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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.

May 4, 2022



ZOREN LEGASPI plays his most daring role in a teleserye in “Apoy sa Langit” that started airing last Monday and is already rating very high.

“Yes, it’s a special role that doesn’t come by everyday that’s why I’m so excited with it," Zoren says. 

"And I’m working again with Maricel Laxa na nakatrabaho ko na before sa Regal Films about 30 years ago when we were younger. I like my character as Cesar, who gets tempted by a younger woman.”

He says GMA creative was at first in a quandary as to who will play the role of his much younger lover.  

“Yes, sa story con, hirap na hirap silang hanapin kung sino yung gaganap sa role niya. They need a really young partner for me. So when I learned it’s Lianne Valentin, I watched her past works. 

"I usually google my co-workers para alam ko ang kalibre ng trabaho nila. So pinanood ko siya sa past scenes and try to study her, para makita ko ang personality niya at para mabagayan ko kung sino siya. 

"Lalo ito, we will be doing some delicate, sensitive bed scenes. Mainit, nakakapaso.”

At first, he thought Lianne was unresponsive to him. 

“Sa zoom meeting namin, I asked her how old are you and she answered na 20 raw siya. 

"But when I asked her kung alam ng parents niya ang gagawin niyang sensitive scenes, hindi siya sumagot. So sabi ko, ah ganun, ayaw mo sumagot, so that means you’re on your own.”

On the lock in set, they were not assigned to do scenes together right away. 

“The first few days, di ko talaga siya kinakausap. Kaya siya natakot, akala niya ayaw ko sa kanya. Then when we were doing our love scene, nakaramdam ako ng ibang klaseng hinga niya, parang hihimatayin. 

"Pareho kaming very awkward, kasi hindi kami comfortable sa isa’t isa. Naramdaman ko yung takot niya, yung fear, so kinausap ko siya. I talked to her in one corner, sabi ko, kumusta ka na? Magba-back out ka na?” 

Lianne opened up to him and told him her apprehensions. 

“I won’t reveal anymore kung ano details ng mga napag-usapan namin.  Basta I’m trying to build a relationship para sa set hindi kami awkward.  

"Kasi nangangapa talaga siya, e lalo na with Direk Laurice, iba ang style nito. Akala mo magaling ka na, but dapat, you have several options on how you’d interpret a scene, para pag hindi niya gusto, hindi ka matataranta. 

"But Direk Laurice helped us para maalis yung pagka-ilang at mas ma-relax kami sa isa’t isa.”

What can Lianne herself say about her experience working with Zoren? 

“Tito Zoren is very professional as a co-actor. I worked with him in ‘Hindi Nahahati ang Puso’ before, pero never kaming naging magkaeksena. So when I learned siya magiging kapartner ko, kinabahan ako kasi I haven’t acted with him. 

"But I was looking forward to meeting him. Sa first taping day namin, it’s true na natatakot ako kasi I don’t know ano mangyayari sa scenes namin.  

"But it turned out na napakabait pala niya at sobrang generous. Nagbibigay talaga siya kapag kaeksena mo siya, even off cam. At hindi niya kami hinahayaang magutom sa set. Laging may pagkain.”

Zoren turned 50 last January and, although he’s now a golden boy, he looks so much younger than his age.  Some of his contemporaries have faded away but he remains very busy. What is his secret?

“I feel so blessed that I’m still working and active until now. I may sound mayabang, but when I joined showbi when I was a teenager, I know I really want to stay long in this career. so I take good care of myself. 

"I work out, I don’t abuse myself, and I do stuff that will help make me a better actor. 

"I’m so lucky GMA gives me very good projects so I want to thank them for all the opportunity. Hindi naman nila ibibigay yan sa’yo kung hindi nila alam na makakaya mo.”

His two kids, Mavy and Cassy, also serve as an incentive for him to do good. 

“I try to do my best also for our twins. I try to raise my standard sa kasi nag-aartista na rin sila ngayon and I want to give a good example. 

"E, ang nanay nila, napakagaling ding artista. It’s embarrassing kung sila, hindi magiging magaling. 

"And I’m glad that for newcomers who just did their first projects, they got praises naman. Right now, I can say that I’m truly blessed. Career-wise, family-wise, wala kaming problema.” 

Do you believe partners who went stray, like his role in “Apoy sa Langit”, should be given a second chance? 

“Depende kung ano ang nangyari. You can give a second, third chance. But case to case basis. Lahat naman tayo, nadadapa. Hindi ibig sabihin nagkamali siya once, therefore masama na siya. 

"So depende talaga kung gaano kagrabe ang sitwasyon. Pero dapat, hindi siya mag-sorry lang kundi magbago talaga. Kasi kung humingi ng tawad at uulit ka pa rin naman, then you don’t deserve to be forgiven.”