Growing up under the care of aunts and uncles while her mom works as an OFW, Maja Salvador witnessed the harsh realities of life at a young age. These challenges fuelled her will to step up, help the family, and even provide for them.
The nomad life of jumping from one place to another ignited Maja’s dream of building her own house someday. When her mom went home to the Philippines for good, they decided to leave the province and try their luck in Manila. Then-high school student, Maja started modelling to add something on the table.
When showbiz knocked on her doors by sophomore year, Maja did not hesitate to embrace the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “Hindi natin pinakawalan at ibinigay natin ang one thousand percent nang buong-buo para magawa mo nang maayos ‘yung trabaho mo at siyempre pagdadasal para lagi tayong tulungan ni God.”
Maja gave up her schooling for showbiz, not that she wasn’t determined to earn her diploma but that was the only option then. “Kahit gaano ko kagusto mag-aral, tinanggap ko na lang na dito muna ako.
Alam mo ‘yung pakiramdam na first time n’yo lag magkaroon ng pera talaga,” shared Maja.
Maja prioritized her family’s needs and happiness, doing her best to provide what she lacked in return. “Para kang naging Nanay nang maaga. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam na nakapagpatapos ka ng kapatid mo. Hindi man ako nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral pero lahat ng pagod at paghihirap ko nagbunga ng maganda sa mga kapatid ko.”
Now that Maja is done with her obligations for the family, it seems just the right time for her to settle down with boyfriend Rambo Nunez. Yet, Maja does not want to overanalyse the future in her own timeline. “Kung ibibigay ni God ngayon, eh ‘di ‘yun.”
Maja and Rambo are open about their love story. They broke up when she was 21, then reunited almost a decade later. Asked what made her decide to give the relationship a second chance, Maja revealed, “Kasi hindi sapat ‘yung ilang months lang na naging kami noon. Before kami magkabalikan, ilang beses kami randomly nagkikita. Then, may certain feeling na ‘yung naramdaman mo dati, meron pa rin.” When they got back together, Maja felt she was home again.
The Kapamilya actress had a nostalgic travel down memory lane as she looked back on her past film and television projects. Maja recalled playing as the socialite teenager in the coming of age movie “First Day High,” where she had a challenging time delivering her dialogues. “Kasi ‘yung charater ko from mahirap naging mayaman, so ‘yung English niya buti hindi talaga ‘yung sosyalerang English,” said Maja, who’s honest to admit that she is not comfortable in speaking the English language.
Another memorable character under Maja’s acting resume is the strong and independent Trisha in the iconic piece “One More Chance.” Playing as the third wheel to John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo was awkward, given her young age, but the discomfort actually helped her slay the role. “Doon sa set hindi niya [John Lloyd] ako pinapansin na parang hindi niya ako kilala, ‘yun pala pine-prepare niya rin ako kasi parang na-awkward din siya,” shared Maja.
Maja’s first big screen appearance was via blockbuster horror film “Sukob” alongside Kris Aquino and Claudine Barretto. It was helmed by Chito Rono, also her director in the television series “Spirits.” She recalled, “Kinabahan ako kasi siyempre Direk Chito. Si Tita Kris pa ka-eksena ko tapos first time kong gumawa ng pelikula.”
In 2018, Maja filmed “To Love Some Buddy” with Zanjoe Marudo. It tells the story of two best friends who tried to take their chemistry to the next level. “Sobrang ni-love ko ‘yung team na ‘yun kasi naging barkada, lumalabas kami.”
In everything she does, her role as the family’s breadwinner is Maja’s biggest driving force. She would always pour her passion and skills to every assignment, scared to lose her job if she fails to perform
excellently. “Basta para sa pamilya, lahat ibibigay mo, kung anong kaya mong isakripisyo kahit pag-ibig pa ‘yan.” She once had to let go of her relationship with Rambo to please her audiences and not lose her place in the industry. Maja was 21 then, still working side by side with a love team partner.
Despite the ups and downs, Maja is grateful that she’s always been guided. Her strong sense of spirituality helps her survive all the time. Maja proves that dreams do come true as long as nurtured with enough perseverance and patience. And she would like to pass on these traits to her future kids. “’Yung kahit anong hirap titiisin mo,” she said.
Maja believes nothing can make her walk away from showbiz, though she thinks she’d lie low a bit once she becomes a mother. Nevertheless, she will never leave the industry.