Why hosting a game show is serious business for Maja Salvador, Awra Briguela
I had to sacrifice love because I needed to focus on work,” said actress Maja Salvador when asked to recall the time when she was still young and struggling to achieve balance between her career and romantic relationships.
At 34, Maja is now considered an A-lister in local show biz, with various hit film and TV projects under her belt. She recently confirmed that she is set to marry longtime boyfriend, businessman Rambo Nuñez, in July.
“I guess you can say that I’m now at this point in my life when I’m lucky in both love and career. This wasn’t easy to achieve, though. I went through a lot when I was younger. I had to prioritize work over other things. This was why Rambo and I have an interesting story. We dated for a while (in 2010), but had to break up because of my work,” she pointed out.
The couple rekindled their love in 2019. They got engaged in April 2022. “I’m now at this age and stage in my life when I can effectively manage both aspects of my life. Getting to this point required a lot of sacrifices and patience,” Maja told reporters during the media gathering for her new game show “Emojination” on TV5.
Meanwhile, Maja’s cohost, Awra Briguela, is only starting to spread his wings. At 19, he has appeared in a number of films and drama series, and is a known social media influencer. He claims to be learning a lot about romantic relationships now, as well.
“I used to get easily fooled by guys with witty pickup lines. Now, I prefer those who would show their interest in me more consistently,” he pointed out. “I try to make the first move by following you on your social media and reacting to things you post on your ‘stories.’ The next move is up to you. Sometimes, if I feel I’m just being ignored, I just unfollow the person.”
Awra said he got his heart broken for the first time recently. This was why he now chooses to deal with his love life in a more private manner. “I now want everything to be low-key. I won’t keep the relationship a secret—we would still go out, but I will choose to keep our personal moments private. Just to clarify, no one is courting me these days. I’m single,” he declared.
Both celebrities said they immediately accepted the offer from their bosses from APT Entertainment to host “Emojination.” Maja said this was something she never imagined she would do, especially since she was more identified as a dramatic actress.
“People close to me know that I only accept projects that challenge me. This was also why I agreed to host a noon-time show (‘Eat… Bulaga!’). However, I realized only recently that hosting a game show is totally different. You have to learn a lot of things, not just your script, but also the game mechanics. You should be on your toes all the time and ready to react to unplanned situations during tapings,” said Maja.
Awra, meanwhile, said he first learned of the offer from his talent manager, Vice Ganda. He confessed to having felt the pressure when he was just getting oriented with the game mechanics. “I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t answer the sample questions. I actually blacked out! I realized that if you want to last long as a game show host, you have to know how to use your imagination and common sense,” he declared.
Maja said it helped that they did a dry-run prior to taping their first episode. “It was at the time when we heard all the constructive comments of our bosses. They told us where we were lacking, what we should do, as well as what we need to add—in terms of our personalities as host—to help make the show more engaging,” Maja recalled.
Awra added: “To be honest, I felt nervous during the dry-run because it was my first time as a host. I was not yet used to reading the prompter. I was more comfortable memorizing my lines, since that’s what I’ve always done in tapings. I realized that when the cameras started grinding, everything flowed naturally. Ate Maja and I were advised to just try to bond because chemistry is not something that’s forced.”
Maja and Awra first worked together in the action-adventure series “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”
Maja said the age gap between her and Awra could prove to be effective as they work on more episodes. “We really click. I’m a millennial and I make the effort to learn as much as I can about Gen Zs from Awra. The show is actually for all generations. Even our staff and crew were engaged and would try to guess the answers,” she said.
Both Maja and Awra now look forward to every taping day. “I’m super spoiled on the set, especially when it comes to food,” Awra let on.
Maja interjected: “Awra gives off this certain energy that is so infectious. Also, my day is not complete if I don’t check on his outfit,” said Maja. Awra then confessed to wearing Maja’s pair of Versace heels during the media conference.
“Emojination” is a collaboration between APT Productions and TV5. It premiered on May 14, at 5 p.m.
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