After her role in the musical film Emir, singer-actress Dulce takes on a different kind of challenge with the role of Dona Digna Buenaventura in the TV adaptation of the 1968 movie Juanita Banana. In the series, Dulce’s character plays a nouveau riche (newly rich) woman who seeks to make life hard for Juanita, played by newcomer Bianca Manalo. “Ang saya lang nung role. Nung una, yung fear ko is kung kontrabida kasi for a long time pinag-iingatan ko na kilala ako as a seryosong singer tapos ngayon magiging kontrabida. Pero it turns out naman pala na hindi siya yung hardcore na kontrabida. There is a reason behind it kung bakit siya nagiging ganun umarte. May story. Kung titingnan mo, nakakaawa nga sya kasi parang she’s just trying to be a kontrabida when hindi naman talaga ganoon. At saka kasi ang alam lang ng tao kumakanta ako, ang majority naman sa bansa natin hindi alam na may teatro ka at konti lang naman yung nakakanuod sa ganun, parang iba daw na makita akong ganun. So it will be refreshing kasi malalaman nila na puwede pala ako maging funny,” she explained during the Juanita Banana thanksgiving lunch held last November 8 at the ABS-CBN compound.
The veteran singer and stage actress admitted that she was surprised to be offered a role in the hit afternoon series. “Nagulat ako na binibigyan ako ng role (laughs). First, I decided to accept it depending on whether my husband approves of it. Kasi as a Christian, in the divine order of things, you need the approval of your husband. ‘Pag okay yung husband mo, wala kang struggle. I’m a born again Christian. Kung madali niyang tinanggap, naging magaan sa kanya, magiging magaan. Hindi yung gusto ko lang. Ang saya-saya ko kasi ang babait ng mga kasama ko sa cast. At saka ang gagaling ng mga director namin. Bago sa akin ito eh. After 32 years in the recording business since I started in 1978, dati takot ako magkaroon ng ganito so masyang-masaya ako ngayon na I’m part of this,” she explained.
Dulce admitted that she also enjoys working with her other Juanita Banana co-stars like Bianca, Katya Santos, Rey “PJ” Abellana, Lito Pimentel, Matt Evans, and Rodjun Cruz. “Lahat sila mababait. Yung mga bata mababait din eh. Palibhasa comedy ito kaya walang naging mabigat. Masaya lahat,” she said.
Dulce also shared that even if she gets typecast as a kontrabida, she has no reservations playing those kinds of roles. “Hindi ako natatakot maging kontrabida. Siguro in every role, like kung ano man ang susunod na mabibigay, bibigyan mo rin sya ng ibang flavor. Sa bawat ibang character, pumapasok ka dun. So yung character na ginagampanan mo, yun talaga yung nakikita ng tao,” she said.
The singer also had something to say about the fact that she has been in the business for 32 years now. “Hindi ko na malaman paano kayo pasasalamatan. I’ve been here since 1978, since I was 16 years old and parang nakikita ko pa rin sila, yung fans ko, nandiyan sila. Lalo na yung mga members of the press and I’m very thankful kasi through the years, hindi nawala yung suporta nila. Hindi nawala yung respeto nila sa ‘yo and I believe na even ngayon na gumagawa ako ng kontrabida roles, they’re intelligent enough to know that I’m playing a role. And nandun pa rin yung respeto sa ‘yo,” she said.
As a born again Christian, Dulce shared the secret to her success, “You know what, lagi nga ‘pag tinatanong nila ako ng ganyan, I always say God is my secret. God is no secret. When God is i