Janice happy for ex-husband’s wife Priscilla
“John should be proud that Priscilla is carrying his name,” said actress Janice de Belen when sought to comment on Brazilian beauty queen Priscilla Meirelles’ move to change her screen name to “Estrada.” Priscilla is married to actor-TV host John Estrada, with whom Janice has four children.
Janice is working closely with Priscilla in ABS-CBN’s latest morning teleserye, “Be My Lady,” which premieres Monday, replacing “Ningning.” Janice plays nanny to Priscilla’s son in the series. The kid will later become the character of lead star Daniel Matsunaga.
“I’m actually happy for her. Let’s not dwell on the past anymore,” Janice told reporters, pleading to them not to make a controversy out of the change in Priscilla’s name.
For her part, Priscilla explained that she decided to use “Estrada” as screen name because “it’s easier to pronounce than Meirelles—and also because it’s my real surname now.”
She is the first Brazilian to be crowned Miss Earth in 2004. The pageant was held in Manila.
Priscilla and John were married in February 2011. They now have a 3-year-old daughter named Sammantha Anechka.
The former beauty queen pointed out that “Meirelles” was used in the production credit. “But before the press con started, I was asked for the correct pronunciation of Meirelles. I said just use Estrada to make it easier for the event host,” she explained.
“I don’t see anything wrong with that. As John’s wife, I should honor my husband, and what better way to do it than to publicly use his surname.”
Priscilla said the story of “Be My Lady” is something close to her heart. “The show is special to me not only because I’m part of it, but also because I’m actually experiencing interracial romance [just like the characters of Erich and Daniel]. Even though I’m Brazilian, I’ve grown to love the Philippines, which loved me back!”
To make both ends meet, Pinang’s (Erich) mother Marcy (Janice) flies to Singapore to work as a nanny for a family of Brazilians that includes Phil (Daniel). She gets deported because of an unfortunate incident. Phil grows up and travels to Manila to look for Marcy and, along the way, finds the woman he’ll fall in love with.
Priscilla is of Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian descent. She was born in Amazonas, Brazil. She admitted to have come from a family with “parents who are divorced. My last name is Almeida. I used my mom’s surname because she raised me on her own. I’m proud of her—and I want to honor her!”
Retired sexy star
“When I came here, I was happy to find out that an actress was actually using the surname Almeda,” the Brazilian actress said, referring to the retired Filipino sexy star Priscilla Almeda, whose real name is Abby Viduya.
Asked what advice she can give to real-life couple Erich and Daniel when it comes to having a lasting relationship, Janice said: “Erich and I get to talk a lot on the set. I share with her my life experiences, hoping that she could pick up something from them. But I don’t dare give her love pointers, because I myself don’t have a love life.”
Priscilla, on the other hand, advised the young couple to “love and live one day at a time—although it’s always better to plan for the future. They may be young, but they’re also smart and talented.”
“Be My Lady,” codirected by Theodore Boborol and Dick Lindayag, also features Al Tantay, RK Bagatsing, Karen Dematera, Devon Seron, Mike Lauren and Karen Reyes.
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