For Bela Padilla the acting awards she has received this year are just icing on the cake. Ultimately, she wants to make a long-lasting impact in the industry that she has chosen to be a part of.
This year started well for her when she was awarded the Best Supporting Actress trophy in the Gawad Tanglaw in January.
Bela was highly lauded for her impressive performance as the eager journalist Maya Limchauco, in the 2013 Metro Manila Film Fest entry 10,000 Hours, which was top billed by her uncle, Robin Padilla.
This July, she also bagged the Best Supporting Actress trophy at the 62nd FAMAS for the same role.
“I won in Gawad Tanglaw before FAMAS, but FAMAS is more talked about, it’s more prestigious,” she explained at the press conference of Sa Puso ni Dok, a medical drama series on GMA Network that airs on Sundays.
“Gawad Tanglaw is more quiet. I really appreciated my Gawad Tanglaw award kasi parang puro professors ang namimili pero FAMAS is more prestigious.”
She said she is hopeful that the awards will result in offers for edgier roles, “I hope it’s not just a one-time thing. Sana makakuha pa ng magandang projects.”
BIGGER CHALLENGE. The Kapuso actress related that getting an award has been her aspiration since she entered showbiz.
“Kasi before, when I would do workshops and they would ask me, ‘What’s your plan or what do you want to achieve while in showbiz?’
"All the people would answer, ‘To become famous...’
"My answer would always be, ‘To win an award...’
“Now that I have it na, now that I've achieved it, it feels different nga… so it’s nice.”
But as far as acting offers are concerned, she admitted, “Nothing has changed, really.
“I still am in the same place where I was before… where I wanted [to be].
“I’m still doing the same projects. Wala pa naman [changes].
"I haven’t seen any significant change.
"I think it’s more of me, a more conscious thing in my part na when they give me [a role], I’m pressured to do better kahit sa set.”
She related that even her co-actors in Sa Puso ni Dok, her ongoing drama series on GMA Network, would tease her about giving it her best when she needed to do heavy scenes.
Bela has learned, however, to take the challenges in stride.
“I really don’t want to put expectations on anyone, especially on myself, kasi the job is hard enough, 'tapos to put pressure pa, medyo mas mahirap.”
DRAMA WITH A CAUSE. In Sa Puso ni Dok, Bela and Dennis Trillo are teaming up for the first time.
They both play doctors in this light drama of GMA News and Public Affairs, which aims to raise awareness about public hospitals in the country.
According to Bela, “It isn’t supposed to entertain people only… it’s supposed to bring awareness too.
"We’re trying to send the message that the public hospitals in the Philippines really need help.
“It’s light. Meron siyang light rom-com [romantic comedy] feel.
"But at the end of the day, it brings you back to the reality na the cases that we do every week are real.”
Bela revealed that she has started watching the popular American medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy, for inspiration.
There is also a real doctor serving as guide for the medical drama.
“There is a doctor on the set for all of us just so our terms are correct,” Bela said.
“Kasi minsan kahit yung ibang terms ng procedure bala mali, baka daw mapintasan kami o mapagtawanan.”
GOING FOR QUALITY. Bela’s last TV series was Love And Lies with Richard Gutierrez about a year and half ago and, so far, GMA has not offered her another teleserye.
The actress has brushed this aside as she is currently assigned to do what to her are substantial projects.
Apart from her ongoing weekly drama series, Bela is also shooting a remake of a classic Filipino movie, Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara.
The film is retitled, Barbara, under the direction of Chris Ad Castillo. It will be in English as it is slated for international release.
“It’s still an ongoing shoot kasi it’s hard. Our producers are foreigners and our cast are also foreigners, so medyo mahirap,” she said.
She added that apart from her, the other Filipino talents in the cast are Max Eigenmann and Guji Lorenzana.
Bela has done roles that run the gamut of serious characters and the “kilig” variety.
She pondered the pros and cons of this, “I think that’s the kind of direction I need in my life.
"Parang I feel like I don’t have a specific image.
“I get to do more things and as an actor, that’s a big plus na you can accept any role.
“But I’m not sure kasi if that’s something that lasts.
“I’m starting to think about that nga. Should I make a branding for myself like a certain image, stereotype myself?
"Kasi I don’t want to be doing so many things pero hindi ako naaalala for one.
“I don’t wanna be a jack of all trades but a master of none.
“I’m thinking about that. I don’t know what to do. Should I start making an image for myself?
“Kasi yun nga sa 10,000 hours, I was seen as a kontrabida and then here [Sa Puso ni Dok], light and bubbly and kilig-kilig.
"I enjoy both so now I’m happy I’m not typecast. I don’t have a love team.
"Parang I’m not pressured na I only have to work with this person for the rest of my life. It’s a plus. Pros and cons meron.”
OUTSIDE ACTING. Bela recently pitched in for Pia Guanio as host of Chika Minute, the showbiz segment of the news program 24 Oras.
She was happy that her dream of becoming a newscaster was fulfilled even for just a day.
“Exciting siya. First time ko... Sobrang scary pala.
“Okay naman pero sobrang nakakakaba pala pag alam mong live. Gusto kong ulitin.
“Iba pala pag andun ka na. Syempre iba pag nasanay ka sa taping.
"Five years akong nagti-taping. So kahit na maling isipin na kahit magkamali ako pwedeng ulitin yun, pag live wala, e.”
“Actually, gusto ko [ulitin].
"Iba yung adrenaline rush niya na after no’n parang, ‘Yes! I was able to do it.
"Iba yung feeling,” she enthused about her experience as Chika Minute host.
She had also written screenplays and was, in fact, tapped to write the script for 10,000 Hours. But she declined because she happened to be shooting for a soap opera at that time.
Still, some of her concepts were incorporated in the award-winning movie, which also won Best Screenplay in MMFF.