ASHLEY Diaz gets her biggest break playing the lead role in Viva’s new horror film, “Mary Cherry Chua”. Ashley is the 18-year old daughter of Joko Diaz and she was introduced in the TV series “Di Na Muli” where she was paired with Andre Yllana, the son of Aiko Melendez and Jomari Yllana.
“I am so grateful to Viva for giving me this break, this opportunity,” she says. “Excited din ako kasi I am working with my father para malalapitan ko agad siya kung kailangan ko ng tulong.”
And what advice has Joko given to his daughter so far? “Konti lang kasi magaling siya at matalino,” says Joko. “Always be professional, don’t be late on the set. Try to be nice to everyone at dapat intindihin mo sila kasi hindi lahat kasinggaling mo. She has to enjoy work.”
“Mary Cherry Chua” is written and directed by Roni S. Benaid, a creative supervisor in Viva who has previously directed the 2018 horror flick, “Poon”, starring Glydel Mercado. It is based on a popular urban legend circulating since the early 2000s. Mary is said to be an intelligent young student who was raped and killed by the school janitor. It is said that her spirit still wanders in the school premises.
In 2003, a horror story about Mary Cherry Chua was published in the 2nd book of TRUE PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES. In 2017, Viva released a pop-fiction about Mary Cherry Chua. Now, we have a new retelling on the big screen of this famous school urban legend.
Mary Cherry Chua (Abby Bautista) is a student back in the 60s from a prestigious school. A cheerful young girl with long black hair, Mary Cherry Chua has it all – she’s beautiful, rich, and smart.
She is adored and envied by many and is known as their school’s Miss Popular. But her seemingly perfect life is cut short when she is found lifeless on their campus grounds and declared to have been raped and murdered.
In the present, Karen (Ashley Diaz), a high school student who enjoys reading horror stories and urban legends, is so intrigued about Mary Cherry Chua’s life that she decides to re-open the case to do a little investigation on her own and further strengthen all the gathered evidence about the crime.
With the help of her friends and classmates, Karen gets new information about the case, but as she digs deeper, looking for the truth, it seems that she may have also been digging her own grave after she uncovers something that could endanger her own life.
Joko Diaz gives his all-out support to daughter Ashley as he plays Mr. Manzano, Karen’s term paper adviser. Mary Cherry Chua also stars young and promising stars: Kokoy De Santos as Paco (Karen’s cowardly research partner), Lyca Gairanod as Faith (Karen’s supportive best friend), Krisshia Viaje as Lena (Karen’s protective sister) and Abby Bautista as Mary Cherry Chua. Playing a very important role in the film is Ms. Alma Moreno who will play Ms. Estrella, who will give crucial information about Mary Cherry Chua’s death.
Going back to Ashley, does she believe in ghost? “Yes, I do believe in ghost, but wala pa akong personal experience na nakakita ako ng multo. But I believe in the stories of people who have told me about their own terrifying experiences.”