The humble beginnings of R.S. Francisco

Published September 11, 2018, 4:05 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

I was a first year college student when I watched R.S. Francisco in “M. Butterfly.” To be honest, I only watched that play in Dulaang UP because I heard that in the end of the show, the lead star would disrobe (spoiler alert!). So, out of curiosity, I went to watch it.

R.S. Francisco in character (Photo by Raymond Isaac) /
R.S. Francisco in character (Photo by Raymond Isaac)

What I didn’t know was how emotionally riveting this classic masterpiece drama is. After the play, I had my souvenir program signed by R.S. Little did I know that we would later both become members of the organization SAMASKOM at the University of the Philippines.

The two-time best actor of “Bhoy Intsik” still remembers those days.

“I remember that we used to commute home from our play rehearsals of Live Aids. After college you became a television host and a comedienne. I remember hitching with you when we saw each other at Music Museum and you were surprised I did not have a car. I told you honestly that I was having a hard time making ends meet. I was embarrassed to tell you that time that I was selling shoes and trading clothing materials in Binondo with a mere salary of R1,800 a month. You suggested that I try being an assistant director in commercials and gave me numbers of people to call to jumpstart my career. I am very thankful to you, Giselle, for that,” he told me.

But shooting commercials meant waking up at dawn and coming home at 3 a.m. the next day. It also meant missing family gatherings, and that’s the saddest part for the thespian.

Later, a friend invited him to join a multi-level marketing which he at first thought was a scam. Still, he gave it a shot. In 2010, R.S. founded Frontrow with business partner, Sam Verzosa.

Today, R.S. drives a Lamborghini and a Rolls Royce. He recently donated R10 million to the Miss Universe foundation. Frontrow has the likes of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla Floyd Mayweather, and Pia Wurtzbach, as endorsers.