It rained good vibes as Mica Javier, Nikko Natividad, and Mark Oblea share generous stories about their experiences on the set of Init Sa Magdamag and quarantine passion projects via this episode of Kapamilya Chat.
Done with taping and unable to go out, these stars turned lockdown into a time of discovery and side hustle. Mica, the woman who probably stretched her hands out when it rained talents, impressed with a new skill unlocked. She’s trying her hands at drawing and she attends online art classes for that. Her recent works are pen-made, quite abstract but marvellously intricate.
Nikko is extra hands-on with his daddy duties and is also busy with online ‘rakets.’ He appears on It’s Showtime’s virtual ‘tambayan’ and other online gigs. Not a techie, he had to learn the basics so to keep up with the demands.
Mark likewise offers something new – his cooking skills. Combining experiments and research, he’s able to learn new recipes to feed the family.
The trio went on to talk about the warm reception of Init Sa Magdamag. Musing on their journey, Mica said it feels surreal and overwhelming. She was reminded of how uncertain 2020 was due to the sudden COVID-19 outbreak and ABS-CBN shutdown. She said they took a leap of faith by filming the show despite no guarantee of airing on TV.
“Nakakataba ng puso kasi unang-una, as artists, pwede pa rin kaming magtrabaho at mag-express ng aming creativity. Na-impart din ‘yung kwento na pwede nilang paglibangan sa bahay. So, masarap din sa feeling. Maraming salamat sa mga sumusubaybay,” she reacted to the show’s intense viewership.
Candid as he is, Nikko went for “proud” to describe how he feels. After all, it was no joke mounting the series under ‘new normal’ and he can assure viewers of the show’s quality. Add to that the ensemble cast’s laudable performances.
Nikko and Mark then talked about auditioning for their respective roles, Simon and Kyle. It was their first time auditioning via Zoom and they think it felt more comfortable than nerve-wracking. Nikko was moved to tears when he got the call, “Gagalingan ko talaga kasi kailangan ko ng trabaho.” He plays the cheerful sidekick of Tupe played by Gerald Anderson. By the description, we know that Nikko is so similar to his character. The challenge, though, is trying to tone down his energy and comedic timing.
For Mark, apart from the crisis in getting new projects, the stellar cast inspired him to do his best. He shares most scenes with Yam Concepcion, JM De Guzman, and Aleck Bovick, so his first preparation was to build their rapport. “Kasi mabilis akong ma-rattle kaya kailangan komportable muna ako sa mga makakasama ko bago ko magawa nang maayos ‘yung role.”
Mica adds more fire in the series as Paulina. Whether she’s a good girl or a kontrabida, we’ll find out in the coming episodes. For now, she’s hinted at exciting scenes with Gerald Anderson. The most challenging part for Mica was memorizing long Tagalog lines and keeping her sanity inside the lock-in bubble. She also had to let go of the traces of female angst she’s carried with her after playing Lupita in Los Bastardos. Far from Lupita’s daring personality, Paulina is more feminine and soft.
The cast kept bonding times consistent by saving their rest days for fun activities like working out together, food trips, and endless kwentuhan. It helped them break the ice and get to know each other beyond the ‘taping friends’ level. They turned into a real family.
Mark was surprised to witness Gerald, Yam, and JM’s lighter sides. “Sobrang gaan pala nila katrabaho. Nakaka-intimidate kasi napapanood ko lang sila dati pero ngayon makakaeksena ko. But knowing na mabait pala sila in person, hindi na ako nahirapan mag-adjust. ‘Pag nasa set sila, solid silang katrabaho,” he shared.
Mica added that the power trio is approachable and friendly, always open for collaboration. They had a smooth relationship with the creative team as well. “Siguro dahil nasa lock-in bubble kaya mas warm ‘yung treatment ng mga tao. At siguro dahil sa pandemic na rin mas lumalabas ‘yung care ng mga tao sa isa’t-isa.”
Instead of shrinking in fear, Mica found the right motivation to keep up with the lead stars’ acting intensity. She also felt privileged to learn from them. “Parang gusto mong tapatan, eh. Gusto mo magbigay ka rin ng best mo para mas maganda ‘yung maging eksena. ‘Yun din ‘yung nakaka-excite kasi opportunity mo na ‘to para matuto sa kanila at ipakita kung ano pa ‘yung pwede mong gawin.”
Mica, Nikko, and Mark then weighed in on the pros and cons of lock-in tapings. For a family man like Nikko, the challenging part is missing the home and his family. Mark, on the other hand, appreciates the new setup because it easily bonds the cast, thus the on-screen rapport. It likewise helps them be in character at all times.
In awe of its positive effects, Mica talked about how lock-in resulted in better time management. She explained, “Kaya palang gawin na mag-start ng 8am tapos pack up ng 8pm. Maganda ‘yung flow, ‘yung oras ng bawat actors organized, planado. Mas healthy ‘yun sa buong production. Mas may time na magpahinga for taping naman the next day.”
Since Init Sa Magdamag’s main theme is anchored on passionate love, we asked their takes on keeping relationship burning. For Mica, love is kept alive through quality time. It doesn’t have to be grand or special. Just having a constant ‘couple time’ wherein you two can talk and connect will make a difference in the relationship.
“Kahit few minutes lang in a day na hindi kayo distracted sa ibang bagay. Whether magluto kayo, kumain kayo together, o mag-usap lang kayo heart-to-heart, kahit ano basta kailangan present kayo parehas para makapag-usap kayo nang totoo,” she said.
But, considering the year-long lockdown, Mica thought that spending too much time together can take a toll on the relationship. Thus, it’s important to find something good in your partner each day.
Mark gave male viewers a smart piece of advice, which is to never stop wooing your girl. “Ligawan n’yo pa rin. Iparamdamam n’yo pa rin kung bakit gusto mo siya. Ipaalala mo kung gaano mo siya kamahal. Name-maintain nun ‘yung excitement, na kahit araw-araw mo siyang ligawan, ganun pa rin ‘yung feeling.”
Catch more love ‘hugots’ from Mica, Nikko, and Mark in Init Sa Magdamag on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.