A visibly slimmer Alfred Vargas faced members of the press yesterday, January 27, for the press conference of his upcoming show Mutya.
The event was held at the 9501 restaurant of ABS-CBN. The Kapamilya network's fantasy series will air after Noah on the Primetime Bida block starting this Monday, January 31.
This project marks the return of Alfred to ABS-CBN after seven years. He was last seen on the Kapamilya network for the teleserye Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan.
Alfred explained that he did not renew his contract with GMA-7 when it expired in July 2010.
"Nakapagpaalam naman tayo nang maayos na maayos and my friends and bosses in GMA are very supportive pa rin sa akin.
"I haven't signed any contract [with ABS-CBN]. For now, I'm not comfortable rin signing any exclusive contracts kasi may commitment muna ako sa tao.
"I am very happy to be here at sobrang saya ng tapings. I am so happy to work again after winning the elections. Sobrang perfect ng show na ito," said the former GMA-7 contract artist with a smile.
What made him accept this project?
"This is a comeback project of sorts for me. I think Mutya is the perfect comeback show for me," he replied.
Will this affect his work as a Quezon City councilor?
"Hindi naman. Ang schedule naman, as long as you take time for each of your priorities, maaayos at maaayos yun."
When asked to describe his role in this show, he replied: "Mutya is about family. It's about the sadness of being alone and how you long for your family.
"Sa Mutya, ako ang head of the family. Ako ang prinsipe ng dagat at kasama ko si Precious Lara [Quigaman] at mai-in love ako sa kanya.
"Magbubunga ang aming pagmamahalan at iyon ang napaka-adorable at napaka-endearing na si Mutya [Orquia, the four-year-old star of the fantasy series]."
"Super-dami naming underwater scenes and dramatic scenes."
Alfred then revealed how he managed to lose the excess pounds that he gained during the campaign period.
"Until now, kino-continue ko pa ang diet ko. Kasi hanggang ngayon, hindi ko pa nababalik ang fighting form ko unlike before.
"Nung campaign, I gained 20-plus pounds. Pero ngayon, nag-diet talaga ako kasi ang ganda ng break na ibinigay sa akin ng Kapamilya network."
He also shared that he engaged in sports to help him trim down.
"Nag-boxing ako sa Elorde and nagwo-workout ako. Pag hindi ako nagte-taping, nagda-diet ako. Pero pag nagte-taping ako, hindi ako diet kasi sobrang hirap!
"Pag underwater ka at swimming ka nang swimming, nakakapagod talaga."
When asked about his scenes with his leading lady Precious Lara Quigaman, Alfred revealed, "Never have I thought in my entire life na magkakaroon ako ng romantic scene underwater.
"Siyempre, mahirap na masarap. Kailangan ilabas mo ang asim ng dagat!" he quipped.
FATHER'S DEATH. On January 4, the actor's father, Alfredo "Freddie" Vargas Sr., passed away due to cardiac arrest.
How difficult was it to shoot a teleserye while grieving his loss?
"Super nahirapan ako. Pero acting is like that... Pag isa kang actor, pag trabaho mo na, you'll be able to control your emotions."
How does he feel now that, like his character in Mutya, he can be considered the head of his own family in real life?
"Yes, that's reality. Symbolically, na-pass na ang torch sa akin.
"I think I'm ready and I think my parents have prepared me to be a good leader sa family and be a good leader sa mga constituents ko."
He also recalled how he felt when his father died.
"I've done a hundred roles na meron kang death scene sa ospital na iiyakan mo ang nanay mo o tatay mo. Pag sa sarili mo nang ama nangyari, iba pa rin ang feeling.
"Until now, [nag-a-adjust] pa rin tayo, but we have to move on and accept life as it is."
When asked regarding his Valentine's Day plans with his girlfriend Yasmine Espiritu, he said, "I have something prepared. It's going to be a surprise.
"Na-book ko na ang dapat i-book and I want to make sure na ang oras na yun, para lang talaga kay Yasmine," he said, smiling.