Maja Salvador has a soft spot for Overseas Filipino Workers because her mom, Thelma, was an OFW before.
“I was still a kid when she left,” the actress recalled. “Iniwanan niya ako with her sisters na may mga anak na kasing-edad ko, kaya enjoy ako.
“‘Di ko siya na-miss. Besides, I was too young to understand her decision to work abroad, which was because she wanted to give me a better life.”
Maja’s mother was estranged from her dad, Ross Rival, a brother of Philip Salvador, so she did not grow up with him.
So two years passed with Maja not feeling the absence of her mom. Upon her mom’s return, she and her cousins were all excited to receive their pasalubong. All of the kids, including Maja, addressed her as Tita Thelma. This caught her mom off guard and asked Maja to repeat what she said.
When Maja said, “Tita Thelma,” her mom let out a howl and embraced her tightly.
Then and there, her mom decided not to leave the country anymore.
“Kaya kami ng aking nakababatang kapatid (a boy) grew up in her care,” related Maja,
“Kung anu-anong trabaho ang pinasukan niya dito sa Pilipinas, para mabuhay lang kami nang maayos ng aking kapatid.”
Her mom’s experience as an OFW is one of the reasons why she readily accepted to play one of the lead roles in ABS and TFC Studios’ maiden series, “Hinahanap-hanap Kita.”
The digital series, which also includes Geoff Eigenmann, Pepe Herrera, Pamu Pamorada, Hannah Ledesma and Prince Estafan in the cast, shows the high and lows of OFW life.
Ned Legaspi, ABS-CBN Global Content head, said they made sure that the actor met the real person who inspired their character in the story.
“Actually, ‘di naman lahat ng OFWs ay kawawa ang lagay sa ibang bansa,” said Maja, “Most of them are able to realize their purpose in working abroad. They actually are able to give their family a better life. Ang ‘di lang nila ma-take ay ang lungkot na kanilang nadarama na ‘di nila kapiling ang pamilya.”
The reason the series was set in Dubai is because of the number of OFWs in that area.
Roda dela Cerna, production supervisor, explained: “The Middle East kasi, particularly Dubai, ang maraming overseas Filipino. And we are glad they cooperated….”
Directed by Dado Lumibao, “Hinahanap-hanap Kita” was written by Benson Logronio, Ned Legaspi, Josel Garlitos, Kim Lorraine Cruz and April Jalandra.
It’s now being shown in the Middle East and will be available on iWant starting tomorrow, October 5.
Ella Cruz, 23, denies she is secretly married to Julian Trono.
“Dalaga pa ho ako,” she stated. “Hindi pa kami nagmamadaling pakasal ni Julian. Lalo pa nga at we are both doing well in our respective showbiz careers.”
Ella admits she is overwhelmed by her best supporting actress win for her performance in the movie, “Edward,” in the 2019 Cinemalaya Film Festival.
She regrets she was not able to attend because she was not aware of the awards night.
“Pero, nasa akin na ngayon,” Ella stated. “In fact, prominently displayed na ang trophy sa sala ng bahay namin sa Bulacan.”
“Edward,” directed by Top Nazareno, is now being shown in theaters nationwide. The film also stars Louise Abuel, who plays the title role. Ella and Louise have a kissing scene in the movie, which is Rated A by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).
John Lloyd Cruz is doing a guest role in “Culion,” which is intended as an entry for the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2019.
“Culion,” which also stars Iza Calzado, Meryl Soriano, and Joem Bascon, is shot in Palawan, where the Culion Leper Colony was located.
John Lloyd has not had a TV or movie appearance since 2017.
Judy Ann Santos is returning to television via “Starla,” where she is teamed up with Raymart Santiago for the first time.
“Starla,” which is Judy Ann’s first teleserye after ten years, has her playing a lawyer who has an ax to grind against the people in the barrio where she grew up.
Also in the cast of “Starla” is six year-old Enzo Pelojero, Meryl Soriano and Joem Bascon. Tirso Cruz III and Charo Santos-Concio have special roles in the series.
“Starla,” produced by Dreamscape, is directed by Onat Diaz, Darnel Villaflor and Jerome Pobocan.