HOW important is a manager to an artist? And how can manager boost the latter’s career?
In the absence of a live guest on her daily self-titled radio program, veteran host and entertainment columnist Cristy Fermin literally dragged Gio Medina to the booth that Monday afternoon. To the “unfamiliar,” Gio—a former member of Dance Promo and Solid Gold during the 90s—“was” the manager of Mark Neumann.
“Hanggang ngayon pa naman,” Gio clarified, “Hindi nga lang siya nakatira sa akin, pero ako pa rin ang nakikipag-transact para sa kanya.”
Also the half-German, half-Pinoy actor’s biological uncle, “Nay Gio”—as he’s fondly addressed—said he was reluctant to get Mark set for the demands of local showbiz.
“Kung guwapo, talagang guwapo …. Kaso, tinanong ko, ‘Do you know how to sing?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you know how to dance?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you know how to act?’ ‘No.’ Sa isip-isip ko, ano’ng gagawin ko rito? Hindi marunong kumanta, hindi marunong sumayaw, hindi marunong umarte!”
But the persistent Gio didn’t give up on Mark, confident that he could transform into a star.
Came TV5’s Artista Academy, a nationwide search for young male and female showbiz wannabes launched in 2013. Gio revealed, ‘Yun ang contest na gumastos ako ng daang libong piso.’Di ba, may texters’ votes para manalo, hayun… hindi lang mga pre-paid cards ang binili ko, pati cellphone. Ipinamimigay ko ‘yon sa kung sinu-sino para lang i-text si Mark!”
Even if Mark did not make it as the ultimate winner, the caboodle of TV breaks—and the quality of assignments notwithstanding—which had come after were just too overwhelming for a proud manager like Gio.
What is sad is that things are never the same again for Gio and Mark. Gio comes home to his residence on Visayas Ave. in Quezon City, this time to be met with memories of Mark in his former room.
A sad Gio could only look back, “Siyempre, nami-miss ko si Mark…. ‘yung paborito naming pagkain pareho, tustadong tuyo at sinangag. Magkakamay na kami niyan. May lahi man kasi siya, pinalaki ko siyang may ugaling Pinoy.”
With a good fashion sense, Gio would also pick off-the-rack clothes for Mark during his extravagant shopping sprees. “Pag nag-iikot ako sa mall, ‘Ah, eto, bagay sa kanya. Ah, eto ang gagamitin niya sa taping. Ah, eto, guwapung-guwapo pag suot niya ito.’ I always make it a point kasi to frequently buy him a set of wardrobes, ayoko ‘yung nag-uulit siya ng damit, ‘no!”
Of late, Mark is rumored to have been smitten by Pastillas Girl who Gio confessed to have trusted so much, “Pero ahas pala!”
To deflect his mind for a moment off his managerial task, Gio—armed with an astute business acumen—is diversifying his business. Owner of the famous Artista Salon , Gio happily disclosed that he would soon be putting up laundry shops and restaurant across the country before the yearend.
“I’m already 45, and I want to achieve more, pero ang pangarap ko talaga, eh, makapundar si Mark ng sariling bahay para sama-sama na sila ng pamilya niya.”
* * *
LET me just timeline the sequence of recent events. Tuesday, we—on Cristy Ferminute—called TV host-comedian Arnell Ignacio’s attention on the condition of his still unconscious friend Richard Pinlac. Richard in the past often kept company for the TV host company in the gloomiest times.
In no time Arnell was calling Pilar Mateo, after our call, but the call was unanswered. On that same night, however, Cristy forwarded a text message from Richard’s mother reporting that Arnell had indeed paid her son a visit.
The next day on CFM, we expressed our collective gratitude for Arnell’s gesture who explained his no-show at the Capitol Medical Center. He had his eyes and nose “fixed” and couldn’t visit Richard lest he might spread infection.
Our sincere thanks to Arnell, his apology warmly accepted.