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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.

Mar 8, 2021



CRISTINE REYES is back on TV with Viva’s production of “Encounter” with TV5 and Cignal Entertainment. 

This is a remake of a hit 2018 Korean series that starred Song Hye Kyo and Park Bo Gum and was shown on ABS-CBN in 2019. She is paired for the first time with Diego Loyzaga. What is her first impression of Diego?

“We first met sa engagement party ng sister ko (Ara Mina),” she says. “He was introduced to me by his mom, Teresa Loyzaga. I found him very charming. Tapos, heto, magkatrabaho na kami sa ‘Encounter’.”

So how is it working with him? “He’s my first screen partner that I’m very nice to. Kasi sa iba, I’m very maldita.”

Their director, Jeffrey Jeturian, confirms this. 

“Totoo, ibang-ibang na siya rito,” says Direk Jeffrey. “I worked before with her nung maldita pa siya, kaya when I was told siyang artista ko rito, sabi ko, naku, mamomroblema yata ako. But I was surprised kasi she’s more mature now, more professional and more considerate of her co-workers.”

So how did she change and become more mellow? 

“Siguro you just grow as a person, you have to learn how to be better and don’t just get stuck there. When it’s not good, why will you stay there? So it’s a progress for me that i’m working on. Also, when I had my daughter, Amara, then I became a big single mom, I had to work harder and I know I had to change.”

Has she watched the original “Encounter”? 

“Yes, napanood ko. I really watch K dramas. Marami na kong napanood. Very challenging itong ‘Encounter’ one of the biggest hits, highest rated series in Korea and two of the biggest Korean stars ang mga bida.”

What’s her role? 

“I play Selene Cristobal, isang dating artista who married a business tycoon na galing sa isang family of hoteliers. She has to give up her career pero naging very controlling, very manipulative yung family nila and si Celine, nawala ang pagkatao niya.”

Eventually, she decided to split from her husband. 

“Nag-separate sila ng asawa niya, but her mother in law asked her na akuin niya ang kasalanan ng divorce nila para hindi masira ang reputasyon ng family nila. 

"In return, I asked for a hotel bilang kapalit as alimony and I became successful in reviving it. Nagkaroon pa ito ng ibang branches, but yung ex-mother in law niya, naging bitter.”

So how did she meet Diego in the story?  

“Si Selene, she goes to Ilocos to buy a property for a new hotel. She meets Diego there by chance, they had a spark between them, without knowing na magiging empleyado pala niya si Diego sa hotel niya nang mag-meet sila uli sa Manila. E, ako as Selene ang boss niya roon.”

Did they make alterations to the original “Encounter”? 

“Siempre, we have to put some touches to make it our own version. Yung original was shot in Cuba, but due to the pandemic, may travel restrictions and we cannot go abroad, so it was shot in Subic and Ilocos.”

Why Ilocos? It’s Direk Jeffrey who replies: 

“Kasi there’s a lighthouse in Cape Bojeador in Burgos, Ilocos Norte na napakaganda ng sunset. E, very important ang sunset sa story. We also shot it sa Bangui Wind Farm with its windmills.”

She’s been separated from her husband Ali Katibhi for some years now. Does she have a new love life? 

“In love lang ako sa work ko. I loved doing ‘Encounter’ at nakakawala ng pagod after napapanood ko ang scenes na kinunan namin. So abangan nyo ito as we really did out best to come up with a good drama love story.”

“Encounter” also stars Gardo Versoza, Kean Cipriano, Isay Alvarez, Robert Sena, Yayo Aguila, Maricel Morales and Ivan Padilla. It starts airing on Saturday, March 20, 8 PM. 

Catch-up episodes  will also air every Sunday, 9PM starting March 21 on Sari Sari Cignal TV CH. 3 and SatLite CH. 30. “Encounter” can also be watched Live and On-demand via Cignal Play App.