Nikki Valdez reveals behind-the-scene stories about the making of Bagong Umaga

A “bagong umaga” happens everyday. And it’s always a miracle worth celebrating, a little piece of reminder that there’s always something to look forward to and be grateful for. As we face uncertainties during this crisis, the Kapamilya Network aims to provide entertainment and uplift everybody’s sense of hope via new coming-of-age series, “ Bagong Umaga which premiered yesterday, October 26. 

Nikki Valdez, one of the cast members of the promising teleserye, shares more details about the show and her thoughts of finally seeing their hard work come to life. 

Ito ang aking bagong umaga talaga, eh,” Nikki gushed as she expressed gratitude for being part of this new series right after A Soldier’ Heart bid goodbye two months ago. 

This teleserye is a surprise blessing for her and she thinks she’s there for a reason. “Maybe I was put again in this show to be able to send a message to our viewers through my character, si Monica. Nagpapasalamat lang talaga ako na I’m given another chance to serve and to have work,” she expressed.  

Nikki plays Monica, the matriarch of the humble Magbanua family who would remind viewers that we live different lives. We have our own sets of challenges. But what matters is facing these obstacles as a team, “with each other and for each other.”

While watching the pilot episode on the small screen, Nikki felt happy and proud of the actors’ performances and how the scenes appeared flawless despite major hurdles mounting them. 

Talking about these challenges, Nikki shared that lock-in taping comes with a lot of limitations including time constraint. Under the “new normal” guidelines, working hours and the number of people on the set were cut down, a contrast to the usual long-hour grind. The changing weather also makes filming more difficult.   

On the bright side, Nikki believes the changes brought positive impact on how the industry runs. Unlike before when artists and production staff are pushed too hard, working until the next morning, the “new normal” introduced work-health balance. Production has been a lot smoother as well, almost at par Hollywood style.  

Ang galing kasi it’s possible pala. Hindi naman sa nagpapasalamat tayo na may virus… but if there’s one thing that it has taught us, I think it’s to give importance to what is more essential, which is health. I know there is work to do, there are a lot of responsibilities pero how can we possibly manage to do all those things kung hindi rin tayo healthy,” she expressed. 

With this, she’s thankful to the management and the production team for ensuring that proper health protocols are strictly followed. The guidelines might feel overwhelming and uncomfortable at times but she knows they’re for everyone’s safety. Nikki hopes this production dynamics is sustained even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. 

Working amid a pandemic isn’t easy, as we all know. But the team of Bagong Umaga, and the rest of Kapamilya shows, are more than committed to provide quality entertainment for the audiences. It all boils down to passion, which she clearly sees in the fresh ensemble cast topbilling the series.

More than the positive energy and the “lambing” they bring, the young artists remind them of what learning looks like – full of eagerness and humility. “One thing good about this cast now, what I’ve learned from my seniors before, now I have the opportunity to share with them at ang saya because they listen and they allow you to help them. And that, I think, is one of the best characters that an actor should have, ‘yung, you allow space to still learn and be taught,” she said. 

Nikki would always tell everyone, especially the young generation of stars, to embrace their characters. There are no small roles to play. “Lahat ng roles na ibinibigay sa inyo, may halaga ‘yan. Hindi tatayo ang isang show. It doesn’t matter kung gaano ka katagal nandoon, kung may dialogue ka o wala, you are there for a reason. May silbi ka.”  

The rest of the cast, all seasoned actors and actresses, are generous as well. On most days, they just feel like a big happy family in a big happy bubble. Everyone takes care of and supports each other. 

Bagong Umaga is helmed by Carlo Artilaga and Paco Sta. Maria, two of the most creative and brilliant young directors of today. Nikki described them as collaborative. “Nakaka-add ng happiness sa set kasi very honest sila with what they want sa scene and hindi sila nahihiya, kaya kami, ganun din ‘yung binibigay namin sa expectations nila. We’re very honest to each other,” she said. 

For Nikki,Bagong Umaga is a symbol of hope. She looks at every waking day as a gift. “Ang bagong umaga ay to be alive every single day. From the moment you wake up and open your eyes, bagong umaga ‘yun, eh… Sabi ko nga, always go back to basics, to still have your family around, to be able to do what you love, I think that’s more than being in a bagong umaga,” said Nikki. 

Bagong Umaga follows the story of a six-piece barkada connected by friendship, lies, envy, and anger. Tisay (Heaven Peralejo) grows up with her loving parents and adoptive brother, Dodong (Yves Flores), and best friend, Angge (Michelle Vito). 

The ambitious Ely (Tony Labrusca) will fall for her. But his best friend, Cai (Barbie Imperial), secretly in love with him, will get in the way by using Dodong. Adding a layer of conflict, Otep (Kiko) will enter the barkada and get closer with Tisay for his own vengeful plans. 

It airs after It’s Showtime on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live and A2Z Channel 11.