Manuelito Mercado Lapid, popularly known as Lito Lapid, is a Filipino actor, politician and Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.
Born on October 25, 1955 in Porac, Pampanga, he was the fifth of nine children by Jose Lapid and Eleuteria Mercado. He completed his elementary education at Porac Central School in 1968, and secondary education at St. Catherine Academy of Porac, Pampanga in 1972. Lapid did not enroll for his tertiary education.
From his humble beginnings as a stuntman, Lito Lapid rose to become one of the country’s top action movie stars. Lapid’s movies were blockbusters and he was cited as one of the top rated action movie stars, a group that includes Fernando Poe, Jr., Joseph Estrada, Rudy Fernandez, and Ramon Revilla, Sr..
Lapid was His Movie Action Star Friend his Partner Phillip Salvador. Then Lapid was Last Action Star Movie Tatlong Baraha in 2006.
With the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, he was pushed to the forefront of disaster mitigation efforts in Central Luzon-affected provinces. In 1992, he ran under the opposition block Nationalist People’s Coalition as vice governor of Pampanga. Lapid easily defeated the incumbent vice governor while his gubernatorial running mate lost to incumbent governor Bren Guiao. In 1995, he ran against Guiao as governor under the same party. Despite the help of former President Corazon Aquino to keep Guiao in his position, the overwhelming popularity of Lapid and the poor condition of lahar ravaged province contributed to Guiao’s loss.
With its completion in 1997, the Pampanga Megadike saved the capital municipality (now city) of San Fernando from the lahar mudflows and it channeled through the Pampanga River delta. Lapid thanked President Fidel Ramos for the completion and as sign of appreciation, he joined the administration party Lakas NUCD. Lapid ran for reelection under the administration block. With Lapid’s decision to switch parties, his fellow actor Joseph Estrada broke their political relationship and brought low internal revenue allotment when Estrada assumed the presidency. Lapid and fellow actor Caloocan City Mayor Reynaldo Malonzo, in separate occasions, tried to court Estrada so they could join Estrada’s party Lapian ng Masang Pilipino (LAMP) but Estrada refused to accept them. After the impeachment of Estrada in 2000 and the second EDSA Revolution, Lapid and Malonzo decided to stay in the Lakas party and ran for reelection in their respective government positions. Lapid won for his third and final term as governor. In 2003, Lapid decided to run as mayor of Angeles City, Pampanga and started grooming his son, Provincial Board Member Mark Lapid for the position of governor. But in the 2004 Senatorial Elections, his fellow cabalen, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo encouraged him to run as senator under the administration coalition K4. Lapid accepted the offer and won the election landing in the eleventh position.
In the bid to change the Philippine Constitution, Lapid was rumored to be planning to participate in the House backed Constituent Assembly but Lapid backed the senate resolution against the resolution passed by the House of Representatives creating the constituent assembly without Senate concurrence. In May 2006, Lapid said that he was planning to run against Jejomar Binay as mayor of Makati City citing reasons that he could save Makati from public demonstrations against President Arroyo. He further stated that he could retain his position as senator in case he lost in the 2007 local elections. Senators Panfilo Lacson, Raul Roco, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Sergio Osmeña III, Juan Ponce Enrile, Francisco Tatad all retained their senate seats when they ran for higher elective positions President and Vice President in the 1998 and 2004 elections. However, eminent former justice Isagani Cruz takes exception to this view.
Lapid married Marissa Tadeo Lapid in simple Catholic rites. Lapid had two sons and two daughters under Tadeo: Maan Krista, Mitzi Karen, Maynard and Mark. Maynard is an aspiring actor whose career started in 2006. Mark Lapid is former governor of Pampanga whose term ended in June 2007 after losing in the elections to incumbent governor Ed “Among” Panlilio. Like his father, Mark is also an actor whose career started in 2004 and was dating TV personality Kris Aquino on the same year. Mark Lapid is also famous for his corny line: “Saging lang ang may puso (Only bananas have hearts)” in his movie, Apoy sa Dibdib ng Samar. Lito Lapid met 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez in the 1980s and had one son Manuelito Lapid.
- Name : Manuelito Mercado Lapid
- Also known as : Lito Lapid
- Birthday : October 25, 1955
- Birthplace : Porac, Pampanga, Philippines
- Residence : Pampanga
- Political party : Lakas-CMD (1998)
- Other political affiliations : Nationalist People’s Coalition (1992-1998)
- Schools Attended :
- Elementary education, Porac Central School (1968)
- Secondary education, St. Catherine Academy of Porac, Pampanga (1972)
- Father : Jose Lapid
- Mother : Eleuteria Mercado
- Spouse : Marissa Tadeo
- Profession : Actor, Politician
- Religion : Roman Catholic
- Senator of the Philippines, Incumbent (2004)
- Governor, Province of Pampanga (1995 – 2004)
- Vice Governor, Province of Pampanga (1992 – 1995)