AJ Perez gave his last and greatest performance as an actor in Maalaala Mo Kaya

AJ Perez did an episode for the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya a few weeks before his death. The said episode will be aired this Saturday, April 30, on ABS-CBN. This will serve as AJ’s final performance as an actor.


"He will be missed. His journey ends and may he rest in peace."

Malungkot ang pananalita sa text message ni Direktor Dado Lumibao, isa sa pinakahuling nakatrabaho ng yumaong aktor na si AJ Perez sa ABS-CBN.

Ito ay sa pamamagitan ng weekly drama anthology na Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK).

Kasalukuyang nasa Manila Memorial Park si Direk Dado nang matanggap ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang kanyang mensahe kahapon ng umaga, April 26—ang araw kung kailan hinatid sa kanyang huling hantungan si AJ.

"We’re here as he goes to his final journey," saad ng direktor sa kanyang text message.

Noong gabi ng April 25, Lunes, ay nagpadala ang PEP ng mensahe kay Direk Dado hinggil sa isasahimpapawid na episode ng MMK sa Sabado, April 30, na tampok si AJ Perez bilang pangunahing aktor.

Kasama rito ng yumaong young actor ang child star na si Bugoy Cariño.

Unang nagbalita sa amin tungkol sa MMK episode ang direktor na si Don Cuaresma, who handled AJ Perez sa katatapos lang na teleseryeng Sabel. Si AJ ang isa sa leading men ng bida ritong si Jessy Mendiola; the other one being Joseph Marco.

"He was so excited with his MMK," sabi ni Direk Dado, regretting AJ’s passing away bago ito maipalabas.

"Sana maraming manood at sumuporta alang-alang kay AJ."

Sina Cuaresma at Lumibao, sa teleserye at weekly drama anthology episode, respectively, ang dalawa sa mga huling direktor na nakatrabaho ng late young actor.

"He was such a dedicated actor. At totoong mabait," dagdag na pagpupuri pa ni Don habang ginagawa nila ang nasabing teleserye.

May mahabang hiwalay na interview rin na ibinigay si Cuaresma sa PEP.

EARLY MMK GUESTING. Sa mga unang taon ng pagbi-buildup kay AJ Perez bilang dramatic actor na nasa pamamahala ng Star Magic, lumabas na rin siya sa isang episode ng Maalala Mo Kaya na idinirek ni Jeffrey Jeturian.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Unang tinanong ng PEP si Jeturian tungkol kay AJ, o ang masasabi niya hinggil sa pagiging aktor ng noo’y baguhan pa lamang.

"Guesting lang yung appearance niya. Too brief for me to have a fond memory," pahayag ni Direk Jeff sa text message niya sa PEP.

"Sa MMK din yun and years ago pa yun. Nag-i-start pa lang yata siya."

Ang episode na may title na "Dalandan" ay isinahimpapawid noong February 22, 2008.

Tampok ang Kapuso star na si Regine Velasquez, bilang si Cathy, at Albert Martinez bilang si Gian.

Ang anak ni Albert sa episode ay si AJ Perez, bilang Harold.

Maganda ang episode na tinampukan ni AJ, with seasoned performers like Regine, Albert, and Christian Vasquez (as the other man in Regine’s character’s life).

Kuwento ng lovers na dalawang beses nagkahiwalay sa kanilang kabataan, at nagkabalikan matapos ang dalawampung taon, bilang patotoo na ang dakilang pag-ibig ay minsan lamang dumarating sa tanang buhay.

Sa maikling buhay at panahon ni AJ, ang pag-ibig naman niya sa kanyang girlfriend na si Steph Ayson ay nagsisimula pa lamang umusbong.

Marami ang nag-express ng kanilang panghihinayang, bukod sa maikling buhay ng young actor, tungkol sa maganda sana niyang lovelife.

"Serious and well-bred" ang mga salitang nabanggit ni Jeturian patungkol kay AJ.

OFFBEAT ROLE. Kakaiba naman sa naunang MMK guesting ni AJ ang matutunghayan ng televiewers sa Sabado, April 30.

Sa direksiyon ni Dado Lumibao, mula sa panulat ni Benson Logronio, the MMK episode is about the love between two brothers who are social outcasts.

"Kasama ni AJ dito si Bugoy Cariño," banggit pa ni Direk Dado.

"It tells the story of two brothers who, out of poverty and having been outcast in the city, had to walk from Manila to Samar in search of better opportunities.

"AJ is the jaded elder brother who thinks his brother is pabigat. But along the way, he learns to love him.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"Ang kalsada ang naging guro nila sa buhay."

Ano ang naging impression ni Dado kay AJ sa kanilang naging pagtatrabaho?

"Nakita ko kay AJ yung passion at dedication niya as an actor. He listens and is very willing to learn. He is focused.

"After each take, he would preview and ask kung nagawa niya ang dapat niyang gawin.

"Sa set, tahimik lang si AJ. It was only during break and after pack-up that we would be able to talk and makakapagkuwentuhan.

"Marami siyang pangarap. Gusto niyang maging mahusay na artista.

"Given the opportunity, sana. I know he will be. Very promising siya."

AJ AS TAONG GRASA. Isa pa ring naging malaking paghamon sa kakayahan ng young actor, noong nabubuhay pa ito, ang papel na naibigay sa kanya ng MMK sa mapapanood nang susunod na episode.

"AJ is very professional," sabi ni Direk Dado.

"Mabait na bata siya at walang kaartehan sa katawan. Walang reklamo kahit dinumihan siya sa katawan at ginawang taong grasa.

"Pinahiga sa madumi. Pinalakad at pinatakbo sa init ng araw, sa ulan. Pinaligo sa malamig na ilog.

"May script revisions sa set, but he was able to memorize his lines.

"Nakakapagod yung taping from Manila to Sorsogon for four days, pero he did it.

"While we travel from one location to another, ang lagkit at napaka-uncomfortable ng pakiramdam. Lalo na sa kanya, na hindi binihisan at hindi nilinis ang katawan!

"But he [AJ] told me, ’It’s okay.’ It’s part of his work as an actor.

"Never siyang inalagaan and pabigat sa set. Ginawa niya lahat ng pinagawa ko sa kanya.

"It’s nice to work with actors who trust you. Isa na si AJ dun."

FINAL APPEARANCE. Direk Dado considers having directed AJ in his final appearance as an actor, via the MMK episode, both a privilege and an honor.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"This MMK episode was first—and would be the last time I had worked with AJ.

"It was a privilege, an honor that I directed him in his final appearance as an actor," sabi niya.

What could have been AJ’s great assets as an actor had the boy lived longer?

"Malaking asset ni AJ ang kanyang mga mata. Very expressive... nangungusap," sagot ng direktor.

"I’ve always told him, ’No extra movements. Just use your eyes to express your emotions.’ And he did.

"Even in death, his eyes were utilized," makahulugang saad pa ni Lumibao.

Ito ay bilang pagtukoy sa kung paano magiging makabuluhan ang pagyao ni AJ dahil sa silbi ng mga cornea niyang papakinabangan ng dalawang nangangailangan.

"At yung timbre ng boses niya. In time, pag natutunan niyang kontrolin ito, he could have been the best actor in his generation.

"Am going to miss him. His last words after pack-up: ’Hope to work with you again, Direk!’

"And I said, happily, ’Yes, we will, soon!’" malungkot na huling sambit ni Direk Dado.


WE RECOMMEND


FROM THE SUMMIT MEDIA NETWORK


SPONSORED CONTENT


COMMENTS

Loading comments

THIS JUST IN