The second lease on life fills the heart of Kapamilya actress Iza Calzado with overflowing gratitude. Whatever challenges come her way now, it will be easier for her to face and overcome them, for she has already surpassed the most life-threatening trial that is COVID-19.
Iza grasped unto her faith all throughout that battle, knowing that only God’s grace can bestow her with healing. No matter how scary the situation was, all she did was believe, although she also had bumpy stopovers in that journey.
“Dumating sa point na mapapatanong ka talaga, ‘Why me?’ Then, mare-realize mo din ‘yung purpose. Siguro dahil malakas ako. Thankfully, I’ve been living a healthy lifestyle through the years,” shared Iza. The experience was Iza’s wakeup call to slow down as she was prone to pushing herself too hard. She took diets and workouts seriously but neglected proper rest.
To those struggling, Iza’s message is, “Hold on to that faith that you will pull through because the mind is also a very powerful thing. One of the challenges of COVID talaga, it’s not just physical talaga, but it’s the fear that can really eat you up. And that’s the battle that you must win.”
The Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin star added that finding your purpose fuels the will to survive. Faith and the power within the mind cannot be underestimated, either. “In the darkest of times, that’s when the light shines the brightest. It might be like a tiny speck of light in the beginning but the minute you hold on to that, lalaki siya nang lalaki. Hanggang sa mas maliwanag na siya kesa sa dark,” expressed Iza.
Ten years from now, if she’d look back on these moments, Iza would give her younger self a pat on the back for going through so much yet coming out better and stronger.
Iza is now back to the daily hustle, the “new normal” way. It feels different to be on a lock-in taping. It is difficult as well. But when confronted by negativities and hard times, she can easily go back to her core grounded on gratitude. Work is so precious nowadays, as how she puts it. The COVID-19 survivor appreciates the little blessings even more.
“Kung meron mang pagkakamali. Kung meron mang pumalpak, maliit na bagay na lang pala talaga ‘yun kumpara sa posibilidad na ikaw ay mag-bye bye. ‘Yung pagpapahalaga din sa pamilya tsaka sa oras na binibigay natin at kung paano natin ginagamit ang oras at plataporma na binibigay sa atin,” she said.
In a career that spans two decades, Iza proved that she’s a divine actress in both movies and television. Her first work under Star Cinema was the Claudine Barretto and Piolo Pascual starrer, “Milan.” She considers her character, Mary Grace, as one of the heaviest roles she portrayed thus far. She had to be loaded with oversized emotions that Director Olive Lamasan asked her to carry a table and imagine its weight. She thanks the whole team for helping her immerse in Mary Grace’s soul, leading in an effective portrayal.
It was followed by “Starting Over Again” which she did with Toni Gonzaga. Looking back on those days, Iza poked fun at her bloopers. She was too nervous. Yet, the viewers saw nothing but impeccable acting, not even a hint of the jitters she’s talking about. And it’s a proof of her dramatic brilliance. The iconic confrontation scene between Iza and Toni’s characters was shot overnight. The hard work paid off as moviegoers lauded Iza’s prim and divine take on her character. Thanks also to the guidance of Director Olive Lamasan.
Iza is quite stereotyped as a dramatic actress. She’s also done some action-fantasy and horror projects. So, a rom-com movie is now on top of her bucket list.
Currently, Iza is seen as Ellice Cenidoza in the primetime series Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin. The team finished another round of lock-in taping, giving Iza enough time to relax her overused emotions. Yet, the good company and the viewers’ positive feedback soothe the exhaustion.
The Kapamilya star said that she can relate with Ellice’s ambitious drive that may appear selfish to others. She doesn’t want to be ashamed or judge herself for that trait. She keeps on working it out, as one of the lessons brought about by the pandemic. She does not want to judge Ellice’s character, either, thinking that some decisions are easier said than done.
On her married life with Ben Wintle, the actress gushed over how they managed to surpass major hurdles. She feels blessed to have a husband so selfless and caring. “Mahilig ako noon sa mga bad boy. So, ito, na-appreciate ko talaga na tama ang napili kong pakasalan,” she confessed.
Their relationship is going on smoothly, “steady,” as she describes it. After all the dramatic plot twists that tried to break their vows, Iza and Ben savor the calm and bliss.
Asked where she draws unbreakable strength, Iza gives back the glory to the Lord, her number one help. She holds on to her husband, family, and friends as well. They make up her core.