Indeed, comediennes Pokwang and Melai Cantiveros really survived when they ventured into doing a teleserye via the afternoon series We Will Survive.
This ABS-CBN show is scheduled to air its finale (tagged as the #WWSUltimateFriendshipGoal Finale) this Friday, July 15, after 20 weeks of airing.
According to the two comediennes, doing a TV series is no easy feat, especially since they have to travel all the way to Bicol to tape scenes for the Kapamilya show.
Pokwang disclosed the hardships they endured, "Yun lang nag-travel kami sa Bicol na inuulan kami na kailangan naming makita yung ganda ng Mayon.
"Kasi sayang kung hindi makikita yun, ilang oras kaming bumiyahe, pagod, puyat, everyday kaming nagte-taping.
"Nagrereklamo kami pero pag nakita mo yung mga light man, mga utility na alam naman natin hindi ganoong kalakihan ang sweldo nila, blessed pa rin tayo. Huwag na tayo magreklamo."
For Melai, it was her dramatic scenes that really gave her the biggest challenge. She expressed her gratitude for her best friend in the series, Pokwang.
She said, "Tinutulungan talaga ako ni Ate Poks, holding hands kami talaga diyan.
"Pagbasa ko sa script, patay may iyakan to, yung dibdib ko, ang dami nang kabayong tumatakbo diyan.
"Alam mo dumating na nga ako sa point na ginaganon ko na yung utility. May ganon ako na moment sa pag-iyak, na-survive ko na."
Of course, it is no secret that Pokwang and Melai also went through hurdles in their personal lives while doing this series.
Pokwang admitted during the July 11 finale press conference of the show that she had little arguments with her siblings that almost affected her work.
The 45-year-old comedienne recalled, "Minsan kasi sa magkakapatid ano, nagkakaroon din kami ng mga tampu-tampuhan, and naayos din naman.
"Muntik nang maapektuhan yung trabaho ko noon, pero nalampasan ko naman yun.
"Siguro kasi iniisip ko, nakakahiya naman sa mga nakatrabaho ko, wala naman silang kinalaman sa problema ko, di ba?
"Kailangan kong ayusin ito, hindi pwedeng madamay sila sa nararamdaman ko, and then naayos naman."
It is also a known fact that last May, Melai and husband Jason Francisco admitted that they had marital problems.
Without going into details, the 28-year-old comedienne-TV host said that losing time for family also became a struggle for her while taping the series.
She admitted, "Ako naman siyempre, sobrang everyday taping, wala ka nang time minsan sa family, doon naman talagang nagkaroon ako ng problem.
"Pero buti na lang, thank You Lord, na-survive naman namin. Nagkaroon ako ng Melai Survived!"
LEADING MEN. In this series, Pokwang and Melai had the chance to work with their respective partners: Jeric Raval and Carlo Aquino.
According to the We Will Survive lead actresses, it was a pleasure working with Jeric and Carlo, especially since the two are known to be passionate actors.
Melai said that she learned a lot of acting techniques from Carlo, a former child star who was commended for his movie Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa.
It can be remembered that Carlo gained fame for his line in the film: "Akala mo lang wala, pero meron, meron, meron!" which he blurted out to Vilma Santos.
Melai said about her leading man, "Grabe, ang galing ni Kuya Carlo. Akala mo lang wala pero meron meron meron!
"Ganoon talaga ang acting niya, sobra ang acting niya. Ako tinuturuan niya ako ng acting techniques kaya sobra akong happy, sobra akong overwhelmed."
Pokwang added, "Si Carlo, for 20 plus years in the industry, nakita mo yung respeto niya sa katrabaho, sobrang husay."
On the other hand, the comedienne-actress also praised former action star Jeric, who is cast as her husband in the series. In fact, she was impressed by the dramatic scene they shared together.
She narrated, "Si Jeric, alam naman natin na action star, kapag may hinihingi yung director namin, for example, comedy kaunti, alam naman nating naiilang siya pero nagagawa pa rin niya kasi love niya yung trabaho niya.
"Ang hirap kasi sa action star, [kapag] papadramahin mo kasi lalaking lalaki, e.
"Pero one time yung eksena na kailangang umiyak, paglingon ko, ay, bumabaha ang lolo mo! Ano kayang hinugot nito, siguro yung mga sapak sa kanya sa action movies," Pokwang joked.
Pokwang and Melai, who call each other "Manay" in the series, are very happy that despite timeslot changes and being pitted against Wowowin, their show continued to be warmly accepted by viewers.
Melai joked, "Siyempre, sobrang saya namin kasi number one, masaya ang bulsa!
"Sobrang saya kasi nga nagustuhan kahit yung aming timeslot, hindi naman masyadong… kalat kalat yung timeslot ng ibang regional, so pinapanuod pa rin ng mga tao kaya sobrang saya namin."
Meanwhile, Pokwang appreciated the comments she received from OFW viewers.
"At saka yung mga natatanggap lang namin mga comment sa OFWs, [sa] TFC, iba yung in-offer ng show kasi hindi puro sampalan, yung iiyak-tawa sila, sobrang gaan lang ng istorya."