After finally being offered a starring role in an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya this month, actress Karina Bautista said she felt honored to be part of the long-running drama anthology which just celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. In the episode Love Ko ‘To, Karina and her love team partner Aljon Mendoza play a young couple named Theza and John who start their love story while both working in a fast food chain.
“Ako dito si Theza ang asawa ni John pero bago pa nun ako ay isang working student kaya ako nagtatrabaho sa fast food chain and I am from a poverty stricken family kaya ako sobrang sipag. I am very giving to my family dahil gusto ko ibigay yung mga bagay na wala sila. Pangarap kasi yun ng lahat ng anak, ang maibigay ang buhay na gusto nila para sa mga magulang. Pero dito kasi, my mom is suffering from post-partum depression and we are a very big family so buo naman kami pero ang dami kong kapatid. That is why kung magtrabaho ako dito nagmamadali and parang laging may hinahabol. Kaya nandiyan si John para suportahan siya sa journey niya dito,” Karina shared during the MMK mediacon last February 8.
Unlike her love team partner who has been part of previous MMK epsiodes, Karina said her first time doing heavy drama is a welcome challenge for her.
“This is my very first MMK ever so I’m very excited. At the same time kinakabahan ako kasi andun yung kagustuhan ko na maging maganda talaga yung resulta ng gagawin ko. Pero of course nandun naman yung tiwala ko sa aking directors, sa aking mga co-actors and my motivation is that siyempre this is a story of a real life person. Napakagandang kuwento and siyempre gusto ko naman bigyan ng kulay yung binigay nila sa aming opportunity na i-portray sila sa MMK na ‘to. It’s just so beautiful to be someone else and apparently yung personality ni Theza dito is almost the same as me when it comes to life. Siyempre different circumstances sa ibang aspects in life pero parang yung motivation and drive ni Theza nakaka-relate ako. I really hope I do good,” she admitted.
Karina shared how she was able to relate her latest onscreen role and give the character more justice.
“Si Theza kasi where she started is yung family niya is from a poverty-stricken family so talagang nandun yung social class niya. Ako naman different naman. Hindi naman ako dun nag-start. Pero we’re both really hardworking and ang pinagkaiba namin siyempre yung personality ng bawat member ng family namin. Pero pag binasa mo yung script may mirroring talaga and I think kasi yun mirror ko with my mom also mirrors Theza and her mom as well. You find similarities and differences. Yung biggest difference lang dito siguro ni Theza ay pinili niya na buhayin talaga yung family niya and although I’m independent right now yung responsibilidad niya sobang mas mabigat,” she said.
After playing supporting roles in previous projects, Karina said she and Aljon both feel ready to headline their own MMK episode this year. The teen actress credited her experience in the primetime series Viral Scandal for helping prepare her to do heavy drama this year.
“Siyempre may pressure na magawa mo yung best mo pero isa na rin sa preparation ko ay hindi mag-overthink. Sabi nga ni ate Jane (Oineza) ‘To let the magic happen on the set and not be close-minded na ito lang gagawin ko. So let it flow kapag nangyari na.’ Masasabi kong totoong aktres ka na talaga pag hindi ka na umaarte, yung ganun. When you’ve come to the point na you’re actually the character. Kasi the first times I’ve been acting lalo na sa Sandugo, it was in me na umaarte ako. Pero after that naman you eventually learn na to act is not really act but to feel and be in the shoes of the character. So bago pa man ito,Viral Scandal was a big help to me. Pero ang pinagkaiba lang talaga, VS kasi it’s a teleserye so parang I get to learn more and more kapag mas nag-po-progress yung show, dito kasi mas konti ang taping days and it’s just one MMK episode so kailangan ibigay ko na within that span of time. Kung hindi wala na there’s no more chance na bawiin unlike Viral Scandal. So siyempre nandun yung kaba pero I see Theza in me as well so feeling ko makakatulong rin yun as well,” she explained.
Watch Karina Bautista and Aljon Mendoza in the MMK episode Love Ko ‘To as a young couple, Theza and John, who will attest that love wins despite differences in social classes on February 26 (Saturday) directed by Raz dela Torre. Watch “MMK” on A2Z, Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page, and iWantTFC. Outside the Philippines, it is available on cable and IPTV via The Filipino Channel.