Comedienne Eugene Domingo's latest comedy sitcom with TV5, titled Inday Wanda, reminds her of the shows she grew up watching as a kid.
"I'm very excited about this project na maipalabas kasi parang nanumbalik sa akin 'yong mga gustong-gusto kong panoorin nung bata ako. Naalala ninyo 'yong mga Kaluskos Musmos, Kulit Bulilit? It's very, very wholesome, very, very entertaining para sa buong pamilya... Napakagandang alternative nito for the viewers na naka-focus sa soap opera. Baka gusto nilang subukan ito, very light naman," said Eugene to the entertainment reporters at the press conference of Inday Wanda held earlier today, July 21, at Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City.
TV5 is co-producing the said program together with Unitel Productions. Inday Wanda was the brainchild of Filipino animator Nelson "Blog" Caliguia and will make its television debut on September.
Eugene said that the concept was first presented to her by Unitel big boss Tony Gloria during the story conference of the film Working Girls last year.
Recalled the box-office comedienne: "Pinakitaan niya [Tony Gloria] ako ng envelope na may animation ni Blog. Original Pinoy comics ito kumbaga. Tapos nakita ko 'yong hitsura ni Inday Wanda and sabi ko, 'Opo Mr. Gloria, gusto ko 'tong si Inday Wanda.' Binili ni Mr. Gloria 'yong rights tapos kinausap niya ang TV5 para mabigyan sila ng oras."
THANKFUL TO BOTH NETWORKS. Being identified more with GMA-7, many are wondering how Eugene was able to cross over to the Novaliches-based station without encountering the same problem experienced by fellow actors.
All the competing networks are reportedly implementing strict policies on their respective talents to protect exclusivity rights. Just recently, radio and television personality DJ Mo Twister got embroiled in a legal controversy after allegedly failing to honor contractual terms with GMA-7 before signing with TV5 to host a showbiz talk show.
"FYI lang, ang kontrata ko sa GMA ay per project," clarified Eugene. "Ang limitations lamang ay dapat hindi parehong genre at hindi parehong timeslot. And for that, I really appreciate Ms. Wilma Galvante and the management of GMA-7 for listening to me as an artist. Naiintindihan nila kung saan ako nanggagaling, kung ano ang nasa puso ko. Kaya pala Kapuso kasi nakikinig naman sila kaya natutuwa ako na binigyan nila ako ng chance na hindi na mahirapan pa sa pagpapaliwanag."
She continued, "Ako po ay nagbibigay ng serbisyo bilang artista lamang. Nagpapasalamat ako sa both networks, sa Kapuso at Kapatid, kasi bukas na bukas ang pag-iisip nila. Natutuwa naman ako dahil naiintindihan nila na ang gusto kong maging malayang artista. Ang importante lang naman diyan ay meron kang delicadeza. Huwag kang gagawa ng palabas nang sabay, 'no! Tapos parehong-pareho! Ganun lang 'yon, kunsiderasyon at delicadeza."
MAKING A NAME. Eugene's commercial success as a comedienne never fails to draw comparison to the achievements of Ai-Ai de las Alas.
Being mentioned in the same breath as the "Comedy Queen" is a big honor, according to Eugene.
"But you know, she's always ahead of me. Nauna siya talaga and for me, she is the Comedy Queen. Ako naman, wala akong mga title-title, okay na sa akin na nagagawa ko 'yong mga project na gusto ko. Pero iba siya [Ai Ai], iba 'yong training, iba 'yong tipo ng ginagawa at iba rin naman ako."
Eugene—who will be celebrating her 39th birthday this Friday, July 23—hopes to be recognized as a versatile actress in the future and not merely as a funny woman on screen.
"Gagawin ko po ang lahat hindi lang comedy. Puwede rin po akong mag-drama 'pag nabigyan ng tamang proyekto dahil nga ganun ako kalikot at ganun ako ka-open sa lahat. 'Yong passion ko tsaka 'yong interest ko sa lahat ng kaya kong gawin ay gusto kong gawin," mentioned Eugene.
The comedienne admitted feeling uncomfortable at times every time she would hear people complimenting her work. But she also confessed appreciating the kind words being accorded to her by colleagues, the public, and the media.
"Tatanggapin ko po na sa dami ng sumusugal o nagtitiwala, yes, nararamdaman ko po na wala na akong dapat pang ireklamo. Tatanggapin ko at nagpapasalamat ako... Yes, heto na po ako. I have arrived!"