Biboy Ramirez with the author, Amy Schlanger.

Contributed to the Filipino Reporter

“I am doing what I love to do,” he starts and with a gleam in his eyes he exclaims, “it’s a nice feeling. Very fulfilling as an artist.”

Biboy Ramirez is known as an actor in mostly independent award-winning movies like “In Nomine Matris,” “Maestra” and “Sitio.”

His guest appearances in TV shows like “Imbestigador,” “Maalaala Mo Kaya” and “Honesto,” among others, are unforgettable.

But what amazed me is his portrayal of Jose Rizal on stage in “Pepe.”

His characters are interesting and he manages to make a new persona out of every role.

The memorable characters are not him.

He puts on a mask and portrays it.

He is an old-school actor.

Twenty years in the world of entertainment, Biboy has more than love of his work.

He has a creed, “If you want immortality or longevity you do film. If you want big money you work for television. If you want to improve your craft as an actor you go on stage, do theatre.”

His practical sense makes his views about the industry of make believe not dreamy.

Instead, he embraces his artistic journey as a craftsman who wakes up everyday looking forward to his work.

Biboy describes himself as an independent actor.

What is an independent actor?

Artists, the good ones, yearn for control over their work.

Artistic control comes with success.

The business of media is willing to trade for that control if they trust the artist.

But that trust doesn’t come quickly or easily.

It takes years.

That’s what makes artists independent of the “system” so special.


They are too eager or passionate to wait.

“Not just picking your own projects but picking your own career path in media,” Biboy says.

He has written short comedy for the Internet advertising, involved in theatre productions, television and film.

Every possible expression of an actor’s craft in every media, Biboy has done it.

Enthusiastically he explains. “When I started behind the camera 10 years ago, I realized that the work that the production team put in a project is inconceivable.”

He gained an appreciation of all the hardwork of everyone involved leading to that “big” moment.

Sharing his experience, “Film screening or being on stage performing, making all of it come to life is all worth it,” and with a big smile on his face he continues, “the reaction you get from your audience is priceless.”

An independent actor like Biboy gives his audience an extra portion of passion.

What I remember of Biboy after meeting him in person is that he is remarkably quiet but not shy.

Many actors have a reflex or a desire to capture any room that they walk in to and be the center of attention, but not Biboy Ramirez.

He is a man of his own thoughts, very perceptive and a careful listener.

He has intensely and passionately focused on his work.

He has the soul of an artist.

I have seen examples of actors who wear the actor’s mask well.

They take on the character and make us believe it.

Biboy goes a step further.

He writes, directs and produces.

He creates the mask for other actors to wear.

In rare occasion, he is on both sides of the mask in the same production.

He shares his views on working behind-the-scenes, “When I produce a project, I collaborate with a team to work on the story. When I do photography it is shooting frame for frame according to what the script asks for. Directing is executing the story. Writing, for me, is very challenging but more fulfilling because the project starts with a concept and it needs to be written.”

Being exposed to all forms of media and have worked on variety of production tasks Biboy has this confession to make, “My first love is acting.”

Then seriously expressed, “I’d drop everything when I get an acting job. I will accept every project.”  

The variety of projects in his acting portfolio ranges from a school project like “Aling Pag-ibig Pa?” which is a short film production thesis, to an internationally acclaimed film “In Nomine Matris.”

He tackles every role so naturally.

You can feel the pain in his character in a dramatic scene.

Biboy has come a long way from the kid who was discovered at the mall while waiting for his pictures to be developed.

The anticipation of success of independent films is really rooting for the underdog.

We treasure the visionaries and artists who reach with their childlike dreams through the obstacles of tight schedules and limited budgets.

Biboy Ramirez has done that ably by seizing the actor’s mask.