We finally get an insider interview with one of our beloved Kapamilya sweethearts, Francine Diaz! In this episode of Hotspot, our trusty beshie DJ Jhai Ho gets to know more about what this lovely girl has been working on since the success of Kadenang Ginto and details about her life right now. Of course, Francine’s also giving more details about The Gold Squad, her close circle with co-stars turned best friends, Andrea Brillantes, Seth Fedelin, and Kyle Echarri.
Fresh off the bat, Francine announces to us her newest teleserye that’s going to be released soon — Huwag Kang Mangamba. It has been a much-awaited series since last year because not only does it have a unique story of faith and hope, it also stars the whole Gold Squad.
Francine is extremely glad to be working with her tight-knit group again since the pandemic halted their usual hangouts right after the end of Kadenang Ginto. “Masaya ako kasi parang ang tagal po naming ‘di nagkakasama noon… Palaging sa Zoom lang kami. Ngayon kapag sa taping nakakapag-asaran na kami…nakakapagkulitan,” she shares excitedly when they got together again during the taping of Huwag Kang Mangamba.
Known for her role as the warm and gentle Cassie from Kadenang Ginto, Francine explains that her role in this new serye as Joy will surprise many since her character is totally different from what most might expect from her. This is surely an adjustment for the 17-year-old star, but she assures that right from the first script reading as she thoroughly studied the script and researched how to portray the character well. It also wasn’t too difficult as Francine cites how she and Joy share the experience of being judged before people even got to know the real them.
Even though the show has only released teasers, thousands have already expressed support for the show. DJ Jhai Ho asks Francine if she feels pressured or happy by this; to which, she answers that it’s a mix of both as she’s full of joy for the heartwarming excitement of the audience, but she also recognizes that it means they will have high expectations for her performance. Regardless, she's unafraid to face the challenge and says, “As much as I can po, ginagawa ko pa rin naman ‘yong best ko. Siyempre, para po sa mga Kapamilya natin and para mabigyan din ng hustisya ‘yong character na pino-portray ko.”
Moving the conversation to some more backstage events, DJ Jhai Ho wanted to know what it was like for Francine to work with the famous Sylvia Sanchez a.k.a. Tita Ibyang. “Sobrang saya, kumbaga may nanay na ako in real life pero pagdating sa showbiz world parang meron pa akong isang nanay. Sobrang caring niya tapos hindi po talaga ako nagugutom... Hindi ako nagugutom doon kasi ang dami niyang pagkain!” she fondly shares. Francine even added that she would sometimes call Tita Ibyang just to ask if she has food in her room and with motherly affection, Tita Ibyang would invite her to get some and Francine would leave with a big box of food.
Aside from that, Tita Ibyang would also give her tips about acting and encourage her and her fellow young artists in the cast to continue their great work. Francine mentioned that even the other veteran actors and actresses with them are truly helpful and inspiring. In Francine’s words, “Nakakatuwa kasi parang lahat ng kasama po namin sa teleserye, hindi sila ‘yong mga masusungit. Kahit na batikang aktor at aktress na sila doon. Sobrang humble at ang babait at caring nila.”
The young actress didn’t fail to mention how easy it is to work with Andrea, Seth, and Kyle whom she already has complete synergy with, so much so that she said “May mga moments na ‘pag nagkakatingin na kami, ‘Ah, ok gets ko na kung ano nasa isip niya’”. She also feels grateful that their group already has such a loyal and wonderful fan base, the Squadmates. Because of them, she and the rest of the Gold Squad make it a point to thank them by giving them outstanding performances they're idolized for. Francine affirms, “Every time na meron kaming ganap, ginagalingan po talaga namin. Ginagawa namin ‘yung best namin, lahat ng makakaya namin para sa kanila.”
Now onto the more personal details about her life, DJ Jhai Ho asks if there’s anything new to know about KyCine (her love team tandem with Kyle Echarri). The two are still very much close, but Francine also knows that many may want to know if their love team will be a real-life one anytime in the future. She’s not saying it’s impossible, but she and Kyle prefer to enjoy their youth first and focus on their goals as individuals.
DJ Jhai starts an Assumptions Challenge with Francine where she will confirm or deny assumptions made by the netizens. We were able to learn that the sweet Francine is indeed very generous, loves eating food, and can be girly and boyish at the same time. Plus, her flawless beauty is purely Pinay and her actual height is around 5’2” even if she looks like a solid 5’4” to most. This smart and pretty girl also confirms that she is NBSB (no boyfriend since birth) and has no plans on having one yet. Although, she does have her fair share of crushes, including Korean oppas, like all of us.
Some assumptions pertained to her career like how she could be a great singer, but is a shy type of girl. She jokes, “Shy type lang po ako… Baka laging bumagyo ‘pag kumanta ako.” Though she knows why people would assume it since she had recorded a song once. When it was recorded, she was extremely nervous that they had to make several takes. Fortunately, Kyle acted as a side coach by offering tips and helping her with song suggestions for practice.
Another assumption about her line of work was that she tried to quit because of hurtful comments from bashers. Francine firmly denied this because she would never leave her passion for that reason. “Kilala ko ang sarili ko. And kung ano man ‘yung sinasabi ng mga bashers, ‘di ko sila pinaniniwalaan dahil alam ko naman na ‘di naman totoo,” she expounded on how she deals with them. She admits that she is still bothered sometimes, but she never stoops down to their level; she just understands the fact that we cannot please everybody.
Knowing all this about Francine, she proves to be an admirable rising star. We look forward to her growing success and her many projects to come, most especially Huwag Kang Mangamba. Make sure to be on the lookout for the premiere because it’s starring the Gold Squad (Francine, Andrea, Seth, and Kyle) and our favorite Kapamilya stars such as Enchong Dee, Angeline Quinto, Sylvia Sanchez, Eula Valdes, Nonie Buencamino, and many more.