Erap marks 75th birthday

Posted at 04/19/12 11:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former president and actor Joseph "Erap" Estrada is celebrating his birthday today. He turned 75.

Estrada started his special day by attending a mass at Santo Niño Church in Manila.

After the mass, Estrada distributed gifts to under privilege families in Tondo.

"Ang birthday wish ko sana ay mabigyan natin ang ating mga kababayan, dumarami ang mahihirap. Sana magkaisa ang mga namumuno sa ating pamahalaan na bigyan ng prioridada ang kapakanan ng mahihirap. Minsan sa aking pagdarasal minsan pumapasok na hindi pa ako dapat magpahinga, mayroon pa akong lakas para tumulong sa ating mga kababayan," Erap said in an interview with ABS-CBN News on Wednesday.

Estrada or Erap for many Filipinos started his acting career with the film "Kandelerong Pilak (Silver Candlesticks)," a Lamberto Avellana 1954 classic for LVN Pictures.

From then on, he starred as a lead actor in more than 100 films, more than half of which he produced himself.

In more than three decades in the entertainment industry, he received five Best Actor Awards from Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences and was was placed in the FAMAS Hall of Fame twice—in 1981 and in 1984.

Estrada's film project "Ang Tanging Pamilya," was his comeback movie after 20 years of hiatus in 2009.