I had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with my great friend Raymond Bagatsing, who is considered the Philippines most celebrated and multi-award winning actor.
I was thrilled to find out that he will be the Honorary Guest at the OneFilAm Film Festival, on November 16th (in Hollywood), and receive a 'Lifetime Achievement Award', as a highly regarded Filipino American actor. Raymond, who looks fresh faced and not a day over 25, jokes, "Isn't the lifetime achievement award for people over sixty?" He has a great sense of humor when he is not taking on serious and challenging roles.
His rise to stardom started over 20 years ago in the Philippines, and since then he has gone on to achieve many awards, including: the "Gawad Urian Award' twice for 'Best Actor', which is the critics choice award by academic professors. The 'Gawad Pasado Award', by academic professors of film courses in Colleges and Universities, for 'Best Supporting Actor'. He also won the 'FAMAS Award' which is the Filipino Academy of Movie, Arts and Sciences Award, as well as the Film Academy of The Philippines 'FAP Award' in the 'Best Actor' category.
In the realm of television, Raymond was awarded the 'Golden Screen Award for Television'. The show was produced by GMA7, and Raymond won for 'Best Supporting Actor in television'. At the most prestigious 'Asian Television Awards', he was in Competition with All of Asia's Most Famous and Celebrated Actors, and came out the winner again with the 'Best Actor in Television Award'.
Raymond Bagatsing took a much needed hiatus from the spotlight, and retreated to the US, where he took time to do some deep soul searching. He did a few Indie films with Radhaa Nilia Productions during this period, and one of them being 'Freight Train' a short, dramatic thriller.
'Freight Train'is Directed by a Filipino American Filmmaker and Commercial Director Zen Freese. 'Freight Train' screens at 3:30 pm. In that film, I had the wonderful opportunity to play Raymond's leading lady, and one thing I can tell you firsthand about Raymond, is that he is a generous actor, very genuine, with a deeply spiritual nature.
Raymond has made a big comeback to the Philippines from his sabbatical in the USA with a TV series called 'Sabel', by ABS CBN 2, and has followed with the hit series 'Amaya', playing King 'Datu Bugna', which has became a pop culture hit. Most recently, he's been signed to three other television shows, including: 'One True Love', 'Temptations of a Wife', and 'Basang Sisiw (Stray Children)', with two year exclusive Contract with GMA7.
In addition to performing, Raymond Bagatsing has an acting school in the Philippines, called the 'Raymond Bagatsing School for Dramatic Arts', where he enjoys sharing his vast knowledge and wisdom with aspiring students.