Claudine Barretto: "Sometimes you just really have to get out of your comfort zone."

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Claudine Barretto's drama anthology series with GMA-7 will debut on Saturday, April 10. The pilot episode titled "Alzheimer's" will feature Claudine together with real-life husband Raymart Santiago.


Claudine Barretto was pleasantly surprised to see former co-stars from ABS-CBN greeting and wishing her luck on her upcoming drama anthology series with GMA-7, which will air this coming Saturday, April 10.

Director Wenn Deramas, Diether Ocampo, Judy Ann Santos, and Kris Aquino all gave encouraging words to the new Kapuso actress through a VTR. The footage was shown last night, April 5, at the start of Claudine's press conference held at 55 Events Place on Scout Rallos, Quezon City.

Seeing Judy Ann made Claudine light up. Despite their supposed rivalry brought by their respective success in doing drama roles, Claudine stressed anew that they are friends in real life.

"Kasi hindi talaga alam ng marami na 'yong friendship namin ni Judy Ann, hindi lang naman pinag-uusapan talaga sa tao. Pero as of last year, medyo naging malalim na siya. We're not there for each other pag good times, pero pag bad times and kailangan ng isa ang isa't isa, nandoon kami. So, I'm really thankful to Juday for doing this for me," Claudine said.

She added, "Hanggang ngayon naman talaga, ang dami kong kaibigan dun [ABS-CBN]. 'Tsaka hindi mo naman mabi-break 'yong 17 years nang ganun-ganun lang."

EMBRACING RISK. While the show of support coming from old friends is a clear indication that Claudine's network transfer did nothing to affect their friendship, the same cannot be said about the actress' relationship with her former home network.

Claudine particularly expressed dismay at the prospect of her program clashing against sister Gretchen's appearance on ABS-CBN's longest-running drama anthology, Maalaala Mo Kaya, this coming Saturday.

Based on Claudine's reaction last night, it was obvious that Claudine's decision to jump ship was triggered by the uncertainty of her status with the network she considered home for many years.

The erratic flow of work assignments, according to Claudine, convinced her to re-examine available options on the table. Her transfer cut short the planned TV series featuring Claudine and Gretchen.

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"Siyempre, di ba, nakakatakot 'yong mag-take ng risk sa buhay? Pero sometimes you just really have to get out of your comfort zone. Mas madami akong bina-value na relationship at inaalagan, so it's best na ako na lang 'yong lumayo," explained Claudine.

The decision to join a new home network required a lot of thinking and consideration. Claudine sought the help of "close friends and pastors" to guide her through the process. It eventually became clear that a fresh start was needed until "ito na nga dumating na 'yong offer [from GMA-7]."

WORKING WITH HUBBY. Claudine's maiden offering titled "Alzheimer's" this coming weekend will pair Claudine with her real-life husband, Raymart Santiago.

"Actually pag pinanood ninyo talaga, iisipin ninyo anthology ito ni Raymart!" laughed Claudine, who praised her husband's acting skills.

The episode marks the first time that the viewers will see the couple do straight drama together. Even Claudine and Raymart never thought that they would be given a chance to work together because of their respective network affiliations in the past.

With her transfer to GMA-7, Raymart has "no choice" but to work with her, joked Claudine.

"Nakatrabaho ko lang siya sa Lagot Ka, parang isang birthday episode. Hindi pa talaga kami nag-try na mag-drama. Naku-conscious kasi ako pag kasama si Raymart. So, parang 'yong first three sequences, sinabi ni Direk Laurice [Guillen] na ako lang daw ang naku-conscious, hindi daw si Raymart," she said.

The show's staff refused to identify Claudine's next leading man after Raymart. But given a choice, Claudine named Richard Gutierrez, Dennis Trillo, and Dingdong Dantes, as some of the actors she would like to work with in future episodes.

Claudine also said that she wouldn't mind working with ex-boyfriend Mark Anthony Fernandez again. "Basta sisipot siya," she smiled.


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