For Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin” stars Aya Fernandez, 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.
PHOTOS: Meet Aya Fernandez aka Agatha on Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin
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.
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.
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.
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“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.
As the team of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin continues to produce fresh episodes via lock-in tapings, Aya decided it would best to rent her own condo unit, so not to risk the health of her senior citizen parents at home.
The house tour started with a glimpse of Aya’s impressive scholastic achievement, showing us a trophy earned for a science research in high school. Displayed on the wall is her graduation picture from University of the Philippines-Diliman. She graduated cum laude with a degree in Broadcast Communication. She was a diligent student, going to school with only Php50 to Php100 daily allowance.
Asked what her past self would probably tell the present Aya, she expressed, “Ituloy mo ang laban kasi hindi mo ‘to sinimulan nang wala lang. Ang dami mo nang naranasan, naapi ka na rin. Pero bangon lang. Padayon!”
The beauty queen also proved her Pinoy pride by opting for locally made stuff such as facemasks from Kalinga and Zamboanga. We also learned that she plays the ukulele. She flaunted her ‘plantita’ side as well.
Next stop is her newest favorite area: the kitchen. The quarantine and solo living forced Aya to up her kitchen know-how. From having zero cooking skills, she now learned to prepare her own food, with kanin at adobo as specialty. “Ang bango talaga. Kaya ko tinatawag na special kasi walang katulad ‘yung sinasaing ko. Malambot, masarap. Mag-taste test tayo. Ang sarap talaga,” she said in jest.
She brought us to her workout corner and showed her boxing equipment. “Since sarado ngayon ang gym, doon muna ako sa kanto namin nakikipagsuntukan,” Aya joked. She might not post a lot about her workout routine (claiming that she looks haggard than glowing post-exercise) but Aya takes her fitness regimen seriously.
Showing us the balcony and the laundry area, Aya divulged a funny anecdote about her ‘very shala’ washing machine. “Tingan n’yo merong music! Nano-nose bleed ako, so after ko makipag-chat sa mga kaibigan ko na, ‘Guys paano ba tong washing machine na ‘to? So, marunong na ako. Nagsampay ako sa balcony, tapos after mga isang oras, tinawagan ako ng admin, ‘Ma’am bawal po magsampay dito,’” she narrated.
Aya spearheads a livelihood project for PWDs called “Project Lily Ph.” They make products out of water lily. She also flexed her award for “Miss Tourism International 2018” held in Malaysia.
The storage room houses her workbags (locally-made as well), clothes, and shoes. “Hindi ka lang nakatulong sa livelihood nila, nakatulong ka pa sa pag-preserve ng kultura natin,” said Aya, urging everyone to buy local products.