After a year-long break from acting, Ina Raymundo is thrilled and all-geared up for her newest project “Me and Mrs. Cruz,” the third instalment of iWantTFC’s Ampalaya Chronicles.
In the series, Paulo Angeles plays Caloy, a flower shop delivery guy tasked to deliver flowers for Eve, or Mrs. Cruz, played by Ina. But unlike all the other girls, Eve would refuse to receive the package each time. That’s when Caloy started to get curious, opening the doors for romance.
Ina resonates with her character’s big-heartedness. She would describe the both of them as “loving” and “mysterious.” There’s so much about ‘Mrs. Cruz’ that tickled her interest. Besides, she wanted to take a break from mother roles.
Now with broad knowledge about the industry, Ina sure knows how to spot a talent that can go places. He found one in Paulo, who she calls an actor with “intensity.” She said, “This kid will go a long way. Nakita ko kasi napaka-passionate niya sa character niya as Caloy. Kasi ang hirap talaga. Kahit sinong pumapel as Caloy ay mahihirapan kasi ang hahaba ng mga dialogue niya.”
Ina is proud of Paulo’s performance. She also praises his dedication. He was too committed to the point of lacking sleep which resulted in mild hypertension. She also noticed Paulo worrying about the next scenes, thus her advice to take it one at a time. She told him that the fear would affect his character’s happy nature.
As a seasoned actress, Ina is never selfish of her guidance and wisdom to rookies. She has this technique of helping the younger co-stars build emotions by holding their hands. “Hinahawakan ko ng mahigpit ‘yung kamay. Pinapa-feel ko lang ‘yung energy ko or kung ano ‘yun. It helps kasi mafe-feel niya ‘yung support.” She’s been there as well, that’s why she’s paying it forward, “Lalo na kapag baguhan, nandoon ‘yung kaba talaga lalo na sa crying scenes.”
Apart from being generous, she’s also patient with them. She doesn’t pressure newbies to get it perfectly done in an instant. The generosity extends behind the cameras when she’s playing support or simply throwing lines with the co-actor.
The lock-in taping lasted three days, the longest she’s been away from home since the quarantine. Ina admires artists who can cope with week-long bubbles. On the bright side, “Hindi na uso ang puyatan. That’s so amazing! ‘Yun ang talagang matagal na naming pangarap before the pandemic.”
Ina is known for her feisty thoughts about love. Listen to her talk about exes and moving on and you’ll know she has never been the type to grieve over a guy. “Kapalit lang ang solusyon diyan,” she boldly admitted. While others condemn relationship rebound, Ina would tell people about its power, “You need someone else again and you will forget that person who hurt you.”
Don’t get her wrong. She used to cry over breakups as well but never to the point of intense sorrow. She even considers breakups the best time to hang out with friends and her sisters. If you wonder why she’s this chill about heartbreaks, Ina revealed she’s never been in a long-term relationship during her younger years. The longest she had lasted three months that’s why moving on was easy. “Kasi bata pa ako. Alam ko na hindi pa ako ready magseryoso so why would I invest my love, time, and emotions sa isang guy na alam kong hindi pa naman siya ang mapapangasawa ko because I don’t want to get hurt.”
From this, we can pluck a love lesson youngsters must learn: Do not invest too much on something you know wouldn’t last. Ina would often tell her daughters, “You are so young. Just enjoy your life. Mas focus sa friendships.”
Asked to define love, the ‘Sabado Nights’ girl thought, “Love is a wonderful thing. It’s very fantastic, amazing. Everyone deserves to be loved and feel in love.” She’s always happy for those basking in the bliss of new love, “Alam mo ‘yung smile nila hanggang tenga? Enjoy it. Savor it while it lasts.”
She further calls ‘love’ a blessing and stressed that self-love is just as fulfilling as romantic relationships. “Kapag nasa relationship ka, ‘yung bago pa lang, don’t give it your all. I mean, you find a passion, something else you can focus on. Hindi ‘yung nandu’n ka lang sa love mo. Gusto mo 24/7 magkasama kayo, I don’t agree with that kasi eventually talaga magkakasawaan kayo. Too fast, too soon!”
The secret, therefore, in keeping the ‘kilig’ alive, “Kailangan may mystery, may sabik. You have to find something else to do para ‘yung main focus mo hindi lang sa lovelife mo. That’s not healthy.
“Coming from a 45-year-old who’s been there and done that, you will save yourself some heartache and regret. Huwag one hundred percent, magtira ka sa sarili mo. Dapat talaga self-love but not to the point na magiging selfish ka,” she continued.
Ina believes that life must be enjoyed while you’re young. And apart from self-love and romantic relationships, there’s as much joy to be felt in the love shared with the family.
Catch “Amapalaya Chronicles Presents Me and Mrs. Cruz” now streaming on iWantTFC.