Apr 16
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Body Talk with Vhong Navarro

Vhong Navarro

Author: Ricardo F. Lo
Column: FunFare

Dancing is, he thinks, the one thing that he knows best and he does well, even if movie fans may disagree with him and say that he is also a good comedian.

"Ever since I can remember," said Vhong Navarro, "I’ve always loved dancing. Hilig ko talaga."

Direk Chito Roño saw Vhong’s terpsichorean prowess when he chose Vhong among the original members of the dance group Streetboys which is into its 13th year and has added new members to replace those who "graduated" (such as two members who have joined the Miss Saigon tour as background dancers) and a few who have, well, "dropped out" (including Spencer Reyes who bumped heads with direk Chito and was replaced by Danilo Barrios; direk Chito relented and later took Spencer back).

"If I didn’t become an actor," said Vhong who’s now starring in Star Cinema’s horror-comedy offering, D’Anothers, obviously inspired by Hollywood hits like The Sixth Sense, The Others and Adams Family.

"I would probably be in Japan today – dancing."

And singing.

You see, two years ago, Vhong became an "accidental" recording artist (for Star Records) who came up with the hit dance song Pamela-Mela Wan which had a movie spin-off of the same title.

Even his becoming a comedian was, according to Vhong, "accidental."

In school and, later, among the Streetboys, he showed a natural flair for comedy (with fellow Streetboy Jhong Hilario as the serious one, as his movie roles clearly show, such as those in Muro-Ami and Bagong Buwan, both directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya) which became his passport to ABS-CBN sitcoms (Kaya Ni Mister, Kaya ni Misis which later became Bida si Mister, Bida si Misis; Home Along da Riles, etc.) and to the big screen, initially as the sidekick of action stars like Robin Padilla and Cesar Montano and then as a star in his own right, tackling title roles in Regal Films’ Gagamboy and Star Cinema’s Mr. Suave (sung by Parokya ni Edgar), Pamela-Mela Wan and now, D’Anothers where he plays The One, supposedly a friendly ghost acting as a "medium" to escort to a higher level restless ghosts and spirits in limbo, cooped up in a century-old mansion Vhong’s character inherited from his grandfather.

Almost all of his co-stars in the movie directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal are cast as ghosts of various types, such as Toni Gonzaga, Jhong Hilario, Joross Gamboa, Roxanne Guinoo, Pokwang, Neri Naig, Archie Alemania, Mura, Tado, Arlene Muhlach, John Prats and newcomers Michelle Madrigal and Joshua Deocareza.

Twelve years ago, Vhong, product of a broken home, recalled lying on the roof of their humble home in Malibay, Pasay City, and letting his imagination soar.

"I never imagined myself where I am now," said Vhong.

That is, having a flourishing career, with a few good investments (including a well-furnished house), savings and, if we have to mention this, one child (aged nine) with a non-showbiz girl and a son (seven years old) with estranged wife Bianca Lapuz.

How did you get such a nice body?

"From dancing."

What kind of a diet do you follow?

"No, I don’t go on a diet at all. I’m a voracious eater; I eat anything, except vegetables. Fruits, yes."

What’s your favorite fruit?

"Atis."

(He weighs 135 lbs. and stands 5’10" tall.)

With your busy, irregular schedule, don’t you skip and/or miss meals?

"I skip breakfast – most of the time, only because I wake up very late. But I take a full lunch and a full dinner, with midnight snacks pa, usually pancit canton."

What kind of workout do you do?

"Dancing and basketball. I play basketball every Wednesday and every Sunday and sometimes after taping."

How much sleep do you get per night?

"Not enough. My usual sleeping time is 4 a.m., whether I’m busy or not. I think I’m insomniac. Or I just got used to it due to the tapings/shootings. No matter how tired I am, I never get sleepy until 4 a.m. But I try to get eight hours of sleep every night."

How do you make up for lack of sleep?

"I take a nap in-between takes on the set."

Do you take vitamins (and or minerals)?

"I take vitamin C and vitamin for the liver. I once suffered from hepatitis A because I was fond of eating food (fishballs, etc.) sold on the street."

How much water do you per day?

"I try to take at least eight glasses."

Do you take hard drinks?

"Only beer and wine. But my favorite drink is Pop Cola."

How do you cope with stress?

"I play games on the Play Station inside my condo."

Are you living alone?

"Yes. On weekdays, nobody’s home. On weekends, I invite my children over."

How do you pamper yourself?

"I don’t go out of town. I simply relax in my room and watch TV. Or I invite my friends to my place. Sometimes, I go to the mall to stroll or to watch a movie."

What was the last movie that you’ve seen?

"War of the Worlds."

What do you splurge on?

"Shoes and caps."

What part of your body is your favorite?

(With a straight face) "All parts. I think I’m sexy. I feel that I’m sexy."

Among the actresses, who do you think is sexy?

"Toni Gonzaga."

Not Diana Zubiri, your rumored girlfriend?

"Well, it goes without saying. Di ba naging No. l Sexiest woman na siya sa FHM magazine?"

What part of a woman’s body do you look at first?

"The abs. It won’t be nice for a girl to have abs bigger than mine, di ba?"

What part of your body do you think needs some improvement?

"My chest. I need to work on it."

What’s your favorite city?

"Davao City."

What city do you want to visit?

"New York. They say it’s a nice city."

Are you a worrier or an optimist?

"I worry about the intrigues thrown at me."

Such as?

"That I have a 16-year-old girlfriend."

Oh?

"It’s not true! What do they think of me, a cradle-snatcher? A DOM (Dirty Old Man)?"

Oh, so you’re not fond of young(er) ones.

"Well, idol ko si Michael Jackson pero sa pagsasayaw lang."

Who’s your favorite comedian?

"Tito Dolphy and Jim Carrey. I’ve seen all Jim Carrey’s movies, from Bruce Almighty to Cable Guy. My favorites are The Mask and Dumb & Dumber."

What makes you happy?

"If I can make even just one person happy per day, happy na ako."

What’s the saddest moment of your life?

"When my parents separated and I was made to choose between them."

How’s your nightlife?

"I hardly have any these days."

Sex life?

(Talking in riddles) "In my room...alone!"

Last thing you do before going to sleep...

"I pray. I thank God for all the blessings. I pray that I won’t become swell-headed and that The Lord will watch over my loved ones."

First thing you do when you wake up...

"Stretch my arms and legs, my whole body!"

What type of a woman turns you on?

"Simple lang. ‘Yung maganda na, mayaman pa. Di ako mapili; I’m not choosy. Better if she lives in Forbes Park and has six cars. Seriously now, ‘yung mabait is good enough for me."

Name three women you think have beautiful bodies.

"Lindsay Lohan. Toni Gonzaga. And Rachel yata ‘yon, the girl in the Axe commercial."

And three men...

"Edu Manzano (who knows how to take good care of his body). Eddie Garcia. And Robin Padilla."

Using only body language, how would you make a woman know that you like/admire her?

"I wink at her."

* * *

E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph

Source: The Philippine Star