First lead role a satisfying payoff for Ysabel Ortega after ‘test of patience’ | Inquirer Entertainment

First lead role a satisfying payoff for Ysabel Ortega after ‘test of patience’

By: - Reporter
/ 12:04 AM September 02, 2022

Miguel Tanfelix and Ysabel Ortega

Miguel Tanfelix (left) and Ysabel Ortega

Having worked together almost every day on television shows, it was no surprise that Ysabel Ortega ended up being “close friends” with her new screen partner, Miguel Tanfelix. But there’s no romance brewing between the two—at least not yet. For now, it’s all about “enjoying the moment.”

“Yeah, we’re very close … And it’s not like I’m not allowed to [entertain suitors], or anything like that, but we’re just trying to enjoy the moment. We’re not in a rush. What’s important is that we’re both happy,” Ysabel said in a recent virtual conference for “What We Could Be,” the new GMA 7 prime-time series she headlines with Miguel.


Ysabel described Miguel as “caring and very sweet.” “That’s important to me. The respect is also there all the time. And we see eye-to-eye when it comes to work ethic,” said the 23-year-old Kapuso actress, whose parents are Sen. Lito Lapid and former singer Michelle Ortega.


The two young talents are also part of the network’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime “Voltes V.” And amid hectic taping days, they inspire each other to push on.

“There are days when we don’t have enough sleep, but we’re always there for each other and try to boost each other’s energy. Shoots are about teamwork, which also made our working relationship stronger … And I can proudly and confidently say that we were able to do our job,” said Ysabel, who was last seen in the Alden Richards-starrer “The Gift.”

A coproduction between GMA 7 and Quantum Films, “What We Could Be” is about three young individuals struggling to juggle their personal aspirations, relationships and family problems.


Yasser Marta and Ysabel Ortega

Yasser Marta and Ysabel Ortega

Cynthia (Ysabel) is a laid-off nurse who’s compelled to work as a home-care nurse to support her family. In this new chapter in her life, she meets Franco (Miguel), a charismatic businessman who harbors deep-seated heartache and emotional baggage. She falls in love with him. But as the days wear on, Franco’s “other side” comes out, forcing Cynthia to reevaluate their relationship.

This is Ysabel’s first lead role in a series. Pressure, she said, is inevitable.

“There’s pressure for me, being a newbie artist and playing lead. It helped to have Miguel’s support. He’s a good actor and I learned a lot from him. He’s supportive when it comes to our scenes. We became familiar with how each other worked, which also helped us execute what was needed,” she related.


Does she prefer being in a love team? Or does she think that being paired with different actors will be a better learning experience?

“Each option has an advantage. It’s good to be in a love team, but, at the same time, it’s also nice to grow as an artist with different people. I think it’s about balance,” she pointed out.

“But what I also love about Miguel and my pairing is that there’s no pressure that we have to work only with each other,” she said. “We also look forward to other opportunities.”

‘Test of patience

Ysabel Ortega

Ysabel Ortega

’Working during the pandemic can turn into a “test of patience” at times. But still, she remains grateful that she has opportunities to work at all. “You have to make the most out of your time to improve and grow. It’s not easy to tape a series with everything that has been happening,” she said.

“But if it’s meant for you, it’s meant for you. I just tried to enjoy every single day. I’m grateful to have work. Naitatawid pa rin ang dapat itawid,” she added. “The whole team was a big help, too. We’re all very proud and this is all very exciting for me.”

There were points in her career when she felt like giving up. “I thought about just focusing on my studies, because it was difficult to balance school and acting. But I think it’s my love for the craft that got me through … It’s what kept me going and persevering,” she said.

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Another thing she realized is that it does pay to be patient. “I started out doing villain roles and supporting roles … But my mantra is to always do your best, so you won’t have any regrets. Patience and hard work— those are the things that stand out about my show biz journey,” she said. “There were challenges and difficult times. But I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it weren’t for those.”

TAGS: Ysabel Ortega

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