Angelica Panganiban plays with aplomb her first ever mother role.
On “Playhouse,” the actress is Patricia “Patty” Calumpang, a ninang-turned-legal guardian to Robin John Cortes, after his biological parents died in an accident. She was also forced to reunite with her ex-husband Marlon Ilaban to justify the guardianship.
At a press conference, Angelica revealed she’s having separation anxiety now that the series nears finale. Her co-stars Zanjoe Marudo, Maxene Magalona, Isabelle Daza, Kisses Delavin, Donny Pangilinan, and JJ Quilantang, nodded their head as she was saying it.
“When you work with the right people, everything becomes easy,” she shared. “We thought ‘Playhouse’ would just be a job but we all ended up being friends in real life.”
‘Goodbye’ for real
One of the most kilig moments for fans was when Carlo Aquino, Angelica’s ex-boyfriend, joined the show.
He played Harold, a doctor who first encountered Patty when he saw her crying in the rain after her breakup with Marlon. Their romance eventually became the main focus of the show.
Unfortunately, in one of the show’s episode last February, the ex-couple parted ways all over again (at least in the story), with their respective characters exchanging apologies and bidding the other goodbye.
“Gusto kong malaman mo na gustung-gusto ko na tayaan ’yung tayo,” the character Patty told Harold. “Pero gusto ko rin kasing maging fair sa’yo. Hindi naman p’wedeng sapat lang ’yung pagmamahal na ibibigay ko sa’yo kasi minsan ’yung sapat, kulang.”
She went on: “Sorry kung pinaghintay kita, sorry kung umasa ka. Ako rin, naghintay. Ako rin, umasa. Umasa akong magbabago ’yung nasa puso ko, pero hindi pa, eh. Baka hindi na.”
Apparently, that scene – those lines – got way too real for the viewers.
As many of the fans know, the past months have been a rollercoaster ride for the two. The onscreen partnership stirred hope for reconciliation even behind the camera, until Angelica declared her intention to distance herself from him.
Early January, she revealed their rekindled “relationship” – which began when they displayed sweetness following their onscreen reunion in 2018 for the film “Exes Baggage” – was “ruined” by negativity and too many expectations.
It was also the time when Carlo was spotted on a date with a model.
In an interview after the “Playhouse” presscon, Angelica categorically stated that she and Carlo are no longer friends, contrary to his claim.
“It’s been a while since we communicated with each other,” she admitted.
The actress candidly said she regrets everything that happened and that she was “disappointed.”
Asked if she felt Carlo led her on, or if she actually hoped for them to become an item again, Angelica said: “That’s what he said — umasa daw ako. So…”
The 32-year-old refrained from commenting on allegations that Carlo supposedly used her to advance his career.
“That’s hard to answer. I need to analyze it first,” she said.
On whether a third party caused their falling out, she reiterated: “I don’t want to answer that. It won’t help any person.”
In the end, Angelica maintained she would rather not work again with Carlo anytime soon.
“Only time can tell (if that would happen).”
Despite all the heartbreaks, Angelica claimed she’s always ready to fall in love again.
Carlo, as of this writing, has remained mum on Angelica’s assertions.
Angelica also responded to netizens who discuss her past relationships.
There’s this thread about her ex-boyfriends Derek Ramsay and John Lloyd Cruz, wherein the naysayers referred to Angelica as “laspag” (used up).
Angelica calmly answered and told the netizens to stop pulling other women down.
“It’s not right to say bad things about your fellow women. I have the right to speak about that. You are a woman, yet you degrade a fellow woman. I think calling them out was the right thing to do,” she said.
On another topic, Angelica expressed sadness over the death of her good friend, comedian Chokoleit.
She recalled their fondest memory together.
“He likes to take pictures with me, and I keep on telling him: ‘Ayoko nga, ang baho mo!’” she laughed. “Then there’s one time in Italy where he was mistaken at the hotel as a beggar.”
Then straightening up, she said, “I will definitely miss him.”
Going back to “Playhouse,” the other cast shared the life lessons they learned in doing the series.
Isabelle as Lea Beltran: “Trust your intuition. Sometimes we doubt ourselves; we tend to second guess the right thing to do. So it’s better if we just learn to trust our own.”
Maxene as Natalia Cortes-Smith: “It’s never too late to change. No one’s perfect but if you really want to be better, you just need to do that.”
Zanjoe as Marlon Ilaban: “Love unconditionally.”
Kisses as Sheila Ubaldo: “Life is too short. Love all you can.”
Donny as Zeke Domingo: “Never stop fighting for family.”
Kisses and Donny said being part of the series is one of the most unforgettable moments in their career.
“Playhouse” also has its own spin off titled “ZEKEling Maging SHIELA,” an iWant original series that features the love team of DonKiss, which has been raking views since its launch.
Completing the cast are Kean Cipriano, AC Bonifacio, Ariella Arida, Dexter Doria, Nadia Montenegro, Ingrid Dela Paz, Jomari Angeles, Malou de Guzman, and Smokey Manaloto.
“Playhouse” airs Mondays to Fridays on ABS-CBN’s PrimeTanghali noontime block.
Maxene assured fans brother Elmo Magalona is doing well.
Note that October last year, Elmo was embroiled in controversy for allegedly physically hurting his one-time screen partner, Janella Salvador.
Since then, the actor has kept a low profile.
“This is what my dad kept telling on us. We’re not different even though we are celebrities. We also experience these kinds of issues. I think, it’s a chance for Elmo to grow as a person,” Maxene said.
According to her, the actor has become closer to God now.
“As an ate, I always do my duties to them. I know in these times, we need to be there to support him, to encourage him and to always be positive. I’m glad that he’s doing okay.”