Tanya Manalang says this veteran actress has always been her idol.
As part of the new upcoming musical Ang Huling El Bimbo, Tanya Manalang said she feels lucky to play the role of Joy who was named after one of the Eraserheads’ most iconic songs “Ligaya”. “I think I was four or five years old when the Eraserheads songs came out. Before, I would just hear their songs on the radio but I never really pondered on the lyrics. Now I’m studying the material for this show, napakalalim talaga ng words actually and I’m very, very excited kasi I’m going to see and hear everything with a different set of eyes and ears. My character Joy is such an open person. She’s so open to love and she’s never selfish with sharing her love and just opening herself up to people. For me it’s better to just wear your heart on your sleeve than to be a stone and that’s what Joy is. She’s very much open,” she shared during the Ang Huling El Bimbo the musical presscon held last April 25 in Resorts World Manila in Pasay city.
Although she has never seen the iconic ‘90s Pinoy band Eraserheads perform live, Tanya said she has been given the privilege of performing a solo number with their hit song “Spoliarium”. “It’s also one of my favorite songs. I don’t know. Kasi sometimes you just to stop the world. Ang daming nangyayari eh. And that song, yung melody pa lang niya makes me calm down and the words and everything. I would love to watch the Eraserheads perform. I listened to their live album and I just pictured myself being there. Sana someday…” she said.
After playing the lead role of Kim in the 2014 London run of Miss Saigon, Tanya admitted she would not have been able to perform as well as she did without getting inspiration from veteran actress Vilma Santos. “Kasi when I did Miss Saigon I didn’t even want to audition. I had a dozen people pushing me to do it. Ako parang takot, ayokong umalis, foreigner yan, ano ba yung culture and everything. I was so scared until one day I said, ‘Fine. I’ll just do it and satisfy everyone.’ It wasn’t even to satisfy myself. So I just did it and nakuha ako. Personal idol ko si Vilma Santos. Siya actually yung inspiration ko for Kim. It’s not any of the ones who played Kim before, it was always the truthfulness of how Vilma Santos would do things. Growing up I would watch her in movies. Napaka-totoo niya kasi, tagos eh. And that’s what I wanted for my Kim so I always thought about her,” she explained.
Ang Huling El Bimbo the musical stars Jon Santos, Gian Magdangal, OJ Mariano, Reb Atadero, Topper Fabregas, and Tanya Manalang. Tickets are now available at the Resorts World Manila Box Office and Ticketworld outlets.