How Maricel Soriano treats intimidated coactors in ‘Pira-Pirasong Paraiso’ | Inquirer Entertainment

How Maricel Soriano treats intimidated coactors in ‘Pira-Pirasong Paraiso’

12:10 AM September 28, 2023

Soriano (center) with Elise Joson (left), Loisa Andalio, Charlie Dizon and Alexa Ilacad —PHOTOS FROM MARICEL SORIANO/INSTAGRAM

Soriano (center) with Elise Joson (left), Loisa Andalio, Charlie Dizon and Alexa Ilacad —PHOTOS FROM MARICEL SORIANO/INSTAGRAM

While Maricel Soriano said she would be open to a reunion project with her 1980s on-screen partner William Martinez, the actress said she would also like to work with young talents like Daniel Padilla, Joshua Garcia and Enchong Dee.

“I’m willing to sit down and discuss that,” said Maricel when asked if she would be up to working with William, since her contemporary, Sharon Cuneta, will soon be seen in a reunion concert with Gabby Concepcion.


However, Maricel said she would also wish to have the chance to collaborate with Enchong and Daniel, whose names she mentioned after saying, “I want to pick good-looking actors,” and Joshua, whom she described as “a really good one.”


As part of the cast of the afternoon drama series “Pira-pirasong Paraiso,” Maricel is currently working with four young actresses, namely Charlie Dizon, Alexa Ilacad, Loisa Andalio and Elise Joson. She plays Amanda, the guilt-stricken grandmother of the long-lost Paraiso sisters.

“I’m enjoying my time with them because I’ve never had a daughter,” said Maricel, who in real life is mom to sons Marron and Sebastien. “Whenever I see them, I interview them. I make them tell me their interests and I remind them that as actresses, they have to make sure they look beautiful and fresh. I talk to them as if they’re my own baby girls.”

Nuggets of advice

Maricel also makes sure to share nuggets of advice with her wards. “I keep telling them, don’t feel intimidated by me or by any actor you work with. This will only affect your acting. You just have to be prepared. Know your character and your lines well. If not, your character will not come out and the audience will not be able to relate to you. I’m actually proud of these girls. They’re all good,” she said.

“I’ve also given them a lot of girly advice, like what lip color and underwear to use in specific circumstances. I just can’t share them with you,” she told reporters, laughing.

Charlie, who plays Diana in the series, said she felt so overwhelmed prior to doing her first scene with Maricel that she had to go to the bathroom to cry herself out. “I couldn’t release the right emotion. Inay Maricel was so giving. She told me, ‘Anak, sabayan mo lang ako.’ I had to say sorry to her after the take because I was too nervous that I was unable to make my tears fall at the time they were supposed to,” she recalled. “What’s best about Inay was that she would hug me after every take and would say, ‘This is just me. Don’t feel nervous.’ I later saw how sweet and thoughtful she really is.”

Alexa said all the actors who were supposed to have scenes with Maricel felt nervous. “I even had clammy hands. Every taping day, I would ask, ‘Will I have scenes with Inay tomorrow?’ This was because I knew I had to mentally prepare for them. I knew I had to have enough sleep and rest. Later, I noticed that whenever we would have scenes together, she would keep the atmosphere very light. She would also say, ‘We’re all equal here,’” said Alexa, who plays Belle in the program.

Maricel Soriano

Maricel Soriano


‘Powerful aura’

“I also discovered that we’re both very fond of aromatherapy. She also showed me her diamond collection. I told her, ‘Inay, if you lose them, I can’t be the suspect.’ I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to work with her,” Alexa said.

Prior to working on their scenes together, Elise said she did her research on Maricel. “I asked everyone on the set, especially those who have already worked with her, what she was like. That’s how I am with new coworkers. They all told me, ‘Inay is very kind, but you have to be prepared when you do your scenes with her.’ When the day to work with her finally came, I went to our room and, immediately, I felt this aura from her that made me feel dumbfounded. It was so powerful,” she said.

“When we got to talk some more, I realized that she’s actually very caring and motherly. I want to be like her someday—she has this very powerful aura, but when you get to know her, you’ll discover that she’s really sweet,” stressed Elise, who plays Hillary.

Loisa recalled feeling confused the first time she had to rehearse with Maricel. “She kept cracking jokes, so I didn’t know whether or not I should banter with her because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I pictured her asking me, ‘Close ba tayo?’ That’s also what’s amazing about her. She could be in character at a snap of a finger,” said Loisa, who plays Baby.

When asked if there was ever a time that she felt intimidated by a coworker, Maricel said: “I never feel intimidated. That’s my problem. I guess it’s because I’m a happy person. I know who I am and I know I’m for God.”

Maricel said she considered the late comedian Dolphy, whom she worked with in the sitcom “John en Marsha,” as one of her mentors. “Of course, he shared so much advice with me, but the best one was to always remain humble, to always keep my feet on the ground. He said that I have to understand that, sometimes, people are just too shy to approach me, so I should be humble enough to make the first move,” Maricel said.

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“Pira-Pirasong Paraiso,” directed by Raymund Ocampo and produced by Dreamscape Entertainment, airs weekdays at 3 p.m. and on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC and TFC.

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