MARICEL Laxa plays Faith, the family matriarch in TV5’s Christmaserye, “Paano ang Pasko”. Didn’t she have second thoughts playing mother to Julia Clarete, Beauty Gonzalez and Devon Seron in the story?
“No, kasi in real life, mother na naman talaga ako to five kids,” she says. “Golden girl na ako and I also played the mother of Kathleen Bernardo last year in the movie, ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’. At saka ang ganda ng role ko in ‘Paano ang Pasko’ at ang ganda rin ng story about a family na nagkahiwalay, then nagkaroon ng reunion habang may pandemic in time for the Christmas season. Doon lalabas ang sikreto ng bawat miembro ng pamilya at maraming challenging dramatic scenes ang bawat isa sa buong cast.”
Maricel turned 50 years old last February 25. We remember when she just arrived from the States in 1989, still a teenager, and Mother Lily quickly got her and cast her in several movies, mostly comedies. She has since won best supporting actress awards from the FAMAS, the Star and the Urian for her dramatic performances in such films as “Iisa Pa Lamang” and “Minsan Lamang Magmamahal”.
She later married Anthony Pangilinan and then bore five children, Ella, Donny (now also in showbiz), Hannah, Benjamin and Solana. She went back to school and got a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science at UP Manila and a master’s degree in family life at UP Diliman. She now hosts an online show with husband Anthony on Facebook live ‘At Home with Anthony and Maricel’ that is about reflections on family relationships and life learnings.
So how is it working with the four directors and huge cast of “Paano ang Pasko” which they do on lock in taping in San Pablo City?
“It is both a joy and a privilege to be part of this great project with such an amazing set of people, my co-stars, directors and the staff,” she says. “I consider it a huge blessing to be able to get work during this time of the pandemic na maraming walang trabaho. I was able to get into the groove of lock in taping well, kasi puro mahuhusay ang mga kasama ko.”
It’s first time for her to experience lock in taping. “I’ve been enjoying my time on the set kasi nga we have such a wonderful team. Although first time ko be away from my husband and kids for such a long time. We started taping kasi third week of October pa, at hindi pa tapos ang taping up now. I miss my family so much, but their great love and support for me to be here inspire me to wake up happy and thankful everyday. We’ve seen yung completed scenes and we’re all proud of our work. We hope you all get to see and enjoy kung ano ang pinaghirapan namin for you through three different storms. It’s a great family drama about life, love, acceptance that’s perfect for the coming Christmas season.”