Thursday, July 17, 2008


There’s more to Ramon Bautista than meets the eye

By Angelique P. Manalad, Contributor

Bautista straddles his existence
between teaching and filmmaking.

Ramon Bautista—if that name rings a bell, its because he had been invaded MTV with his very own show, staring in various music videos for local bands, endorsing products here and there, hosting the Pasyal television travel show for Studio 23, and the Brewrats radio program for Campus FM 99.5. This guy who claims bumming is his passion has a lot of work on his hands.

The professor and the filmmaker

Bautista, a filmmaker, was hired as a professor at the University of the Philippines Film Institute after his thesis Makina—a short animated film on greed—and Mga Bangkang Papel sa Swimming Pool ng Kumukulong Arnibal—a documentary about film making—both won awards here and abroad. He is currently finishing his masters degree in Film.

As a professor, he puts on his serious side. “Being a teacher in the premier state university in the country, most people expect a lot from me, so I try hard to do my best. I can’t do all the stupid stuffs in front of them. There has to be mutual respect. Their grades are in my hands so my students have to take me seriously. It’s 80 percent education and 20 percent fun here, which is the opposite on my shows,” Bautista says.

Besides working hard at being lazy, Bautista declares that filmmaking is his second passion. This independent filmmaker has little sympathy for the beleaguered mainstream movie industry. “Just let the passionate filmmakers make films and let the passionate moviegoers watch film. That’s all we can do, if it dies it dies.”


Having appeared in humorous music videos of Radioactive Sago Project and Sugarfree, he has been typecast as a comedian. But Bautista doesn’t considered himself as one. “I prefer to be in other roles too like drama or boy-next-door type, maybe it’s some sort of untapped talent for directors out there to come and discover that. I’m a real good actor you know, I’m really an emotional guy,” he claims.

His stint in music videos led MTV to create the Ramon Bautista Show with award-winning music video director RA Rivera. In one episode of the show, Bautista asks for help from different local artists to teach him how to play the guitar in his trademark deadpan broken English.

With Brewrats, he joins fellow filmmaker/television icon Tado Jimenez to create a radio version of the defunct television show Strangebrew. “It’s like an absurd, comedic gag show which talks about anything but most of the time it’s really educational if you take a closer look,” he explains.

As absurdist as his works may seem, Ramon Bautista’s artistry and intelligence shows itself to those who discern.


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