Just last February, ABS-CBN Films launched its pioneer batch of artists under its own talent management arm, the Rise Artist Studio. Included in the roster of fresh talents is Charlie Dizon, now seen as Isabel Gezali in the trending primetime series A Soldier’s Heart.
Despite the anxieties spawned by the pandemic, Charlie believes there are more blessings to be thankful for. The way her career continues to thrive amidst the crisis is something to marvel at, proving that real stars shine brighter in the dark.
Besides A Soldier’s Heart, the actress is busy attending online classes and workshops along with her fellow Rise artists. The bunch is also given their own digital show called “We Rise Together,” where they get to talk to and learn from the biggest names in the industry and showcase their talents.
Charlie’s favorite guest on the show would have to be celebrated host Boy Abunda. She notes the King of Talk’s pieces of advice about stardom, setting goals, motivation, and the thirst for learning. Tito Boy told them to feed the mind by reading books and to master self-discipline.
The multitalented beauty will surely keep those lessons in mind, given that she worked hard to create the artista life she always wanted as a child. Though she didn’t expect her dreams would turn out big. “’Yung mga kakilala ko, sila ‘yung nagsasabi sa akin na ‘Akalain mo nandiyan ka na ngayon?’ tapos nare-realize ko na ang dami ko din palang pinagdaanan and ang tagal bago ako nakapasok sa showbiz,” says Charlie. She believes you can achieve whatever you believe in. And if it’s meant to be yours, it will fall into place.
Charlie makes her quarantine days worthwhile by watching movies. This helps further her artistry and connection with other types of characters. This also allows her to explore films outside her own perspective.
She adds the learning process should never stop even while stuck at home. Charlie tells her viewers to discover what they’re most passionate about – it’s a proven happiness hack. “Kapag gustong gusto mo talaga ‘yung ginagawa mo,’yun ang magiging dahilan kung bakit gusto mo gumising at talagang hindi ma-late sa trabaho, gawin ‘yung trabaho mo nang maayos. Gawin nila kung ano ‘yung magpapasaya talaga sa kanila.
A Soldier’s Heart
Fuelled by passion and the drive to achieve her dreams, Charlie delivers impeccable performance as Isabel Gezali, a Muslim who fell in love with a Christian trooper in the teleserye A Soldier’s Heart. Especially for a newbie like her, it’s an honor to be part of a socially relevant primetime show comprised of a stellar cast.
Charlie felt immense pressure at first, but she opted to focus on her preparations for the role. Playing such delicate character required her to learn the basics of Islam tradition such as their manner of praying. She would also talk to female Moros on her random mall trips and get tips from them. Thanks to the production team, Charlie and the cast are able to deliver credible portrayals.
As a newcomer in the love team arena, Charlie doubted her abilities to create ‘kilig’ scenes with Nash Aguas, who plays as Michael. She wasn’t aware of their chemistry until reading comments from satisfied viewers. Their friendship transcends behind the scenes, and Charlie loves listening to her partner’s thoughts on random topics like acting and business. It also helps that Nash is always willing to guide her when shooting heavy scenes, so it gets easier when the cameras start rolling.
The cast resumed taping for A Soldier’s Heart last month and the lock-in setup solidified their bonding. Charlie discovered the unique individual traits of the show’s seven lead actors. She’s happy to be part of a team that never made her feel estranged.
Asked how she differs and can relate to her on-screen persona, Charlie tells she doesn’t look down on others like Isabel. They are both strong-willed. Just like Isabel, she will fight for what she believes in, especially if it’s something close to her heart. At one point in her life, Charlie had to fight for her dream to become an actress despite her parent’s fears.
The ‘Rise’ artist says her mother wanted her to focus on her studies, besides she’s gone through a lot of rejections in pursuit of her dream. But her passion cannot be tamed, thus Charlie juggled her studies and showbiz commitments. “Ipinaglaban ko talaga na kaya kong isabay ang school and mag-showbiz. Now, nakasuporta na ‘yung parents ko kasi nakita naman nila na tama nga ‘yung pinaglaban ko at ito talaga ‘yung gusto kong gawin. Nagtapos naman ako mag-aral. Sinunod ko muna lahat ng gusto nila,” she relates.
Charlie invites viewers to keep watching A Soldier’s Heart weeknights on Kapamilya Channel and Kapamilya Online Live. How will Michael and Isabel fight for their love?
Love from Home
On her days off from work, and especially during this stay-at-home phase, Charlie loves to just chill inside her room. So when tasked to highlight her reel quarantine life for the Star Magic Love From Home digital catalogue, the Kapamilya actress thought of creating a bedroom pictorial.
The concept translated into a stunning photo, drenched in homey vibes. It was challenging, though to execute a photoshoot in where you are the subject at the same time. Like the other artists, Charlie has her own amusing story of how she pulled off the annual project sans the glam team, production, and professional photographers.
The DIY treatment boosted Charlie’s appreciation for the people working behind the scenes and it made her realize that productivity is just around the corner, hiding behind the uncertain situations.
“I learned ‘yung value lalo ng production team. Sobrang thankful po tayo sa mga production team natin. Kung paano nila naiisip ‘yung mga concept, execution, pa-ilaw, and mga makeup artist natin. Sobrang na-appreciate ko po sila. Despite our situation, magiging productive ka pa rin talaga, “she expressed.
The Star Magic Love From Home catalogue is a collective effort to raise funds for Filipino families most affected by the pandemic, in partnership with the ABS-CBN “Pantawid ng Pag-Ibig” campaign.
Banana Cue ala Charlie
If you wish to cast a sweet smile on Charlie’s face, just give her banana cue! She loves them so much that she worked on learning how to make the classic Pinoy merienda or street food.
Charlie takes us to her kitchen and demonstrates how she makes her own version of “pasabog na banana cue.” Before her sisters migrated abroad, banana cue making was their ultimate bonding at home. Charlie mentions her father and the whole family have a deep love affair with saba. They can make many treats using the fruit. Every afternoon, Charlie’s dad would knock on her door to invite her for a banana cue feast for merienda. She further shares her memories of traveling to her aunt’s place in Manila just to satisfy her banana cue and camote cue cravings.
To begin, Charlie heats the frying pan and pours in the oil. While frying, the bananas are then coated with a thick layer of caramelized sugar. (Watch Charlie conquer her fear of frying and shield herself from the sputtering oil). After a few more seconds of deep-frying, the bananas are ready to be served, either with bamboo skewers or simply on a plate.