Friday, September 2, 2011

Buddhist Personality : Ernie Garcia

Ernie Garcia or Ernesto Garcia in real life, was born on August 12 in Caloocan City, Philippines. His father, Artemio Garcia, is a Caviteno but grew up in Masbate, and his mother, Marina Sta. Maria is from Bulacan, a pure Tagalog. He started schooling at San Sebastian College. He was a former University of Santo Tomas Architecture student. He is known as the Bold King of Philippine cinema due to his many daring scenes in movies that he starred in. Before becoming a movie actor, Ernie started his showbiz career on television in the ‘70s. At age 16, he was known as a singer rather than as a movie actor. His singing repertoire would range from popular ballads to upbeat numbers.

Ernie started his acting career when he substituted for Eddie Peregrina in the soap opera “Aliw ng Buhay” with Gina Alajar as his partner. This was the time when Eddie was at the height of his popularity as a singer. His singing engagements required him to leave his TV show, which became a break for Ernie who was at that time starting his TV career. The role in “Aliw ng Buhay” was offered to him. That was the start of Ernie’s exposure to TV drama. His appearance in the TV drama caught the attention of producers, which eventually paved the way for his entry in the movie industry

In 1982, he did the movie, “Virgin People,” a Celso Ad Castillo obra. Ernie could not forget the applause given by the audience when the movie was premiered at the Folk Arts Theater.

He took a break from acting in the ‘80s in order to shed his sexy image. He decided to resume his love for singing and performed in the United States and Japan. When he came back to the Philippines, he was glad to learn that movie fans as well as his friends in showbiz still remember him for his performances in movies. He was no longer the Ernie who appeared in sexy roles, but instead, he started doing roles in movies that would identify him as an “actor”, and not simply as a movie celebrity.

He eventually ventured on painting and entered the world of theater. Ernie did a lot of stage work like “Noli Me Tangere,” and “El Fili.” He did “Hamlet” for the late Rolando Tinio in which he garnered an Aliw Award for best actor on stage in 1988. He received the FAMAS best supporting actor the following year (1989) when he made the movie, “Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw” He also received the Best Supporting Actor for the same movie given by the Star Awards.

While he was busy acting on stage, Ernie discovered and harnessed his love for the visual arts. He started painting and experimented on the canvas and eventually explored other art mediums like tiles and fiberglass.

Today, from time to time, Ernie would accept offers from TV networks to appear in their telenovelas. He would also accept offers from the Indie film circuit, although he is quite selective on the roles he accepts. For him to accept a movie offer, he has to like the story and the role.

Ernie, a Roman Catholic converted to Buddhism end of last year.

Ernie was involved in an entertainment promotion business a few years ago. When the government banned the practice of bringing Filipino talents to Japan, business activity slowed down and he lost all his possessions. He lost millions and didn't know where to start again. He was devastated until a friend introduced Buddhism to him.