From being the feisty and cheerful teen housemate that we all either admired during her stint in Pinoy Big Brother Otso, Criza Ta-a recently endeared us with her portrayal of the zestful and charming Zarnaih Marchesa in the series adaptation of the teen novel He’s Into Her.
Many of her supporters and viewers of the show expressed how impressed they are of her portrayal, as well as how her character is relatively close to who she is in real life.
Growing up under the care of her doting grandmother, the promising actress is a self-confessed certified “lola’s girl,” thus, her PBB moniker “Apo of the Eye ng Quezon City.” With the absence of her parents by her side – her mother leaving her to have a better life and her father whose identity she doesn’t know yet – Lola Wilma Obarra, who she fondly called “Mama Wilma,” filled the void by being a parent to her.
In her Magandang Buhay interview in May 2022, she imparted how her Mama Wilma raised her since she was only one-month old and stood as her grandma, mom, and dad in one. She related, “Nasanay na ako na nandiyan siya lagi for me. Siya ‘yong naging core ko, ‘yong buhay ko talaga kasi siya ‘yong lahat ko e. Kung wala siya, saan na ako? Parang gano’n ‘yong iniisip ko.”
Momshie-host Melai Cantiveros chimed in to say that Criza’s main motivation in joining PBB was her Mama Wilma, as she wanted to provide her a comfortable life. The young actress then went on to share that she’s been living alone since the demise of her grandmother, which was the plan they agreed on while she was still alive. She then went on to reveal that throughout the seven months that her Mama Wilma was ill, it was her who personally took care of her, changed her diapers, accompanied her to the hospital, and provided all her needs.
It might have been tough for her since she also had to work at the same time, but that made her stronger. As much as she didn’t want her to leave, she eventually decided to let her go and set her free since she witnessed how she was already suffering during those times.
Lola Wilma was there in every aspect and milestone of her life, and unwaveringly supported her in her every endeavor and in fulfilling her dreams, which kept their bond tight through the years, until her death on November 4, 2021.
Criza took to Instagram to share the heartbreaking news by posting a black and white photo of them and captioned it: “Today my biggest fear happened. I know you’re with God and you may rest now. I know you’re always with me and this is never a goodbye. Mahal na mahal kita mama, ‘Til we meet again...”
She also didn’t forget to greet her on her first birthday that they’re not together by sharing a solo snap of Mama Wilma and wrote: “happy birthday in heaven mama! this is the first time we’re gonna be celebrating this day without you, i hope you’re smiling there the way you smile when you are with me. I love love love love love you mama ko. Miss na miss na kita.”
Before her beloved grandma passed away, the young actress has always been delightfully expressive about her adoration towards her as fondly talked about her in her interviews and never failed to pay tribute to her during special occasions, such as her birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even International Women’s Day.
Criza also had the chance to take her on a quick getaway in Boracay in February 2020 to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And last November 2022, she had the chance to go back there and recreate one of the photos they had, sans Mama Wilma.
“Nov 4, 2022. Today marks the first year since you left this world but i’m still not used to live my life without you and I think i’ll never will. My smile, happiness, and motivation isn’t the same anymore since you left my side physically but you made me strong enough to conquer our dreams alone. I promise to choose what’s best for myself, for my peace just like all you wanted for me. I’m so grateful to be loved by you, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you ma. Mahal na mahal na mahal kita. I miss you so so much mama ko [sic], she captioned her post.
Go through some of Criza’s fondest memories with her beloved Mama Wilma through their lovely photos in this gallery!