Aya Fernandez and Nico Antonio talk about roles in Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin and quarantine takeaways

For Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin stars Aya Fernandez and Nico Antonio, the pandemic is an eye-opener, a life-changing event that made them realize their limitations, as well as strengths, as humans.

Being a beauty queen and a community worker who spends most of her time outdoors, Aya struggled with the quarantine at first. She felt helpless then. But later on, she was struck with realizations. She’s coming out of the quarantine truly grateful for the little wonders that she used to overlook, such as waking up to a beautiful sunrise. She’s also glad to find the netizens more woke and engaged in social issues.

Believe it or not, the beauty queen is better at fixing household wirings than cooking. But as she started to live solo for lock-in tapings, Aya has become more domesticated. She can now cook rice the old-school way and make adobo. She would enthuse about this little feat all throughout the interview. She’s also turned her black thumb green. She said that a Filipino, born in an agricultural country, is expected to own some gardening/planting skills, hinting at her ‘makabayan’ quality. The Pinoy pride shines more later on as she flaunts her locally-made stuff.

Likewise, Nico finds the purest joy inside the home, in the company of his wife and kids. He’s now a more hands-on dad. He’s bestowed with the opportunity to witness the kids’ milestones. And he realized that he will never trade such precious little moments for anything the outside world can offer.

He also worked on his dream of becoming a cinematographer by taking online classes. Nico plans to work off-cam in the future.  

As they give a rundown of their pandemic takeaways, Aya and Nico thought that life only requires a strong fighting spirit sharpened by challenges. “Malalaman mo na nagiging malakas ka kung wala ng choice kundi magpakalakas,” said Aya.

However, Aya knows that we are differently strong. Just don’t let the darkness devour your courage. While it may take some time and a lot of patience, the situation will change one day at a time. And if you’ve become a stranger to gratitude, know that there’s always something to be thankful for. More importantly, remember that you are not alone.

In addition to those beautiful words, Nico encouraged everyone to prioritize self-care. He knows he can’t easily put himself in another person’s shoes. While he might now know your story, he thinks a sense of hope applies to any situation. No matter the circumstance is, “laban lang.”


Nico as Blue in Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin

 Aya and Nico believe that their teleserye, Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin is a vessel of life lessons about not giving up. In the series, they belong to rival camps. She’s from Team Ellice (Iza Calzado) while he is on Team Marissa (Jodi Sta. Maria).

In last week’s episode, the viewers witnessed Blue’s backstory and why he’s forever indebted to Marissa. In real life, Nico can also be that loyal to his kids, wife, and friends without expecting anything in return. Just like his onscreen character, he is a cheerful person always drawn to the bright side. Their difference, though, is the confidence when it comes to women.

WATCH: Blue, binalikan kung paano siya ipinagtanggol ni Marissa noon

We’ve always seen Nico portray the sunny friend in his past teleseryes, which is why Blue’s character is different. “May pagka-sindikato ang pinanggalingan. Like, ‘yung past portrayals ko simpleng tao lang. Ito, may bigat kung bakit niya ginagawa ‘yung mga ginagawa niya,” he explained.

Nico works with Jodi Sta. Maria for the first time and he has nothing but praises for the “Silent Superstar.” He discovers something new about her each working day – from her wisdom to her childish quirks. He learned that Jodi is a true multi-hyphenate. The Kapamilya actress is currently finishing her degree in Psychology and is into acupuncture.

“I was surprised kasi ang lalim pala niya na tao. Ang dami kong nakukuha sa kanyang input about Psychology. Tapos ang thesis niya is about fusing together psychology and acupuncture,” shared Nico. He added that Jodi is such an unassuming soul, simple and quiet. She loves to offer them food, although she takes clean-eating seriously.

“Makulit pala siya na tao. ‘Yung pagiging makulit niya, parang bata kasi pag iisipin mo, parang mature, kaya niyang dalhin sarili niya. Pero kapag kami-kami na lang, ano pala siya, parang bata rin,” he revealed about his co-star. 

Nico learns a lot from Jodi and her work ethics, achieving a dream is one. “Never give up on your dreams. Jodi started as a character actress. Nag-break into limelight siya because of 100 Days To Heaven tapos nagtuloy-tuloy na hanggang sa Be Careful with My Heart and so on.”

“Ang natutunan ko is if they have a dream to go that far, don’t give up on it,” he continued.

Asked about his unforgettable experience from the set of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin, Nico looked back on a scene shared with no less than Maricel Soriano. After the take, the Diamond Star approached him for some pointers.

“She told me na kapag may gusto kang i-empahsize na words doon sa lines mo, ‘yung ang bigyan mo ng bigat kasi hindi lahat ng words doon sa linya mo importante. Para ‘pag bigay mo ng bigat doon sa word na ‘yun, doon mo mailalabas ang emotion na gusto mo,” Nico related.


Aya as Agatha in  Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin

Grateful and thrilled, Aya worked hard to prepare for her role as Agatha in Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin. This marks her first-ever teleserye and she feels extra blessed to do it with some of the industry’s top-caliber artists and directors.

As a rookie, she feels like a student learning from the best professors. “Ang dami kong natutunan lalo na sa acting, ‘yung techniques in acting, kung paano mag-internalize, paano mo aaralin ang mga linya mo,” shared Aya.

WATCH: Agatha muling naalal ang kanilang nakaraan ni Gabriel

Apart from the technicalities, Aya also receives personal advice from co-stars Sam Milby and Iza Calzado. This helps build their onscreen rapport.     

Aya was admittedly challenged putting on the mask of a seductive ex-girlfriend trying to steal a married man, a stark contrast to her real persona. “Wish ko lang po marunong din ako lumandi sa totoong buhay,” she quipped. But as she learns to navigate the world of acting, Aya picked up a good technique to own her character. For one, she learned that an actress must root for her character regardless of its motive. It took her quite some time, several discussions with the directors, and a whole lot of hard work to fully embrace Agatha’s persona.  

“May hugot si Agatha. Hindi lang siya basta nang-aahas. Kasi ang tatay niya General, so sakal siya. Noong pumunta siya sa States, doon lang siya parang nakawala sa hawla at papatunayan din naman niya na talagang Team Ellice siya,” Aya further shared.

Her hard work paid off, proving so are the comments about her performance. Aya can’t thank the management enough for entrusting with a multifaceted role.