Want to see how Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes looked like during their Mara Clara days?
Just recently, the original cast members of the phenomenal series Mara Clara had their reunion, which took place last June 25. The reunion was organized by Mara and Clara themselves, Judy Ann and Gladys.
After the reunion, Gladys posted on her Instagram account some old photos from their 1992-1997 TV series.
In the photos, it can be seen how Judy Ann and Gladys shared scenes with other co-stars Christopher Roxas, Paolo Contis, and other Mara Clara cast members.
Christopher (who was cast back then as Eris) would eventually become the husband of Gladys. Paolo (who was a small kid who goes by the name Jepoy) is now in a relationship with actress LJ Reyes.
When PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had the chance to interview Gladys recently, she revealed interesting details about Mara Clara.
Everybody knows how Clara made Mara’s life miserable in the series, which is contrary to the real-life relationship of Gladys and Judy Ann since they are the best of friends off-screen.
However, did you know that these two actresses did not start off as friends in the early days of Mara Clara?
Gladys revealed, “Hindi siya parang friendship at first sight. Hindi pa, e.
“Kasi medyo nag-aadjust pa kami noon sa isa’t isa kasi yun nga yung character, yung talagang personality ko di ba, sa totoong buhay?
“[Ako] yung bubbly, medyo madaldal, wala sa akin yung nanganganay pa, e. Yung ganoon.
“Or yung parang first meeting, di ko pa gaano chi-chikahin, hindi, e. Basta ako, mabilis ako makaramdam, e.
“Ako kasi mabilis ako makaramdam doon sa tao, kapag sa tingin ko, okay naman siya kaagad di ba? So di na ako parang diesel na kailangan magpa-init pa.
“Unlike Juday naman, she’s more of a quiet type, shy type actually, e, na pinagkakamalaman ng iba na suplada.
“Akala nila ganoon kasi hindi din naman gaano ka-chika si Juday lalo na sa una tsaka sa mga hindi pa niya masyadong ka-close.
“Tapos before, mahilig lang siyang matulog kapag nasa standby area namin kasi nga dahil parang, siguro, lagi siyang puyat dahil may pinang-gagalingang taping.”
PEP then joked Gladys that Juday might always be tired because of her “pang-aapi” towards her.
She jokingly agreed by saying, “Napagod siguro, ano?”
The 38-year-old actress then continued, “Ako naman siguro, imbis na itulog ko, dinadaldal ko.
“So noong una, di pa kami ganoon ka-swak pa until siyempre, we’ve been together for five years so na-learn na namin na kumbaga i-love yung personality ng bawat isa.”
GREATEST “PANG-AAPI.” In Mara Clara, Judy Ann and Gladys engaged in a lot of face-slapping, hair-strangling catfight scenes in a span of its five-year run.
But actually, one of Gladys’s most memorable catfights did not happen in the series.
She recalled, “Ay nako, yung eksena namin sa labahan sa pelikula naming Sana Naman na akala ng mga tao ay yun na yung Mara Clara: The Movie.”
Sana Naman is a 1996 movie by Regal Films directed by Boots Plata. It featured Tirso Cruz III, Joel Torre, Jean Garcia, and Wowie De Guzman as part of the cast.
Poster of Sana Naman, courtesy of Video 48
This movie was such a big hit that Regal Films matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde gave them a big reward.
“It was really a big hit na binigyan talaga kami ng bonus ni Mother doon! Binigyan kami ng sasakyan!
“Di ko makakalimutan kasi it was really a big hit and all the while akala ng mga tao that was Mara Clara: The Movie na.
“Kasi yung eksena namin sa labahan, kami ni Juday, siguro isa sa mga nagugustuhan ng mga tao is kung gaano katotoo yung sampalan namin, tulakan, sabunutan, fight scene na well, in fact, totoo talaga.
Judy Ann and Gladys' catfight scene in Mara Clara
“Na once sinabi ni Direk na ‘Action,’ wala na. Talagang lahat na, masugatan ka na!
“Makita mo, sugat-sugat yung tuhod ko, duguan, kasi kumakaskas pala doon sa sahig noong sinasabunutan ko siya, nakapatong ako sa kanya.
“Siya naman may mga bruises na, may mapupulang part na sa skin niya, parang siyempre yung buhok niya ang haba-haba, kasi si Mara di ba?
“So, ang sakit ng anit niya, ganoon. So talagang pag sinabing ‘Action’, rambulan talaga kung rambulan!”
Image Courtesy of Video 48
Gladys then credited their on-the-go attitude as the reason why their catfight scenes looked so effective and believable.
She said, “At ang maganda doon, pareho kaming game!
“Walang pikon, after ng scene, pag cut, hingal na hingal kami pareho, pagod na pagod.
“Tapos siyempre, akapan, sorry-han, di ba? Pero walang personalan dahil alam namin na nagtatrabaho lang kami.”
Eventually, Judy Ann and Gladys’s bruises paid off. From being an afternoon series, Mara Clara was became a primetime show in 1996, going head-to-head against the Mexican series MariMar aired on RPN-9.
The TV series also had a movie version in the same year, as a tribute to the death of one of its cast members, Eruel Tongco.
Mara Clara poster, courtesy of Star Cinema
In 2010, ABS-CBN aired a remake of Mara Clara with Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes taking the roles of Mara and Clara, respectively. The Kapamiilya network dubbed the original soap as the “Ina ng Pinoy Soap Opera.”