By: Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Actor Coco Martin revealed that he had to take a psychology test before assuming the lead role in the top-rating ABS-CBN program, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano.”

“It tells you what kind of a hero you are,” Coco shared with the Inquirer during a visit to the “Ang Probinsiyano” set in Camp Crame, Quezon City. “It turned out that the role [of Cardo] was perfect for me.”
The role was first portrayed by the late Fernando Poe Jr. on the big screen.

“Like Cardo, I’m very close to my family. I was also brought up in a poor family. Like me, his family, [aside from] his community, is most important to him.”

“Coco is so passionate about the show, so collaborative and helpful with his ideas,” said Malou Sevilla, the show’s director.

She said that creating the character of Paloma—a prostitute/sales lady/beauty contestant—was Coco’s suggestion.

“It’s one of his dream roles, something he had not done before…we thought of [depicting] white slavery, too,” she added.

The director also said that the “Paloma, the Beauty Queen” episode was the show’s “little tribute” to 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

Portraying Paloma was really challenging, said Coco. “I now appreciate women, who patiently dress up and put on makeup before going out. The preparation alone takes two long hours. There was also the torture of having to wear high heels. I stumbled several times.

“I had to wear a bra and put on pads for breasts and hips. I also wore gloves because my hands are too manly. I know my limitations. I laughed the first time I saw myself. ”

The February 1 episode featuring Paloma has set a ratings record of 45.9 percent in terms of nationwide audience share, according to a Kapamilya network statement.

What’s next for Cardo after Paloma?

He said that “a romantic angle” between his and Anne Curtis’ characters may be explored.

As for the scariest stunt, he said it was jumping from a foot bridge onto a moving bus.

“We didn’t ask permission from the network. I’m used to guerrilla shooting because of all the indie films I had made,” he confessed.

His director explained that while the program is about a probinsiyano policeman trying to find his brother’s killer, “it is also about him trying to help make this [country] a better place to live in.”

“When we did the dancing policeman episode, we wanted Coco to dance, but we also wanted to tell the story of an errant MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) officer,” Malou said. “It was meant as a shoulder-tap for those who have gone astray, as well as a commendation for those who have remained faithful to their duties.”

She continued: “There are stories we want to discover…we could use them to not only entertain, but to inform viewers, as well.”


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