What made Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan come out of retirement to do TV project
“He was sure that it was time for me to return to acting,” said Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan of her son Donny, who convinced her to come out of retirement and be a part of TV5’s newest drama program, “Paano ang Pasko?”
“Donny kept telling me that if ever I received an offer, I should say ‘yes.’ Also, what made me go back is a beautiful project that promised to not work me like a horse until the wee hours of the morning. Takot ako sa puyat. Luckily, because of the COVID-19 guidelines, we are allowed to work only until a certain time. That’s a big plus,” she told Inquirer Entertainment during a recent virtual gathering organized by Cignal Entertainment and IdeaFirst Company.
“Paano ang Pasko?” is a creation of Palanca-winning writer-filmmaker Jun Robles Lana, and is directed by Eric Quizon, Ricky Davao and Perci Intalan. It premiered on TV5 on Nov. 23.
The program revolves around a family’s holiday gathering and how old wounds threaten to dampen the joyous occasion.
Maricel plays matriarch Faith, who becomes the lynchpin of the family at the time of the pandemic. She has three daughters, Love (Julia Clarete), Hope (Beauty Gonzalez) and Joy (Devon Seron), whom she wants to be with for a very important reason. Incidentally, Faith will discover a family secret that has been kept from her for a long time because, while her daughters were growing up, she was busy being a doctor.
Asked whether she felt uncomfortable being in front of the camera once more, Maricel admitted to feeling awkward because “it’s as if I was learning the ropes once again. While I kept reminding myself that I’m a simple wife and mother to five kids when I’m at home, I also wanted to feel this life again because I’ve missed it. I couldn’t help it. I cried when I saw the trailer.”
Maricel has been married to motivational speaker Antony Pangilinan since 2001. They have five children, namely Ella, Donny, Hannah, Benjamin and Solana.
Maricel then shared with reporters what Ella had posted on Instagram in relation to her mother’s acting comeback. “She said I had set aside my career so I could focus on my family. Ella added that she felt proud that I could be in my element now; but really, in my heart, I didn’t feel like I sacrificed my career. Taking care of my family is my life and joy,” said Maricel.
“However, this particular season in my life now, I didn’t expect would happen,” Maricel added. “I’m just so blessed to be included in a project at a time when people show joy and thankfulness just because we all have work, and so everyone contributes to making this possible.”
During the interview, Maricel was asked how she would personally answer the question “paano ang Pasko?” especially now that the world is currently battling a pandemic. To this, she replied: “I always remember what my youngest child told me: ‘Despite all the things that we’re going through, yes, we will always have Christmas.’ This is God’s role in our lives at this time: to give us hope, to brighten our lives during these dark times.”
Maricel further said: “It’s good to be positive because it gives you inspiration. I think as Filipinos, we’ve always been optimistic and resilient. But at the same time, I hope that from this resilience, we keep moving forward to reach progress.”
Interestingly, Maricel also shared with reporters that she has brought notebooks with her on the set “for documentation.” She explained: “I have six notebooks for each member of my family. I document my learnings, my answered prayers, my thoughts and desires, everything I can share with my children because I want them to be part of my everyday life.
“Most of all, I document the things I learn while on the set—the reminders of my directors, for example. Since I’ve been away for a long time, they were very patient with me. I love the way Eric, who is actually a childhood friend, would gently remind me by saying, ‘’Wag mong ikunot ang noo mo. Just relax. It’s OK.’ I also love the way Perci would add different things on the set to make me feel comfortable. Of course, Direk Ricky is also a very good friend. We’ve all formed a special bond because of this serye.”
She added, “I’m documenting all these things and all the preparations I’ve made. I will then be passing this to Donny, who will also be in a lock-in situation soon. These notebooks are important to me. It’s a reminder that things don’t end in the now, that all these that we’re going through still has a continuation.”
“Paano ang Pasko?” airs Monday to Friday at 9 p.m. on TV5. The cast also includes Alan Paule, Ejay Falcon, Matt Evans and Elijah Canlas.
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