Costanilla: Why Raffy Uytiepo impersonates Presley-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
IMPERSONATOR. Yours truly has always admired this sportsman-cum-businessman who is not only a professional runner and race organizer but an entertainer par excellence as well. And when he holds the microphone and performs onstage, he never ceases to mesmerize the audience with his distinct brand of singing. To me, Raffy Uytiepo richly deserves the “Elvis Presley of the Visayas” tag because every time he impersonates the original King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, he does it with real gusto. Uytiepo impersonates Presley not just for the sake of impersonating the international artist but for the sake of giving the general public guaranteed and full satisfaction. He simply wants to give the audience an opportunity to watch and appreciate what a genuine Elvis Presley concert might look and sound like.
Shows. Uytiepo has already staged a number of shows in Cebu and in some parts of the Visayas. This guy can still manage his time well despite busily running Casa Ilongga that has branches all over. As a backgrounder, he started singing Presley songs during his college days although he began donning the familiar colorful and glittering getup just six years ago. Why impersonate Elvis, of all artists? According to Uytiepo, Presley was a total performer and was really different from the rest of the international singers. “My friends have been telling me that I have some similarities with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Uytiepo told me.
Delightful. Uytiepo’s impersonation of Presley is always a delightful treat. Yes, just like the original artist, he also dons the jumpsuit (he has a number of them in various colors and designs), a pair of the trademark shades, the sideburns, the hairstyle and, of course, the familiar gyrations and dance steps. This writer had the pleasure of watching Uytiepo’s gigs here and was very much impressed with his own way of entertaining the general public.
Free. At any rate, Uytiepo will be serenading all grandparents on Sunday, Sept. 9, 4 p.m., at the SM City Consolacion event center. It’s a free variety show that also features comedian Max “Daloydoy” Andrino, singing businesswoman and television personality Hildigrace Montesclaros a.k.a. Ate Ging of CCTN 47, balladeer Ruben “Boyet” Lim, comedian-cum-magician Chokolet and His Anaconda, Mark Babiera (a Michael Jackson impersonator) and this writer as the pianist/emcee. There are negotiations to invite singing realtor Herbert Buot to perform also during the show. He is known as the “Perry Como of Cebu.”
Showing. Film director Dandin Ranillo has texted this writer that he is looking at Oct. 20 as the date of the premier showing here in Cebu of Palad Ta Ang Nagbuot, a remake of the 1969 black-and-white movie. Boxer Nonito Donaire and the lovely Davaoeña singer Crissel Valdez play the lead roles in this flick. In the original film, world boxing champion Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and Gloria Sevilla were the lead rolers.
Barring unforeseen events, the Oct. 20 schedule is basically fixed already so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a successful premier showing by then.
Fun. As one of the actors in this remake, this writer can’t help but reminisce the fun-filled filming of what we envision as the flick that could jump start the revival of the local movie industry. Ranillo is optimistic about this matter. Anyway, we noticed that Donaire has a big potential in the field of acting once he decides to leave the arena of boxing and go into showbiz. He acts naturally and delivers his speaking lines just like a professional actor does. It was really fun working with this boxer, Valdez and the rest of the stars like Gloria herself, Suzette Ranillo, Max Surban, Garry Lim, Dionne Monsanto, Mon Confiado and Baldo Marro. Even the Tagalog production crew and staff were so nice to us Visayans involved in the filming of the movie.
Challenge. On the part of the Visayans, we face the challenge of eventually reviving the local movie industry and sustaining its viability and profitability in the years ahead. There is a need to meet this challenge head on.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2012.