Eula Valdes likes to test her acting mettle in every project and the result is always on point.
For the past eight months, she’s been playing Huwag Kang Mangamba’s Deborah, who will surely go down as one of the most iconic ‘kontrabidas’ of all time. Eula looked back at her experience playing the pseudo saint and reacted to her scenes in this edition of Kapamilya React.
How would she describe her onscreen counterpart? “Delusional siya,” said Eula, re-watching the moment when Deborah started calling herself a saint after the curtains fell and caused a stream of sunlight into her face.
“‘Yung simpleng bagsak ng kurtina, na lumitaw ang sinag ng araw, ninamnam niya ‘yung moment na ‘yun.Ang meaning nu’n para sa kanya, siya ay santa,” she continued.
Even the actress finds Deborah and her devotees creepy and dangerous. “Nakakatakot din ‘yung mga tao na mabilis maniwala. Nati-trick sila into believing na tama ang sinasabi ni Deborah.”
Although evil to the core, Deborah is often silent and alone. This gave Eula the foundation to build on her character. “Dinevelop ko na medyo mahinahon siya magsalita bilang hindi din siya mahilig makisalamuha sa mga tao. Dinevelop ko na ‘pag meron siyang gustong tanungin, tinatanong din niya sa sarili niya tapos sinasagot din siya ng sarili niya.”
The next scene is a confrontation between Deborah and Mira (Andrea Brillantes), their most intense encounter. Asked how she prepares for physical scenes, like this one where she had to strangle the young actress with bare hands, Eula said it comes out naturally when co-actors are giving the right emotions. After all, acting is an art of give-and-take.
As a veteran with extensive training and experience, Eula advises her young co-stars when asked. Her topmost pointer is to keep the line delivery slow and clear. “Namnamin ang sinasabi. Huwag madaliin ang dialogue kasi nakakatulong ‘yun na ma-imbibe mo ang character mo.”
The power actress turned a bit sentimental after watching Agatha (Mercedes Cabral)’s death scene, wherein Deborah said she will bring her sister back to life. Anyone who loses a loved one will be miserable in real life, thus her naturalistic acting.
“Nung sinabi sa akin na mamamatay si Agatha, ang initial reaction ko is bubuhayin ko siya kasi mahal ko ang kapatid ko. ‘Yung thought lang na mamamatay yung kapatid mo na mahal na mahal mo, gusto mo talaga siyang buhayin,” shared Eula.
It wasn’t that difficult to grieve over losing Agatha because of the sisterly bond built off-cam. “Napamahal na sa akin ‘yan si Chedeng [Mercedes] so para talagang kapatid ko na ‘yan… Mabubuting tao itong mga kasama ko. Paano mo hindi mamahalin? Paano ka hindi maiiyak? Iisipin mo kung mamamatay ang isa sa kanila, apektado ka.”
The same goes for her other co-stars. Eula said it’s hard not to feel attached to the cast as they were together for almost a year, stuck in a bubble where everyone revealed their lovable traits and hidden talents. “Itong duration ng aming pagsasama, hindi pwedeng hindi ka mag-care. Hindi pwedeng hindi mo mahalin ang bawat isa.”
Working with a bunch of kind-hearted people to mount an inspirational drama, Eula is reminded each day to also pray for others. She would pray for peace and everyone’s safety in the bubble.
Eula would sign off as another iconic character, leaving her viewers with lessons about faith. Her biggest gain from being part of Huwag Kang Mangamba, besides the plaudits, are lessons about keeping a prayerful life, as well as walking by faith and not by sight.
“Ang tao, nature na ata natin ‘yung ‘to see is to believe.’ Kapag walang milagro, hindi ka maniniwala up until na may mangyayari na naman na sensational. ‘Yung mga importanteng bagay tulad ng pagtawag sa Diyos ang hindi natin dapat kinakalimutan,” she related.
Don’t miss the remaining episodes of Huwag Kang Mangamba The Healing Finale on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.