"I am great and I feel very blessed. I'm very grateful. No reason to complain, no reason to cry. There are pains in life but if you put it all together, life is still very good," says Cherie Gil. Photo: Noel Orsal

Balik-teleserye ang magaling na aktres na si Cherie Gil sa pamamagitan ng bagong afternoon soap ng ABS-CBN na Pieta. Cherie plays the role of Amanda, ang mabait ngunit palabang ina ng bidang si Rigor (Ryan Agoncillo). Ang yumaong beteranang aktres na si Ms. Charito Solis ang orihinal na Amanda sa pelikulang Pieta.

 

May pressure ba na si Ms. Charito Solis ang unang gumanap sa role ni Cherie sa Pieta?

 

"Medyo," pag-amin ni Cherie nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa presscon ng Pieta na ginanap last Tuesday, October 21, sa Dolphy Theater sa ABS-CBN.

 

"She was my teacher, my mentor. She taught me a lot in acting. My first experience in filmmaking was with her. She played my mother. Nasigawan na ako niyan. Napagalitan na niya ako. Na-walkout-an na ako niyan. But I can never forget the things I learned from her. I love her and I respect her.

 

"In fact, the last movie I made with Tita Chato was with Carlo J. Caparas's film which is God Save Me, and I enjoyed that work immensely. Because after many years of not working, na tumanda na ako and grown up na, we were able to talk to each other in an adult fashion. And that what has won me my first Best Supporting actress role. Tita Chato is one actress that I truly loved and respected. And it is an honor that in fact I'm playing a role that she did before."

 

CLOSER TO HOME. Mabait na ina ang ginagampanang role niya sa Pieta. Of course, nakilala siya bilang kontrabida sa mga teleserye at pelikula. Hindi ba siya nahirapan sa role niya?

 

"No, I think it's closer to home. I think it's more like me. This is more human," sabi ni Cherie.

 

Inamin ni Cherie na natutuwa siya dahil ang character niya ay hindi nagre-require ng magaganda at glamorosang damit na kadalasan ay napapanood sa kanya sa mga past roles niya.

 

"At last I don't have to worry about what to bring from my house. I don't have to bring my whole closet because all I needed was tsinelas. For a change, I have no worries on what to wear. I am enjoying it really a lot.

 

"And I have to thank also Direk Toto [Natividad] and Direk Don [Cuaresma]. It's just an amazing experience to work with them. Alaga talaga nila ako at pinapaalalahanan about my old habits kumbaga, like there are moments na kapag matapang na ang dating ko, bibigyan ako ng signal ni Toto na 'palambutin mo nang konti'. Kasi siyempre I've been playing kontrabida roles for so long. And there are moments na kapag kumakain ako nakakalimot ako, like yung paghawak ko ng fork, yung ganun.

 

"It's really a great turning point now to do this part especially to work with Ryan. I'm very excited. Who would have thought na we were together in Star In A Million [si Cherie as judge at si Ryan as host] and pareho kaming madaldal. It's always great to come to the set when there's someone you can talk to. And I see in him the young Eddie Mesa, my dad, because of the nose somehow. I love this moment. And I'm so thankful to ABS-CBN for giving me this part. And of course to be playing Tita Chato's role in a wonderful masterpiece by Carlo J. Caparas."

 

Ano ang challenge na na-encounter niya rito sa Pieta?

 

"Most of the scenes dito iyakan talaga. There comes a point na one after another scene, mabilisan ba. So, ang challenge dito is to be prepared all the time so may mahugot ako na fresh. Minsan nauubos na rin yung luha mo. And, of course, si Direk Toto naman and Don know how to work with the actors, mino-motivate nila ako."

 

So far, ano ang pinakamahirap na eksena na nagawa na niya for Pieta?

 

"Lahat ng mga iyakan," sagot ng aktres. "Pero other than that, I think yung moment na I was approaching the body, supposedly the dead body, ang notion is baka yung ang anak ko. How to show the relief of finding out that he wasn't my son. And, of course, the fear without words. Sometimes the simplest scenes are the hardest."

 

Nakilala rin siya sa memorable lines ng mga role na kanyang ginagampanan, gaya ng classic line na "You're nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat!" sa Bituing Walang Ningning. Dito ba sa Pieta ay may aabangang memorable lines sa kanya ang mga manonood?

 

"Kayo na lang ang makapagsasabi niyan. Kayo lang naman ang gumagawa ng hype, e. But, of course, magagaling ang mga scriptwriters namin and creative team. Who knows, baka magkaroon din ng memorable lines na sinasabi n'yo."

 

Ayon kay Ryan, ayaw raw niyang tawaging Ate or even Tita si Cherie, dahil she has that young vibe. Ano ang comment niya rito?

 

"Great! That's us, we can drink together, we can have fun together."

 

CHERIE IN REAL LIFE. What's the regular day para sa isang Cherie Gil kapag walang trabaho?

 

"I'd love to stay home. I have the Internet. I have the laptop. I go online and talk with my kids. I have Facebook and Multiply. You have to be in, you know. Other than that, when I'm not busy, I'd dip sa pool. I'd go to the gym or sa spa. I like to watch movies. But most of the time I'd like to stay home."

 

What keeps her body well toned after all these years in the business?

 

"Well, I think just by being happy. I try to keep a smile on my face always. I do yoga. I go to the gym when I have time. And most important, I eat breakfast. So if I can't eat the rest of the day, I'm okay."

 

Mabait na ina siya rito sa Pieta. Anong klaseng ina naman siya sa totoong buhay?

 

"I'm a good mother," sagot ni Cherie. "Every mother wants to be a good mother. I try my best to do better each day. That is my prime concern and priority, which is to become better and better, even at a distance."

 

Nasabi ni Cherie na even at a distance dahil ang dalawa sa kanyang mga anak, sina Bianca at Rafael ay kasama ng kanilang ama na si Roni Rogoff sa Israel. Nami-miss na nga raw niya ang kanyang dalawang anak. Mabuti na nga lang daw at kasama niya rito sa Pilipinas ang panganay niyang si Jay.

 

What's the best advise na naibigay niya sa kanyang mga anak?

 

"To be grateful always in whatever they chose to do. And never feel that life is unfair. And whatever they decide to be, they can achieve it, as long as they put their minds on it with the help of God."

 

Alam naman ng lahat na hiwalay na sila ng asawa niyang si Roni. Taong 2004 pa nang magsimulang magkaroon ng problema sa pagsasama nila ni Roni, pero sinikap pa rin nila itong isalba. Ngunit nabigo rin sila kaya nauwi rin ang lahat sa hiwalayan. Kaya naman tinanong ng PEP si Cherie kung kumusta na ang kanyang puso ngayon?

 

"I am great and I feel very blessed. I'm very grateful. No reason to complain, no reason to cry. There are pains in life but if you put it all together, life is still very good. My work is also a part of that blessing. And even if I was not occupied, I'm still blessed with the support of my family and my kids. I like hanging out with my family, my brothers. I have the ability to travel. I'm in a place where I can do anything I want to do. So, why should I complain?" huling sabi pa ni Cherie sa PEP.