Actress Aiko Melendez revealed that after she did the ABS-CBN drama series Wildflower, she was offered to do a project with GMA-7.
However, she decided to do the Kapamilya fantasy series Bagani.
She disclosed this after PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked for her reaction regarding the transfer of her two co-stars in Wildflower: Sunshine Cruz and Wendell Ramos.
According to Aiko, both she and Sunshine received offers from the Kapuso network after their starring in Wildflower.
Aiko explained, "With Sunshine kasi, I'm very close to her, so somehow I know that there was an offer sa kanya.
"In fact, ako din, may offer din ako sa kabila. Sabay na sabay, Bagani and then yung offer ko sa kabila.
"But then, I opted to stay with Kapamilya nga dahil ang ganda ng Bagani."
When it comes to Wendell, Aiko admitted that she didn't know that her on-screen partner in Wildflower would be transferring to GMA-7.
"Yung kay Wendell hindi ko alam, it came as a shock to me kasi hindi naman kami masyadong nag-uusap ni Wendell so alam kong si Sunshine yung may offer sa kabila.
"You know, any growth sa mga kasamahan ko, I'd be the happiest kasi sa kanila naman, especially with Sunshine, she's a single mom, she just needed to work.
"So I'm pretty sure, after her project with sa kabilang bakod, she'd be happy to be back in Kapamilya network where you know, ang Kapamilya iba naman talaga katrabaho."
In a separate interview with PEP.ph and TV Patrol, Aiko elaborated why she accepted Bagani over the GMA-7 offer.
She said, "Kasi, when I learned about the offer na Bagani and I was handpicked by Tita Malou Santos and Inang Olive Lamasan, alam naman natin na si Inang Olive is very close to my heart.
"She's the first director na nagbigay sa akin ng first acting award ko."
Aiko was referring to the Best Actress award she received from the Film Academy of the Philippines for the 1994 movie Maalaala Mo Kaya.
She continued, "So coming from Inang Olive na she wants me to do this, kahit ano pa yung offer noong kabila, ito tinanggap ko kasi the project itself is very big so I feel so blessed na sinama ako dito."
PEP.ph spoke to Aiko during the digital media conference of Bagani earlier today, April 12, at ELJ Building's Training Hall.
Aiko joins the cast of Bagani as Matadora, the leader of the pirates in Sansinukob. She made her first appearance in the April 12 episode.
It was revealed last April 11 that Sunshine will do the upcoming Kapuso afternoon series Karibal Ko Ang Aking Ina.
Wendell, on the other hand, will be part of the upcoming GMA prime-time series Extraordinary Love.
FROM EMILIA TO MATADORA. According to Aiko, she was only given two days of rest after Wildflower before she started taping for Bagani.
She narrated, "Ang tagal noong break ko, two days! Totoo!
"This was offered to me while I'm taping for Wildflower, so I was given a week to decide whether to accept Bagani or not.
"So sabi ko, parang nahihirapan ako dahil ang layo ng role ng Emilia to Matadora, from sosyalera na mapupunta ako sa isla yung Tagalog napakalalim."
In Wildflower, Aiko brought life to Emilia, the spoiled, evil daughter of Julio Ardiente, the town's heartless governor.
Aiko recalled one blooper she had during her first taping day for Bagani.
"Actually, may blooper nga ako noong first day kasi habang inaano ko, may hinahampas ako ng tali.
"Sabi ko noong first day taping ko, dahil nga wala akong masyadong pahinga from Wildflower, sabi ko, 'Wala kang kwenta! Dapat sa 'yo, pinatay na kita! Stupid!'"
Since the fantaserye is set in olden times, her character was not supposed to use English.
Aiko continued, "So naninibago ako! But you know, I'm really blessed to be working with Direk Richard Arellano and Direk Lester Pimentel.
"Hindi talaga nila ako tinigilan hanggang hindi ko nawawala yung sosyal role ni Emilia.
"So ngayon, I can safely say na nawawala na ako doon sa Wildflower."
For now, Aiko is still busy immersing for her new role.
"Kailangan, lalo na ang daming nanunuod ng Bagani, bawat kilos ng bawat artista dito, talagang pinupuna, so talagang kailangan lahat kami up on our toes na galingan namin."
The 42-year-old actress also pointed out that this is the first time she will do an action-fantasy series.
"Nag-a-action ako ngayon at saka yung mga Tagalog ko dito, pang makata talaga, wala na yung Emilia ways na 'Good job!' Iba ito.
"Yung Matadora, maaksiyon siya at saka makikita nila ang ibang klaseng Aiko Melendez na sana maitawid ko talaga kasi kinakabahan ako before I accepted Bagani, kasi action ito!
"In my 30 years in show business, ngayon lang ako gagawa ng fantaserye na action sa TV."