• Monday - Friday after FPJ’s Batang Quiapo
  • Monday - Friday after FPJ’s Batang Quiapo
Kaila: Janice & John feedback CBML Finale

Kapamilya actress Kaila Estrada is basking in the glow of praise for her portrayal as the secret killer in "Can't Buy Me Love." Happy and grateful for the overwhelming support, she admits it hasn’t quite sunk in that the show has ended, as the cast members still see each other, but it feels strange not to get calls about taping after nine months of bonding with the Tiu family. 

Kaila tells Kapamilya Chat that the script and shooting sequence for "Can't Buy Me Love" underwent frequent changes, particularly concerning the true identity of Divine (Shaina Magdayao)'s killer. As the series progressed, even the cast had no clue how the script would unfold or who the killer was. Kaila personally thought it could be Wilson Tiu (Rowell Santiago), the father, or matriarch Cindy (Agot Isisfro), until she ran out of suspects.

Initially, she never considered her character, Bettina, a suspect because Bettina was depicted as too young when Divine was killed. However, as her character's complexities unfolded, she found herself just as puzzled as everyone else.

There was palpable excitement among the cast as they speculated on who the culprit might be. Then came certain scenes where Bettina seemed to act strange, yet Kaila refrained from jumping to conclusions or inquiring about the script's direction, “Until nag-meeting kami, and then sabi ko, ‘Oh, my gosh! Totoo nga! Ako!” 

And when she looked back on Bettina's journey, she realized it was plausible for her character to commit murder. “All of a sudden, it made sense to me na why she’s always defensive, bakit parang ang taas n’ya palagi. She’s always triggered, kasi nga she’s covering up something, something big. It all makes sense.”

The Creatives Team did an excellent job weaving the story together, providing an impactful ending. 

They didn't have the full script in filming that ‘revelation’ scene where Bettina’s crime of the past finally came out in the open, so it felt like assembling a puzzle for the entire cast. They were only provided with the script for specific scenes during taping, leaving everyone equally confused. Trusting director Mae Cruz Alviar was crucial. If there were any changes or corrections needed, she would inform them.

Everyone felt tense during filming because they didn’t know what to expect or how the script would turn out.  “Even when we didn’t know, there was really an air of tension sa set, so nakatulong siya sa mga eksena.” For the revelation scene, Kaila shared, “No’ng binasa ko ‘yung monologue ni Bettina, doon ko na-realize na ang lalim ng hugot niya. Parang nag-make sense na sa akin ‘yung buong journey nya.”

It helped that she was very close to the cast, allowing her to imagine the pain, shame, and guilt the character felt knowing she was the killer. She experienced a whirlwind of emotions as if feeling vulnerable in front of her own family.

“I was so vulnerable. Lahat kami was so vulnerable. Just looking at their reactions, ‘My gosh! Hindi ako makapaniwalang ginawa ko ‘to!’ Parang gano’n, lumabas lang din [‘yung emotions].”

The anger emerged because Bettina, as a character, is a lonely person who has suffered a lot of neglect and resentment towards her dad. She carries a lot of feelings that she’s unloved.

Bettina's only goal, deep down, is to achieve GLC and fulfil her parents' expectations. Her obedience is rooted in a longing for their love and attention, and some of her actions are also driven by the need to cover up her past crime. But overall, she just wants to feel heard and seen. Bettina is intelligent, but because her brothers are prioritized to become the CEO of the family company, she feels insecure—questioning if it's because she's a woman.

The ‘revelation’ scene is a reminder to check up on the people we love, as some may struggle to open up. And if you're someone who finds it difficult to open up, it's okay to ask for help, even professional help. It's important for your mental health. When asked about her outlet for releasing emotions, Kaila explained that for significant or heavy situations, she tends to process them quietly within herself first or take a pause before addressing them when she feels ready.

“Before I confront, kailangan ko muna pag-isipan kasi ayaw ko makasakit ng tao. I don't want to say things in the height of emotions kasi baka may masabi ako na i-regret ko, siyempre, nasabi mo na, hindi mo na mababawi.”

But she’s very open as a person, making it easy for her to share her feelings and thoughts with her loved ones.

Kaila expressed that the most rewarding aspect of portraying Bettina was the profound transformation the character underwent, which made the experience simultaneously enjoyable and challenging. Exploring uncharted emotions also added excitement to her character portrayal. In a lighter vein, she humorously quips about her least favorite aspect of the role being "ang dami kong sinampal." Talking more about Bettina, she pondered about the character’s future, thinking it would have been nice as well to see Bettina’s journey end on a positive note. 

With all the praises she’s receiving, what keeps her humble? “Knowing that I’m only as good as my last.” She continued, “As much as I’m overwhelmed with so much joy and gratitude, I know that the next project will be different and it’s going to be another challenge. And I can only hope and prepare that I’ll get the same response and I’ll be able to do the best I can to get the same reaction.”

Kaila acknowledges that there's pressure to consistently deliver remarkable work in every project. She describes it as a form of motivation that keeps her on her toes, "It’s a positive push to give my best effort every single time.” This kind of pressure motivates her and maintains her drive, preventing complacency.

Asked how her parents reacted to her portrayal, she disclosed that her mom, Janice de Belen, was a fan of the show but they never really talked about it much. However, when the ‘revelation’ episode came out, her mom suddenly entered the room and exclaimed how beautiful it was. That's the biggest compliment for her—when her parents watch her and express how happy and proud they are. Her dad, John Estrada, also watched the last two episodes and he said he cried, so that's also a compliment.

The excitement doesn't stop with the finale, though, as “Can't Buy Me Love” has more surprises in store. 

During the filming of the finale week, they shot different versions of the flashback murder scene. With multiple versions filmed, even the cast didn't know which clip would be used in the finale to reveal the identity of the killer. Now, you can watch these different versions. Just head over to the ABS-CBN Entertainment YouTube channel and become a member of the Super Kapamilya community to find out who the other alternate killers are in the series. 

*Photo credit to John Estrada FB, JeepneyTV