Aside from playing Aling Virgie in the top-rating action-drama series, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino continues to pursue her first love: theater.
The esteemed actress reprises the lead role of Maestra Adela in the rerun of the hit musical play, The Kundiman Party, starting on May 24 at the PETA Theater in Quezon City.
She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the recent press launch of The Kundiman Party that to do both projects, she first talked to the management behind ABS-CBN's long-running primetime show and then adjusted her schedule.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila na ito yung mga dates na kailangan kong umalis ng alas-kuwatro ng hapon,” she explained. “Pero shows na yun.”
She has to leave the set of the Kapamilya teleserye—which has tapings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—earlier than usual to make it to the evening shows of The Kundiman Party.
The musical’s producers, on the other hand, didn’t set the rehearsals for those days.
“Fortunately for me also, hindi naman babad ang storyline namin ngayon,” she said, referring to her character as the mother of Alyana (Yassi Pressman), who’s married to the titular role of Cardo (Coco Martin).
Shamaine is also in the cast of Spring Films’ 10th anniversary offering, Sunshine Family, an OFW movie shot in Korea and will open in local cinemas on June 5.
But working on another TV show is another matter.
“Nag-iba na kasi ang policies,” she explained. “Ngayon, sa Probinsyano, meron na kaming monthly contract. Ibig sabihin no’n, hindi talaga ako makakagawa sa iba.
“Dati, hindi ako under contract. Dati, ang mga under contract lang yung mga malalaking pangalan.
“So, kami, kung nasaan ang trabaho, do’n ka.”
She recalled the times when the rules were less strict.
“Alam mo, sa totoo lang naman, noong una, as long as hindi magkatapat ang show na ginagawa mo sa ABS-CBN at sa GMA, wala namang problema dati,” she said.
“Basta, huwag lang magkatapat ng oras. Huwag lang same timeslot.”
That’s not the case now.
“Kahit hindi katapat yung oras,” she pointed out. “Kung minsan nga, in the same network, they don’t want you to do other shows. Even in the same network!”
Back in early 2018, when FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano had been on air for more than two years, Shamaine took on another TV project.
“Wala na ako sa kuwento, ilang buwan na,” she recalled. “Mga anim na buwan na wala na akong trabaho at hindi nila masabi sa akin kung magpapatuloy pa ang papel ko.
“So sabi ko sa manager ko, ‘Maghanap ka na ng ibang trabaho kahit saan.’ Kasi ang importante sa akin, makakuha agad ng trabaho.
“Hindi naman ako nag-i-insist na dapat ABS lang o GMA lang. Kung saan merong trabaho. Ang nakuha niya, GMA. So, um-oo ako do’n sa GMA.”
That GMA-7 show was Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka, an afternoon soap in which Shamaine played the mother of lead star Yasmien Kurdi as a person living with HIV.
“Pumatok yun, di ba?” she said. “Kaso no’ng ginagawa na namin, bigla akong pinatawag ng ABS. Balik ang role namin.
“So I told ABS, meron akong ginagawa. Okay lang daw sa kanila. Sa GMA, sinabi ko sa director.”
She remembered the soap’s director telling her: “Wala pa namang conflict as of now. So hayaan na lang natin.”
For this reason, she stayed on.
“Kasi hindi rin naman niya alam pa kung paano tatakbo ang kuwento,” she said. “No’ng medyo nag-gain siya ng audience—kasi dapat matatapos na siya agad—they decided na patayin na lang ang character ko.”
Then Shamaine focused on playing Aling Virgie on FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.
When asked to comment on the strengths of ABS-CBN and GMA-7, she thought hard.
“Ang hirap magsalita,” she admitted.
“Para sa akin, ang production value ng ABS, mas mataas kesa sa GMA, which means they go to more lengths to make their production as excellent as they can.
“Not just in terms of financial, ha. Research. Pati the staff, the way they take care of you.
“The effort and the passion that they put in their work. It’s higher caliber sa ABS-CBN.”
“But, on the other hand,” she added, “ang GMA naman, for me lang, ha. I’m not saying this is true for all.
“GMA has always given me better roles. GMA naman values me more as a talent.
“They give me better roles, better shows. They see the good things in what I do. Yun naman I’m so thankful to them.”
Shamaine is likewise grateful to be part of the wildly popular FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, but she doesn’t know if that will help bring in the audience to her other projects, such as the acclaimed theater piece, The Kundiman Party.
“We were just talking about that, kami ni Nonie,” she said, referring to her husband and fellow actor, Nonie Buencamino, who’s also part of The Kundiman Party and Sunshine Family.
“Kasi a lot of people, especially in show business, get cast for being popular, not really for the value or quality of the work. Parang mas importante na popular ka.
“So iniisip ko yun na parang parte ng Probinsyano na No. 1 TV show, hindi ko alam kung si Aling Edna ay manonood ng play ko dahil napapanood niya ako sa Probinsyano.
“Hindi ko alam kung maku-curious ba siya kung paano ba siya umarte sa stage. Iba naman ang pinag-uusapan nating popularity ni Coco Martin. Siguro ka na pag gumawa ’yan ng play, dudumugin ’yan.
“Sa popularity ko bilang Shamaine Buencamino, yung iba, nakikilala nila ’ko, ‘Ay, si Aling Virgie, anak niya si Alyanna.’
“Hindi naman nila alam ang totoong pangalan ko. Pero hindi ko alam, sa totoo lang.”
One thing’s for sure: Shamaine is brilliant in every role she plays whether on stage and TV, and in film.