“As I’ve said, I know I made the right choice.”
For months, many of our stars are seen interchangeably on local television’s rival networks. After doing a project for one, it’s most possible viewers can see some of them in the other network next.
This is true in the case of ABS-CBN and GMA. The top two TV channels in the land always come up with ground-breaking shows which are hard to resist if offered to certain actors. It all boils down to the stars’ comfort and choice. They make crucial decisions as to what project to accept between the two offers. As long as they’re committed, comfortable and inspired to give their best to the project, that’s what matters.
Recently, Aiko Melendez underwent the said dilemma, when she was made to choose between offers made by both the Kapamilya and Kapuso networks. After doing Wildflower for ABS-CBN, she opted to stay with the station in which she was assigned the role of Matadora in its currently airing fantasy series Bagani. But before Wildflower ended, she received an offer, as well, from GMA to do a program for them.
“That’s true!” she reveals. “The offers came at exactly the same time. Obviously, I chose to stay with ABS-CBN. I’m now in Bagani and I have no regrets with my decision.”
“I learned that I was personally picked by Tita Malou Santos and Direk Olive Lamasan for the role of Matadora. Who am I to refuse? In the first place, I love Inang (Olive). She was responsible for my maiden acting trophy in Maalaala Mo Kaya (The Movie) back then. So, it brings pride and joy to my heart to know that she wanted me to be part of the ambitious fantasy series Bagani.”
Many are curious how she adjusted with her new role considering that it’s far different from her villainous character in Wildflower.
“Actually, that’s the hard part. For the benefit of those who don’t know yet, I was only given a two-day break after my stint in Wildflower then I started taping right away for Bagani. Understandably, the role of Emilia was still very much in my system. During the initial taping, I committed bloopers, like I would deliver a line in Tagalog then follow it up with an English expression (laughs!). It can’t possibly be because Bagani is set in the olden times where Tagalog is the only language. It was not easy but thanks to my directors (Lester Pimentel and Richard Arellano) who really guarded my nuances. As days went by, I already embraced the role of Matadora, who is an exciting character.”
Interestingly, the genre is new to Aiko. “In my long stay in the ‘biz, this is the first time that I’m doing a fantasy series. I do action here. I’m very excited. This is a true challenge on my part. Hope I’ll be able to pass it with flying colors.”
Meanwhile, her close friend and Wildflower co-star Sunshine Cruz will be seen at the rival camp next, since she accepted GMA’s offer to top-bill its forthcoming offering titled Karibal Ko ang Aking Ina.
“Yes, I knew about it beforehand. Both of us received offers. As for her decision, I support her. Anything towards the career growth of my friends, I am for it. Especially in Sunshine’s case. Being a single mother, she needs to work for her children. So, I’m happy for her,” she shares.
As an ender, the critically-acclaimed actress reiterated her pride breathing life to the role of Matadora in Bagani.
“It’s something new for me. Matadora is the queen of the pirates in the story. The public will see a different Aiko here. I’m simply proud of my inclusion in this fantasy series. Hope the viewers will like it,” Aiko sums up.