MANILA, Philippines –Actor-turned-councilor Alfred Vargas has full faith in the core theme of Brazilian novelist Paulo Coehlo’s “The Alchemist” in that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
“Nagbunga rin yung mga sacrifices ko,” he quipped, pertaining not only to his achievements as public servant, but also to the projects he had to give up in show business in order to concentrate on his official duties.
Apparently, Vargas doesn’t believe in serving two masters at the same time and that when it came to choosing just one, his acting career took the backseat. Although Vargas was seen in the movie “Supremo” last December, few know that he could’ve been more visible on TV if he had only accepted the offers that came his way.
“Dati kaya kong mag dalawa, mag tatlong (telenovela) every year pero talagang nagbigay ako ng oras para dito, talagang nag effort ko. Nakaka-miss din ang show business…” he said, smiling.
A portion of his schedule is taken up by higher studies in Public Service at the University of the Philippines though he is on leave right now as he campaigns for the elections.
Unless people think that he is relying on his public post to put food on his table, Vargas pointed out that long before he embarked in politics, he had opened several businesses.
“Meron akong farm tapos we own a company na supply solutions na anything to do with water---water filtration, water supply, sewage treatment, very technical. Mayroon akong alternative vision cinema na kumikita naman at meron din akong Lotto-han.”
He laughs at the idea that some people still think he was a former macho dancer just because he tackled such a role in one of his movies. He is happy to be more identified these days with “Supremo,” a biopic about hero Andres Bonifacio, which Vargas said will keep him busy in the next five years or so since it has been invited to screen in schools and universities nationwide.
“We based it on books. Historical accounts talaga. So pati ‘yung mismong pagpatay kay Andres Bonifacio, up to the detail. And pinanuod siya ng mga historians. Sabi nila sa akin ‘I think that’s how Andres Bonifacio really lived.’ And pinakita namin ‘yung ano, hindi namin siya ginawang god. Pinakita namin ‘yung human side niya,” he said of the film.
Vargas is thankful to have a family that stands behind him a hundred percent. He said that his wife, Filipino-Italian Yasmine Espiritu, and their two children, understand his work and they support him by providing balance in their lives.
“Pag umuuwi ako, strictly no talking about politics! Ama lang ako, asawa, pag nasa bahay. I like it that way.”