Marina Benipayo ready to be friends with Snooky Serna: "Wala kaming problema with one another."

IMAGE Noel Orsal

With her two sons now young men, former model and beauty queen Marina Benipayo focuses on her acting career: "Ito na kasi ang next phase ng career ko. I want to take to do different roles on TV and, hopefully, I want to do indie films as well."


Sa unang pagkakataon ay nagkaharap sina Marina Benipayo at Snooky Serna.

Si Marina ang karelasyon ngayon ng ex-husband ni Snooky na si Ricardo Cepeda.

Nangyari ang pagkikita nina Marina at Snooky sa cast pictorial ng bagong GMA Afternoon Prime teleserye na Hahamakin Ang Lahat.

Kinabahan nga raw si Marina na makilala si Snooky nang malaman niyang kasama rin ito sa cast.

Lahad ng Bb. Pilipinas Maja 1992, “Limang taon na kami ni Ricardo but I never met Snooky in person yet.

“Not until the pictorial happened, doon lang kami nagkakilala and it was a pleasant meeting.

“Sa totoo lang, I just know her as Snooky Serna.

“She was a child actress, sikat na artista when she was a teenager.

“A good actress, that was all that I knew about her.

“There wasn’t an opportunity na mag-meet kami noon talaga.”

Magkakaroon nga raw ng mga eksena sina Marina at Snooky sa teleserye na pinagsasamahan nila.

Pero ayon kay Marina, “I think wala na kaming awkwardness ni Snooky, kasi hindi na kami strangers sa isa’t isa.

“I want to do scenes with her kasi alam kong magaling siyang artista.

“Ito na kasi ang next phase ng career ko after being a model and a beauty queen.

“I want to take to do different roles on TV and, hopefully, I want to do indie films as well.”

Ang Hahamakin Ang Lahat ang unang teleserye niya sa Kapuso network.

HAPPY KIDS. Sa panayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Marina sa press launch ng teleserye nila, sinabi nitong mas maganda kung maging magkaibigan sila ni Snooky.

Lalo’t tinuturing na rin daw niyang parang mga tunay na anak sina Samantha at Sachi, ang dalawang anak nina Snooky at Ricardo.

“Noon ko pa naman sinasabi na I’m ready to be friends with her.

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“Kasi wala naman kaming problema with one another.

“When their marriage ended, I had nothing to do with it naman.

“I came later sa buhay ni Ricardo, so I have nothing to do with what happened to them.

“That was the past and we want to start fresh.

“And if being friends with Ricardo’s ex-wife will make their kids happy, so be it.

“Okey sa akin 'yon, I’m a very welcoming person.

“Kami ni Snooky, we can be BFFs [best friends forever] for the sake of their kids.

“Her kids, they tell me that Snooky appreciates the love and care na ibinibigay ko sa kanila.

“Sina Sam and Sachi naman, they live with Snooky.

“They just go to our house on weekends kasi mahilig akong mag-plan to go out of town.

“Mababait at matatalino ang mga anak nila and I credit that to both Richard and Snooky,” saad ni Marina.

LOOKING FORWARD. Nagpahinga ng ilang taon sa showbiz si Marina nang ikinasal siya at nagkaroon ng dalawang anak, sina Mark, 21, at Brian, 19.

Kuwento niya, “I got married in 1994… things didn’t go too well, we separated, I raised my boys as a single parent.

“Now that they are both grown up, I am preparing myself na because they will eventually have their own families.

“I decided to get back into acting a few years ago just to have something else to do.

“May business naman kami, but acting is different.

“Parang this is the time that I get to do different roles now.

“Sabi ko nga na acting is the next chapter in my life.

“I already did modelling, became a beauty queen, I worked in the corporate world.

“I became a wife and a mother, yung acting ang hindi ko masyadong na-explore noon.

“Kaya I’m excited with the roles that they are giving to me now and will be doing in the future.”

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LOOKING BACK. Naging teen model at age 16 si Marina and in 1988, she won the modeling contest na Body Shots.

Sa tulong ng fashion designer na si Rene Salud, na-mold si Marina sa pagiging beauty queen at kinoronahan siya bilang Miss Maja Pilipinas noong 1992.

“It opened a lot of doors for me after I was given a beauty title, I modeled here and abroad.

“I was modeling for many designers and I was also doing different product campaigns.

“That was the peak of my career as a model.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if not for my modeling and beauty queen background,” pahayag pa ni Marina.

Noong 1992 nagsimulang pumasok sa showbiz si Marina via Guwapings: First Adventure na nagtampok kina Mark Anthony Fernandez, Jomari Yllana, at Eric Fructuoso.

“Friend ko kasi Direk Joey Reyes, marami kaming mga models na kaibigan niya.

“So when he did Guwapings: First Adventure, he decided to cast models para sa roles ng mga aswang.

“Parang katuwaan lang, so my first role ever was an aswang.

“Wala akong dialogue at puro scary noises lang ang ginagawa ko.

“Nakakatawa kasi every time that movie is shown on cable, my kids would laugh.

“I didn’t realize how funny I looked bilang aswang!” natatawang kuwento niya.

Sa TV, ang unang teleserye niya ay ang My Binondo Girl sa ABS-CBN. Nansundan ito ng Princess & I, My Little Juan, Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin, at Mirabella.

Gumawa rin si Marina ng drama movies tulad ng Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin with Maricel Laxa and Richard Gomez and Binibini ng Aking Panaginip with Ruffa Gutierrez and Jayvee Gayoso.


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