Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo: An A to Z of Love and Second Chances

Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo: An A to Z of Love and Second Chances


by Nikko Tuazon

"Dapat tuloy ang buhay, magmahal tayo nang magmahal. Hangga't may buhay, masarap magmahal. Masakit masaktan pero pag nagmahal ka na ulit, what a feeling, di ba?" - Angelica Panganiban

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ou might need to free up space in your hearts for the love team of Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo, which he already dubbed as "Team Alphabet."

Angelica and Zanjoe are paired in ABS-CBN's newest morning drama series titled Playhouse, which starts airing today, September 17.

Excitement over the movie reunion of Angelica and ex-flame Carlo Aquino aside, the chemistry between the actress and Zanjoe seems natural and unforced, built perhaps upon more than 10 years of friendship and as co-workers in the Sunday comedy gag show Banana Sundae (formerly known as Banana Split). 

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) witnessed how these two Star Magic talents work their charm in front of the camera—gazing at each other's eyes while holding hands—during the photo shoot for Main Attraction, our latest Lifestyle special feature.

For their second layout, Angelica gave Zanjoe a hug from behind and exclaimed, "Ang sarap ng trabaho ko!" 

They instantly filled the room with so much kilig.

Playhouse stars Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

TEAM ALPHABET

It's been a while since Angelica and Zanjoe each worked on a drama series. His last project was the prime-time family drama Dear Heart, which wrapped up in June 2017. Her last was Pangako Sa 'Yo, which aired in 2016.

Playhouse is their first romantic team-up, and their comeback after an absence from teleserye.

Playhouse stars Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

In the light-hearted romantic-comedy series, they play a married couple named Patty and Marlon on the brink of annulment. They get a second chance at love when they are given custody of their godchild following the accidental deaths of the kid's parents, who happen to be the couple's close friends.

"Medyo in-adjust ko nang kaunti yung atake ko, yung energy sa bawat scene," Zanjoe said of the difference between his performance in Playhouse and Dear Heart, which he found emotionally challenging.

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The 36-year-old Kapamilya heartthrob continued, "Kailangan ito masaya, malikot, mataas yung energy kasi nga light siya, and para siya sa morning show.

"Maganda yung naging tulong sa akin ni Angelica kasi si Angelica, kilala natin na magaling siya diyan—sa light romance, sa comedy—so ayun, nadala niya ako sa mga bawat scenes na ano."

Playhouse leading man Zanjoe Marudo for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

For Angelica, the series may not be as physically and emotionally draining as Pangako Sa 'Yo, but she said it still has its own challenges.

"Kapag teleserye yung ginagawa, mas maraming oras ka talagang binibigay, mas maraming effort. Mas marami kayong ginagawa. 

"Pero siguro naman sa gaan nung mga taong katrabaho namin, mga taong involved sa set—from the staff, sa crew, at sa mga co-actors—nagiging mas madali at mas magaan yung trabaho namin.

"And idagdag pa natin na siyempre, light lang yung ginagawa namin, although mas mahirap lang i-execute yung mga eksena."

Playhouse actress Angelica Panganiban for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

Both agreed, however, that portraying relatable characters have made their acting come out natural.

Zanjoe described his character Marlon as someone who fears getting left behind, a trait he can identify with.

The model-turned-actor said, "Ano siya, e, yung character niya, pag may nagustuhan siyang bagay talagang… lalo na nung na-meet niya si Patty parang, kumbaga, natatakot siya.

"Pag may nagustuhan siyang isang bagay, natatakot siya na baka mawala ito kahit ano pa yan, sa family, sa friends and especially dun sa partner niya."

Zanjoe went on relating his personal experience, "Siguro dahil yung nangyari talaga sa buhay ko is nag-abroad yung tatay ko, yung mga kapatid ko."

"So meron na akong ganung experience na naiwan. Kahit naman hindi siya masama or malungkot na experience, kahit naging okay naman ako at naging independent ako dahil dun, lagi akong may ganung fear na takot na maiwan ng mga taong mahal ko."

Playhouse stars Zanjoe Marudo and Angelica Panganiban for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

Angelica described her character Patty as a "dedicated sister and daughter, and a dreamer."

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But the 31-year-old actress also conceded Patty has a stronger personality than hers: "Mas palaban siya sa life."

"Mas kaya niyang tanggapin yung mga bagay-bagay in a positive way, na mas gusto niyang tignan yung silver lining ng lahat kesa mag-dwell siya sa problema niya."

"Maso-solusyunan niya yun para maging maayos yung sarili niya at yung mga tao sa paligid niya."

Will they do as their characters have done, take in and care for the child of a close friend or a relative?

Without batting an eyelash, Angelica said, "Dyusko, nanghihingi nga ako ng mga bata, e."

Zanjoe threw in, "Siguro ngayon, sa panahon ngayon, siguro sa age ko at estado ko ngayon, kaya ko naman akuin kung sakaling may makikiusap sa akin na talagang malapit sa puso kong tao at pati yung bata, alam kong itinuturing kong parang akin. So ayun, oo, willing naman ako."

Playhouse stars Zanjoe Marudo and Angelica Panganiban for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

Q&A ABOUT LOVE AND SECOND CHANCES

Do they believe in finding 'The One?'

ANGELICA: Feeling ko naman meron talagang the one na para sa 'yo.

ZANJOE: Feeling ko naman totoo yun at excited akong makilala yung tao na yun at ayokong mawalan ng pag-asa sa love.

Have their perception about love and commitment changed?

ANGELICA: Wala! Dapat tuloy ang buhay, magmahal tayo nang magmahal. Hangga't may buhay, masarap magmahal. Masakit masaktan pero pag nagmahal ka na ulit, what a feeling, di ba?

"Love and love and love until you die! Love will kill you… If love will kill me, then let it kill me. Wow!"

ZANJOE: Malaki yung pinagbago, lalo na siyempre nung nag-start ako nung bata pa ako sa mga relationships. Mas maraming realizations, mas maraming learnings.

Like ngayon, mas patient na ako, mas understanding kasi mas nag-mature na. Ang gusto ko na lang yung relaxed yung relationship, tahimik and less drama, ganun. Siguro dahil sawa na rin, tumanda na rin.

Playhouse actor Zanjoe Marudo for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

Do they feel any pressure about settling down now that they're in your 30s?

ANGELICA: Hindi siguro pressure, puwede sigurong excited.

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ZANJOE: Actually, nung mas younger ako may pressure, pero ngayon, hindi na ako nape-pressure kasi wala, e. Wala ka rin namang magagawa kung ipi-pressure yung sarili mo. Hindi mo rin naman puwedeng ipilit yung sarili mo sa taong hindi mo gusto para lang, di ba? Ang pangit pag hilaw, e, pag half lang, e. Kailangan 100 percent. Kahit dumating man yan sa singkuwenta anyos siya dumating, e, di dun na siya darating.

Do they believe in second chances?

ZANJOE: Depende, e, depende sa sitwasyon. Depende sa nangyari sa inyo kung bakit kayo naghiwalay. Yung talagang reason kung bakit nag-break kayo, bakit niyo ini-stop, bakit hindi niyo ipinaglaban. Depende sa rason.

"May mga reasons na hindi na talaga puwede bigyan ng second chance, may mga reasons naman na kailangan bigyan ng second chance."

Pero never pa nangyari sa akin na nakipaghiwalay and then, naging kami ulit, bumalik. Hindi ko pa nae-experience.

How do they deal with breakups?

ZANJOE: Actually, yan yung pinaka-kinatatakutan ko lagi, yung breakup, e. Lalo na yung talagang closure, yung mag-uusap kayo na, 'This is it, tapos na to, di na to magwo-work.' Yun yung pinakaayaw ko sa lahat so hangga't maaari talaga, hangga't puwede ayusin, ayusin.

Pero kailangan mo harapin kung talaga di na magwo-work. Kailangan mong, hindi puwedeng hindi kayo mag-usap about it o wala, basta wag na lang, wala na kayo, wala nang communication, 'O sige, kalimutan na.' 

Hindi pwedeng ganun, e. Kasi bibitbitin at bibitbitin mo yun hanggang sa susunod na relationship mo.

Dapat talaga tapos, mag-usap. Masakit man niyan, sobrang hirap man niyan, kailangan niyong pagdaanan yan. Kasi hindi ka magiging masaya sa susunod kung hindi mo tinapos nang maayos yung past relationship niyo.

What's the best reason to keep a relationship?

ANGELICA: Siguro hangga't kaya, kaya. Pero ikaw naman makakapagsabi nun, di ba? Na parang isang araw, ayoko na talaga. Hindi mo naman yun kayang bigyan ng taning na, 'Sige, isa na lang talaga, isa na lang…' Hindi ako naniniwala dun. Mas naniniwala ako dun sa bigla mo na lang siya mararamdaman na, 'Ayoko ko na.'

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Playhouse actress Angelica Panganiban for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

ZANJOE: Siguro yung memories and yung experiences na lagi niyo babalikan, kung bakit ba nagsimula, kung paano ba nagsimula, kumbaga kung masaya ang pagmamahalan na ito. Lagi dapat babalikan niyo yun, e. 

Kasi para kung ano man yung nangyayari sa present, parang part to ng magiging journey natin bilang partners, so balikan niyo lang nang balikan kung bakit kayo nagsimula.

When is the right time to leave a relationship?

ANGELICA: Parang hindi mo yata masasabi yun na, 'Ayoko na last na to, di ba? Kahit sa alak nga ganun, e. 'Ayoko na, hindi na ako iinom…' 'Tapos bukas iinom ka ulit. Mahirap magsalita ng tapos, e. 

"Kapag ka hindi na healthy, kapag hinihila niyo na yung isa pababa."

Hindi lang sa magboyfriend-girlfriend, pati sa magkakaibigan, sa barkadahan, di ba? Kapagka may isang tao na, 'Oy, parang iba yung trip niya, hindi ganun yung trip natin. Kaysa maghilahan pababa, kausapin natin siya.'  'Huwag siyang ganun, kung gusto niya ituloy yun, hanap na lang siya na ibang friends.' Di ba? Ganun na lang kadali dapat yun ngayon, e.

ZANJOE: Siguro, pag basically nawala na yung trust. Pag lagi ka nang paranoid. Hindi na healthy yun, e, na lagi ka nang nag-iisip kasi wala ka ng tiwala or if one way na lang yung nangyayari sa relationship. Kunyare isa na lang yung mas may gusto nito, di ba?

Playhouse stars Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo for PEP Main Attraction.
PHOTO by Shaira Luna

SHOOT PRODUCER: Nikko Tuazon

PHOTOGRAPHER: Shaira Luna

ART DIRECTOR: Jeremiah Idanan

ANGELICA'S STYLIST: Myrrh Lao To

ASSISTED BY: Carvey Samonte and Zia dela Rosa

ZANJOE'S STYLISt: Gino Valloyas

MAKEUP ARTIST: Monica Reyes (for Angelica)

HAIRSTYLIST: Raven Dizon (for Angelica)

GROOMING: Joshen Vahn Lee (for Zanjoe)

VIDEO TEAM: Rommel Llanes, Sam Navalta, Zoe del Rosario

Special thanks to GMO Entertainment Unit and Rafa Casimiro of ABS-CBN's AdProm

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nikko Tuazon is a lifestyle writer with a strong interest in pop culture, fashion, beauty, and music. Connect with him on Instagram at @mrnikkotuazon.


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