Arjo trains spotlight on Filipino talent


    Arjo Atayde, named Best Actor at the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) 2020 for his performance in “Bagman,” shared his win to the many talented artists in Philippine entertainment.

    The actor, speaking on a media con Tuesday, revealed the reason why he trained the spotlight on other Filipino actors in his acceptance speech.

    Arjo said: “I appreciate actors who give so much respect, even more than I do to the craft.

    There are a number of Filipino actors, I’ve seen them, grind, work, some I have seen on screen. What amazes me is how they get to do their characters and I guess the Filipino actors have something to show people abroad, if only given the chance. And if I can be the key to that, to be able push Filipino talent out there, then I am more than willing to be that person, to be on that team, to bring Filipino talent out there because I just think we need to, I just think we can. Filipino always say we can, we can do it. I always say we have to, so let’s do it. That’s what I am saying. I just want to be positive. Nothing’s impossible, just keep working for it, keep working for it. Don’t just stop. That’s how I feel and I’m very passionate about all these actors, even getting recognition for it. People who actually deserve it, coz I idolize a lot of actors, I respect a lot of actors. That’s how I felt. It just came out. Super unexpected speech. I was stuttering already but I felt like saying it. I just want us to be known, not just me. I’m a character actor, there’s so much good character actors out there. Much respect.”

    In his acceptance speech last Friday, December 4, Arjo said: “I am just one of the actors here in the Philippines. There are a lot of brilliant actors, and I just hope for them to show you what we have in the country. I hope this is not the first and last. I hope this is the beginning of everything.”

    Government support will mean a lot for the entertainment industry, said Arjo.

    “I don’t mean to badmouth our government but I think other actors are supported by their government and it makes a big factor. And I’m stating a fact. I guess we need more support, more time, especially now that we were so used to shooting 20-30 scenes in a span of 24 hours and now you have to shoot that in a span of 12 hours…

    “Maybe with time and building the right team, maybe this is the best time for people to collaborate and get the best team out there to collaborate, put up a project and then hopefully, ship it abroad and make people to see it.”

    Arjo won for his role as barber-turned-henchman-turned-governor in the socio-political iWant series, “Bagman,” besting nine Asian actors: Luo Jin (China), Manoj Bajpayee (India), Miller Khan (Indonesia), Bront Palarae (Malaysia), Anthony Wong (Hong Kong), Kha Ra (Myanmar), Zhang Yao Dong (Singapore), Prin Suparat (Thailand), and Ching-Ting Hsia (Taiwan).

    He bagged the Philippines’ first-ever acting accolade in the main competition.

    Before being named the best in the region, Arjo was picked as the national winner for the Philippines by AAA’s jury members in the Best Actor category. He was also submitted for consideration by ABS-CBN’s Dreamscape Entertainment and iWant, now known as iWantTFC, in the local race.

    Before his international recognition, Arjo’s portrayal of an anti-hero in “Bagman’s” two seasons has generated praises from local viewers. He plays Benjo Malaya, an ordinary barber who learns to maneuver the dark and often thorny ins-and-outs of politics.“Bagman,” which is currently streaming on the iWantTFC app (iOS and Android) and site (, also received generally positive reviews from viewers for its unapologetic exploration of relevant social issues and deep-dive into the brutal world of politics and corruption.