Roderick Paulate: A legend — and a good man (2024)

Roderick Paulate’s most unforgettable contribution to the Generation X wonder years are the laugh-out-loud and tear-inducing memories collectively experienced and remembered by many courtesy of his flamboyant gay characters in hit movies and television shows.

To this day, Roda Coburns in “Tepok Bunot,” a character created for him by co-star Bibeth Orteza, brings a smile to anyone who remembers that evening TV sitcom.

Charot, a movie inspired by Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie, has a never-to-be-forgotten Escolta opening scene: Paulate dressed to the nines under the sweltering Manila heat, huffing and puffing yet also unwaveringly poised.

There’s also the Maalaala Mo Kaya classic pink episode Wristwatch, with his character Ernest’s “won’t forget, can’t regret, what I did for love” resolve for his greatest love Eddie, portrayed by TonTon Gutierrez, leaving an indelible mark.

Paulate is next set to star, alongside good friend Maricel Soriano, in FM Reyes’ In His Mother’s Eyes, opening in cinemas nationwide on 29 November.

Of the many, many films he has made (Paulate has been acting since childhood), what are his favorites?

In our exclusive chat with the actor, he ticked off with fondness his top picks, beginning with High School Circa 65.

“It was my first gay role in the late 70s,” Paulate said. “It was in this film where I got nominated for Best Supporting at the age of 16.”

Coming in second are Petrang Kabayo and Ang Munting Kuting.

“It was a good and hilarious film in the ‘80s with Ice Seguerra,” recalled Paulate. “I used prosthetics, which made it difficult for me to do my transformation from human to a mechanical head of a horse. Gusto ni Direk Chaning Carlos, body movement kind of transformation.”

“I’m proud of this movie because it turned out to be a phenomenal film in the box office that time,” he added.

Third is Bala at Lipstick, “where I play a dual role. One character was gay and my twin was a member of an armed syndicate. I made a lot of lines in the movie that up to now are being posted/ imitated on TikTok and FB, like “Isang box galing Japan” and “please help me,” “chenes ang ganda mo noh?!” and “Japayuki ka? hindi ah gagah!”

Paulate’s eyes turned misty when he talked about the late great film master Maryo delos Reyes: “I miss working with Kuya Maryo because he always let me do my adlibs in our films. Anticipated nya ang kilos at sasabihin ko (he knew what I would do and say).”

Roderick Paulate: A legend — and a good man (1)

Comeback movie

In His Mother’s Eyes, his comeback movie after a long hiatus, attracted Paulate because “The story is new to me. And the character of Bibs is somehow different from the gay characters I have portrayed before.”

Tito Bibs or Bibs had his own sacrifices to take for his nephew Tim (LA Santos), given no choice” Paulate said. “He is strong enough to take on the responsibilities of his sister Lucy, who did not show up or send financial support to Tim for eight years.”

Another attraction was working with not only his best friend, but someone he considers a sister from another mother, the Diamond Star Maricel Soriano.

It’s been a decades-long friendship, but “Nothing has changed except the fact that she’s a greater actress now, maybe because of her wider perspective in life and maturity,” Paulate said.

The actor is also all praises for Santos, who plays his nephew Tim in In His Mother’s Eyes: “LA is a promising good actor. He spent time and effort to give justice to his role. He really worked hard.

More than that, it is good to say that LA is a nice and sweet young man. Very respectful and humble. I’ve seen his love and passion for his acting job, his craft. He will go a long way.”

Filipino viewers should not miss In His Mother’s Eyes because “In nutshell, it’s a good and heartwarming family movie,” declared Paulate. “Hindi lang humahaplos, kundi tagos sa puso (It doesn’t just touch the heart but goes right through it). It’s a movie that moviegoers must not miss.”

Roderick Paulate is deemed a pillar of Philippine movies, and no wonder: There’s his passion for his craft, the commitment and dedication he gives to making roles his own, and his love for the art that has consumed his life for decades.

This is why Roderick Paulate is a showbiz icon, a legend — but more than that, also a much-loved and respected man by everyone he meets.

Roderick Paulate: A legend — and a good man (2024)

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