Her acting career spans 58 years, but Vilma Santos has not starred in a teleserye.
She acknowledges this in her PEP Exclusives session with the editorial team of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via Zoom on April 28, 2021.
During the interview, Vilma admits that she actually wishes to do a teleserye, especially when she sees her contemporaries, like Christopher de Leon and Lorna Tolentino, in these shows.
She says, “Ako, gusto ko. Kapag nanonood ako ng mga teleserye, naiinggit ako. Kapag nakikita ko sila Boyet, LT, meron silang mga soap, parang gusto ko rin.
“Kaya lang nagkataong napasukan ako ng ibang trabaho.”
At the time when teleseryes dominated Philippine television, and her contemporaries started doing regular TV work, Vilma shifted her career to politics.
Vilma first entered politics in 1998 and served as the mayor of Lipa, Batangas until 2007. Since then, she has moved on to become a governor and, currently, a congresswoman.
The long hours in shooting teleseryes would eat up her time as a public servant.
She explains, “Kasi noong nauso na iyong mga soap, mga teleserye, medyo public servant na ako, iyong time ko na ang hindi pupuwede.
“Kasi magdamagan ang shooting na iyan, e, thrice or four times a week. They will start grinding at 7 a.m., they will finish at 7 a.m. the next day, and then break lang and then shooting.
"Hindi ko kakayanin sa job ko as a public servant kaya nasakripisyo, wala akong teleserye.”
TURNING DOWN OFFERS
Vilma reveals she received a lot of teleserye offers from two giant networks, ABS-CBN and GMA-7, but she had to turn these down because of her role as a public servant in Batangas.
“Yes, meron talaga, kaya lang alam ko kaagad na hindi talaga puwede dahil alam ko iyong oras ng taping nila, e. Nagrereklamo na nga iyong iba kaya nagkaroon ng issue sa cut-off, nag-request na iyong mga artista ng cut-off na time kasi hindi na kaya iyong 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. the next day.
“Naku, hindi na kaya, kaya nagkaroon na sila ng tinatawag na cut-off.
“E, with my other job pa, nakataya na iyong health ko. At saka it’s really hard to be 35 and gorgeous! Junior citizen na,” Vilma quips.
At this point, however, Vilma cannot remember anymore which teleseryes that aired were first offered to her.
It is because when these offers came, she turned them down immediately.
“Wala na akong maalala doon sa soap kasi public servant na ako niyan noong nauso, e.
“Kaya di na ako iyong nakapag-entertain pa ng particular na soap na nakipag-deal pa ako.
“Hindi na umabot sa ganun kasi ino-offer pa lang, wala na, e, because iyong time nga, hindi ko talaga kayang ibigay.”
Vilma Santos is PEP.ph’s top pick in The PEP List of 15 Greatest Actresses of Philippine Cinema in Leading Roles, 2000 to 2020.
To read more about The PEP List of 15 Greatest Actresses of Philippine Cinema in Leading Roles, 2000 to 2020, click here.