Because televisions then were powered by batteries, it has to be turned-off during every commercial to save on electricity. Everybody tensed when the black-and-white picture start to diminish indicating the decreasing battery power. And this always happen when he goes riding off on his horse to rescue a damsel from the bad guys.
Channel 13’s Piling-piling Pelikula was always a big event as Abet has witnessed in Almaguer, Mapandan, and Paniqui. At least for the kids. This they anticipate for 1 week especially if it’s the fast-drawing-and-shooting hero who can kill a battalion of kontrabidas and seemed immune to bullets. There is one rule among the TV viewers: no farthing please.
He was Geronimo, Leon Guerrero, Julian Valiente, Diego Santa Cruz, Pedro Tunasan, Zigomar, and Julian Vaquero. How we would like to be like him then.
After high school, he tried the movies as a fledging stuntman doing mostly “extra” roles. But he’s got the looks and perhaps the talent of riding horses, cocking a gun while sumersaulting in mid-air, and doing the rapido that culminates in a pompyang. The kids liked his movies and he soon become the country’s numero uno action star.
This is the fame that made him vice-governor of Pampanga, governor, and a senator of the republic. Now, he wants to become the mayor of the country’s financial center too.
Actors must have liked being family men because like a former president, an almost president, and a father and son in the senate, he’s got multiple family ties. His eldest son Manuelito is with former Miss International Melanie Marquez while his next 4 children is with his legal wife Marissa Tadeo, one of which is now the incumbent governor of their province.
Manuel Mercado Lapid was born and raised in Porac --- a town that was first established as an Augustinian mission in 1594 and named after the purac tree. Like many missions, a church was built: first of light materials that was replaced with a stronger structure during the 1710-1734 period by Fr. Manuel Obregon (OSA) and Fr. Nicolas Mornier (OSA), then in 1872 by Fr. Isidro Bernardo to replace what was probably destroyed in the 1863 earthquake. This church was renovated and restored in 1877, 1884, 1950, and 1990.
Adjacent to Porac is the sleepy town of Sta. Rita de Baculud/Sta. Rita de Lele. It was established in 1722 but because of its “economic and juridical conditions”, church building was started only in 1839 by Fr. Francisco Royo (OSA) then Fr.Juan Merino (OSA) presumably through funds donated by Don Alejandro Rodriguez.
Lito Lapid’s koboy image suited him fine in the movies. He should have just stayed there and make the kids of Almaguer happy.
PHOTOS (top to bottom):
1) Action star turned politician Lito Lapid.
2) Gov. Mark Lapid (left) and dad Sen. Lito Lapid (right).
3) The churches of Porac and (4) Sta. Rita in Pampanga.
CREDITS: Lapid photos and information from Wikipedia.