Carlo Aquino's big dream

HE’S ONLY in his early 20's, but as an actor, Carlo Aquino has pretty much seen and done it all. He bared his promise as an actor early, when he bagged a Best Child Actor trophy from the FAMAS in 1998 for his role as Vilma Santos' son

By Contributor (Aprylle Liabres)

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Published: Wed 12 Sep 2007, 11:22 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:48 AM

in the film adaptation of Lualhati Bautista's novel ‘Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?’

That movie was a milestone in his career, because it also brought him a host of other awards, including a Best New Actor trophy from the Star Awards for Movies and a citation as Most Popular Child Actor from the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

On television, Carlo was honoured with a trophy for Best Single Performance by an Actor for his role in ‘Tanging Yaman’, the Series.

He is truly gifted as an actor, but guess what? Carlo Aquino now wants to get into directing. He told us as much during a birthday press conference tendered for him by Viva Artists Agency (VAA) head Veronique del Rosario at a restaurant in Quezon City. This took place shortly after his return from a US tour where he joined ex-PDA scholars Yeng Constantino, Jay-R Siaboc, Ronnie Liang and RJ Jimenez in their shows in Washington and Chicago.

Carlo brought home a lot of good memories from the trip, but one tangible reminder of it was the brand-new laptop that he bought. Although it was a bit pricey — it cost all of $1,800 — Carlo is excited by the fact that the laptop is capable of editing movies and videos.

“I'd like to get into directing one day. In fact, when we were in the US, I had a video camera, and I took some footage of our shows that I'm now editing on my laptop. This is practice for what I want to do in the future,” says Carlo, who has been getting valuable tips and advice from director Jon Ilagan of ‘Pinoy Dream Academy’ fame. Direk Jon, who is affiliated with Dream Big Productions, also accompanied them on the trip. Whenever they had free time, the two of them would get together and talk about filmmaking, a common passion that they share. “He's been teaching me a lot, especially about the right kind of lighting for scenes,” says Carlo.

Asked why he doesn't go back to school to study Film and Audio-Visual Communications, Carlo says that he attempted several times to go back to school, but each time he does, he gets offered a new project and has to put school aside. He was enrolled for less than one semester at the UP Conservatory of Music when he was offered a role in Bituing Walang Ningning by ABS-CBN.

When that show ended, Carlo enrolled at Thames International School, ostensibly to take up Mass Communications. “I hadn't even completed the semester when I was offered another project with GMA-7, the Sine Novela ‘Sinasamba Kita’. So I had to quit again,” he says.

Now, he's planning to go back to school again, ‘hopefully to study film.’

But what if he gets offered another project and has to quit again? Carlo laughs. “Then I'll know that I really can't do those two things at the same time.”

Someone suggested that maybe Carlo might want to consider enrolling in the UP Open University, an online distance learning program that several celebrities, including Sarah Geronimo and Rachelle Ann Go, both VAA talents like Carlo, have taken up. Carlo expressed interest, and even asked for the Open University's number so he could call them and inquire.

That may be his best option for now, since he does have several projects lined up, including an indie (independently-produced) film titled ‘Carnivore’, directed by Ato Bautista. The film stars Carlo with Mark Gil, Empoy and Cholo Barretto, nephew of Claudine. In the film, Carlo's character joins a fraternity, and for the final initiation rites, they are brought to a thickly-forested area where the unthinkable happens.

“Basically, what the film is trying to say is that no matter how innocent or good you think you are, the system will eat you up, and you'll be forced to go along,” says Carlo.

He likes making independent films, because they give him a chance to observe the filmmaking process up close. “But I'm still hoping I'll be given the chance one day to direct my own film.”

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