KChat Kaila Estrada MMK Scarlet Women

Since landing her first-ever teleserye role in 2021, Kaila Estrada has been unstoppable at sharing her sensational acting prowess. And a big part of her expanding repertoire as an actress is Maalaala Mo Kaya, which she is tasked to conclude via a three-part episode titled “Scarlet Women."

In her interview with Kapamilya Chat, Kaila looked back on her relationship with MMK, which started with her portrayal of Karen Bordador’s life story in “Beauty Behind Bars.” The episode was hailed as National Winner for Best Single Drama or Telemovie/Anthology at the Asian Creative Awards.  Kaila thanks MMK for trusting her and dedicates the award to Karen “because what she went through is no joke.”

She considers the episode a test that made her a bonafide actress. That’s why she had bittersweet feelings over Charo Santos’ announcement about the show’s curtain call. Then again, she’s honored to be the one bringing the curtains down. 

In MMK “Scarlet Women,” which will be airing its second of three episodes this December 3, Kaila carries the torch as Abby, a victim of human trafficking in Cyprus. She was forced into prostitution in a club, where she met the other Filipina recruits who would play a huge part in her journey. It is a story mirroring the realities some Pinays go through abroad in an attempt to lift their families out of poverty.

Just on the first episode and our hearts were already ripped into pieces. Kaila revealed her mom Janice de Belen had the same reaction. “Iyak siya nang iyak. Nag-message siya sa akin kasi wala ako sa bahay nu’ng time na ‘yun. Nag-message siya sa akin na, ‘Grabe pala ‘tong episode na ‘to. It’s so painful to watch.’” She mentioned that Janice was very supportive of her in this project and the advice she got from her mom was “trust your instinct.”

Along with netizens, we applaud Kaila for blessing us with such a riveting portrayal. Asked how she switched it on, she credits the entire MMK team, especially the research department for providing her with in-depth materials about the character.

“I really thoroughly read that research to get into the character and sort of process how she was feeling going through all that, try to understand where she’s coming from – from her being so warm and so loving to her being really cold to finding that warmth again to going back to being that loving person that she really is at her core,” shared the model-turned-actress.

She also acknowledged Director Dado Lumibao and his approach that pushed her to her limits. Even her co-stars were all team players. The episode reunites Kaila with her Viral Scandal co-actress Karina Bautista and she can say they have grown even closer after filming “Scarlet Women.” Since they’re like a tandem in the episode, Kaila and Karina leaned on each other, especially in the heavy scenes, which make up almost the whole story.

“Sometimes nagpapakiramdaman kami ni Karina, eh. Sometimes we give each other space and then ‘pag feeling namin we need, parang, that feeling of emotional support, we’ll hold each other, magha-hug kami, mag-aakbayan kami, and it works. Kasi in the story, our characters have shared pain. So, it works in that way and everything just flows so naturally,” she smiled.

She only has sweet words about her other co-stars Jenny Miller, Meg Imperial, and Trina Legaspi. Here’s one specific moment during filming that made her appreciate her newfound friends: “We were living in one house no’ng lock-in taping. Umuwi ako one night tapos pag-uwi ko nagchichikahan sila sa dining table, ‘O, halika na, Kaila, kain ka na.’ Para talaga kaming magkakabarkada. I will never forget that moment kasi sabi ko talaga, ‘Ang galing kasi ‘yun ‘yung relationship ng characters namin.’"

She added, “Sobrang gaan nila katrabaho, mahuhusay silang lahat. It’s such an honor to have worked with all of them. Dati pinapanood ko lang sila and I can’t believe that now I got the chance to work with them. Kahit gaano kabigat ‘yung story, naging magaan dahil sila ‘yung kasama ko do’n.”

In a previous episode of Kapamilya Chat, Jenny and Meg revealed that Kaila never settles for ‘just okay.’ She would ask for retakes if not satisfied with her performance. Reacting to that, she explained that it’s a part of her appetite as an actress, “When we’re working, we always want to give it our best.” Besides, she feels responsible for giving Abby’s story justice.

She believes that anyone in Abby’s shoe will likely do the same sacrifices she did for her family. Even she will do anything for her loved ones, “I’m really a ride-or-die type of person. If I love you and I care about you, I will go to the ends of the earth for you.” This why Abby’s character resonated with her in a way, “Because I feel like, given the circumstance, I would’ve done the same… I understand why she did it. I understand her motivation at nakita ko kung gaano niya kamahal ang pamilya niya.”

But, she pressed that it’s important to also look into your own well-being. “It’s important to also take care of yourself. Protect yourself kasi hindi mo matutulungan ang sarili mo kung hindi mo poprotektahan ang sarili mo.”

With that being said, she imparted the greatest lesson she picked up from MMK “Scarlet Women,” which is that one can ask for help when needed. “It’s not bad to be independent. It’s actually a great personality to be independent.” She faced the camera, “But when we need help, we should not feel bad for asking for help, for emotional support from our family, from the people we love, the people we know love us and has our best interest at heart.” She thinks some parts of Abby’s story could’ve changed had she been more open to her family.

Kaila also hopes MMK’s 31st-anniversary offering teaches people to stop demeaning women. “I feel like in this day and age, we need to realize women are not objects. We should not objectify women. Women are powerful and we should be free. And we should end violence against women,” she said, lifting the female pack.

Catch the second of three episodes of MMK “Scarlet Women,” this Saturday, December 3, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.