Monsour del Rosario back in 'The Trigonal'

Tae-Kwon-Do champion and film star (he starred in more than three-dozen movies until he decided to become a politician)Monsour del Rosario is harnessing the relationship he built in the last decade or so with show business as he takes up the movies again. 

In 2010, he was elected councilor in Makati and re-elected on 2013. In 2015, he upped his ante in politics. He ran and won a seat in Congress representing the first district of Makati. 

In those years, show business has been luring him back, but Del Rosario had been very discriminating, always thinking the image he has as a public servant,

FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano called me twice, first to offer me a part as Congressman, but I didn’t accept it after learning the role was that of a protector of a drug lord. No, I can’t play that because I know that the audience (or most of them) can’t discern the role the actor plays onscreen from his off-screen persona. The second time, the show was offering me a role of chief of police. I got a bit excited having in mind PNP Chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa, but again the role was the chief was the protector of the Congressman who protects the drug lord in the series. So, I said ‘no.’”

Del Rosario and director Vincent Soberano

Del Rosario and director Vincent Soberano

Yet, when he was offered the role of a martial arts master who trains a green horn to fight in The Trigonal, he couldn’t say, “no.”

“When it was offered to me I’d be the lead star. But my work in Congress was the problem. I work Monday to Thursday and I can only shoot on weekends. So I asked the producers to just give me a supporting role. So that’s how Ian Ignaciobecame the lead star of the film. Well, I’m glad because Ian, son of Levi Ignaciowho is also in the movie, had been my student in martial arts,” he said over lunch at Romulo Café in Quezon City recently.

Ian is an actor in theater and has a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do, though he has yet to equal the feat of his instructor, an Olympic medalist and a Sports Hall of Fame awardee. Recently, Del Rosario was the firs non-Korean named Tae-Kwon-Do Man of the Year.

In The Trigonal, Del Rosario plays Sensei Mike Vasquez, a martial arts master.

“Ian Ignacio trained under me at the Olympians Taekwondo Training Center with my partner Stephen Fernandez. I recommended him to the director for the role in the film,” Del Rosario said.

Only nine-years old when he started training in Martial Arts (“because I was bullied in school”), Del Rosario was also fascinated by Chinese Kung Fu movies, especially those that starred Bruce Lee.“I still have the videos, hahaha,” he said.

His first martial arts instructor was Joe Lopez-Vito, a Tang Soo Dok/Moo Duk Kwan practitioner. He shifted to Tae-Kwon-Do in 1977 under Sung Chon Hongwhen he moved to Manila for his high school years, and later joined the Phiilippine National Team in 1982. 

He was introduced to the movie audience in 1986 in a small role in Gabi na Kumanderwith Phillip Salvadorand Dindo Fernando. In 2006 he appeared in Tatlong Barahawith Lito Lapidand then he found himself involved in politics.

Although his real film comeback is called Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrid also directed by Vincent Soberano,The Trigonal, which  opens on Sept. 26, marks his official movie homecoming.

“We’re aiming for The Blood Hunters to be part of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival,” Del Rosario said.

Meanwhile, Congressman Monsour del Rosario has been named Chef de Mision of the Southeast Asian Games in Manila in November 2019.

Monsour del Rosario and Ian Ignacio in a scene in The Trigonal

Monsour del Rosario and Ian Ignacio in a scene in The Trigonal