For the first time, the ever-elusive director Lino Cayetano broke his silence about the girls with whom he was romantically linked. This was during his press con where he announced his candidacy as Congressman for the second district of Taguig for the coming May 2013 elections. His brother Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, who joined him in the said event, kept teasing Direk Lino about his ex-girlfriends from showbiz including KC Concepcion and Bianca Gonzalez.
When asked if he’s going to invite KC and Bianca to campaign for him, Direk Lino admitted that he’s hesitant to answer such a leading question. “Paano ko ba sasagutin ito? Si Ate Kris (Aquino) na lang bahala kung sino gusto niya. Tsaka si Sir Deo (Endrinal), kung sino ang may gusto. Ayoko sagutin yan kasi pag sinabi kong gusto ko ihe-headline mo, papapuntahin. Kapag sinabi kong hindi, ihe-headline mo hindi pinapunta,” Direk Lino cheerfully began. “Pwede, yes [kung gusto nila ako tulungan]. It’s up to them. They’re most welcome.”
Direk Lino revealed that both KC and Bianca have been extending help to his constituents in Taguig where he served as Barangay Captain for two-and-a-half years. “Si KC, si Bianx, actually they’ve been helping Taguig, hindi lang ngayon, [but] for the last three years. Kapag bagyo, or ‘pag meron silang project, pero diretso na sila kay Ate Lani (Cayetano, incumbent Mayor of Taguig and wife of Senator Peter) tsaka kay Kuya. Minsan hindi ko na alam, ‘Ah asa Taguig ba siya?’ But they’ve been very supportive of our advocacies. At nanggagaling sa puso yung pagmamahal nila. KC brought her friends [to help also]. Si Bianca recently she did a school supplies distribution. But they do it quietly on their own.”
After much prodding from the local press, Direk Lino confirmed that he had a relationship with celebrity fashion stylist Liz Uy. “Oo, minahal ko naman talaga si Liz. Ay hindi na [kami]. Pero mahal ko pa rin naman talaga siya. She's very special to me. Ini-introduce ko naman lagi sa family if I meet someone. So Liz was the last person na na-introduce ko sa kanila.” He added that he has been loveless for the past one and a half years.
Shy to ask support from showbiz friends
With the help of his colleagues in ABS-CBN, Direk Lino gained support from celebrities such as Kris Aquino and Pokwang who have expressed their desire to help him in his candidacy. As it is, he has always been the behind-the-scenes type of guy and has no clue how to go about campaigning for his cause. Apparently, the Queen of All Media learned through their common friends that Direk Lino has been bringing teachers, whom he closely works with in his barangay, to watch her Metro Manila Film Fest movies for the past three years (Dalaw, Segunda Mano, and Sisterakas), as a sort of Christmas tradition. “Kaya ko lang nabanggit kasi first time ko nasabing tatakbo ako was in the show of Ms. Kris. Na-overwhelm ako dun sa support na binigay niya. It’s overwhelming for someone like Ms. Kris Aquino [knowing na] she believes in me and she wants to help. I don’t want to say anything except thank you to her.”
Pokwang, on the other hand, recently granted a free concert in his barangay together with some of their celebrity friends. “Yung nahingaan ko lang talaga ng tulong sina Sir Deo (Endrinal), Biboy (Arboleda), EJ (Salut) and then si Ate Kris. Through them na lang ako hihingi ng tulong if other people want to help. Sa totoo lang kasi mahiyain din ako eh. Even yung mga nakatrabaho ko, si Ms. Pokie, nagkusa na mag-concert sa amin. In fact sabi niya, ‘Sa January 5 libre ako, punta ako diyan.’ Nagsimula dun until close to 15 people I’ve worked with nag-free concert. Hindi ko sila matext ng diretso. So bahala na si Mother Biboy.”
Direk Lino as teacher-turned-director
Direk Lino finished Mass Communications at University of the Philippines-Diliman and initially wanted to major in Broadcasting. But he focused on Film Studies instead after he was influenced by the works of great directors Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal. He also earned a Filmmaking degree in New York Film Academy.
And yet, he didn’t have it easy in spite of his good academic background coupled with the fact that he’s the son of the late Senator Rene Cayetano. As a fresh grad, he wasn’t accepted when he applied for a position in the big media companies. “Totoo yun [anak ako ng Senator at that time] pero three years akong walang trabaho. I was a teacher in UP. I couldn’t find a job for three years. I didn’t find a job in ABS-CBN, Viva Films, or in GMA. Senator si dad nun. Alam nung heads ng tatlong kumpanyang yun nag-apply ako. Nung namatay dad ko, wala akong senador na ama, I applied and was blessed sa Starstruck and pawis at dugo ko ang binigay ko para mataguyod ang show.”
When he finally got the chance to work in the Kapamilya network, Direk Lino shared that it was as if he was back to square one. In the process, he also addressed the issue of political dynasty, which might be the impression of other people now that he’s entering politics like his siblings. “I had to prove myself again everyday. Si Biboy, I’m sure nung pumasok ako ng pinto ang sabi niyan, ‘Wala ‘to, kayang-kaya ko ‘to.’ Creative boss ko ‘yan e. I had to prove myself to Biboy everyday. Yes, marami rin dynasty sa atin [showbiz], pero the ones who are there are the ones who proved themselves. Hindi namamana ang pagiging star. Bibigyan ka ng isang show dahil sa pangalan mo. Pero pangalawang show mo may papatunayan ka na. Dumating ako, Lino Cayetano, wala akong kamaganak sa industriya. Pero salamat na pinagkatiwalaan ako. I think ganun din ang batayan natin sa pulitika.”