Maricel lets go, moves on
By turns candid and reticent, jovial and pensive, actress Maricel Soriano took listeners on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
At a small media gathering last Wednesday, she would crack jokes one minute and then turn wistful about departed loved ones the next.
She had just signed a contract with GMA 7, for a new primetime show (tentatively titled “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real”) that would also feature Dingdong Dantes and Lovi Poe.
The station’s top executives, led by chair and chief executive officer Felipe L. Gozon, were on hand, to welcome Maricel to the Kapuso network.
Although this was a major cause for celebration, Maricel couldn’t help feeling a bit jittery. “Of course, I felt nervous at first,” she told the Inquirer. “But there’s also excitement.”
She explained that she was with ABS-CBN for quite a long time before moving to TV5 (in 2010) and then to GMA 7.
“Everything is new to me. This is a new workplace. There are new coworkers. I’d have to feel my way around at first,” she said.
She admitted, however, that she shed tears after receiving the Kapuso offer.
“You have to let go of whatever heavy baggage you’re carrying. It’ll take a toll on your heart [if you don’t],” she said in a mixture of English, Filipino and swardspeak.
When she turned her back on past hurts, things fell into place, she recalled. “When I let go, I met with GMA 7 soon after. On cue! Ang bongga! I really prayed for it intently. That made me cry. Then I prayed to give thanks for this blessing.”
What was the reason behind the tears?
“This was unexpected. I was caught by surprise,” she quipped. “Not everyone would be given this kind of importance after all that had happened.”
Sensing that she might divulge too much, she stopped herself.
Perhaps rephrasing the question would do the trick: What were the lessons from those experiences?
“I have a question,” she turned the tables on her inquisitors. “What kind of lesson would you learn if you gave your all, if you were totally loyal, but still it was disregarded? It would hurt ’di ba?”
Reminded that she was with ABS-CBN for over two decades, she asserted: “I was there as long as (network president) Charo (Santos). Is that enough?”
Again sensing that she had disclosed too much, she pleaded with the interviewers: “Tama na … I might reveal everything and end up getting sued. That’s more than enough. What’s the use of moving on, if you have a pending case!”
All she wanted, she implored, “was to be happy. In any case, I’ve already prayed about it. I just want everything to be positive.”
On that note, she said she is looking forward to working with Dingdong. She recalled meeting Dingdong through her late manager Wyngard Tracy.
“Actually, I asked Wyngard to introduce us,” she recounted. “I never imagined he would become my leading man someday.”
She also hopes to share the screen with Dennis Trillo. “His acting in ‘My Husband’s Lover’ was nuanced. They were all good in that show.”
She was a self-confessed MHL fan. “My friends were always talking about it. So I checked it out and was hooked.”
So much so that she was uncharacteristically tongue-tied when she met Dennis and Tom Rodriguez at the “Bekikang” premiere last year.
Apart from the new GMA 7 soap (which will start taping next month and will debut in May), there is also a new Viva movie in the works.
A sitcom is also something she would like to try on GMA 7.
“Maricel reminds me of Nida Blanca. I want to do a remake of ‘John en Marsha,’ but Dolphy is irreplaceable,” Atty. Gozon told the Inquirer.
“‘John en Marsha’ was timeless,” Maricel agreed.
Talk of Mommy Nida and Daddy Dolphy never fails to make strong-willed Maricel wax nostalgic. “At the wake of Mommy Nida, I was staring at her casket. My Daddy Dolphy suddenly went up to me and casually said: ‘Paano ba ’yan … iniwan na tayo ng mommy mo?’”
She was inconsolable.
Whenever she feels the need to vent, she goes to the memorial park where Daddy Dolphy and her biological mother are buried.
“I would talk to them,” she related. “When I won (Best Actress at the Metro Manila Film Festival last December), I went to the park and stayed there until 2 a.m. Whether I am happy or sad, I share the news with them. Sisa lang ang peg!”
She was referring to the iconic mad woman in Jose Rizal’s novel “Noli Me Tangere.”
That’s Maricel in a nutshell.
“I’m loka-loka,” she owned up, laughing heartily.
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