As I look back on the movies I made for the past 14 years, I feel “kilig” that I have already played the most extreme roles. Naging prinsesa, brat, killer, kutsero, foreigner, sina-unang Filipina, promo-girl, corporate employee, etc, na pala ako! My versatility as an actress is one thing I’m very proud of.
1. Magic Kingdom: Ang Alamat ng Damortis
First, I was a princess…
My first role in the big screen was Princess Dahlia of Viva Films’ Magic Kingdom: Ang Alamat ng Damortis. Princess Dahlia, daughter of Empress Sophia, lived in the once peaceful kingom of Damortis. Her greedy uncle Basilicus destroyed her perfect life by killing the empress and making the princess a target of revenge. Princess Dahlia only had Amain and his three wards Jobert, Oman and Samuel as hopes for survival.
This movie, shown in 1997, enabled me to work with Jason Salcedo, Junell Hernando, Janus Del Prado, Mark Gil and Maricel Laxa.
2. Ika-13 Kapitulo
Then, I became a daughter of darkness and evil…
Last 2000, Viva Films produced the movie Ika-13 Kapitulo, wherein I was cast for the main role. I played as Angela, daughter of David and Sara whose roles were played by Christopher De Leon and ZsaZsa Padilla. While every child is considered a blessing, Angela became a curse because of the dark powers she possessed. As a teenager, Angela wanted to live a normal life, which entailed resisting her powers. Through the help of her parents and childhood friend Gabriel, played by Chubi Del Rosario, Angela conquered evil and fought for her life.
3. Wag Kang Lilingon
My versatility as an actress enabled me to become a nurse and psycho killer.
“Wag Kang Lilingon,” a movie produced by Star Cinema and Viva Films last 2006, is a movie, which definitely makes the viewers scream out loud. As a two-part movie, I was cast on its first story, Uyayi. The setting was in a controversial hospital named Angel of Mercy. Rumors and experiences confirmed that patients die in the said hospital. Thus, my role as Melissa, a nurse at Angel of Mercy, was out to investigate on these suspicions. Along with James, played by Marvin Agustin, Melissa was slowly tracing the circumstances in the hospital. However, series of events revealed that Melissa was really the culprit.
Feel goose bumps all over your body? Wag Kang Lilingon was made thriller by its second story, Salamin. Kristine Hermosa, Cherry Pie Picache and Celine Lim star in the said story. Salamin’s plot revolved around an antique mirror, which turned out to be a portal of lost souls.
At the end of the movie, it was revealed that Uyayi and Salamin were two connected stories, which made the story more nerve wracking.
4. Ang Cute ng Ina Mo
In the big screen, I also became a Filipino-Australian… just like the real me!
Last 2007, I played the role of Christine Outbac in Star Cinema and Viva Films’ movie Ang Cute ng Ina Mo. Christine, a Fil-Australian lady, returned to the Philippines to expose the flaws of her mother Georgia, played by Aiai de las Alas. Her journey in the Philippines turned out to be full of humor and love especially when Christine felt romantic feelings towards his mother’s stepson Val, played by Luis Manzano.
5. When Love Begins
I also became a young and sophisticated professional in the corporate world.
I played the role of Michelle “Mitch” Valmonte in Star Cinema and Viva Films’ movie When Love Begins last 2008. For the first time, I was paired with Aga Muhlach, who played as Benedicto “Ben” Caballero. Mitch and Ben found themselves in-love and interested with each other during a vacation in Boracay. However, as the story progressed, Mitch had to choose between her father and Ben due to the very opposite beliefs of the two. Ben was an environmentalist while Mitch’s father was an owner of a construction company.
My mestiza looks didn’t stop me from becoming a Filipina woman who fell in love with a Spaniard soldier.
My role as Feliza Reyes in Viva Films’ entry for MMFF, Baler, enabled me to receive the Best Actress award. Set in the era of Spanish regime in the Philippines, Baler is primarily a love story between Feliza, daughter of a Filipino rebel commander and Celso, a half-Spanish soldier played by Jericho Rosales. The young couple struggled to keep their forbidden love alive despite familial and political tensions culminating in an almost yearlong blockade known as the Siege of Baler.
7. Babe, I Love You
I also played the role of a hyper and adventurous promo-girl.
In Star Cinema and Viva Films’ movie Babe, I Love You last 2010, I had Sam Milby as my leading man. He played the role of Nico, a professor and soon-to-be college dean, while I played as Sasa, an unconventional lady who worked as a promo-girl. While it is true that opposites attract, Nico and Sasa found it difficult to maintain their relationship due to personal issues and disapproval of the people around them
8. In Your Eyes
Then, I became a goal-setter Filipina who hoped to finish school and build a wonderful life in the US.
For the first time, I became Claudine Barretto’s younger sister in GMA Films and Viva Films’ movie In Your Eyes. I played the role of Julia, sister of Ciara who worked as a physical therapist in the USA. Aftre eight years, Ciara and Julia were reunited when the latter acquired a student visa. Julia’s boyfriend Storm, played by Richard Gutierrez, entered in an arranged marriage with Ciara, who was already an American citizen, in order to gain a US visa. While Julia worked hard to finish her schooling, Ciara and Storm ended up in an unexpected love affair. Thus, relationships were broken and feelings were wounded.
This movie, shown last 2010 presented some issues experienced by Filipinos aiming to achieve a life outside the country.
9. Who’s That Girl
Recently, I became a successful yuppie whose world tuned upside down when accused of being a business tycoon’s mistress.
Who’s That Girl is a one-of-a-kind romantic-comedy movie produced by Viva Films this 2011. In this movie, I played the role of sexy and beautiful Elizabeth Pedrosa whose goal in life was to get the attention of Johnny Eduque, played by Luis Manzano. Upon seeing John Eduque’s name in an orbituary, Elizabeth rushed to the funeral. Without verifying whose wake it was, she made a scene, which eventually mistook her for being “the other woman.” Soon afterwards, she found out that it was the senior Eduque who died and not Johnny. However, it was already too late to change the course of events. Johnny’s mother played by Eugene Domingo, already experienced depression and nervous breakdown. Due to this, Johnny was now out to investigate on “the other woman” and take revenge for his mother. But the opposite happened. Johnny developed feelings towards Elizabeth. However, Elizabeth and Johnny’s relationship revolved around lies, which was made worse by the wrath of the latter’s mother. Their battle for love involved humorous situations that would make anyone laugh hard.
10. All About Love
Who would have thought that I also became a “kutsero?”
In Star Cinema’s movie All About Love last 2006, I was teamed up with my longtime best friend Luis Manzano. I played the role of Badong, whose father suffered from paralysis. Thus, Badong took the responsibility of earning for their family, which also meant taking over his father’s job as “kutsero.” Badong bumped into an accident and fight with rich boy and sports car owner Wesley. Her cat-dog relationship with Wesley flourished to romantic feelings towards each other. However, their social backgrounds prevented them from living happily ever after.
All About Love was a three-part movie featuring the love teams of Angelica Panganiban and Jason Abalos, Luis Manzano and yours truly, and John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo.
11. No Other Woman
I’m not a mistress, I’m just an adult having fun. So, don’t you dare fall in love with me. These bold and daring lines gave me the title, ‘Box Office Queen.’Star Cinema and Viva Films’ 2011 movie, No Other Woman, proved that the Philippine cinema industry is still very much alive. The whole team behind No Other Woman didn’t expect such overwhelming reception from moviegoers. And from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! In this adult movie, I got the chance to work with Derek Ramsay and Cristine Reyes. I played the role of Kara Zalderiaga, a young, beautiful and carefree socialite who can and will get everything she wants. Kara fell in love with Ram Escaler (Derek Ramsay), a furniture salesman, who’s married to Charmaine Escaler (Cristine Reyes). Though she knew the consequences, Kara still fought for the only man she loves.In this modern day world where marriages are sacrificed due to selfish acts, No Other Woman teaches us the importance of commitment.
12. A Secret Affair
“Betrayal and infidelity in secrecy is still betrayal and infidelity.” A Secret Affair was one of the highlights of my 2012. After playing the role of the ‘other woman’ in No Other Woman, I was then challenged to portray as the ‘original woman’. Well, I played the role of Rafi, a bachelorette from a rich family. She is happily committed to her fiancé Anton (Derek Ramsay). The night before their wedding, Rafi gets cold feet and decided she’s not ready to say her ‘I do’. Hence, Anton was left hanging and ends up in a complicated relationship with Rafi’s friend, Sam (Andi Eigenmann).
I’m so happy that A Secret Affair received positive reviews from moviegoers. Thanks to the power of social media, as well as ‘word of mouth’, which made the movie a blockbuster hit.
So much for me being the center of attention. My other films include:
Honey, My Love… So Sweet
Juan & Ted: Wanted
Mahal Kita! Final Answer!