MIKA de la Cruz is the younger sister of Angelika de la Cruz. Both of them used to be with ABS-CBN but Angelika transferred to GMA-7. Mika now also does her first soap on GMA-7 in “Meant to Be”, where she plays Mariko, the first cousin of Barbie Forteza.
“It was my Ate who advised me to move to GMA and to be managed by her manager, si Tito Perry Lansigan,” she says. “11 years na rin naman po ako sa Channel 2. Nag-start ako sa kanila as a child actress. So for a change, lumipat ako. Sabi ng Ate ko, i-try ko sa GMA kasi mabait sila at magaling mag-alaga ng artista nila. I trust my Ate so lumipat nga ako and so far, no regrets naman. Enjoy naman ako. Napi-feel ko ‘yung pag-aalaga nila sa handlers ko who make me feel valued at inaasikaso ako nang husto.”
She was glad when she was informed she’ll be in Barbie’s show. “Bata pa lang kami ni Barbie, nagkatrabaho na kami sa movie na ‘Ang Darling Kong Aswang’, mga 7 years ago na ‘yun. Mga anak kami ni Bossing Vic Sotto. So parang reunion namin itong ‘Meant to Be’. At saka hindi lang ako ang galing sa Dos dito sa show, kundi sina Ivan Dorschner, Addy Raj at mismong director naming si L.A. Madridejos. Lahat sila nagsimula as a Kapamilya.”
So it’s a reunion for them to be working together again in “Meant to Be”? “Yes, lalo na si Direk L.A., sobrang saya kong nagkasama kami uli. Kasi noong bata pa ako, pinapasan pa niya ako sa likod niya. I feel so blessed na sa first project ko sa GMA, siya ang nakasama ko kasi nga comfortable na ako sa kanya. Nagpaalam naman ako nang maayos sa ABS na susubukan ko munang magtrabaho sa iba at pumayag naman sila.”
Does she live with her sister? “No, she has her own house with her family. I live with my mom and dad, pero ‘yung mom ko, umuwi ngayon sa kanila sa Austria for a vacation.”
Eventually, her relationship with Barbie in “Meant to Be” will go sour and she’ll be a contravida. Does she mind? “No. Enjoy nga akong magcontravida. Mas tumatagal sila sa industry at mas maraming nagagawa. But dito, hindi naman ako salbaheng villain kundi kulang lang sa attention.”
The pilot of “Meant to Be” turned out to be a big winner in the ratings. At the AGB Nielsen National Urban Television Audience Measurement ratings, it got 16.8% while its rival “Till I Met You” got only 9.5%. But even at the ABS-CBN’s own Kantar Media national ratings bulwark, “Meant to Be” also scored higher with 14.1% while the Jadine show got only 11%. Barbie and her four leading men truly have reason to rejoice!
HARVEY TREADS DAD HERBERT’S SHOWBIZ PATH
QC Mayor Herbert Bautista’s youngest son, Harvey Bautista, is officially introduced in the Quantum Films’ horror offering, “Ilawod”, as the son of Ian Veneracion and Iza Calzado. How did he get the role?
“Nag-audition po ako,” says Harvey at the solo presscon hosted by his dad at Salu Restaurant on Sct. Torillo St., which is owned by his Tita Harlene. “Marami po kami at akala ko nga, di ako nakuha, pero ako raw po ang personal choice ni Director Dan Villegas kasi natural daw pa ang acting ko.”
Harvey started as a child actor at ABS-CBN’s “Goin’ Bulilit” when he was 7, but he graduated last year when he turned 12. He’s now in Grade 8 at Multiple Intelligence School at Katipunan Ave. How does he feel that his first film is a horror flick?
“I never imagined nga na gagawa ako ng horror movie, but my dad says the first acting award he won was also for a horror movie, the first ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ in 1984 as a manananggal killer. If you love scary movies, you’d enjoy ‘Ilawod’ po kasi maganda talaga siya. Mapo-possess po ako rito nung Ilawod, water elemental, pero hindi ‘yung parang ‘Exorcist’ possession kundi iko-kontrol lang ‘yung mind ko through a girl, si Isla, played by Therese Malvar. Ako lang ang nakakakita kay Isla at ‘yung sister ko, si Xyriel Manabat. ‘Yung parents namin di siya nakikita and ilalayo niya ang loob ko sa mga magulang ko. Tatakutin po niya kayo sa mga gagawin niya sa movie.”
Does he like his acting? “Napanood ko na ang maraming scenes sa movie and, honestly po, I cringe because I don’t want to watch myself. Maski sa ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, parang nakukulangan ako. Pero lahat ng kasama ko sa ‘Ilawod’, puro magagaling. Si Iza Calzado is an amazing actress. I enjoyed working din with Ian Veneracion. Masaya siyang katrabaho. At si Direk Dan, he really guided me well, very hardworking but during breaks, nakikipagkuwentuhan siya sa’kin about superheroes.”
What would he like to take up in college? “I want to take up filmmaking kasi gusto ko pong maging director.”
How about on TV? Any plans? “May popular book po akong nagustuhan, ‘Si Janus Silang’ ang title sa novel at sa internet. I presented it sa ABS-CBN at sana magustuhan nila ‘yung material at ako ang kuning gumanap doon.”
VIN BELIEVES ALJUR IS BETTER LOOKING BUT WHO’S LUCKIER NOW?
VIN Abrenica’s career is definitely on the upswing, with Noel Ferrer as his manager. His first movie with Star Cinema, the sexy action-comedy “Extra Service”, started showing in theatres yesterday. He’s now also taping his first teleserye for ABS-CBN, “Wild Flower”, where he’s one of Maja Salvador’s leading men. And also showing soon as a Valentine presentation on February 8 is the touching love story he did for Director Gil Portes, “Moonlight Over Baler”, where he is paired with Elizabeth Oropesa, Sophie Albert and Ellen Adarna. He’s also starring in an action movie, “Corpus Delicti”, with Xian Lim directed by Toto Natividad.
“I really have so much to be thankful for,” he says at the solo presscon hosted for him at Limbaga77 by “Moonlight Over Baler” producer Rex Tiri of T Rex Productions. “Kasisimula pa lang ng bagong taon, ang daming trabaho. Very positive ang lahat and I enjoy being so busy. Maglalabas din ako ng first recording ko, ‘yung single na ‘Cool Change’.”
He considers “Moonlight in Baler” as a milestone in his career. “First time ko kasi gumanap sa dual roles. When the story starts noong World War II, isa akong sundalo, si Nestor, na pinadala sa giyera. Nangako akong babalik sa girlfriend kong si Fidela, played by Sophie Albert, pero sa kasamaang palad, hindi na ako nakabalik pa. Tapos, several years later, nang tumanda na si Fidela and now played by Elizabeth Oropesa, nakita niya ang boyfriend niyang si Nestor na nabuhay sa akin. This time, isa naman akong Japanese photographer, si Kenji, na napadpad sa kanilang bayan sa Baler. Naging good friends kami at natsismis kami, but I was really more attracted to another local lass, si Ellen Adarna as Aurora, na nililigawan naman ng anak ng mayor, si Abel Estanislao, who beat me up dahil nagselos sa akin.”
What’s the challenge of doing dual roles? “Mahirap. The biggest challenge is dapat, ma-distinguish ng viewers ang difference sa characters na pino-portray mo. As Nestor the soldier, mas matigas ako, hindi nagpapakita ng takot kahit nanganganib ang buhay niya. Si Kenji is more of a happy-go-lucky surfer and is more into arts. Magkaiba rin ang pagsasalita nila. Maraming magagandang eksena sa movie and I think nagawa ko naman nang maayos lahat ng ito with the help of Direk Gil.”
The movie’s screenwriter, Eric Ramos, says he delivered in his two roles in “Moonlight Over Baler”. “Magaling siya. Effortless ang acting niya at very credible.”
No wonder some folks say he’s now more popular and a bigger star than his older brother, Aljur Abrenica, who has yet to recover after he rebelled against GMA-7 and whose acting continues to be criticized for lack of conviction. Aljur has long been wanting to get into ABS but Vin has since overtaken him and is now a bonafide Kapamilya. But Vin remains very humble. When asked who’s handsomer between him and his elder brother, he says: “Siya. Ever since naman, mas guwapo siya sa’kin. Pang-boy next door type siya, e. And while we’re growing up, siya talaga ang mahilig mag-showbiz, kumakanta, sumasayaw. Late bloomer ako. 16 years old na ako nang una akong kumanta at late na ako pumasok sa acting. But now, wala akong tigil sa pagkuha ng acting workshops sa ABS advanced acting classes under Direk Rahyan Carlos. After that, I’ll take the Master Class. Kailangan talagang mag-aral nang mag-aral para mas mag-improve ang nalalaman natin.”