Dubbed as one of the leading indie film actors in the country, it’s interesting to know that Crispin “Ping” Medina II actually started out doing commercial films in showbiz. “Yung first three films na ginawa ko puro mainstream. Ako yung gumanap na batang Jose Rizal dun sa movie nung 1999,” he shared during the presscon for his latest indie film Iliw.
For his new indie role, Ping says it was a different kind of challenge to be part of a love story set during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines. “I’m part of the love triangle with Kaye Abad and a Japanese actor. Kababata ko si Kaye tapos matagal na akong in love sa kanya. Actually iba talaga yung role kasi nabigyan ako ng ibang klaseng role na tipong ako yung mas naghahabol sa girl, ako yung makulit, ganun. Kasi usually role ko yung mga brooding type,” he added.
Playing the role of Kaye Abad’s childhood friend who has a secret admiration for her was not hard for Ping. He says he is even proud of his co-actor’s work in her first indie film project. “It was my first time to work with her. Talagang nagtrabaho siya sa project namin. Talagang umeffort siya. In between takes kami nagkaka-bonding. Pinagtritrippan ko siya, pini-picture-an ko siya habang natutulog, yung mga ganun (laughs). Madami kasi siyang eksena so she was working all the time so kung hindi naman siya working, nagpapahinga siya kasi everyday yung shoot so puyat yan. Minsan four hours yung tulog or after three hours gising ka na dapat,” he recalls.
The 25-year-old actor also admits that he’s happy with the growing popularity of the independent films lately. “Nakita naman natin kung ano yung epekto ng Ploning ni Judai (Judy Ann Santos) sa independent film industry na ngayon medyo nagiging household term na nga yung indie. ‘Pag sinabi mong indie, alam na nung mga masa eh. So definitely nakatulong yung film sa popularity ng indie films,” he explains.
Ping also shares the differences he’s experienced working on TV and film. “Definitely iba talaga, mas ngaragan ‘pag soap opera. Kumbaga mas nakakapagod talaga yung TV work because of the hours kasi minsan long hours kami. Pero okay naman kasi iba naman yung acting, iba yung pag-atake. Para sa akin, merong tinatawag na film acting and TV acting, magkaiba yung para sa akin. Sa film acting puwede kang maging very subtle, puwede mong dalhin yung emotion sa audience through little movement. Kasi bibigyan ka ng close-up, ganun,” he shares.
Ping, who is also part of the cast of Tayong Dalawa, enjoys playing right-hand man to Leo, the criminal organization head played by Baron Geisler. “Para kaming mafia dahil we’re into gun smuggling, mga ganun. Pero kahit into illegal stuff yung character ko, mabait naman siya kay Ramon, (played by Coco Martin), inaalagaan niya. So medyo anti-hero yung dating. Hindi naman totally salbahe yung role. Parang mafia kami pero not stereotypical mafia na parang basagulero. Mga mayayaman na mafia kami na walang magawa sa buhay (laughs). Masaya yung role ko. Gusto ko yung role ko dun. Napapaglaruan ko yun,” he admits.
Ping also says he hopes to venture into writing for television in the future. “Ngayon, parang since nakakapasok na ako sa sistema ng networks, medyo nakikilala na ako sa loob ng networks. Medyo naisip ko gusto ko pumasok sa writing for TV shows, mga ganun. I want to try pitching for a show. Mag-co-collaborate with directors siguro like Lino Cayetano. Yung mga kaibigan kong alam kong marunong talaga,” he says.
In between tapings, Ping also finds time to manage his food business Pen-pen in Quezon City, where he says he plays the role of marketing head, operations consultant, chief cook, and waiter at any given time. “Okay naman ang business ngayon. Magbubukas kami ng second floor. Gagawin namin siyang pang-chill and lounge area na puwedeng mag-exhibit, mag-film screenings, coffee or inuman. ‘Pag may time ako, nandun ako,” he says.
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