What better way to start another busy year in show biz than by going all the way to Batangas to interview Ate Vi (Gov. Vilma Santos)? She always makes the trip worth your while.
Here’s my tête-à-tête with the star for all seasons.
What are your immediate plans this 2013?
I’m excited to shoot my first indie movie. We are in the planning stage. It’s good that I have to shoot only for nine days because I can’t be absent in Batangas for so long—I owe it to my constituents to serve them 100 percent. The story is so interesting because, for the first time, I will be portraying an “extra.” It will be quite a learning experience for me to know what it feels like to be a bit player for a change.
Any apprehensions for the coming elections?
By God’s grace, I think it’s going to be a breeze for me. I just pray that there will be no more senseless killings. A person’s life is worth more than politics.
What’s dirtier, politics or show biz?
I guess politics because totoong buhay ito (it’s about real life). In show biz, intrigues come and go. After two weeks, you’re old news and there’s a new issue already. As governor, I have to serve the people, while in show biz, I’m the one being pampered. When I was just new in politics, I almost wanted to quit. I missed being spoiled as an actress because in politics, I got no special treatment. But I challenged myself, so I learned how to stomach the system.
How are your sons?
Luis is very happy with Jennylyn (Mercado). I don’t give him unsolicited love advice. As long as I see that he’s happy, that’s more than enough for me. I’m ready for the day that he settles down.
Ryan is turning 17. He has no girlfriend yet but he hangs out with a lot of his friends who are girls.
Do you and Ralph clash over political issues?
We hardly talk about politics at home. We sometimes clash about our son Ryan. He’s making Ryan get into so many sports so I tell him that he should also let our son have time for himself.
But as a whole, Ralph and I are rock-solid. We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last Dec. 11. All in all, we’ve been together for 27 years since we were “on” for seven years. I can’t imagine starting a new life with someone else.
How are things between you and Edu (Manzano)?
We’ve always been cool. We consult each other when it comes to our son Luis.
What’s more important to you, awards or box-office success?
Both are equally important. Winning an award is a prestige. It’s proof that you’re a legit actress. But you should also have drawing power. Let’s face it: Movie-making is a business. Producers should get back their investment.
PH shows across Asia
Several ABS-CBN drama series have been shown or are still airing in 11 Asian countries—Malaysia, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam,
Korea and Taiwan.
Among these Kapamilya shows are “Magkaribal,” “Dahil May Isang Ikaw,” “Impostor,” “Budoy,” “My Binondo Girl” and “Be Careful with My Heart.”
PERSONAL: Happy birthday to my mini-me, IC. I’m mighty proud of my “dalaGAY.” Thanks Ice for showing me that the best men are indeed gay. Birthday cheers to my best friend from way back, Elmer Pascual.