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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 10, 2021



DIEGO LOYZAGA started his career exactly ten years ago when he returned from Australia and joined the cast of “Mara Clara” in 2011. 

He did other soaps like “Pangako Sa’Yo” and “Pusong Ligaw”. His last soap was “Los Bastardos” on ABS-CBN in 2018, during which time, he had a meltdown and took a leave from showbiz. 

He is now making a comeback in the TV5 romantic drama series, “Encounter”, and in its zoom presscon, he was asked about what happened to him, but he chose not to elaborate in detail about it anymore. 

“I just needed a break, a much needed break,” he says. “May saying na if you’re having… if it’s too much, it’s always better to take a break than force it. 

"I just really needed to take a break, tp reflect on what I want to do in five years, in ten years. What career path I want to take. 

"I wanted to go back to my studies, stuff like that, so it was just time to reflect. And I can say that it was a long enough break and now I’m ready to work again. 

"I’m so glad to be back working and I want to thank Viva and TV5 for this good project where I’m paired with Cristine Reyes for the first time.”

“Encounter” is a local adaptation of a hit Koreanovela and is a co-production venture between Viva, Cignal and Sari-Sari. So how is it working with Cristine who’s noted for being a “maldita” before? 

“I didn’t experience it,” he says. “She’s nice to me from Day 1. Wala kaming workshop dito at all, e. 

"Shoot na agad at nag-click agad kami sa music that we listened to together and in watching the sunset in Ilocos that is a big part of the love story of the characters we’re playing, Selene and Gino.”

How is it doing their love scene? “It was my first intimate scene. It’s okay. Si Direk Jeffrey Jeturian trusted us, pinabayaan lang kami. He didn’t give any detailed instructions and I think we did good naman.” 

In the story, Cristine as Selene is rich and owns a hotel where Diego applies to work. 

“My family here are fruit vendors. Gino is a free-wheeling guy. He believes you’d find the right person at the right time and place.

" He then meets Selene in Ilocos not knowing ito pala ang magiging boss niya sa job niya sa Manila. 

"In Ilocos, they met without labels, they get to like each other without him not having any inkling that Selene, who’s first marriage ended in separation, will be his future boss.”

Does he really watch Koreanovelas? 

“I watch more their movies than TV series. I just watched ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Sweet Home’. But Cristine and I, we both watched ‘Encounter’. It’s a must before we started the shoot. 

"I’m so happy to be working again. I feel good and I learned a lot from Direk Jeffrey. I’m really happy with this project. I made a lot of new friends.” 

What would he say is the biggest encounter he made in his life? “There are two that had a big impact in my life. First is when I met my dad (Cesar Montano) for the first time when i was young. Then when I met my girlfriend, Barbie Imperial.”

Direk Jeffrey is asked how he’d size up the chemistry between Diego and Cristine. 

“Maganda ang chemisty nila,” he says. “It works, we watched their scenes together at kinilig kaming lahat. Ibang-iba ang Cristine na inyong mapapanood dito kasi hindi siya the usual kontrabida or hindi siya naga-action. 

"Bida siya rito at mabait siya. She’s more mature now and very professional. Diego’s edge naman is his freshness, his youthfulness, and we capitalized on that. They both perform very well in their respective roles.”