Almost three months after the first-ever “new normal” contract signing event of ABS-CBN held last in December 2020, wherein eight Star Magic artists inked their new contracts, another set of six Kapamilya talents extended their ties with the network on Friday, February 26.
Titled “Kapamilya Strong”, it was attended by ABS-CBN top executives, namely, Head of Finance Rick Tan, Head of TV Production and Star Magic Laurenti Dyogi, Chief Operations Officer Cory Vidanes, President Carlo Katigbak, Chairman Mark Lopez, Star Cinema Managing Director Olivia Lamasan, and the managers and handlers of each artist.
IN PHOTOS: Star Magic artists who still remain Kapamilyas at the #KapamilyaStrong event
First was Maymay Entrata, who was overly excited to walk down the red carpet and sign her contract. She was greeted virtually by her mom, Lorna Entrata, who’s currently based in Japan, to whom she’s very much grateful for the guidance she provided her through the years.
When asked by host Robi Domingo on the importance of being a Kapamilya for her, the 23-year-old multi-faceted artist stated, “Siguro unang-una dahil dito ako nagsimula, parang sila ‘yong naging tulay po talaga ng pangarap ko. At dahil naging tulay sila ng pangarap ko, dito ko nahanap ‘yong purpose ko. Hindi lang naman po nila ako binigyan ng pagkakataon o oportunidad para maipagyabang kung ano’ng meron ako, kundi po para maging inspirasyon para po sa mga taong nangangarap katulad ko.”
Then she added, “’Di ba po kapag Kapamilya, kapag nadadapa tayo, sabay-sabay tayong bumabangon dahil iisang [pamilya] tayo. At ‘yon ang panghahawakan ko habangbuhay – ang maging Kapamilya sa katrabaho o sa kapwa ko.”
She was succeeded by her loveteam partner Edward Barber, who imparted the biggest lesson he learned from 2020 that he has surely brought with him this year.
“Siguro, kailangan kong sumugal nang konti ngayong taon. To jump, to take risks in terms of – not financial risks or business risks – kung natatakot ako, sige lang, talon ako. I’ll take a chance. I’ll train, not try,” he told Robi.
Next was Francine Diaz, who enthusiastically talked about her upcoming project alongside her Kadenang Ginto co-stars Andrea Brillantes, Kyle Echarri, and Seth Fedelin and other seasoned thespians in the country – Huwag Kang Mangamba.
She may have appeared in a several series prior to the formation of The Gold Squad, but she’s grateful to tread this path with them. “Sa Gold Squad and kay Kyle, siyempre ‘thank you’ and masaya ako na kasama ko sila sa lahat simula no’ng Day 1 and hanggang ngayon magkakasama pa rin kaming inaabot ‘yong mga pangarap namin,” she told the host.
After not seeing him for a long time, fans of Donny Pangilinan were surely thrilled to see him in the #KapamilyaStrong event to renew his contract. Aside from the much-awaited iWant Original series “He’s Into Her” that he topbills opposite Belle Mariano, he also teased his another upcoming show “Aja! Aja! Tayo Sa Jeju!” together with Robi Domingo, Kristel Fulgar, and Shine Kuk that will be finally aired next month.
When asked what makes him proud to be a Kapamilya, he simply said, “First of all, that I get to be beside Robi Domingo. But besides that, the spirit, number one. The people, it’s the environment. It’s different when you enter the building. So, I’m glad to be here.
Asian Academy Creative Awards 2020 Best Actor Arjo Atayde came next, who was surprised and turned emotional upon seeing the unexpected video greeting of his beloved girlfriend, actress-host Maine Mendoza. “Unexpected ‘yon ah, but ‘thank you, thank you’. First of all, they allowed me to make Maine’s birthday special,” he said, almost speechless.
Also quizzed what makes him a proud Kapamilya, he related, “I owe it to everyone here beside me. I owe it to the people behind the camera. I owe it to my co-actors. I owe it to each and everyone in ABS-CBN; they took care of me. They always make sure I was fine. I’m getting so emotional, this feels home. It feels like home.”
He continued, “For a lot of reasons, Robi, you know this. They gave us almost anything, they gave us the projects we deserve as long as we work hard for it, and never expecting anything in return. I just love being a Kapamilya, I am a Kapamilya, I was born to be a Kapamilya, and I’ll stay here no matter what. That’s how I am.”
Last, but definitely not the least, was Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano, who hopes to “continue to inspire and encourage so many people out there who are in dire need of it through our music, through our dance, through our stories, through our programs, through everything”.
Being in the industry for four decades and almost two decades in ABS-CBN, the 56-year-old ASAP Natin ‘To mainstay imparted what, for him, is the reason why the network has remained strong amid the terrible circumstances it went through, especially last year.
“Anytime that you are in project and you have something that is deeply ingrained sa puso ninyo, I think that no matter how strong the winds may blow, somehow, that desire, that intention is already planted there by the Good Lord. And if you’re able to stick to it, no matter what – like what our leaders here did during the roughest of times, they stuck to what they’re called to do and hanggang ngayon ginagawa pa rin, hindi lang nila, kundi ginagawa naming lahat – and God will just see you through it. And believe me, the fact that we are here now, only God could’ve orchestrated all of this,” he conveyed.
The contract signing event was followed by the media conference facilitated by Aya Fernandez, wherein each artist gamely responded to the questions of bloggers, journalists, and some of their fans on Twitter.