By THOMAS DULNUAN JR.
MANILA (PhilAmPress) – Next time you visit Manila, you may have an active actor and a scion of a movie family as congressmen of the city.
They are Yul Servo and Edward Maceda who are both serving their third and last terms as councilor the city.
Servo, who is known for his role as a villain in local movies, is running for congressman in Manila’s third district while Maceda, whose mother is Marichu Vera Perez, is running in the fourth district.
Councilor Edward Vera Perez Maceda is following the footsteps of his father, former Senator and Executive Secretary Ernesto Maceda. The elder Maceda also served as a young councillor of Manila during the time of Mayor Arsenio Lacson.
Maceda’s district is composed of the largely residential and educational center Sampaloc, home of the University of Sto. Tomas and several universities.
He is running to replace outgoing Rep. Ma. Trisha Bonoan David, a former councillor and lawyer who is serving out her third and final term as congresswoman of the district which produced illustrious leaders like the late Senator Arturo Tolentino, Mayor Ramon Bagatsing and Sergio Loyola,
Yul is John Marvin C. Nieto in real life, 32, is the number one councilor in the six districts of Manila, having won with the most number of votes.
His victory in his district which covers Sta. Cruz, Quiapo, San Nicolas and Binondo would be a plus factor for his quest to become the first actor-congressman in the district.
Add to that his success in the movies, having become an indie icon and hs won a slew of Best Actor awards here and abroad, for his work in such films as Batang West Side, Laman, Naglalayag, Torotot, Brutos and Ilusyon.
Servo became a household word when he was cast against the great Nora Aunor in Naglalayag, playing a taxi driver having an affair with a judge (played by Aunor).
The superstar has now come forward in support of his congressional bid.
As a councilor, he has been busy with humanitarian projects such as medical and dental missions, reaching out to out-of-school youth, and tapping the artistic potential of street kids, especially from his district.
Councilor Servo grew up in Binondo, Manila, the second eldest in a large family of four boys and four girls. His father, Martin Romano, graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in architecture but decided to become a tailor instead due to brighter prospects for the business.
Later the family went into billboard advertising and became even more well-off, although John modestly estimates they were just “slightly above middle” income.
The actor councilor started appearing in school- and church-based plays in the district of San Nicolas).
Yul actually finished criminology at the Philippine College of Criminology and was all set to become a policeman.
His fate changed when an uncle, Willy Cruz, an engineer who knew some actors and directors, saw his nephew’s potential to become a professional actor and introduced him to director Maryo J. de los Reyes.
Nieto, the budding stage play actor, later adopted the name Yul Servo after Yul Brynner who was his uncle’s favorite actor and Servo the name of the head waiter in the restaurant which the director frequented, Alex III.
He began his career in theater. De los Reyes made him undergo intensive workshops at PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) and Gantimpala Theater. His most memorable role was as the lead actor of Mass, the Tanghalang Pilipino adaptation of National Artist F. Sionil Jose’s novel, where Servo played Pepe Samson, a provinciano who journeys to Manila, becomes involved with colorful and shady characters, and finally joins the underground.
Superstar Nora Aunor has pledged to Yul Servo that she will join in her campaign, for which the outgoing councillor is thankful.
He recalled that during his first campaign, residents of the district were familiar with him because of his movie with the superstar. “Talagang sinuportahan ako ng Noranians sa distrito namin. Kaya nakakatuwa. Eh, nu’ng first kong takbo, ’yung patay na pinuntahan namin sa Quiapo, umiiyak siya dahil nagpakamatay ang anak niya.
“Pero nang makita na niya ako at ipakilala sa kanya, napatalon siya sa tuwa, eh! Nagtaka naman ako. ’Yun pala, fan siya ni Ate Guy. Napanood niya ’yung Nagla-layag,” said the young councillor.
Like other politicians, Yul Servo said he wants to become a senator or president some day.
“Eh, libre namang mangarap, eh. So taasan mo na ang pangarap mo! Ha! Ha! Ha! Pero alam kong mabigat na responsibilidad na ’yon. ’Yung senador lang mahirap na gaya ng tatakbuhan ni Vice Mayor Isko (Moreno). Parang ang hirap ng ginagawa niya. Ang laki ng mapa ng Pilipinas!” he said.