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KChat Xyriel Manabat on Dirty Linen

This year seems a time for great showbiz comebacks. Just on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, we see a lot of artists acting again. One of them is former child star Xyriel Manabat, who went back to drama via Dirty Linen after focusing on her studies.

Kapamilya Chat caught up with Xyriel and here’s what she talked about:

The young actress mentioned that it was her own decision to pursue acting again, and this time, she’s certain about it. Especially with the positive feedback on her performance in Dirty Linen, she proved that acting would always be her greatest love.

Just a month after the show premiered, Xyriel’s Tonet has become one of the most talked about characters in the series, thanks to her flawless portrayal. In one of her trending scenes, she madly shunned her father Ador (Epy Quizon) after his porn business was exposed, concerned that she was losing followers because of their family's scandal.

Believe it or not, Xyriel didn’t have much preparation for that scene as it was her first day on set and her first take in the series. She didn’t even know Tonet that much. She just relied on her directors' guidance. “Masaya po ako na doon ko po napatunayang nasa puso ko pa rin ang pag-act kasi nagampanan ko ‘yung eksena,” she smiled. Later, she studied the script and the typical behavior of social media stars, especially those “obsessed sa pagpapapansin.”

Personally, she isn’t a fan of Tonet’s attitude, which she described as “mababaw.”  But, if she were to examine their similarities, she can say they are both family-oriented, “Kahit gaano siya kababaw, kahit gaano siya ka-palaaway, gaano siya kabardagul na bata, meron siyang soft spot sa parents at family niya.”

In the series, Xyriel is surrounded by luminaries and she has developed good off-cam camaraderie with them. She said Epy is a generous guy. He always brings food to add to their pantry and, of course, as the son of the late Comedy King Dolphy, he is naturally funny. Xyriel may be a lot younger than Epy but their humor perfectly fits.

Angel Aquino, who she described as perfectly gorgeous and kind, is her mother figure on set. Sometimes they bond by eating out.

Xyriel admitted that she was initially intimidated by Janice de Belen until she saw the veteran actress’ funny side when they gathered in their pantry. When it comes to acting, Janice is very supportive in that she motivates her co-stars even if she’s not in the scene.

We can’t blame Xyriel for fangirling on set. When she met John Arcilla, she asked for a photo op and told him he is her idol. Later, her ‘hugot’ about her followers would become their running joke.

Tessie Tomas is the matriarch of the family on- and off-cam. And who wouldn’t feel ‘kilig’ when recognized by the iconic actress? Xyriel mentioned that Tessie remembers they worked together in Noah.

Then, she was praised by award-winning actor Christian Bables in her hysterical scene where Ador’s scandal was played in public. She didn’t know the scene required big reactions but she obliged when asked to cry and act hysterical on the spot, hence, Christian was amazed. The actor told her, “Alam mo ang galing mong artista,” and she got teary-eyed hearing those words. Such praise, especially if it’s from an acclaimed actor like Christian, helps her overcome self-criticism.

Food is the love language of the Dirty Linen cast, thus, restaurateur Joel Torre contributes a lot to their food trips by bringing “inasal.”  Speaking of their pantry, Xyriel revealed that she also brings food baked or cooked by her mom.

She gushed about the youthful beauty of Jennica Garcia, who she describes as her ‘Ate’ figure, the one she can talk to about girly things.

The same goes for Janine Gutierrez, who is blessed with natural charisma. She’s infectiously giddy, like a little kid who gets happy when handed candy or goodies baked by Xyriel’s mother.

When asked about her on-screen brother Raven Rigor, she admitted they were awkward at first. Eventually, they broke down each other’s walls and are now like siblings off-cam, thanks in part to Raven’s gentlemanly ways.

In keeping with the series’ theme, Xyriel shared her thoughts that revenge is sweeter when life doesn’t revolve around it, “Kapag hindi doon umiikot ‘yung buhay mo, kapag hindi ka nagli-live according sa pagganti mo.”

On social media obsession and insecurities, she confessed that she also went through the same phase as Tonet. That was years ago. Now, more mature, Xyriel doesn’t let social media control her, though she’s admittedly affected when bashers go too far. As much as possible, she would ignore the naysayers but she will not think twice about using her platform to correct or educate someone. And as a message to the haters, she imparted, “Huwag na kayong mag-effort to lower someone’s confidence or self-esteem. Parang, sige naman na, maging mabait na lang tayo sa isa’t isa.”

Xyriel hinted at more intense confrontations involving Tonet in Dirty Linen, that’s why we shouldn’t miss an episode. ”Kasi, ako po, napakapit nung nabasa ko ‘yung script,” she teased.

Catch Dirty Linen, weeknights, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.