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Piolo Pascual, Diether Ocampo, and Jericho Rosales grateful to Johnny Manahan for his guidance in showbiz

The tribute came after ABS-CBN announced that Manahan will no longer be working with the company.

Kapamilya stars recently paid tribute to Star Magic co-founder Johnny Manahan, also known as Mr. M, in a show that was done on Zoom called The Man Behind the Magic.

Various celebrities shared their most memorable moments with Manahan.

Piolo Pascual said he always felt that Manahan was a genuine person who cared for others.

To Piolo, Manahan was always unpredictable because of his “poker face” expression.

“The same as anyone. Di mo alam sinasabi niya because he keeps that poker face look na di mo alam na galit ba siya sayo o natututwa ba siya sa ‘yo,” Piolo shared during the Zoom session.

“Nakakatuwa kasi yung yung enigma ni Mr. M at hindi natin alam ano tumatakbo sa utak niya.

“Pag nandyan siya alam ko he really cares for me. Whatever he says he always means it,” he added.

At every chance he gets, Piolo would look to Manahan for advice.

“Yung mga moments na nag ASAP kami every Sunday, lahat yung niloolook forward ko because iba yung wisdom ng isang tatay at nung binibigay niya sa ‘yo,” he said.

Manahan would also ask how Piolo’s personal life was doing.

“Di ko makakalimutan yung. He’s been really consistent,” Piolo said.

Jericho Rosales was also in attendance and shared how he and Manahan go way back.

When Jericho was still in his mid-teens, he saw Manahan as a mix of an “uncle, a dad, barkada.”

The 41-year old was part of Star Magic’s Batch 4 workshop in 1997 and his most memorable moment was when he met Manahan.

Before the pandemic, Jericho attended a Star Magic event that was filled with new up and coming artists and saw Manahan on stage pointing fingers at them.

“He had that demeanor na this is a man of authority. He is Mr. M,” Jericho said.

“He’s very special to me because we have this connection na parang we created this character called Jempot, kahit anong jokes na ilabas ko basta as Jempot. Tawang tawa siya,” he added.

He also brought up the time Manahan smacked him upside his head for doing something wrong, but Jericho appreciated it and even thanked the show business legend.

“One day binatukan niya ako ng malakas [kasi] may ginawa akong kalokohan. He said never do that again and I said, ‘I appreciate that, thank you, love you Mr. M,'” he said.

Diether Ocampo remembered how he got rejected in his first audition for Star Magic. Diether entered the first-ever batch but did not make it “for some reason.”

“I really auditioned for the first batch. The first batch was sina Rico Yan. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it dun sa first batch for some reason,” he shared with everyone.

He revealed that acting wasn’t really his passion at the time.

“Because di talaga ako mahilig mag artista. Sinamahan ko lang talaga yung kaibigan ko mag audition,” he said.

“Nag introduce sa amin si Chris Vilago to John Manahan,” he added.

Manahan gave him another shot and Diether was placed in the second batch, together with Mylene Dizon and Marvin Agustin.

“He said, ‘Okay I’ll give you another opportunity to do another audition.’ In this case, I landed in the second batch.”

At one shooting session, Manahan requested for Diether to have more exposure for a certain film.

Diether’s rise to stardom started when he was given a major role in the primetime melodrama romance television series Mula sa Puso.

“We call him coach. He is like a mentor that’s why we always say M stands for mentor,” said Diether.

The tribute came after ABS-CBN announced that Manahan will no longer be working with the company.


Manahan is expected to direct a TV5 noontime show under Brightlight Productions.

Written by Gianni Russo

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