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What Arra delves into to ease pandemic anxiety

Arra San Agustin

ARRA San Agustin welcomes 2021 with open arms. “Maganda ang naging pasok ng taon for me kasi nabigyan ako ng bagong show, ‘Lolong’, with Ruru Madrid and Shaira Diaz na produced ng GMA News & Public Affairs,” she says. “Action-drama ito so we had to do some training on how to do fight scenes and stunts to prepare for our roles in ‘Lolong’.”

Looks like GMA News & Public Affairs is really being more active in producing entertainment shows this new year. Aside from “Lolong”, it’s also producing “The Lost Recipe” that gives a big break to Mikee Quintos and Kelvin Miranda in playing the lead roles.

Going back to Arra, she’s really happy to be back working before the cameras.

“Matagal din akong nabakante because of the pandemic,” she says. “Na-miss ko talaga ang acting kasi nawala pati ‘yung taping ng ‘Bubble Gang’. Ako pa naman, may pagka-workaholic. I don’t want to be just idle at home. I feel useless kapag nakatengga lang ako sa bahay at walang trabaho.”

The lockdown forced her to have a prolonged rest period. “In a way, nakatulong din ito for me to be more reflective and to learn how to relax,” she adds. “Noong umpisa ng lockdown, nagkaroon din ako ng anxiety. Ang dami kong naiisip. Ang last regular soap ko was ‘Madrasta’ pa in 2019.”

But after some medidation, she learned to leave it all up to the Lord. “I’ve always been spiritual and I embraced what happened as the Lord’s way of saying for me to devote more time to Him, and also for myself and for my family. I learned how to be more thankful for what I have. At ngayon, may bagong show, nag-enjoy ako sa lock in taping namin. It’s really nice to be back to work.”

Since Arra is a trained ballet dancer and figure skater, she’s hoping to someday be given a project that will require her to display her talent and skills in ballet and figure skating.

Two movies, one Malaysian HBO series for Joseph

JOSEPH Marco feels blessed as he has not just one but two filmfest entries in the ongoing Metro Manila Filmfest: Regal Entertainment’s horror offering, “The Missing” and Heaven’s Best Entertainment’s dramatic thunderbolt, “Isa Pang Bahaghari”.

“I play a lead role as the leading man of Ritz Azul in ‘The Missing’, directed by Easy Ferrer, and a supporting role in ‘Isa Pang Bahaghari’ as the second son of Nora Aunor and Phillip Salvador, directed by Joel Lamangan,” he says. “Both films were earlier entered in the Metro summer filmfest slated last April, but nagkaroon nga ng pandemic so hindi natuloy. Now, sa Metro Manila filmfest, pareho rin silang nag-qualify.”

What’s his role in “The Missing”? “I play Job, an architect, at ex-girlfriend ko si Ritz Azul who plays Iris. Her family just experienced a tragedy when her younger sister was killed in a kidnapping incident. I want to help get over and move on so I asked her to join me in a restoration job in Karatsu in Saga, Japan. There, we met the man who hired us, Riku Watanabe, who has a six-year old son named Aki, and a Filipino student named Leni, played by Miles Ocampo.”

It turns out the house was haunted by Japanese ghosts called yureis. “As soon as we started working on the house, Ritz experienced some hauntings and she keeps seeing yureis who are angry with our presence in the house. Then a local worker named Fumio told her about a ritual called hitobashira, which involves the act of human sacrifice, so we didn’t know that our lives are actually in so much danger. Nakakatakot ang movie. Magaling si Direk Easy Ferrer in establishing the right creepy, sinister mood and many scenes will jolt viewers and give them a good scare, so don’t watch this alone at home. Be sure to be with your family para may kasama kayo.”

Joseph is also part of an HBO Malaysia crime-drama TV series called “The Bridge”. About his love life, he was linked last year with beauty queen Celeste Cortesi, but they have since broke up and he is now playing beautiful music with a blonde Russian model named Dasha Romanova.