Star Magic artists recall challenges, fun moments in shooting ‘Love From Home’ self-portraits

As ABS-CBN’s free-to-air broadcast remains on hold, for sure, fans miss seeing most of our favorite Star Magic artists on television.

Thus, as a way of connecting to their avid supporters and showing their love for them, ABS-CBN’s talent arm came up with a pioneering and fascinating electronic catalogue of its artists. This features some of our favorite Kapamilya stars giving us a glimpse of their lives behind the spotlight, while unraveling their creativity through their photos they personally conceptualized and shot right from the comforts of their homes.

In the grand online media launch of Star Magic ‘Love From Home’ Lockdown Portraits, Piolo Pascual disclosed how Star Magic came up with this awesome idea. Ardent fans of the Kapamilya network are absolutely aware that Star Magic annually launches a yearly catalogue. Because of the continuing community quarantine, plans for this year’s edition were in limbo until management thought of having the artists shoot at their respective places and on their own.

“Ang ganda ng idea so when it was thrown to us, everyone was able to work with their creative mind and come up with their own portraits, their own photo shoots. And napakagandang initiative din kasi coz it’s also able to help out, of course, to our fellowmen after this launch because of the Pantawid ng Pag-ibig campaign, they can still donate to those who need help,” he said.

Aside from being a special treat to the fans, the “Star Magic: Love From Home” also serves us a fundraiser for the ABS-CBN Foundation’s Pantawid ng Pag-ibig project dubbed “Isang Daan, Isang Pamilya.”  In this phase, Filipinos are encouraged to donate at least Php100 to ease the hunger of 300,000 more families who are terribly affected by the months-long community quarantine.

Since they are compelled to do their self-portraits by themselves or with the help of the people they are with at home, it’s inevitable that they have encountered challenges considering the limited equipment, movements, manpower, and props.

As he described himself as “very notorious” when it comes to submitting things to Star Magic as he’s someone who’s seemed to be always armed with ideas and feelings, Jericho Rosales admitted that he actually had hard time in accomplishing the task bestowed to them.

“So when Star Magic asked me nga na, ‘okay, we have to submit this’, I was okay. But then, tinamaan ako no’ng medyo down part, so na-down talaga ako. As in I couldn’t move, I couldn’t be creative so I was the last one to submit. ‘Di ko ma-push ‘yong sarili ko and I only had my phone with me so what I did was puro selfie na nasa banyo, basically do’n sa dressing room naming. I was just really going with what I was feeling so I was really like talking with myself while shooting nang naka-selfie,” he divulged.

Then he added, “It was kinda like a day in the life of an artist who needs to go out but is reluctant to go out, but then instead he stayed home. Something like that. Parang naging gano’n ‘yong concept. It worked naman with the little help of an editing app.”

The project also thrilled Maymay Entrata, in spite of the challenges she and her cousins had encountered while taking her shots.

“Aguy, ang hirap man na ikaw lahat – ikaw mag-direktor, ikaw magpili ng konsepto, ikaw mag-ayos ng ilaw, nabuang talaga ako. [Tapos] naghanap ako kung saang pwesto ako kasi wala talaga akong makita man, puro man mga white dito. Kaya ginamit ko ‘yong fire exit, nag-glam-glam kami do’n para kaming buangit do’n,” she enthusiastically recalled. She went on to express how thankful she is for her cousins Jaybien and Patricia for their patience, as they finished around 12am, and for perfectly capturing her photos.

Donny Pangilinan also sought the help of someone from home in shooting his self-portraits, and she’s none other than his youngest sister Solana.

“Wala rin akong professional camera sa bahay so ang ginamit ko rin cellphone. Pero ang cool part ng shoot namin, si Solana, ‘yong youngest sister ko ‘yong nag-direct, so kaming dalawa lang ‘yong nag-set-up ng kahit ano. Wala na kaming inisip masyado. Kung maganda, sasabihin naman ng RM (road manager) ko na ‘okay na ‘yan e’. So I just send random photos to Ate Yna and sabi nila okay naman,” he shared.

Certainly, those who were able to catch the livestream of the grand media were surprised and delighted with the sight of Diego Loyzaga, whom we missed so much.

“Kami naman dito, my mom was the photographer. It was hard kasi I have to direct my mom na parang, ‘mom, ganito ‘yong shot. I’ll take the shot muna [then] enter frame. Gano’n mo lang din kunan ah?’ And then we kept on trying and tried different things. During the lockdown, I think everyone was on Netflix and playing Call Of Duty so that was our concept,” he happily imparted.

The returning actor also disclosed that even though it was tough having to direct his Mommy Teresa, but they’re still able to make whatever they could think of work in his portraits, which he described as “a little bit of raunchy”.

While the other stars have someone to help them in their shoots, Jake Cuenca revealed doing his all by himself and was able to pull it off despite his exhaustion from shooting the iWant movie “Love Lockdown.”

“Medyo natagalan din yong sa’kin kasi parang naabutan ng Love Lockdown ‘yong hinihingi nilang shoot for Star Magic. So by the time na sinimulan ko nang i-shoot ‘yong para sa Star Magic, I was so tired. I was exhausted from Love Lockdown and I didn’t like how I looked – I didn’t shave and my hair was a bit of a mess. So parang sabi ko, you know what, I’m just gonna show myself like it in this time. Kung papaano ako ngayong lockdown. So very raw, tapos ako lang din mag-isa gumawa,” he recalled.

The he continued, “I’m just gonna try to be as raw as I can, kung anong nararamdaman ko. Kung ano yung paramg residue ng pinagdaanan namin no’ng love lockdown. Gusto ko na lang ma-capture yon. It’s very raw. Ando’n pa siguro ‘yung glimpses ng character na ginawa ko no’ng love lockdown.”

Even though she got used to be surrounded by many people in shoots like this, Vina Morales shared that it wasn’t totally difficult for her since she’s actually the one who does her own hair and makeup most of the time. It was the conceptualizing and shooting parts that were the most challenging for her, but she had people at home who helped her, so she has managed to finish hers in two days.

Perhaps unbeknown to some of us, but Maja Salvador has been spending the entire quarantine period with her boyfriend Rambo Nunez’s family in Palawan. Thus, it was kind of hard for her since it’s not her house and the materials and equipment were also limited.

“Buti na lang, ‘yong sister ni Rambo mabait. So paalam ako, meron siyang magandang carpet, ginamit ko ‘yong carpet niya. Nag-isip din ako kung anong magandang damit kasi syempre ‘di naman ako prepared para magkaroon ng shoot for the e-catalogue, ‘di ba. So ‘yong assistant ko, si Ecka, sabi ko mag-mall ka ng kung anong magagandang damit. Siya na ‘yong naging stylist. From there, doon na lang ako namili, do’n na lang ako nag-isip ng konsepto,” she said. She also went on to reveal hiring the photographer friend of Rambo’s family, thus, it can be expected that her outputs are going to be top-notch.

Like Maja, Piolo is also currently out-of-town as he stays in their rest house in Batangas. But more than the limited equipment and location problem, what made the shoot challenging for him was having to stay in shape for his topless pictures.

“I don’t wanna say it’s easy. I was given five layouts to do, that I could choose from. And two of those, I have to be topless, so I think, that was the hardest part. I had to be in shape. I think I had a couple of days to prepare for it. Otherwise, just the same,” he related.

Then he added, “It was really raw. I think based on how everyone answered, it’s just really to bring out the creative shot of each other and I think, that’s what came out so ang ganda. Ang ganda ng kinalabasan.”

The “Star Magic: Love From Home Lockdown Portraits” online catalogue will be launched on the talent arm’s official website starmagic.abs-cbn.com and in two volumes. Volume 1 will be released this coming Wednesday, June 24, while the Volume 2 will be on June 28. The third and special volume will be available on July 5 and will contain bonus contents from sought-after Star Magic artists.