Rica Peralejo has not worked on regular acting projects for more than ten years now.
Her last TV project was the 2007 prime-time series Pangarap na Bituin, while her last movie was Caregiver in 2008.
She did a few guestings on Maalaala Mo Kaya, and played short roles in shows, like 100 Days To Heaven and Ikaw Ay Pag-ibig, until 2011.
But three years ago, around 2018, Rica almost made a showbiz comeback.
It was after she got an offer from ABS-CBN, her mother network, to do a teleserye.
Rica reveals this during her guest appearance in PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal)’s online talk show, PEP Live, on March 2, 2021.
She recalls, “Meron akong offer three years ago. Ay naku, not kidding, as in it was an offer na as in lead role, teleserye, parang inisip ko na talaga na I would love to this, I miss acting, ganyan.
“’Tapos, they really expressed—ABS-CBN ito, e—gusto talaga nila ako for the role.
“’Tapos iyong heart ko, iyong artist heart ko na gusto ko itong gawin kasi gusto ko lang umarte ulit.”
At the time, Rica also had another plan in mind: to try for her second baby with husband Pastor Joseph Bonifacio.
But Rica was surprised that ABS-CBN offered her a lead role despite her absence from the limelight for several years now.
Rica continues, “Noong una, hindi ko pa na-gets na, kasi nagpi-present sila sa akin, sabi ko, 'Ang big deal naman nito, bakit pinuntahan pa nila ako para magpresent?' In my mind, small character lang ako.
“Hindi ko alam na big role pala iyong ino-offer sa akin! So parang ako, ‘Ah, ako ba iyan? Ako ba iyang babae na iyan?’ ‘Ah yes, kayo po iyan.’
“’Ah, okay! Akala ko kasi, tita ako ng bida!’ Parang ganyan. So tumatawa-tawa pa ako!”
CHOOSING BETWEEN TWO PLANS
Although it was an offer that was too good to refuse, Rica had to choose between a showbiz comeback or pushing through with her baby plans.
“After meeting them, I said, ‘Give me a few weeks, I’ll think about it.’
“I really prayed and I consulted people around me.”
That was when Rica came up with her decision.
“I really chose to go for the baby because if I do the teleserye, that means I’ll have to stop trying kasi siyempre, kailangan mo matapos iyon.
“Binilang ko rin naman, sabi ko, ‘Kailan po ba matatapos kung ganito ganyan ganyan?’
“So lahat naman, accounted for. Pero parang iyong sigaw ng heart ko, mas malakas for 'I want a baby and I want to try for that now' and so I turned it down.”
Rica’s decision proved to be right.
She continues, “And then, you know what, I think I’m not sure of the months, kunyari June iyon, parang by October, buntis ako.
“Umiiyak ako noong nabuntis ko kasi parang my gosh, tama naman palang ito iyong pinili ko, parang ganun.”
In January 2019, Rica announced through her vlog that she was four months pregnant and that she found out about her pregnancy in October 2018.
She gave birth to her second child, Manu, in June 2019.
When asked about the title of the teleserye offered to her, Rica answers with a smile, “Huwag na. Huwag na, nakakahiya naman.”
RICA PERALEJO'S PAST OFFERS
This was not the first time that Rica turned down an offer.
The first time was when she decided to focus on her studies and stop acting full-time.
In 2009, when she was asked to do a major role in the adaptation of Lovers in Paris starring KC Concepcion and Piolo Pascual.
“I think ang isang in-offer sa akin na hindi ko tinanggap kasi nga nagbago na ako ng life direction, iyong si KC, Lovers in Paris.
“Hindi iyong kanya, ha. Iyong isang character pa. The Maricar Reyes role, na-offer iyon.
“I’m not sure if nauna ba ako or nauna siya, basta na-offer ‘tapos parang sabi ko, ‘No, I’m not gonna do that na.’”
But with this most recent offer, Rica was surprised that even after almost 14 years since her last regular TV project, people in the industry still remember her.
She admits, “Nagulat talaga ako kasi parang for me, ‘Ah talaga? Nasa radar pa pala ako ng tao?’
“Kasi for me naman, personally, I really turned a different way na and I felt like people have forgotten me in that business na.
“No hard feelings, it’s just you know like, iyon talaga naman ang mangyayari sa iyo if you stop doing something.
“Akala ko lang talaga na no one ever thought of me na ganun kasi napakatahimik na rin ng buhay ko, e.
“Nag-aral ako, nagkapamilya ako, tahimik na ako. Social media na lang iyong outlet ko pero I’m not pa-artista anymore, ganyan.”
Rica remains active in interacting with her fans through her vlog on YouTube.