Maricel Soriano welcomes changes in her career

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"Kapag nagdadasal ka, sabi nga nila, bukas ang isip mo at puso mo, lahat nagiging maganda at maayos—walang kaaway, walang kagalit. Kaya ang suwerte-suwerte ko!" said Maricel Soriano about how her transfer from ABS-CBN to TV5 was "smooth-sailing."


A very bubbly Maricel Soriano faced the entertainment media at the press conference of TV5's newest drama anthology called 5 Star Special last March 11, at Mario's Restaurant on Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

The Diamond Star, who is known to her showbiz friends as Maria, openly talked about her decision to make a project with the revitalized TV5. Although she's much identified with ABS-CBN, she said that it's sometimes good to welcome "change" in one's life.

As her fans know well enough, Maricel had been a Kapamilya since the early '80s. Her own drama anthology called The Maricel Drama Special aired in ABS-CBN for almost a decade.

She also did a number of TV shows in the same network. These included sitcoms like Kaya Ni Mister, Kaya Rin Ni Misis (1997), Bida Si Mister, Bida Si Misis (2000), Mary D Potter (2001), and John en Shirley (2006). She was also seen portraying the lead character in television series such as Vietnam Rose (2005) and Florinda (2009).

Now that she's doing the first five episodes of 5 Star Special in TV5, Maricel says she has learned to accept such changes in life.

She explained, "Kapag tumatagal ang panahon, it's nice na tanggapin natin ang change ng bukas ang kalooban natin at isip natin, di ba?Mahirap nga daw i-apply 'yan, parang foundation, kapag puyat ka mahirap kumapit. Pero siyempre, kapag bukas ang isip mo at bukas ang puso mo, especially mahal naman natin ang trabaho natin at mayroon tayong dedikasyon at pagmamahal, magiging maayos ang lahat."

Unlike some celebrities who jumped from one network to another, Maricel said that her case is different because she did not burn bridges when she accepted TV5's offer.

"I did not say goodbye," she smiled. "Wala naman 'tong goodbye, di ba? Ano lang 'to, in the meantime, di ba? Ito muna ang gagawin ko, kapag may ibang pagkakataon, e, di, puwede naman tayong gumawa ulit."

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"I'M AN ARTISTA." Maricel agreed to appear on TV5 because it offered her a venue that would showcase her versatility in acting.

"This is a special special. 'Yong treatment na ginagawa namin, of course, nakaka-excite talaga dahil iba naman ito. Ginagawa natin ito [dati], pero ang treatment and approach na gagawin natin and execution, is going to be a lot different," she described.

The 45-year-old actress said TV5's offer was just timely because, "Kailangan, by this time, gusto kong gumawa ng isang trabaho na alam mong tratrabahuhin mo pero mukhang madali palagi dahil mayroon tayong dedikasyon, respeto, at pagmamahal sa ginagawa namin.

"At saka nabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon na gampanan ang iba't ibang klaseng roles. Nabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon para makagawa ng isang makabuluhan na [proyekto]—parang ganito, special special, puwedeng sitcom, puwedeng variety show. Ang importante doon, nabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon."

Maricel underscored the network's encouragement while taping for this project.

"Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa kanila kasi ang feeling, 'I'm an artista!'" she gushed.

"Ang laki-laking bagay [noon]. Lagi ko ngang sinasabi sa kanila, 'Sana, huwag kayong magbabago, ha?' Kasi, ang sarap-sarap ng pakiramdam kapag ang isang artista, nararamdaman din ng mga kasamahan mo sa trabaho 'yong nararamdaman mo. Nakikiisa sila sa pakiramdam mo, nararamdaman nila ang nararamdaman mo—hindi ang trato ay para lang maka-quota tayo. Hindi ganun, definitely, hindi ganun, kaya ganun na lang ang pasasalamat ko talaga."

"PUWEDE AKO KAHIT SAAN." During the media conference, Maricel and TV5's Creative and Entertainment head Perci Intalan didn't answer directly if she would be doing other shows with the network.

Maricel just told the media, "Depende, gugulatin na lang namin kayo. Ito muna, isa-isa para may suspense naman!"

When asked what kind of show she prefers, she replied, "Alam mo naman ako, fight anywhere ako, puwede ako kahit saan."

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She gave a similar answer about other roles she wants to do in the future.

"Kung meron man, siguro masasabi ko na lang 'yon kapag gagawin ko na or something na it's going to be a lot difficult, probably, pero challenging. Hindi ko na masabi 'yon sa dami ng nagawa ko. Pero baka naman, who knows, may pagkakataon na masasabi kong, 'Ay, hindi ko pa nagagawa ito.'"

TREATING HER JOB AS A BLESSING. From child actress to multi-awarded Diamond Star, Maricel has proven that she can handle different genres—comedy, drama, suspense and horror.

She shared her outlook as a professional actress:

"Ang natutunan ko noon, kapag lumalabas ako ng bahay, iniiwan ko lahat kasi gusto ko 100 percent ang maibibigay ko sa trabaho ko. E, lahat ito, trabaho, pare-pareho—mahal mo, gusto mo, nirerespeto mo, at may dedikasyon ka. Kaya hindi dapat dinadamay 'yon. Iwanan muna ang lahat ng problema, mamaya na kasi may trabaho at blessings na naghihintay sa akin."

She also recalled the instances when she had to separate her own feelings from her job.

Maria related, "Ang nakakatawa lang na nangyayari sa buhay naming mga artista, true to life 'to, minsan sa totoong buhay masayang-masaya ka, pero ang gagawin drama. 'Tapos, kapag malungkot na malungkot ka naman or mayroon kang hindi napagkasunduan sa pamilya, dumadating naman na comedy ang ginagawa ko. Nangyari na kasi talaga 'yan sa amin."

Then, she reminded everyone, "Life is so short, di ba? Parang kailangan naman maging masaya tayo palagi. At kung ano ang nakalatag sa atin, matutunan nating mahalin ng tama."

LETTING GO OF EXCESS BAGGAGE. If other stars experienced complications in crossing over from one network, she was happy that hers was a breeze.

She said, "I consider everything as a blessing. Smooth sailing lahat. Pag nagdadasal ka at bukas ang puso mo sa lahat, naging maganda at maayos, walang kagalit. Ang suwerte-suwerte ko kaya lagi akong nagpapasalamat."

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Maria attributes her unfading sophisticated look to her positive attitude.

"I'm very at peace with myself," she said. "Kumbaga, marami akong nadaanan na pagsubok sa buhay ko—maraming masakit, maraming masaya, maraming mahirap, marami ring madali. Pero para sa akin, 'yon ang natutunan ko na in as much na ang hirap nga daw ng change, pero kailangan mo rin 'yong i-embrace. At kailangan mong iwan ang mga bagahe [sa buhay]."

She even managed to joke about burdens in life, "Naku, mahal 'yan, magbabayad tayo diyan. Mahal ang mga bagahe na 'yan, iwanan mo na 'yan. Bitawan mo na 'yan, excess baggage lang, mahal 'yan."

Then, seriously she told the media, "I let go of everything. I have learned to accept kung ano ang dumating or darating. Kailangan buong ningning kong tanggapin masakit man o masaya. Kailangan tanggapin mo, wala ka namang magagawa. Sabi nga nila, hindi naman ibibigay sa'yo kung hindi mo kaya. So, sometimes masasabi mo na, 'Hay, hindi ko kaya. Pero kakayanin ko.'"

In her 39 years in showbiz, Maricel has definitely made her mark. Although she's known as The Diamond Star, she doesn't think about it too much. She said, "It's not the label, e. I want the people to know the real me. This is me talaga. Everything will fade. Matatapos lahat pero mayroon kang alaalang iiwanan para sa lahat."


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