Liza Diño is going to be busy this year as chairman of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
The Philippine cinema is commemorating its 100th year, and FDCP has planned a series of activities to celebrate.
The first was the Film Ambassador's Night, which recognized over 80 artists for their valuable contribution to the industry.
It was held last Sunday, Februrary 10, at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura in Taguig City—and Liza was all over the place to ensure the evening's success.
Three days earlier, at the FDCP press conference, she announced the postponement of her planned pregnancy in June via in vitro fertilization (IVF), precisely for the reason she would be busy in the coming months.
She and her husband Ice Seguerra had gone through the initial process of IVF, and the revised plan was for Liza to get pregnant by December.
The actress said, "I asked Ice kung puwede nang… Kung papalarin kaming magka-baby na ako, I will start in December.
"Kasi, ang dami pa ngang dapat na gawin. Pero super supportive naman siya."
She went on to explain the process of in vitro fertilization.
"There are three phases na pinagdadaanan namin ni Ice right now.
"Yung first stage is yung ma-harvest yung egg [cells] niya. Dahil it's DNA, egg cell na yung gagamitin.
"The second stage is the fertilization itself, where the egg cell meets the sperm cell, and they become an embryo.
"The embryo now turns into a baby. We found a sperm donor.
"And the sperm donor, ita-transport yung vial na yun para ma-fertilize yung egg sa Malaysia.
"Kasi po, may mga ethical issues daw dito sa Pilipinas kaya hindi puwede.
"Nakakalungkot nga kasi, sa sarili nating bansa…" Liza did not get to finish her sentence.
She rued, "There are ethical issues daw na nagsasabing hindi puwede.
"Pag single ka, hindi puwede. Pag same-sex kayo, hindi puwede.
"Religious views of the country, yun ang challenge sa amin."
According to Liza, the third phase would be the implantation of the embryo in her womb.
She said, "Yung third phase is when it gets implanted sa akin, and the baby starts to grow.
"That’s in December, and another nine months.
"Ang implantation, we're deciding kung dito gagawin o pupunta kami ng Malaysia.
"Yung pinaka-fertilization ang pinaka-complicated. So, we’re expecting a baby.
"Kahit na anong gender, basta healthy."
Liza also revealed that they've chosen a sperm donor—a six-footer and look-alike of Liam Hemsworth.
Laughing, she said, "Hindi, type namin yung blue eyes! Ang tawag ni Ice, siya si Superman.
"Kung paano pinili? May profile, para siyang dating website. Blue eyes!"
The height was also important because, "Para makuha yung tangkad.
"Kasi si Ice, di ba, hindi naman katangkaran? Hahaha! Gusto namin, matangkad.
"Caucasian siya. Parang Czech-Russian yung background niya.
"Oo, nag-shortlist kami."
Liza and Ice did the picking through a website.
She explained, "In that website, it just tells you na parang description lang nung donor.
"May picture niya noong child siya. Para makita mo kung ano ang itsura niya noong bata pa siya.
"'Tapos, merong adult picture, so, makikita mo kung ano ang itsura niya ngayon.
"Walang pangalan, pero may description. Halimbawa, 'I'm a chef. Or musician.'
"So, yun yung mga binabasa namin. Para nga siyang dating app, e!
"'Ando'n yung ethnicity niya, medical history, may personality tests silang tine-take.
"Even yung genetic testing, ginagawa nila...
"So, halimbawa, kami, ang hinanap namin, kapareho ng personality ko.
"Para, kumbaga, personality ko, personality ni Ice, kaya chef-musician!
"Chef-musician siya, summa cum laude, he’s into music.
"He plays a lot of instruments 'tapos, he loves to cook so, food for the soul!"
The couple requested for an "anonymous" donor, "Hindi puwedeng mag-meet, e.
"Pero I think he is informed na, 'Your vial is now on its way to Malaysia!' Hahaha!"
And for Liza, she would not have it any other way.
"Kasi, ang hirap, dahil iniisip ko lang, for the child, di ba? There are those responsibilities.
"The very reason why we’ve chosen an anonymous donor, wala kaming legal issues na haharapin.
"I really want this to be an experience namin as a family. Ice is the father. I’m the mother. We have a child. My daughter will be his or her sibling. We want that.
"A normal family experiencing adding children to our family."
Why not a Filipino donor?
"Dati, si Tom Rodriguez," Liza said. "Magkaibigan sila ni Ice."
Tom and Ice were co-stars in ABS-CBN daytime series Be Careful With My Heart.
READY AND ABLE
Liza said everything about their planned parenthood has been manageable so far, including the cost of IVF.
"Dati, akala namin, isang bagsakan lang yung mga milyon [na babayaran]. E, yun pala, in phases siya.
"So, right now, iniisip mo, yung 300,000 pesos, parang kaya naman namin siya, di ba?
"Lalo na si Ice ngayon, puro concerts left and right. So, it wasn’t so hard for us to put together this amount.
"Hindi siya yung parang isang bagsakan.
"So, bagong pag-iipon na naman siya for our next phase. Kasi, I need to work up din, e.
"Kailangang i-prepare rin ang body ko for that."
Is she going to work full-time when she gets pregnant?
"I will go to work as long as I can. And I’m really creating a very good structure at system sa office namin.
"Para talagang maging mas madali yung pag-iimplement ng mga projects namin."
But her baby will be her priority.
"Yes, if my pregnancy becomes high risk. Of course, I will prioritize this, I promised that naman to Ice.
"But, as long as I can serve, I will stay, I will be here sa FDCP. Yun lang talaga ang wish ko.
"Ang dami-dami ko kasing pangarap. And shine-share ko to a lot of people from the industry.
"I'm so grounded in terms of my relationship with them.
"I talk to producers a lot. I talk to the cinemas a lot. I talk to students a lot.
"I get random messages. So, parang yung koneksiyon namin ngayon, nandoon siya.
"Iba ang energy! Yung stress, nanggagaling sa mga negative na tao, kasi, naaapektuhan talaga ako!
"Pero siguro, yun, my work has become a passion. Parang I don’t actually see it as work.
"Sana lang, matapos. Kasi, parang once na trinato ko ito as trabaho lang, doon na ako mai-stress.
"Pero right now, iba yung feeling na you're really connecting.
"You're hoping to make something sa nangyayari sa industriya natin ngayon."
Ice, for his part, wants to be ready for the baby, health-wise and financially.
"My god, actually, Ice has been very diligent in taking care of his body.
"Nagda-diet iyan ngayon, naka-intermittent fasting. Dati, parang hindi siya keen on…
"Basta, kung ano ang dumating na trabaho. Pero ngayon, talagang nag-iisip na kami.
"Kung papaano kami makakapag-ipon. Iniisip namin na baka kailangan namin ng mas malaking bahay.
"Kasi, yung townhouse namin, talagang pang-amin lang.
"So, nararamdaman kong totoong may efforts naman. Totoo na siya!"