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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 29, 2017

Aiko Melendez Feels So Blessed Because She Has No Lovelife, Loves Her Role As An OFW Mom Whose Only Son Goes Astray In Neal Tan's 'Balatkayo'

AIKO MELENDEZ feels so blessed. She’s currently part of a hit TV show,”Wildflower”, where she plays the scheming governor, Emilia, and she has two new movies that are about to be shown. One of these is “Balatkayo”, produced by BG Productions, written by Jason Laxamana and directed by Neil Buboy Tan.

She plays an OFW in Singapore who has an affair with another Filipino, Rico Barrera, while her husband, Polo Ravales, works in Dubai and is also having an affair with another woman, Nathalie Hart. As a result, their son who is left behind in the Philippines, played by newcomer James Robert, went astray and gets involved in a sex scandal.

“I’m really thankful to the Lord for His continued blessings,” she says. “Alam naman Niyang single mother ako working to provide for my two kids, Andrei, who’s first year college and Marthena, who’s in grade 6 in Poveda, and my goal is really to give them a good future.”

So she doesn’t have a lovelife now after she broke up with her foreigner boyfriend? “Halos two years nang wala. Hindi ko naman hinahanap. Kaya nga siguro ako sobrang blessed ngayon. Kasi wala akong lovelife.”

She’s happy to be part of a movie like “Balatkayo” as it is an eye-opener for all those who leave their families to work abroad. “Buong sipag kang nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa para mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang mga anak mo, not knowing na dahil sa wala ka, naliligaw sila ng landas. At ang ibang pang OFW’s, natutukso pang makipag-affair sa iba dahil sa loneliness nila kaya lalong nadadagdagan ang problema nila. So makikita ritong hindi lang pera ang sagot sa mga problema ng isang pamilya. More than material needs, importante yung time, guidance and attention na personal mong maibibigay sa mga anak mo. I’m really happy to be part of this relevant movie.”

How is it working with Director Neal Buboy Tan? “Nakakatuwa siya. Kasi kapag nagba-block siya, basta ka na lang niya hihilahin. Dito ka, dito ka. Noong una, ang tawag pa niya sa’kin, Ara. Sabi ko, Direk, hindi ho ako si Ara, si Aiko ho ako. Sabi naman niya, sorry, sorry. Four days kaming nag-shoot sa Singapore at ang saya-saya namin kahit palihim lang ang pagsu-shoot namin doon.”

We heard she and Ara have kissed and made up after they had a tiff because of their relationships with Jomari Yllana and Mayor Patrick of Bulacan? “Yes, by chance, nagkita kami sa wake ng dad ng writer na si Rommel Placente. Noon, andaming nagta-try na pagbatiin kami but I guess hindi pa time kasi bago pa lang. E now, many years have passed, so it’s the right time na, kaya ako na ang lumapit sa kanya and hugged her, sabi ko move on na tayo. Ngayon, we even text each other.”

Everywhere she goes now, people call her Gov. Emilia because of her role in “Wildflower”. Doesn’t she have any plans of running again for public office because of the popularity of Gov. Emilia? “Sabi ko nga, if elections would be held soon, mananalo ako. Right now, I have offers to run again but I’m still discerning if I’d go back to politics.”

“Balatkayo” will open in theaters nationwide on October 11. Producers Mrs. Baby Go and Dennis Evangelista are very thankful to Regal Entertainment as it’s Roselle Monteverde who is helping them release their movie. Roselle will also help distribute Dennis’ other movie, “The Bes and the Beshies” starring Ai Ai de las Alas.