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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.

Jun 29, 2023



ATASKA MERCADO, a singer and TV host is launched in “Bugaw”, the latest Vivamax drama to stream on July 7. 

Ataska leaves her wholesome and sweet image to do sexy scenes here in her role as a young woman kidnapped and forced into prostitution. So what prompts her to go sexy? 

“I really love acting,” she says. “Half of my life is music since I joined ‘The Voice’, but half of it is films talaga.

"I joined Viva when I was only 13 years old. I played James Reid’s younger sister in ‘Miss Granny’ and I got to sing the song ‘Pangarap Kong Bituin’ there.

"I also played support in ‘How to Love Mr. Heartache’ with Diego Loyzaga. So now, this is just a career move for me.”

Will her family and friends be shocked with what she did in the movie?

“My parents are understanding and supportive as they know I really love to act. 

"Yes, my friends might be shocked but this is my choice and I trust Viva kasi I’ve been with them for 8 years now and I know I’m working with professionals.”

She’s glad when she learned her director will be Yam Laranas. 

“I’ve watched his movies and I really like his work. Nakakatuwa nga kasi Kuya Jay Manalo is in his ‘Balahibong Pusa’ and now, katrabaho ko na siya rito.

"I also watched other Vivamax films to prepare myself in doing mature roles. 

“I’m honored to work with both Direk Yam and Kuya Jay. They’re both very helpful so I’m so happy sila una kong nakatrabaho ko sa first Vivamax project ko.

"It’s so surreal to work with Kuya Jay kasi napakagaling niya talaga. When we started shooting the movie, I came fresh from a heartbreak and I was very vulnerable. 

“Si Kuya Jay, he comforted me and said dapat kayanin ko ang role ko, kasi ito ang gusto kong career. 

"During brktime, he’d give us nina Clifford advice about acting and life in showbiz. Opposite siya ng character niya rito na very bad. 

"In real life, very supportive siya sa newbies na katrabaho niya.”

She’s elated that after the shoot, Direk Yam texted her. 

“He sent me a message saying that I really kick ass and he’s satisfied with my work. Siempre, I’m super happy to hear that coming from someone who I consider as my mentor.” 

She made use of music to help her acting. 

“I felt I had to incorporate music sa acting ko, so I made a playlist of songs to help me emote in my heavy scenes. 

"And it really worked to help me get into the right zone and feel my emotions.”

In “Bugaw”, he plays Lydia, a teenager who is abducted by Ser, the corrupt cop played by Jay Manalo who imprisons her to make a hooker.

She then meets Clifford Pusing as Isaac, a male prostitute, and his Ate Dolores, played by Alexa Ocampo, who is also whore in their town. 

Clifford and Alexa will try to help her. How is it working with them?

“I’m really grateful sila ang nakasama ko sa first movie ko kasi pareho silang mabait. 

"We bonded really well sa location shooting namin in the mountains of Tanay, Rizal na walang wifi kaya kuwentuhan kami during shooting break.

"Alexa really became an Ate to me while si Clifford naman, chill lang. 

"He’s the youngest among us and we consider him our baby on the set. We really became friends and up to now, we still communicate with each other.”