Sen. Robin Padilla dropped all appointments and rode a chopper to be able to make it on time for the 41st anniversary of Viva Entertainment , the film studio which molded him to become a big action star.
Robin revealed that Viva's founder and his mentor. Vic Del Rosario, gave him the winning advice which catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the hotly-contested senatorial polls last May 2022.
The senator came from Roxas City in the Visayas and was wearing a brown leather jacket when he breezed into Viva's anniversary party at their offices in the PSE Building in Pasig City. The occasion also served as the unveiling rites of the "Wall of Fame" which are framed black and white portraits of showbiz stars who worked closely with del Rosario and gave the company its biggest hits.
Robin recalled that when former President Rodrigo Duterte asked him to join the senatorial race, he immediately went to "Boss Vic" to consult the latter on the best thing to do.
"Isa lang ang sinabi ni Boss Vic," Robin said. "Huwag kang magpanggap na pulitiko. Kelangan ipakita mo ang tunay na Robin Padilla, walang kaplastikan. Huwag kang magpaka-matalino. Ipakita mo lang ang puso mo nasa pelikula."
Robin shared the last piece of advice which the Viva CEO told him. "Huwag kang gumawa ng kahit anong mahabang speech. Kumanta ka lang, solb na. Kaya ayun po, wala akong ginawa kundi kumanta lang. Tinalo silang lahat dahil sa Wonderful Tonight," he quipped.
The 52-year-old actor then proceeded to sing his winning piece: the Eric Clapton classic "Wonderful Tonight" in acapella fashion.
During the program, Viva's Boss Vic teased Robin about the women he was romantically linked with in the past.
"Bukod sa 'Wonderful Tonight,' maraming tumulong na mga kababaihan, kasama na si Miss Mega, si Kris Aquino at si Vina Morales. Ibig sabihin walang kagalit, hanggang sa huli," Boss Vic said in a lighthearted note, and this made the senator laugh.
"Maraming salamat. 41 years of Viva. Thank you, thank you. Hopefully more movies, more blockbusters at syempre ang mga bago nating negosyo : Vivamax, Viva foods, Viva Kids. Tapos yung ating digital. Vivamax Prime will be launched next year. So thank you sa lahat. 41 years!," said Viva's iconic founder in his short speech.
Viva's Wall of Fame (inspired by Hollywood's Walk of Fame) pays tribute to 41 distinguished homegrown artists, all of whom are the pride of Viva.
"These icons made a huge contribution to the success and victories of the company. Respected directors, veteran artists, multi-awarded actors and actresses are the individuals who are included in the Wall of Fame," Viva said in a press statement.
Aside from Padilla, the Wall of Fame includes Fernando Poe Jr., Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Sharon Cuneta, Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda, Regine Velasquez, Sarah Geronimo and many more. The youngest in the list are Yassi Pressman and Nadine Lustre.
Director Paul Alexei Basinillo, who is in charge of the project, said the Wall of Fame hopes to inspire the present crop of artists and motivate them so they will aspire to be on the wall too.
Viva Entertainment (now renamed Viva Communications Inc.) was founded on Nov. 11, 1981. Since then, it has risen to be one of the biggest companies in the Philippines in its field. It has become a highly-diversified company with interests, not only in movies, but also music, concerts, radio, talent management, streaming, home video, publishing, and restaurants, to name just a few. Reports have it that Viva will have an Initial Public Offering within the next few years.