by Karlo Sevilla
A little more than a year ago, in an ABS-CBNnews.com article titled “JM de Guzman’s dad: I want my son back,” the actor’s father Ronniel de Guzman revealed na siya mismo ang nagpaalam kay director Francis Villacorta that his son JM would no longer play the title role in the biopic “San Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir.”
Villacorta was expectedly disappointed over the development, as he considered JM “ideal” for the role of the Filipino martyr saint. Ang title role ng biopic na noo’y official entry sa Metro Manila Film Festival ay binigay naman sa actor na si Rocco Nacino.
According to the report, the concerned parent expressed, “May pinagdadaanan siya. May health problem siya. But he’s on his way to recovery…He’s been on a sabbatical for two weeks now.”
Ronniel, a director of the National Press Club (NPC), continues, “I want him to be much better, magkaroon ng responsibility. He has to fix himself, conquer his own demons. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Dapat pagbalik mo sa showbiz, mas may tools ka na.’”
“Pag-arte lang naman ang gusto niyang gawin. Kahit bigyan mo lang ‘yan ng piso at ilang tao lang ang manonood, aarte siya.”
He also stated what was already widely recognized by the showbiz industry: “Kahit anong mangyari kay JM, you can’t take away his talent. Paano ka magiging tunay na artista kung hindi ka sensitive sa feelings mo?”
Ronniel also defended his son then from nasty rumors that the latter had become impoverished. From his interview with The Philippine Star’s Ricky Lo, he said, “I am hurt by those untrue stories. Like any father, I love my son. I love my son so much that’s why it hurts me to read or hear bad stories about him that are not true.”
More than a year ago, father Ronniel confessed, “I want my kid back,” and that his son who was the original choice to play Saint Pedro Calungsod has to “heal his wounds.”
Their family decided to admit JM into a rehabilitation center and asked for understanding and prayers from people concerned for the full recovery of his celebrity son.
Gladly for the elder de Guzman, whose father Cornelio (JM’s grandfather with whom the actor enjoyed a very close relationship) passed away only last July, his son has now recovered and is regaining his rightful place in showbiz. Si JM ngayon ay may prominent role sa tumatakbong teleseryeng “Hawak Kamay” ng ABS-CBN, bilang half-brother ng character ni Piolo Pascual.
Noong birthday party ng aktor last September 9, Ronniel happily shared, “I’m glad that now he associates and trains more with his friends in sports, and that he is back in his showbiz career.”