Coco Martin denies walking out on the set of Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin; describes difficulty portraying dual characters

Coco Martin says of his Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin leading lady, Maja Salvador: "Nagbibiruan kami, 'Bakit ganun, habang tumatagal tayong nagkakatrabaho, paganda ka nang paganda?' Siyempre kasi nagiging magkaibigan kayo at nakikilala n'yo ang isa't isa. Nakakatuwa kasi habang nakikilala mo siya, mas gumaganda siya sa paningin mo bilang tao."


Representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) graced the preview of ABS-CBN's upcoming primetime soap opera, Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, held last night, February 23, at the Podium.

Brig. General Jose Mabanta, spokesperson of the AFP, led the military officials who came to watch select episodes of the TV show that depicts the lives of soldiers based in a military camp and rebels residing in the mountains.

Coco Martin, Andi Eigenmann, and Martin del Rosario portray characters who recently graduated from the Philippine Military Academy while Maja Salvador is one of the rebels struggling for revolution.

Cast members of Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin who were present last night were Lorna Tolentino, Ronaldo Valdez, Amy Austria, Tonton Gutierrez, Dante Rivero, Candy Pangilinan, Ronnie Lazaro, and Boots Anson-Roa. Child stars Nash Aguas and Mica dela Cruz, who portray the younger versions of Coco and Andi, also graced the event.

John Estrada, who is scheduled to marry Priscilla Meirelles this weekend, was unable to attend the event.

The children of Ms. Lorna, Rap and Renz Fernandez, also took the time to accompany her to the occasion. Other Kapamilya stars such as Pokwang and Jessy Mendiola also came to support the primetime show that will begin airing on March 7.

BRINGING LIFE TO DUAL CHARACTERS. Coco has the tough job of portraying dual characters in this TV series. He brings life to 2nd Lt. Alexander del Tierro and a long-haired rebel soldier named Javier.

"Ito ang pinakamahirap sa lahat ng soap opera na ginampanan ko," he admits.

"Dual nga ang character ko dito. Unang-una, nagprepara ako sa role ko na military. Sobra ang training na ginawa namin dito at binantayan kami ng totoong sundalo para sa mga tamang kilos ng isang sundalo.

"Bilang rebelde naman, nag-research kami tungkol sa mga rebels. May mga kinausap kami at nag-research ako kung anong klase ang buhay nila.

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"Medyo mahirap ang soap na ginagawa namin at kailangan talagang mag-aral. Hindi lang ito yung dadating ka sa set at a-acting ka lang. Kumbaga, lagi kang dapat handa."

He adds, "Pinakamahirap pag nagtatagpo ang parehong karakter ko. Kapag may fight scene, dalawang beses ko uulitin at hindi yung nag-uusap lang. Hindi ito typical na soap opera na tatlong cameras [ang gamit]. Tatlong beses ko inuulit ang eksena ko. Pag may sequence ako, times three lagi yun."

He revealed that he even worked on one scene for 14 hours.

"Minsan nga gusto ko nang umiyak sa hirap kaso wala akong magawa kasi trabaho ito at kailangan kong tapusin. May isa akong eksena, nag-start ako ng 1 p.m. at natapos ako ng 3 a.m. Ganun siya kahaba."

WALKOUT ISSUE. When asked regarding a blind item that claimed he walked out on the set of Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, Coco explained: "Ay, wala. May isang time nasa Tanay, Rizal kami, sa Camp Capinpin. Dahil bad weather noon at malakas ang ulan, hindi na kami makapag-set up dahil dun. Naaambunan kami at sumama ang pakiramdam ko. Nagpaalam ako sa kanila na hindi ko na talaga kaya.

"Hindi ko naman gagawin yun [mag-walk out]. Ano naman ang karapatan ko para gawin ang bagay na yun?"

ON KISSING SCENE WITH MAJA SALVADOR. Coco and Maja already worked with each other for the afternoon teleserye Nagsimula sa Puso. How is it like working again with Maja for this teleserye?

"Si Maja, pangalawang beses na namin ito nakapagtrabaho. Napaka-professional at napakabait. Ganun din naman si Andi," he says.

Coco and Maja shot a passionate kissing scene while both of them were partially submerged in a river.

"Wala kaming ginawa kundi magtawanan. Kasi nga nagkaka-ilangan pa. Medyo dahan-dahan, medyo matagal na preparasyon yun, lalo na kay Maja. Kapag nagkakaroon kami ng medyo sensitive na eksena, bumubuwelo pa," he recalls with a smile.

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He also says that there is a possibility that he and Maja will shoot a love scene for this teleserye.

Is it possible for him to fall for his leading lady?

The actor recalls a conversation that he once had with Maja. "Nagbibiruan kami [ni Maja], 'Bakit ganun, habang tumatagal tayong nagkakatrabaho, paganda ka nang paganda?' Siyempre kasi nagiging magkaibigan kayo at nakikilala n'yo ang isa't isa. Nakakatuwa kasi habang nakikilala mo siya, mas gumaganda siya sa paningin mo bilang tao."

ON FRENCH ACTRESS ISABELLE HUPPERT. Since Coco was busy for this TV series, he was unable to play the lead role in Brillante Mendoza's indie film titled Prey.

This project would have given him the chance to work with the award-winning French actress Isabelle Huppert.

"Hindi tumugma sa schedule, sa panahon. Siguro someday makagawa kami ng proyekto.

Still, Coco is part of Prey since he portrays a soldier in this indie film about foreigners kidnapped by rebels in Mindanao.

MEETING VENUS RAJ. Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj has openly admitted having a crush on Coco. For his part, the actor feels flattered by her desire to work with him in the future.

"Siyempre, nakakatuwa...nakakalaki ng puso," he says with a smile. "Open naman akong maka-work kasama siya. Kung bibigyan kami ng pagkakataon na magtrabaho, bakit hindi?"

He narrates that he got to meet the beauty queen when she was introduced to him by Kris Aquino.

"Nag-meet na kami, sa Shangri-La. Pinakilala lang kami ni Ms. Kris kaya biniro kami."

SINGLE BY CHOICE. To date, Coco remains single by choice. PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked him about the qualities he is looking for in a girlfriend.

"Gusto ko sobrang simple, yung tipong hindi mo mapapansin na artistahin. Hinahanap ko kasi kung maggi-girlfriend ako this time, gusto ko siya na ang makakasama ko sa buhay.

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"Kaya gusto ko matuon ang atensiyon ko sa lola ko kasi siyempre, nagkaka-edad na... She's 75 years old. Siya ang nagpalaki sa akin."

But is he looking for a girlfriend now?

"Hindi naman ako naghahanap. Mahirap pag hinanap mo. Saka sa panahon na 'to, sa hirap ng trabaho namin, parang ang hirap pasukin ang lovelife dahil nga baka hindi ko rin siya mabigyan ng enough time," says Coco.


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