for him will never be the same without Manong Gilbert. Vhong’s last film Supahpapalicious was also the final big screen endeavor for Manong Gilbert who died last July 18 after being confined for a couple of weeks at the St. Luke’s Hospital because of a heart attack.
"Nakadalaw na ako noong araw na namatay siya, nasa ospital pa lang siya. It was very emotional for me, pero iniisip ko na lang na at least ngayon masaya na si Manong Gilbert kasi hindi na siya nahihirapan. Kawawa din kasi yung parents niya na nagaalala lalo na at may edad na sila," said Vhong. He and Manong Gilbert last spoke during the premiere of Supahpapalicious in February. Since then they would occasionally send friendly text messages to each other.
The dancer-comedian recalls his fondest memories with the late director whom he had also worked with in the defunct gag show Super Laff-in and the movie Jologs (which was Manong’s favorite film among his projects). "Si Manong never magka-cut yun kapag ako ang artista niya kasi lagi ko siyang sinosorpresa ng marami kong adlib. He’s known for his temper kaya madalas inaawat ko pa yun," he shares. Vhong reveals that he owes much of his growth as a comedian to Direk Gilbert who taught him the value of confidence and enjoying life to the fullest.
As proof of his continually flourishing career, Vhong has many projects lined up for this year. Aside from landing the role of Nicolas in I Love Betty La Fea, he will also be doing more movies. Vhong is set to reunite with Direk Chito Roño and the Streetboys for another installment of Spirit Warriors and he’ll also be working with Direk Joyce Bernal on another project. Vhong also might be shooting a film abroad. "May gagawin akong pelikula sa Taiwan with a Malaysian director na napanood ako sa Gagamboy at Jologs. It’s a light drama Tagalog movie about sa mga OFW. Ipapalabas din sa Taiwan, Malaysia, at sa Philippines. Inaayos pa kung makakapag-shoot kami sa Taiwan sa September, medyo tight rin kasi yung schedule ko."