While she still can’t do a full teleserye being a hands-on, doting new mom to first-born Pio Joaquin Castillo, Kaye Abad finds her character in Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit worth a comeback after a four-year absence, even if it is short-lived.
“I wanted na sana, kung babalik ako, ‘yung short but markado,” Kaye stressed in an exclusive with ABS-CBN.com Entertainment.
“So this one, eksakto kasi hindi siya flashback, hindi siya young (version of a character) na ganito. Eto na ‘yung present. My character is really part of the story. It just so happens na mamamatay so markado talaga. Part siya ng show, part siya ng buong storya and halos sa kanya umikot ‘yung storya,” she added.
Kaye as Ella
Kaye plays the role of the beleaguered and ill-fated Ella, the simple, loving and dedicated mom of the main protagonist MikMik, played by breakout child star, 10-year-old Sophia Reola. She is despised by the wealthy and powerful Salvador clan, whose matriarch Divina (Pilar Pilapil) loathes her for being the love child of her husband Federico (Leo Rialp) and blames her for the death of their son and sole heir Eric (Rafa Siguion-Reyna). MikMik’s father, Michael (RK Bagatsing), who is imprisoned for Rafa’s death, is a member of the Villaluna family, the Salvadors’ fierce rivals.
When Ella is afflicted with leukemia without anyone to finance her treatment and medication, not even the pitiful cries of MikMik could melt the heart of the step-grandmother she just knew, rejecting the child’s desperate pleas for help. Ella would eventually succumb to the deadly disease, and MikMik is placed under the custody of Divina and Eric’s widow Katrina (Cristine Reyes), who will vent their anger on the poor and hapless child.
On taking on such a central character, Kaye admits having mixed feelings given her nearly four-year lull from showbiz since her last teleserye, Two Wives, which aired from October 2014 to March 2015.
“Nakaka-excite pero mas nangingibabaw ‘yung kaba kasi ‘di na ako sanay, ‘di ko na alam kung…parang nawala na siya sa sistema ko,” she disclosed.
While she is no stranger to mother roles, landing a handful since her unforgettable role as the bubbly Eds in Tabing Ilog, including portraying the difficult character Yvonne in Two Wives, the biggest challenge for her is mainly about trying not to disappoint viewers.
“Mas malala pa dito ‘yung ginawa ko na ‘Two Wives’ na iniwan ng asawa, nakunan, nagloko,” Kaye stressed. “I guess the challenge is paano ko mapapakita ‘yung craft ko na ganoon pa rin like before. Kung paano ko na-impress ‘yung mga tao before sa previous kong ginawa na ganoon pa rin kasi natatakot ako na sabihin nila na, ‘Ay, parang wala na.” Parang “kinalawang na.” So doon lang ako nag-worry na baka di ko mabigyan ng justice ‘yung role.”
But with her impressive performance based on the trailers of the drama, it proved Kaye hasn’t really lost her touch. She attributed it to her supportive co-actors and production staff.
“They made me feel comfortable, na parang, ‘That’s okay.’ Parang they made me feel at home,” Kaye divulged.
Re-learning the ropes
Kaye also attributes it to the mastery of the show’s directors and production unit for taking care of her while re-learning the ropes in the acting craft.
“There’s a lot of factors. Number one, because of (the) RSB (unit), Direk Ruel (Bayani), my business unit head. Because alam ko na hindi niya ako pabababayaan or bibigyan ng trabaho na basta-basta lang. Pangalawa, because of Direk FMR (FM Reyes) kasi since matagal ako nawala, alam ko na kung babalik ako, aalagaan niya ako…kahit mangapa ako ulit. Alam ko he will take care of me,” she declared.
Is this, then, the start of more showbiz projects for Kaye? Is she really back for good?
“Yes of course. I think eto ‘yung isang bagay na hindi ko maiiwan totally. Maybe rest for a while but iiwan totally wala talaga,” Kaye said.
But she clarifies, spending most of her time with husband Paul Jake Castillo and her growing family is still her priority.
“Hindi pa siguro. I just cannot do full time yet. Mayroon pa akong project na isa. Hopefully baby number two.”