Andrea Brillantes walks by faith and not by sight in “Huwag Kang Mangamba,” talks about working with veterans

Adulthood looks promising for Andrea Brillantes as she celebrates her 18th birthday with a new primetime series. Titled Huwag kang Mangamba,” the inspirational drama will uplift everyone’s sense of hope and faith, a fitting offering in these trying times.

This might look like the perfect present for Andrea but she thinks it’s also a gift to viewers struggling with spirituality and whose faith was distorted by modern times. “Ang daming nangyari. Ang daming mga bata na ang bilis maniwala sa social media. Mas mabilis sila maniwala sa nababasa nila kaysa sariling Diyos natin. Mas nasa TikTok sila kaysa sa magdasal sila,” she said.

These words came from Andrea’s real experience with anxiety during the pandemic. She was admittedly pressured seeing her contemporaries’ glow-ups on social media, making her feel conscious about her figure. She tried to overdo working out and dieting but it brought more harm than good.

“Pumayat talaga ako noong second month ng quarantine kaso hindi ako masaya kasi dala siya ng peer pressure. Na-realize ko, ‘Bakit ba ako masyadong nagpapadala?’ Ang pinaka-importante sa panahon ngayon ay healthy ako at negative ako sa COVID, hindi magpaganda.’ May pandemic na nga, papalungkutin ko pa ‘yung sarili ko,” she said. Besides, she discovered her talent in baking and who else would enjoy the baked goodies than the baker herself.

In Huwag Kang Mangamba,” Andrea plays the orphaned and blind Mira, who is on a journey to finding her biological mother. It’s a role different from her previous character, the bratty Marga from Kadenang Ginto.

Mira’s character is a beautiful paradox in many ways. She is a blind girl looking fervently for her mother. She may be alone and unable to see but her faith is unbreakable – a reminder that we walk by faith and not by sight. She may look fragile because of her disability yet she knows her worth in the eyes of ‘Bro.’

“Mabait siya pero palaban siya. Hindi siya pumapayag na tapakan siya ng ibang tao. Kahit pa sabihin nilang bulag siya, hindi siya nagpapadala. Malakas ang pananampalataya niya talaga kay Lord,” Andrea described her character.

En route to finding her mother, Mira meets people with dead faith, igniting her dream to bring ‘Bro’ back in people’s lives and hearts. “Mas nakakabilib pa siya kaysa sa ibang nakakakita. ‘Yan ‘yung sinasabing mga nakakakita pero nagbubulag-bulagan,” Andrea added.

“Huwag Kang Mangamba” reunites the Gold Squad comprised of Andrea, Seth Fedelin, Francine Diaz, and Kyle Echarri. Andrea reveal that the new normal taping kept them more bonded. They got to know each other more like Francine’s habit of sleeping on her taping chair.

The quartet shares the screen with veterans like Sylvia Sanchez, Eula Valdes, and Nonie Buencamino. For Andrea, working with everyone especially Eula is a dream come true. One of her goals on the set is to be at par with Eula’s acting brilliance. She’s amazed by how Eula easily shifts to her character.

Andrea learned to always be on her toes. She recalled an instance wherein Eula delivered more than what was rehearsed, so she was quick to figure how to keep up with her co-star’s performance.  

Andrea takes her job seriously. She even tallies her mistakes and makes sure not to exceed three per day. She reports on the set well-prepared to also avoid delays since lock-in tapings are limited to just 12 hours a day.

Andrea believes Huwag Kang Mangamba” is a fitting offering in these dark, trying times when people are starting to lose faith. “Nakita ko na nawawalan ng faith ang mga tao. Dapat mas ngayon nagtutulungan lahat. Dapat mas ngayon tayo nananalig sa Kanya sa times na nahihirapan tayo,” She wishes the show will leave a strong impact on people’s sense of spirituality akin to the effects of May Bukas Pa.

Catch Huwag Kang Mangamba” starting March 22 on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.