Playing the life of Madam Inutz or Daisy Lopez for Maalaala Mo Kaya, Dawn Chang went beyond memorizing lines and crying on cue. She had to learn Madam Inutz’ complete psyche by asking no-holds-barred questions, as well as learn to cuss comfortably and even embrace the fatigue.
“Halos walang break, sa totoo lang. Siyempre ‘yung gutom at pagod, ‘pag naghalo ‘yan mainit ang ulo mo. Pero sinabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi pwedeng uminit ang ulo natin. Gusto natin ‘to so i-embrace natin ‘yung gutom. Alam mo, ‘yung gutom at pagod na-enjoy ko. Happy ako,” said Dawn in this episode of Hotspot hosted by DJ Jhai Ho.
Dawn totally immersed herself in the role. She wanted to embody Madam Inutz from the physical like wearing artificial nails and tattoos to her manner of speaking, facial expression, and even how deep she loves.
Dawn checked Madam Inutz’ videos as part of her preparations but she knows that was limited. “Prior to that Zoom meeting, tinitingnan ko na siya sa YouTube pero ang nakikita ko, Madam Inutz. Hindi ko kilala si Daisy Lopez. Eh, ‘pag napanood nila lalo na itong second part, makikilala talaga nila si Daisy. Ah, ito pala ‘yung kabuuhan ng buhay ni Daisy Lopez kaya siya naging Madam Inutz.”
Dawn asked to spend at least a day with Madam Inutz to get to know her dynamics at home and see her relationship with her mother, which is a big chunk of the story. But protocols and the condition of Madam Inutz’ mom didn’t allow. Instead, she asked all her questions during their Zoom meeting, “Natural na lalabas si Madam Inutz sa akin ‘pag kilala ko si Daisy Lopez. Hinimay ko talaga siya.” She asked even the deepest of her thoughts and how far she could go to provide for the family.
Madam Inutz, in turn, was very accommodating. She said in this interview that all these transforming blessings from being a viral online seller to a PBB housemate and now being featured on MMK were all surprising. All she wanted before was to survive, to provide her family’s needs. Never did she imagine herself getting popular and seen on TV.
“Sobrang grateful ako sa mga nangyayari. Hindi ko totally ma-explain, eh kasi sobrang na-a-amaze ako sa mga nangyayari araw-araw sa buhay ko,” mused the “Mama-Bentang Live Seller ng Cavite.”
“Magkaroon lang kami ng panggastos, magkaroon lang kami ng pangkain, at matugunan lahat ng pangangailagan, thankful at grateful na ako dun eh,” said Madam Inutz. All the good things and even the bad like bashing and controversies are new to her that’s why she makes sure to ask the right people for advice.
An advantage of overcoming challenges is being able to learn from them. Madam Inutz believes that life taught her resilience through her ordeals, “Kahit broken ka, huwag mong ipakita. Maging matatag ka talaga at siyempre laban lang nang laban… siyempre samahan mo ng sipag, tiyaga, pagtitiis. Kasi walang ibang tutulong sa’yo kundi ikaw. At siyempre samahan mo ng dasal. Iba magbigay ng blessing si God lalo na ‘pag nakikita Niya ‘yung sacrifices mo.”
Going back to Dawn, she said the positive comments on her performance in the first part of Madam Inutz’ life story in MMK are worth the hard work, “Sobrang nagme-melt ‘yung puso ko sa gratitude kasi nagbunga ‘yung pinaghirapan ko talaga.”
Dawn also picked up lessons and inspiration from the life of Madam Inutz, one of which is about handling criticisms, “Grabe naman pala talaga ang mga tao sa mundo, sobrang kung manghusga. At the end of the day, it’s their way of projecting their insecurities towards you.”
More importantly, she learned that challenges would pass no matter how heavy, “’Yung mga problema mo sa buhay, matatapos din. Hindi kailangan lahat may sagot pero matatapos din. Makaka-move on ka din. Magkakaroon pa din ng liwanag ‘yung feeling mo ang dilim-dilim na, wala nang pag-asa, meron at meron pa din. Magtitiwala ka lang. Magtityaga ka lang. Na-realize ko, ang pagtitiyaga, hindi lang sa work, even ‘yung paghihintay dapat may kasamang tiyaga.”
Dawn and Madam Inutz will never let anything or anyone control their own destinies. They make their own rules. With that, DJ Jhai asked them to take on the “My Rules” Challenge wherein they shared their standards on specific things.
First, on friendship, Dawn’s number one rule is “bawal plastic.” She’d appreciate more when you show vulnerability and weakness than you faking it. As Madam Inutz put it, “May mga taong inggit na wala naman talagang dapat ikainggit.”
On clothing, Dawn and Madam Inutz are not dependent on pleasing others. “Wear whatever you want to wear,” the former said. But, of course, they dress appropriately depending on the location and event. Madam Inutz, now that she’s in the industry, is learning to dress depending on the occasion still in her favorite “ukay-ukay” or pre-loved clothes.
Confident and empowered, they make decisions about their own bodies, and that includes having tattoos. Madam Inutz said she gets tattoos when she feels like it. Dawn also respects tattooed people like her but she has one rule: “Pag-isipan mong mabuti.”
Dawn rarely drinks alcohol. In fact, one of her apprehensions about her MMK episode is portraying Madam Inutz being a social drinker. But when it comes to drinking, she has a rule to keep: “Drink responsibly. Ang importante makakuwi ka ng bahay nang buhay.” Meanwhile, Madam Inutz mostly drinks when she’s heartbroken.
They also shared their non-negotiable on sleepovers and curfew. Lastly, on boyfriends, Dawn’s requirement is stability or maturity; for Madam Inutz, loyalty.
Check out this episode of Hotspot with Dawn and Madam Inutz!