Three weeks before its much-awaited “The Healing Finale”, well-loved primetime series Huwag Kang Mangamba held its media conference last Monday, October 25, which was attended by some of its stellar cast and members of the press.
The first group to be interviewed was comprised by Alyanna Angeles, Renshi de Guzman, Margaux Montana, Raven Rigor, Ashton Salvador, and Kyle Velino. When asked about the fun and exciting experiences they had while taping Huwag Kang Mangamba episodes, they all recounted how they were initially nervous, considering that this is the first project for most of them, and how they used to be totally intimidated by their senior castmates. They said they eventually got comfortable with the seasoned actors, who were all kind, affectionate, and approachable.
They also talked about the challenges and adjustments they went through in portraying their roles, the learnings they acquired from The Gold Squad and the veteran actors, and the most unforgettable and nerve-wracking scenes they did.
For the second batch, it was time for Renz Aguilar, Enchong Dee, Matet de Leon Dominic Ochoa, Mercedes Cabral, RK Bagatsing, Mylene Dizon, Nonie Buencamino, and Sylvia Sanchez to answer the questions of the press.
Enchong was the first to impart what his character Father Seb has taught him. He stated, “I think ‘yong sacrifices na ibinibigay sa atin ng mga ganitong tao kasi isinantabi mo muna ‘yong mga personal mong kagustuhan sa buhay, ‘yong mga personal mong interes para magbigay-silbi ka doon sa paniniwala mo, sa faith mo. And I think it is such a noble and very, very admirable calling kasi ako, personally, parang magiging mahirap na journey ‘yon. Pero para sa ibang tao, for them to be in that place, to be in that service, ibang klase. Kaya siguro masaya ako kahit papaano kasi naiintindihan ko ang mga ganitong klaseng tao na malayo sa pag-iisip ko”.
With regards to the relevance of her role Eva Marquez, a journalist in pursuit of finding out the truth in the miraculous occurrences in the fictional town of Hermoso, Mylene related, “It’s relevant now, well, it’s always relevant, especially now that our country is in this situation. I needed to represent journalists really well and as fair as I can be kasi dapat gano’n natin makita ang mga journalist na katulad ninyo. Dapat wala tayong kinikilingan, ‘di ba? Right now, it’s really difficult to be fair because maraming ‘di balansyado, maraming fake news. So, it’s quite a challenge to be believable, dependable, timely, [and] credible.”
As most of her scenes are often with the younger members of their roster, particularly The Gold Squad, Matet revealed how she has become closer with them, to the point that she regards them as her barkada. She said, “Everyday is a memorable with the kids kasi ang mga batang ito halos kasing-edad ng anak ko e. Nandoon na ‘yong nami-miss ko kasi ‘yong mga anak ko, so I was very thankful every time ka-eksena ko ‘yang mga ‘yan. Kahit tanungin n’yo, ang dami kong kalokohan diyan sa mga ‘yan. Masayang-masaya ako kapag nakakapag-share ako sa kanila ng mga katalinuhan ko sa pag-arte.”
She also added how truly happy she is to be able to work alongside The Gold Squad and The Squad Plus and they surely know already how much she loves all of them, especially her on-screen son Seth Fedelin.
Throughout her over three decades in the local entertainment scene, it’s the first time that Sylvia portrayed a character like Barang, which she also considered as the toughest she has ever done. Nonetheless, she’s still able to impeccably depict it, making her truly deserving of the Best Supporting Actress nomination in the 2021 Asian Academy Creative Awards, in which Nonie is also the national winner for the Best Supporting Actor category.
Although they did a lot of dramatic scenes in the series, she divulged that the most remarkable for her was that scene wherein Barang confronted Samuel (Deither Ocampo) for forbidding his daughter Joy (Francine Diaz) to talk to her and Mira (Andrea Brillantes) and told him to answer Joy’s questions and be a genuine father to his child. That might not involve heavy crying, but it showed how mentally-challenged people sometimes tend to think better than the normal ones.
Apart from reminiscing the fondest and most unforgettable on-and-off-cam moments she had with her colleagues, the esteemed actress also imparted the valuable advice she bestowed to her teen co-stars.
“Actually, mababait ‘yong mga bata. Nakakausap naming nang maayos, magagaling sila umarte. Pero ito ‘yong isang advice ko talaga- mag-focus sila sa craft nila. Galingan pa nila, mag-aral pa sila, mag-focus sila sa pagiging actor kasi nandito sila sa industriya para maging isang artista,” she shared.
Then she continued, “Then kung gusto nilang nasa industriya sila, focus, mag-aral, sumeryoso sa craft nila. Pero kung gusto nilang ngayon lang maging sikat, magiging celebrity lang, then huwag na silang mag-focus. ‘Yon lang ang gusto kong i-advice, hindi lang sa kanila kundi sa mga kabataan ngayon. Mahalin n’yo ang trabaho ny’o dahil ang trabaho n’yo, bukas makalawa hanggang sa pagtanda n’yo, mamahalin din kayo ng trabaho n’yo.”
Some of them also imparted their respective reasons in accepting this project amidst the beleaguering COVID-19 pandemic.
For Dominic, who was also one of the significant figures in the iconic 2009 series May Bukas Pa, Huwag Kang Mangamba came at the time when we are devastated with terrible circumstances, which is seemingly God’s way of reminding us to renew our faith in Him.
He explained, “There’s only one reason why they wanted to come up with this kind of story, kaya nga ang title ay ‘Huwag Kang Mangamba’. Marami tayong nagiging problema, nagiging busy tayo sa mga pang-araw-araw nating ginagawa, marami tayong iniidolong mga material na bagay, marami tayong mga opinyon ngayon, we’re very entitled. Para sigurong ito ‘yong panahon para tumigil muna. Kinakalabit tayo ni Bro para tumigil, umupo, mag-isip, and to pray to Him. Humingi ng tawad, humingi ng pasensya sa ating mga pagkukulang, and pray for our situation now, basically. ‘Yon lang naman ang gustong mensaheng iparating ng show natin- na huwag tayong mangamba. All we need to do is just kneel down, pray to Him, and He will listen.”
Sylvia echoed his response and added that Barang is also the main reason why she said yes to this because she wanted to educate and change the mindset of other people about the plight of mentally-challenged individuals like her character.
Renz, on the other hand, connected his answer to the “The Healing Finale” theme, by iterating how their show aims to be the beacon of hope and inspiration to the viewers amid the pandemic.
The third and last batch was comprised of lead stars Andrea Brillantes, Seth Fedelin, and Francine Diaz, as well as their directors Manny Palo and Darnel Joy Villaflor. Just like their co-stars, The Gold Squad, sans Kyle Echarri who’s currently one of the housemates of the Pinoy Big Brother Kumunity Season 10, discussed the learnings they got from their veteran co-stars and their respective characters, too.
They started off by addressing the question of one of the reporters regarding the notion that Generation Z (a.k.a. Gen Zs) are noticeably less religious than their predecessors, which they connected to the roles they portrayed.
Besides, they also disclosed the things they will miss about filming the series and the most unforgettable memories they shared with their colleagues. At the same time, the two directors also described how the four of them are while on the set.
Each batch wrapped up with the cast expressing their gratitude to their co-stars and the Dreamscape Entertainment family, as well as to the online and television viewers who avidly supported them in their past eight months on-air.
Watch this video to hear the insightful comments and wonderful stories straight from the Huwag Kang Mangamba stars, as well as to witness their hilarious banters and interactions that clearly showcase how tightly-bonded they are.
Keep on showing your love and support for them by not missing an episode of Huwag Kang Mangamba, weeknights on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11!