Mamay

Ai Ai finds new role hard to refuse

April 11, 2022 Mario Bautista 191 views

Mamay1AI AI De Las Alas was all set to live in the States but she got an offer from GMA-7 that is just difficult to refuse: playing the title role in “Raising Mamay”, which starts airing on April 25, 3:10 PM, directed by Don Michael Perez and Lynette Zurbano.

“Raising Mamay” is about Ai Ai as Letty, a mother who gets regressive behavioral disorder after being shot in the head and starts acting like a 6 or 7 year old. Her daughter Abigail is played by Starstruck winner Shayne Sava who becomes her mother and takes care of her, kaya “ang ina, naging anak, at ang anak, naging ina.”

Ai Ai says: “My role as Letty or Mamay is my most challenging role ever. Physically, emotionally and mentally draining. We have psychiatrist and neurologist as consultants and I had an immersion program with kids to see how they really behave. It’s a very heartwarming drama, real tearjerker, maiiyak kayo talaga.”

Didn’t she have second thoughts about leaving the U.S. for this project? “No, kasi blessing ito and dapat, hindi tayo tumatanggi sa blessing. Lalo ngayon, maraming walang trabaho, so bakit ko tatanggihan? I’m really thankful sa GMA na binigyan ako ng ganitong role. Ni-research talagang mabuti ng writers ang tungkol sa regressive behavior, ‘yung pagbalik ko sa ugaling bata. Ang mahirap lang talaga, nagkalayo kami ng husband ko kasi naiwan siya sa States, so mag-LDR kami ngayon. Marami kaming luhang naubos bago ako umalis. E, siempre, ito ang alam kong trabaho, so naiintindihan naman niya. After this, babalik na rin ako sa U.S.”

How would she rate Shayne Sava’s acting as her daughter? “Nagulat ako sa bata. Kasi, nakita ko lang siya, sumasayaw at kumakanta. Ngayon ko lang nakitang umaarte. Sabi ko, aba, mahusay pala ang batang ito. Kapag tumanda ito, kakainin kaming lahat sa aktingan. Ang ganda ng kemistri nila ng ka-love team niyang si Abdul, na heartthrob ang dating. Ang cute nilang dalawa and I’m looking forward to the success of their love team.”

Supporting Ai Ai and Shayne in “Raising Mamay” are Valerie Concepcion as Sylvia, the TV host who is Shayne’s real mother; Gary Estrada as Randy, Valerie’s abusive husband; Abdul Rahman as Paolo Ampil, Shayne’s love interest; Antonio Aquitania as Bong Sandejas, Ai Ai’s husband who abandoned her; Ina Feleo as Malou, Ai Ai’s good-for-nothing sister; Joyce Ching as Arma, the understanding road manager of Valerie; Tart Carlos as Wenda, Ai Ai’s supportive friend; Racquel Pareno as mother of Valerie, plus Bryce Eusebio, Ella Cristofani, Hannah Arguelles, Lei Angela and Orlando Sol.

All her co-stars praise Ai Ai for her performance as Mamay. Ina Feleo says: “Nakakaiyak ang character niya. But as her sister, salbahe ako sa kanya at kay Shayne. Habang inaapi ko siya, naaawa ako sa kanya kasi ang galing- galing niya, kaya naiiyak ako.”

Joyce Ching says: “Malaking karangalang nakatrabaho ko ang Comedy Queen. Nakakahawa ang energy niya sa set. At overwhelming ang acting niya, lalo na kapag acting bata na siya. I’m really stunned.”

Tart Carlos says: “Nakakamangha siya kapag uma-acting na siyang bata. E, siya lagi ang ka-eksena ko. Hindi talaga matatawaran ang galing niya.”

Bryce Eusebio says: “Hahanga ka talaga kay Ms. Ai kasi natural lang siya, effortless. Maiiyak ka sa galing niya.”

Hannah Arguelles says: “Working with Ms. Ai is a humbling experience kasi she just gives and gives as an actress. It’s also a learning experience kasi matututo ka just by watching her.”

Ella Cristofani who plays Abdul’s ex-girlfriend says: “Gulat na gulat talaga ako sa kanya kasi she is so committed sa character niya and she is transformed as Mamay.”

Lei Angela says: “Si Ms. Ai, sobrang galing niya. First show ko ito and I’m glad it’s with her kasi I learned so much. As Mamay, iisipin mo talagang bata nga siya.”

Orlando Sol who as Monching holds the secret about the real identity of Shayne Sava: “First time ko to work with Ms. Ai and I’m so honored and thankful. Noong una, na-starstruck ako sa kanya.

Sobrang galing niya, pag nag-shift na ang character niya from matanda to bata, hahanga ka talaga.”

And their director, Don Michael Perez, also has nothing but praises for her. “I told her na siya lang ang naisip naming makakagawa nito kasi ang hirap ng role dahil polarized ang spectrum na dapat gampanan nung character from being old at maging bata. Hindi niya kami binigo, sa set, kahit hindi na take, hindi siya bumibitaw sa role niya, in character siya palagi. Really amazing!”

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