By Maridol Ranoa-Bismark
Now that he’s based in Lahug City, Cebu, traveling from the Queen City of the South to Manila and vice-versa is second nature to award-winning actor Baron Geisler. The 39-year-old entrepreneur goes to Manila for work – shootings and tapings. But once his director shouts, “Pack up!” Baron prepares his things and flies back to Cebu, straight to the arms of his wife Jamie and their one-year-old daughter Talitha Cumi.
No wonder Baron lights up when describing Cebu.
“There’s something magnetic about it,” he gushes over the phone, in-between taping breaks for a soap opera. He explains that Cebu is at the center of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Baron proved her right. He proclaimed on national television that he lives for his family. Aside from Jamie, Talitha, or Tali is Baron’s everything.
Despite the pandemic, Baron thinks it’s high time to bring his family up north. Jamie and Tali’s nanny are fully vaccinated, and children can travel as long as they are with their parents, who must present requirements like the kid’s birth certificate.
Baron allays the fears of those who are scared to ride a plane because of the pandemic. “It’s safe to travel,” he says. “Airline companies ask for your PCR test (for COVID-19) test results and check if it’s legit. Someone even got caught for faking a test result.”
Baron is also happy to note that flight stewardesses and the ground crew practice sanitation. Bigger planes observe social distancing.
Even small three-seaters are okay, he adds. Baron rode one recently, and thanked God he didn’t catch COVID, or any other kind of virus.
This allows him to return safely to the waiting arms of his family, who happen to be his favorite travel companions. Baron says some people may find it funny, but he feels he’s at his safest when he travels with his wife and children.
As the man of the house, he’s a lot more at ease seeing his family beside him, speaking to them, talking, laughing and praying with them.
He gets one big room and tunes in to Calvary Church, an organization of Christian churches, which runs radio stations worldwide. Baron, Jamie and the children (the couple has offsprings from previous relationships) listen to scripture.
So far so good.
“My son turns off Netflix and listens,” reports Baron. He himself goes where no one can see him to kneel and pray.
Travel is also Baron’s way of bringing his family even closer to God. He seizes the chance to develop his family spiritually when they’re cooped up in one area during any of their travels.
So where do the Geislers journey?
Breathtaking Bantayan Island, Cebu, where his friend owns a beach resort, is Baron’s favorite. The south side of Moalboal, also in Cebu, is just as great for them. The Geislers discover new beaches where Baron feels that “every touch of the wind on my body or on my face is God’s loving touch.” It tells him to stay still and be at peace, because “no matter what happens, whatever life throws at me He’ll never forsake my family and me.”
True enough, he has to turn down acting offers because of his busy schedule. He’s looking forward to a rosy future for his Bungo Clothing Company, which niw has a physical store in Talisay, some 30 to 45 minutes from the city. The store, named after his character in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, offers street wear shirts. It is located in a massive commercial area similar to Cebu City I.T. Park. The Talisay area has 20 food carts, parking for 30 vehicles, food courts, a car shop, car wash station and others.
A stage is reserved for upcoming bands that will compete in a weekly battle of the bands, where Baron will choose one that can perform for a movie’s Original Sound Track (OST). Talented artists can also exhibit their work in a special area.
Special is a good word to describe Baron’s plans for Bungo.
“I will put up a sub-brand called Samson,” he declares. “It has a Christian theme. But we’re careful not to be preachy. It offers statement shirts with Bible verses and quotes.”
Unlike the Bungo logo which shows a long-haired Baron, Samson will see a short-haired man peering from the shirt.
Why an image of a man with short hair for a brand inspired by a Biblical figure famous for his long hair?
“Samson redeemed himself and fulfilled his mission even if he had short hair (his lover, Delilah, ordered a servant to cut his hair while he was asleep). It’s about being a better version of myself, about rising from the ashes,” Baron answers.
Like Samson’s, Baron’s story of redemption leaves you asking for more.