Aiko Melendez shot to fame in the 1980s after having been discovered by Regal Films and later launched in the movie “Underage Too” as one of the third batch of the famous Regal Babies together with Carmina Villaroel and Ruffa Gutierrez. At a young age, Aiko was able to showcase her excellence as an artist by bagging two back-to-back Manila Film Festival Best Actress Awards for the films “Maalaala Mo Kaya: The Movie” and “Sa ‘Yo Lamang” respectively and a Best Actress Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines, also for “Maalaala Mo Kaya: The Movie.” Two decades later, Aiko proves that she is still one of the most brilliant actresses in the industry by winning the Best Actress Award from two prestigious international film festivals – the 7th London International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema and The International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) in New York City, for the indie film “Asintado.”
This year, Aiko will be returning to TV as Mayor Emilia Ardiente-Torillo in the much anticipated revenge drama “Wildflower.” Politically powerful, Emilia and the Ardientes rule over the town Poblacion Ardiente. She will stop at nothing to protect her family’s reputation, even if it means committing murder. From the highly-charged teasers alone, we can already expect to see a showdown like no other between an Aiko and a Maja Salvador like we have never seen them before. So as we fervently wait for the premiere of “Wildflower,” let us first look back on Aiko’s three most memorable Kapamilya teleseryes.
“Reputasyon” explores the power of one false accusation. It revolves around Agnes (Cristine Reyes), a simple girl from a respected family who hopes to someday become a teacher. Her life is shattered after she is falsely branded as the governor’s mistress and implicated in his death by the governor’s embittered wife Catherine (Aiko). Agnes must find the strength to fight back to rebuild her life and prove her innocence. This intense 2011 drama series is cited as Aiko’s major comeback in showbiz and it’s made all the more memorable since “Reputasyon” also gave her the chance to play her very first kontrabida role. The actress revealed that she was at first hesitant to accept an antagonist charater, but she has since come to love the challenges and complexities of playing a kontrabida.
(2013) Apoy sa Dagat
“Apoy sa Dagat” is a riveting tale of love and the sacrifices we are willing to take for the sake of those we hold dear. It brought together Piolo Pascual, Diether Ocampo, and Angelica Panganiban who played two characters, the twin sisters Serena and Rebecca. Serena grew up without any recollection of her real identity or why she was swept off to an island. She falls in love with the village hero, Ruben (Piolo), but an unfortunate accident will force her to resort to stealing and assuming a different identity to save herself and the man she loves. The secrets of the past are stirred up when Serena’s twin, Rebecca, and the mysterious Anton appear. The twins’ mother, Odessa (Aiko), also returns after 20 years. Stronger and more powerful, Odessa has only one intent in mind, to take revenge on the woman who tore her family apart and take back everything that was taken from her. Aiko shared how pleased and excited she was for the character development of Odessa who became formidable in order to avenge the people she loved. As a single mom herself, Aiko was able to effectively portray the love behind Odessa’s actions and how she was willing to give up even her own life for her daughters.
(2016) The Story of Us
This is the story of every Filipino who has ever felt the need to leave their families behind in order to seek out a better future for their loved-ones. It centers on Macoy (Xian Lim) and Tin (Kim Chiu), two childhood friends from Palawan whose friendship blossomed into love as they grew up. They are separated when Tin decides to go to the U.S. to meet her estranged mother (Zsa Zsa Padilla). The distance slowly drives them further and further apart. Can their love survive in the face of life’s hardships and the challenges of pursuing their dreams? Aiko plays Tin’s stepmom Carmy in this series. But Aiko was quick to point out that, unlike the typical evil stepmother, Carmy actually loves both her son Darwin and her stepdaughter Tin and would do anything for their sakes.