Personal na hinihiling ni 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz na bigyan siya ng challenging roles kapag may gagawin siyang drama series. Gusto raw kasi niyang malayo sa stereotypical roles na kadalasan ay ibinibigay sa kanya noon.
"I want to create my own character based on what role they give me. That's why when they give me roles in television, I always ask kung ano ba ang role ko," sabi ni Gloria nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa presscon ng Beauty Queen last week.
"Kung tulad pa rin ng dati ang ipapagawa nila, I will give a suggestion para lang mabago nang konti. Usually kasi, they give me roles na sosyal, Ingglesera, paminsan-minsan mistress ako. I've done all those roles before kaya I want something different.
"Mas gusto ko kasi na para akong palengkera, yung mataray, at yung maiinis ang mga tao sa akin. Just like what I did in my last teleserye sa GMA-7, Diva. That's very different, di ba? Malayo sa totoong personality ko. But I create my own version of that role.
"I really want to do roles like that na kapag makita ako ng tao, they will react to my what I am doing on television. Either mainis sila sa akin or tarayan din nila ako.
"Matutuwa ako kasi it only means that I am an effective actress. Nabobola ko sila sa pagganap ko."
POWERFUL WOMAN. Sa bagong primetime series ng GMA-7 na Beauty Queen, ginagampanan ni Gloria ang papel ni Madame Yuri Sandoval, isang powerful woman at organizer ng Bb. Isla Pilipinas beauty pageant kunsaan sasali sina Iza Calzado, Maggie Wilson, at Katrina Halili.
"It's another role that I am sinking my teeth in," pagmamalaki ni Gloria.
"To play a powerful woman like Yuri Sandoval is such a big challenge again for me. She's mataray and very matapobre. I look down on some people kasi nga rich and powerful ako sa tingin ng maraming tao.
"But there's a back story to my character naman. I will still have a heart for some of the contestants. May certain background ang role ko that would make people understand why she is so mataray and so cynical. They will find that out in the series as it goes on.
"Another character of Yuri is she is such a pakialamerang mother of Marc [played by TJ Trinidad]. She wants to make decisions for him, kahit na sa babaeng mamahalin niya.
"I played a pakialamerang mother na before sa movie. Like what I did in Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo. That was funny. Pero dito sa Beauty Queen, it's more on drama kasi nga it's Joel Lamangan directing.
"Si Direk Joel kasi, he wants iyakan and sampalan. But he can inject a touch of humor to it."
FROM BEAUTY QUEEN TO ACTRESS. Isang award-winning actress si Gloria. Nagpakita na siya ng kahusayan sa pag-arte sa mga pelikulang Batang Westside, Jose Rizal, Nasaan Ka Man, at Sagrada Familia.
Isang bagay ito na hindi naisip ni Gloria na makakamit niya nang pasukin niya ang showbiz noong 1974 via her debut film Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa.
"I entered showbiz five years after I became Miss Universe," pagbabalik-tanaw ng beauty queen turned actress. "I was always traveling that time.
"Hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko. Naisip ko ngang mag-apply for a job. But I didn't finish anything. I didn't finish college. Kaya I was always thinking of what I will do with my life.
"It was not until I was offered to do a movie with Celso Ad. Castillo. That was Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa. That film changed my life completely.
"Lagi ko namang sinasabi na when I entered showbiz, I knew nothing. I never watch local movies, I don't know the tsismis and I hardly knew any artistas noon. I could not even speak straight Tagalog.
"The very first Tagalog movie I saw was Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara [1974 film starring Susan Roces] because Direk Celso asked me to watch it before we start shooting his movie.
"Though I didn't understand what sindak meant, I liked the movie and how Celso directed it. Kaya I said yes to the movie he offered."
Dagdag niya, "I thought that showbiz was one big party. I thought shooting was just a picnic. Hard work pala ito lahat. Kaya I learned through the years.
"If I wasn't doing anything right, siguro naman ay hindi ako magtatagal sa business na ito. I learned it the hard way and I survived it."
Nagpapasalamat nga si Gloria dahil kahit na marami nang mga bagong artista at beauty queens na naging artista na rin, hindi pa rin siya nakakalimutan ng maraming tao.
"I still believe that I am lucky," sambit niya. "Imagine, ilang dekada na ako sa showbiz, pero people still recognize me.
"I'm not the type na parating nasa mga showbiz events. I rarely go to awards night except kung nominated ako. I rarely go to big showbiz parties kasi I'm not a party girl talaga.
"But I love it when people know me and say, 'Ay, si Miss Universe!' I still get that every time and I enjoy that kind of attention.
"I also like to thank the people behind these TV shows that I am a part of. Kasi kahit na there are actresses na mas magaling pa sa akin umarte, kinukuha pa rin nila ako.
"I'm not without a job parati. I mean, what do you call that, di ba? It's what I call luck talaga. Suwerte lang talaga siguro ako," ngiti pa niya.
ADVICE TO ISABELLA. Kaya nga parati niyang pinapaalalahanan ang kanyang anak na si Isabelle Daza na maging thankful sa mga blessing na dumarating.
"I always remind Belle that she should always be thankful and be appreciative sa mga blessings. And never complain if she has work.
"Kahit hindi niya gustong magtrabaho on that day, she still has to smile and be professional and be on her toes. Always think na she's lucky kasi napili siya out of the many beautiful girls out there. That's called luck.
"Always be thankful that you have luck by your side and people will love you more if you are doing your job right. It's good that you listen and learn," pahayag ni Gloria.