For actresses Kim Molina and Maris Racal, portraying real-life characters in the drama anthology “Maalaala Mo Kaya” at the time of the pandemic became rather therapeutic.
“I kept saying I’m thankful that nothing serious had happened to me (since we started experiencing this global health crisis), in terms of mental health. However, it was during the start of the pandemic (in March 2020) when I experienced panic attacks. It was definitely a struggle. It was good that I had the support of my siblings. Otherwise, I would have drowned from it,” Maris told reporters during a virtual media conference on Monday afternoon.
“It’s projects like this particular MMK episode that helped me release my pent-up emotions. Lately, my projects were mostly light and fun. While I’m thankful for them, I still think it’s good to do really dramatic projects once in a while,” she explained.
Maris, who plays a young girl in search of her biological father in the episode titled “Finding Papa,” further said: “I can say nailabas ko talaga lahat dito. My character became the medium for me to share my emotions to others. I think everyone agrees on this, and since ours is a two-part series, we also had to double our efforts and emotions.”
Maris portrays Jairen Lom-oc, a food delivery girl. She discovers that the father (played by Chris Villanueva) who abandoned her when she was little is gravely ill as a result of HIV/AIDS infection. Despite his inadequacies as a father, Jai chooses to take care of him. The series, a Father’s Day presentation, airs on June 12 and 19.
Kim agreed with Maris, adding: “I’m a comedian, and so is my boyfriend (Jerald Napoles). Most of the time our social media posts are those that cheer up people, those that make them smile. We always aim to spread good vibes. But people don’t know that when we’re off-cam, there were also times when we experienced fear and panic because of the pandemic. There were also times when we struggled with coming up with something funny to post. We worried about our finances, too.”
In the series “14 Years of Love,” Kim plays Mary Rose Vargas, whose prenuptial photos with Danilo Nolasco Jr. (Pepe Herrera) went viral in January 2021. The shoot depicted them in their respective professions, Mary Rose as an electrical engineer, and JR as a tricycle driver. The series will air on June 5.
Asked how she tackled her character, Kim said she did as she was trained in theater. “I studied the script and learned as much as I could about the journey of my character. ‘Di ko kaya ang hugot. I have high respect for actors who know how to draw out emotions from their personal experiences but are still able to control their tears,” she pointed out.
“I remember not being able to get a hold of myself during a rehearsal session for a ‘phone scene’ in this episode. All the emotions I’ve been keeping within me got released. I wasn’t able to control them. I cried so hard that I had to change my shirt afterward because it got so wet. Ang dami kong tinik sa dibdib na nabunot during our shoot. I’m grateful that this happened. It felt like therapy to me,” Kim declared.
Kim said she likewise felt “hopeful” because she was able to work with long-time friends from the theater scene like Pepe, Tetin Villanueva and Casey Aguilar for this particular episode.
“There are still no live performances in theaters and other entertainment venues so most of them still don’t know what to do, or how to get by. I’m happy that they are able to find work elsewhere. I’m happy that I got to work with them here,” said Kim, who played Aileen opposite Pepe’s Tolits in several runs of the hit musical “Rak of Aegis.”
“Maalaala Mo Kaya,” hosted by Charo Santos-Concio, airs every Saturday at 9 p.m., on the Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC, TFC and A2Z Channel 11. INQ
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