Mara Clara revelations: Judy Ann is "masakit manampal"; Gladys is sabunot queen

by James Patrick Anarcon
Jul 22, 2021
Judy Ann Santos (left photo, in white), winner in the mananampal department, and Gladys Reyes (in black), the sabunot queen, take their catfight scenes seriously. Throwback photo (right) shows the two good friends in action in the 1996 movie Sana Naman.
PHOTO/S: PEP Files / Sana Naman

Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes are proud to say they never faked their fight scenes in the drama series Mara Clara and in all the other shows they did together.

Mara Clara was widely followed when it aired on ABS-CBN from 1992 to 1997 or all of five years.

Its story is about Mara (Judy Ann) and Clara (Gladys), two girls switched at birth.

Mara, raised by a poor family, has a good heart, while Clara is spoiled rotten by rich but kind parents. Fate brings them together without them knowing their real identities, with Clara resenting Mara and treating her cruelly.

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Judy Ann and Gladys reminisced on their Mara Clara days, particularly about their fight scenes in the series.

According to Gladys, their catfight scenes left a mark in the minds of viewers because they were as real as she and Judy could make them so.

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She said, “Siguro, isa rin kaya gustung-gusto ng tao iyong Mara Clara, never namin pineke ni Juday iyong mga fight scenes namin, mga awayan namin.

“Minsan, para lang kaming mag-uusap nang konti na magtinginan lang kami, alam na namin gagawin namin.

“At saka wala kaming personalan kung napalakas iyong hablot ko sa kanya.”

She being the petite one, Gladys remarked that what she found funny was she supposedly overpowering Judy Ann in their fight scenes.

Laughing, she said, “Imagine kung papaano namin ina-act out na napaniwala ang tao na doon sa Mara Clara, kayang-kaya ko siya!

“Pero sa totoong buhay, paano ko siya makakaya, e, mas mataas siya sa akin? At saka hindi rin nila alam, ako lagi nananampal, di ba?

“Pero si Juday talaga ang masakit manampal! Siya talaga iyong masakit iyong sampal kapag sinampal ka niya!”

Judy Ann piped in, “Ewan ko ba! Siguro kasi kapag nandoon ka na sa emosyon, ‘tapos alam mong naghahanda ka na, e.

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"Mahabang awayan ito, e! Nandoon na agad iyong adrenaline mo, nasa tuktok na agad iyan.

“So kami ni Gladys, sanay na iyong mga direktor sa amin, e, kaya feeling ko at some point, dumating din iyong part na sinabi na lang sa amin, ‘O, ito iyong set-up ng camera hanggang saan kayo, susundan na lang namin kayo.’

“Hindi na namin kailangan ng fight director kasi alam nila na, ‘O, basta, sis, dito na lang tayo, bahala na.’

“Pero umpisa pa lang, nagso-sorry na kami sa isa’t isa, 'tapos siguro kung uso na noon iyong behind the scenes, ano?

"Kung makikita lang nilang kapag sinabing action, action!

“Trabaho kami pero kapag sinabi mong cut, automatic ang akapan namin ni Gladys, itse-check namin iyong isa’t isa kung meron bang gasgas, napoknatan ba kita?"

The tally: If Judy Ann won in the pananampal department, Gladys was the sabunot queen.

Judy Ann summed it up, “Kung ako, malakas manampal, si Gladys, mahigpit manabunot iyan! Parang alimango, kapit na kapit! Kung may kuto ka, pasalamat ka sana sumama!”

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JUDY ANN AND GLADYS ON "NO DAYA" FIGHT SCENES

Without demeaning the acting styles of peers in the industry, both Gladys and Judy Ann said they are dismayed when they hear actors and actresses faking their fight scenes.

Gladys was candid, “Kaya nga parang hindi ako masyado makarelate na kung kailangang sampalin… may mga naririnig kasi ako na, ‘O, daya na lang.’

“Hindi ako maka-relate sa ganun kasi, di ba, iba iyong totoo kang sinampal, iba iyong reaction ng sinampal pati. Iba kapag dumapo sa kamay mo, di ba?

Judy Ann seconded Gladys, explaining, “Ako rin! Ang hirap kasing i-acting noong galit, iyong bugso kunyari ng galit, parang hindi ko siya kayang gawin na pinepeke, parang niloloko ko iyong tao.

“Pareho kami ni Gladys, e. Ewan ko kung pareho rin kami sa pag-uugali na kapag sinabing hinaan mo lang iyong sampal, kapag ginanoon na ako ng kasama kong artista, ay, mas lalakasan ko.”

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Then the two queens of reality catfights let out a good laugh.

Seriously now, Gladys said it's all about the acting craft, mindful that others may take it personally.

“Parang naaanuhan ako na let’s be professional about this, di ba.

"Hindi naman ibig sabihin na nasaktan ka, e, galit talaga ako sa iyo. Hindi.

“Hinihingi iyon ng script, hinihingi iyon ng eksena, so bakit mo pepersonalin kung sakaling nasaktan ka?

"E, di ba, iyon nga iyong point? Dapat nga, iyong reaksyon mo, talagang nasaktan ka.

“So, iyon lang, parang hindi lang ako masyadong approved na minsan gusto nilang dayain kasi ayoko rin bigyan ng dayang reaksyon iyong mga tao.

"Same noong sinabi ni Juday, parang niloloko mo, e.”

However, Judy Ann said there is always an exception. “Siyempre, kung halimbawang may medical reasons, nagpa-face lift, hindi mo talaga puwedeng sampalin."

She added, laughing, "Hindi ko naman sasampalin nang todo-todo! Baka bayaran ko pa iyon, e.”

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On a serious note, Judy Ann continued, “Pero doon sa ayaw masaktan, mahihirapan kaming parehong buhatin iyong eksena, o baka kasi hindi kami ganun lumaki ni Gladys pagdating sa pagtatrabaho namin.

“Kumbaga, ang trabaho, trabaho. Wala itong personalan pero kung pinersonal mo iyong trabaho ko, aba bahala ka sa buhay mo. Pero kasi binayaran ako para gawin iyong trabaho ko.

“Pero, kung dahil ayaw mo lang pumangit dahil masasaktan ka, aba, aba, teka naman, lahat naman tayo pumapangit sa trabaho natin at some point.

“Hindi mo bubuuin iyong trabaho mo pero ako buong-buo, ay, hindi puwede. Kailangan sabay tayo at saka siyempre ayaw mo naman manghulog ng artista sa eksena.”

At the end of the day, both said it's all about supporting each other in the scene.

Judy Ann added, “Kasi lumaki kami ni Gladys na, eksena mo, susuportahan kita. Kapag eksena ko, suportahan mo ako.

“Ngayon, kapag eksena na may confrontation scene, kailangan pareho, hindi pwedeng lumaylay iyong eksena kasi pareho tayong walang mararamdaman.”

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Gladys was also happy to report that, so far, the young actresses she has worked with have no qualms about making their sampalan scenes as real as they could get.

She mentioned the Kapuso actress Thea Tolentino, who worked with her in the afternoon series Madrasta.

Gladys told PEP.ph, “Natutuwa naman ako, matindi rin naman iyong naging sampalan ko with Thea Tolentino, okay naman, game naman iyong bata.

“So far, wala pa naman akong nakakatrabaho na, ‘Ate Gladys, baka puwede namang hindi totoo.

"Wala naman, professional din. Tama iyong sinabi ni Juday, suportahan.

"Kasi halimbawa, close-up muna ito ni Juday. Hindi naman ako kasali, pero you still give your all kasi huhgot din iyong kaeksena mo, e.

“Hindi puwedeng selfish na, ‘O, si Juday lang iyan, bahala ka na.’ O kaya magme-make face pa, magpapatawa pa diyan imbes na, di ba?

“So, talagang give and take kayo, iyon ang tama.”

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Judy Ann Santos (left photo, in white), winner in the mananampal department, and Gladys Reyes (in black), the sabunot queen, take their catfight scenes seriously. Throwback photo (right) shows the two good friends in action in the 1996 movie Sana Naman.
PHOTO/S: PEP Files / Sana Naman
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