Direk Bobot on finding the next big stars

As he has recently released his new record “Goin’ Standard,” which is a compilation of some of the songs that became part of his life and showbiz journey, as well as his long-running show Goin’ Bulilit is making a comeback, Direk Bobot Mortiz fondly reminisces about his colorful showbiz career, challenges in life, and journey as “The Father of Philippine TV’s Biggest Stars” in this interview with Bernadette Sembrano.

After being a singer and actor for quite some time, Direk Bobot eventually found himself behind the camera as television director, with the ‘90s comedy program “Tropang Trumpo” being his directorial debut. It was also through this project that he was able to discover that he has the eye to see potential talents, such as sexy actresses Aubrey Miles, Amanda Paige, Joyce Jimenez, Aileen Damiles, Ina Raymundo, and Ana Capri who became part of the show after he spotted them. 

Another remarkable masterpiece of him was the sitcom “Let’s Go,” which launched the acting careers of Bangs Garcia, Alex Gonzaga, Joem Bascon, and Matteo Guidicelli. It was also him who gave Bangs and Alex their screen names, with the former derived from her character’s hairstyle, while the latter inspired by her sister Toni Gonzaga. 

Certainly, who would not know Goin’ Bulilit, which is considered the longest-running kiddie comedy gag show in the country and the launching pad of some of today’s biggest stars. According to Direk Bobot, he’s the type who does not only base on a child’s talent, but the potential that he sees in him/her as he has the inexplicable ability to envision the roles that each kid is going to portray in the future. 

Thus, he shared that the management of ABS-CBN trusts him when it comes to casting kids from Goin’ Bulilit to other programs. But prior to allowing anyone of them to be deployed in another project, he would ask the management to let him prepare the kids further.

As a matter of fact, he had a conversation with Miles Ocampo, Jane Oineza, Kathryn Bernardo, Julia Montes, and Kiray Celis, wherein he told them that they would certainly become famous one day. And, as we can see, they’re among the most popular stars not just of their generation, but of Philippine showbiz, too. 

He ‘fessed up that Julia actually didn’t make it to the initial cut, but he insisted on including her to the pioneer lineup of bulilits because he saw a potential in her. It was also him who gave her the first screen name that he used, which was Mara Montes, before the management reintroduced her as Julia Montes following her stint as the titular kontrabida in the 2010 remake of “Mara Clara,” which she co-starred opposite Kathryn.
Meanwhile, he shared that he made the “mistake” of predicting Miles as the one who could be the next Jodi Sta. Maria for she didn’t become a steady dramatic actress, but she has dabbled in comedy as well. 

As Bernadette mentioned Heart Evangelista, Direk Bobot revealed that it was him who actually referred her to star maker Johnny Manahan after she introduced herself to him and he found out that he’s the niece of his good friend, Rod Ongpauco, to whom he used to borrow cars every time he went on dates. 

Thus, to those who wish to make it to the entertainment scene, Direk Bobot implied that it’s definitely not just about the talent, but also luck and charisma, which are ingredients to success that cannot be learned nor developed because a person is born with them.  

With regard to the highly anticipated return of Goin’ Bulilit, many are delighted that the It’s Showtime kids were actually part of it. He might not have met them yet when this interview was filmed, but he’s well aware of how talented each of them are, especially when it comes to delivering long lines with emotions. Thus, he’s confident that they are going to be great assets to the show.

*Photo credit to Camille Mortiz