Maricel Soriano sure had fun adding more weight to the oversized dramatic genius of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin. It was challenging at times but her brilliant and endearing co-stars made the ups and downs easier to navigate. She has millions of happy memories with them and her character, Lucing.
In the series, now down to its last two episodes, Maricel was handed a meaty role that reflects a mother’s unconditional love. Lucing has been known for being saintly-mannered – always selfless and patient. She would rather suffer in silence and conceal others’ mistakes which, as Maricel learned from her character, can bring more harm than good. She realized that trying to protect the people we love can sometimes add more layers of conflict.
“Dapat hindi niya tinago ang ibang bagay. Dapat sinabi niya para nagawan ng paraan habang maaga pa. Pero may mga bagay din naman na hindi nga niya sinasabi, dinadamdam naman niya,” she muses, adding that of the most challenging facets of Lucing’s character was holding a grudge against her own daughter.
Maricel’s generosity as a loving ‘Inay’ crossed over from the teleserye to real life. She loved being a mother to her co-stars. She says they had a happy bond akin to a real family, that’s why she would miss all her ‘kids.’ “Sobra ang bonding namin sa show na ‘to. Walang pa-star-an, lahat kami pantay-pantay puwera na lang si Nanay Lucing kasi nga anak ko silang lahat.”
“Luka-luka ako, eh kaya hindi sila mai-intimidate sa akin,” she quips when asked about the younger stars’ reaction on working with a luminary like her. For Maricel, this collaboration with Iza Calzado and Jodi Sta. Maria is a blessing and she is all-praise for the power tandem.
The award-winning actress is never selfish of her thespic wisdom, and the cast would vouch for that. She’s always there to help and give tips when asked.
Indeed, so much has happened in the series. Looking back, the Diamond Star laughs off a slight accident during taping. “Hinahabol ko si Marissa sa sasakyan, eh bumibilis din kaya natapilok ako. Ayan, may dalawang sugat sa tuhod ang lola n’yo.” But the show must go on despite the bad fall and wounds. She was asked to wear knee pads prior to the take but the actress refused because it felt uncomfortable and it looked awkward. Director FM Reyes felt guilty about the incident but Maricel assured that there was no reason to be so. Besides, she is fond of Direk FM’s kindness and brilliance.
One of the most lauded scenes in the series is the intense confrontation dubbed as “War of the Century” wherein the Pinedas and Cenidozas had a scathing exchange matched with perfectly choreographed jaw-breaking slaps. While it wasn’t easy, the ‘sampalan’ galore was delivered in a single take, thanks to everyone’s dedication to the show. Maricel further reveals that it was infused with adlibs.
The veteran actress goes on to describe her co-stars, starting with Sam Milby who she calls “my baby boy.” She believes in Sam’s talent, albeit the actor holds back at times, “Kaya ko ‘to baby boy kasi when he acts, Sam is really there. He just gets scared or sometimes confused. He thinks in English kasi. Pero ang totoo, napakahusay niyang umarte.” Maricel would often tell Sam to deliver his lines slowly, “Pero alam n’yo, revelation si Sam sa show na ‘to. Napakabait niya at napakagaling.” One thing she admires most about him is that he listens and is eager to learn.
She fondly calls Joseph Marco her “boyfriend” and has nothing but good words for the actor. “Sa set, ang daming may gustong mga bading. Sabi ko, ‘Tama na yan. Tigilan n’iyo na ‘yan. That’s my boyfriend.’ Anak-anakan ko ‘yun, eh. Mabait ‘yun si Joseph at magaling.”
Maricel describes Simon Ibarra as the kindest person she’s ever met and a loving family man. “Sobrang mapagmahal sa pamilya. Si Simon ay isang tunay na kaibigan at napakabait na tao. Ito’y napakahusay na artista.”
The highly respected actress is admittedly a Kirae shipper, mesmerized by the chemistry of Kira Balinger and Grae Fernandez, so much so an important love advice came up. “’Di ba may kantang ‘Let’s be friends first, then lovers?’ Kunsintidora ako sa mga affairs of the heart na ‘yan pero sabi ko, ‘Mag-enjoy kayo. Be friends muna. Try n’yo baka mag-click kayong dalawa, you’ll never know,’” shares Maricel.
Don’t miss the “Heart-Stealing Ending” of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin, created by Dindo C. Perez and Julie Anne R. Benitez and directed by FM Reyes and Avel Sunpongco, airing on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.
Watch on TV Patrol: Grae Fernandez at Kira Balinger, pinayuhan ni Maricel Soriano tungkol sa love life