MANILA, Philippines — Veteran actors in ABS-CBN’s new series Marry Me, Marry You (MMMY) have imparted significant life lessons and acting tips to younger artists while doing the series.

The drama romantic comedy series centers on love and family as themes. It is starred by Paulo Avelino (as Andrei) and Janine Gutierrez (as Camille), who fall for each other but their love story is made complicated by issues surrounding the family history.

Joining them are old-timers Cherry Pie Picache, Vina Morales, Sunshine Dizon, Edu Manzano, Teresa Loyzaga, Lito Pimentel, Joko Diaz and Jett Pangan.

Also included in the cast are the new breed of artists, namely, Jake Ejercito, Iana Bernardez, EJ Jallorina, Luis Vera Perez, Fino Herrera, Meanne Espinosa, Mariella Laurel, Adrian Lindayag, and The Squad Plus members Keann Johnson, Analain Salvador and Angelica Lao.

The “younger ones” shared during a virtual call the things that they learned during the lock-in taping from the “older ones” and vice-versa.

Jake, on his first teleserye, admitted he had jitters during the first few days. “Nangangapa pa but I’m still blessed to be part of this project with such an amazing cast, directors and people behind the camera. Everyone’s been so encouraging and supportive.”

“Siguro kung may isa akong lesson na natutunan, I got this from Ms. Pie and Ms. Sunshine, is to be real and be true to your character,” he furthered.

EJ, on the other hand, felt appreciated while working with the team and on a personal level. “Naramdaman ko ang mas personal na approach ng mga taong nakakasama ko dito. Marami akong natututunan not just on the set but life lessons from each one of them, may it be the young ones or the veteran ones.”

Janine Gutierrez and Paulo Avelino are paired for the first time in a TV series.

Adrian valued the wisdom he gained from his mamang Cherry Pie and papang Lito. “Kay mamang, sabi niya, work for the scene and just do the work. Period… Yun lang yung focus mo. Wala yung kaba or whatever,” and this has kept him grounded “and (I) will carry that with me forever.”

“Kay papang naman, napaka-generous niya magbigay ng words of encouragement? ang hilig niyang mag- ‘Nak, grabe ang huhusay niyo, galing niyo talaga, pagpatuloy niyo yan.’ Sa baguhang artista, nakakataba ng puso,” added Adrian. And this has inspired him “to work even harder and continue what (I’m) doing.”

“Itong experience ko dito, na-realize ko na dapat talaga ‘pag pumasok sa eksena, sobrang ready ka talaga,” shared Iana. “It’s your responsibility as an actor to do the scene well and to perform because you don’t have the luxury of time for multiple takes.”

She also appreciated the “wonderful” and “generous” cast members. “Ang natutunan ko rin is to be open once you’re there and don’t be shy to admit the things you don’t know yet.”

For Fino, “‘Wag tayong matakot na lumapit sa mga nakakatanda,” he said.

“Like yung simpleng pagbati. Kasi minsan yung ibang young actors, nahihiya silang bumati at lumapit. Kasi iniisip nilang masungit yan at mataray yan. But as a sign of respect, actually mas matutuwa sila pag binabati natin sila. Aalalayan nila kayo (tayo). Hindi man directly pero mararamdaman niyo yan sa set,” he added.

What Luis learned from doing the series was to “be professional and to respect the workplace.”

Filming during the pandemic also taught Angelica and Meanne to be “patient.” The latter hoped that “some of the good things and practices we can still keep once the pandemic is over.”

The veteran stars, Cherry Pie, Vina, Sunshine, Teresa, Lito and Jett, were likewise asked what they picked up from the newcomers.

Sunshine’s answer was to “let loose and not to be so serious, not to be so stiff and just have fun.”

The youngsters were also the ones who convinced Vina to use social media platforms such as TikTok. She also appreciated the eagerness of new artists to learn more about the craft.

“Sense of responsibility,” was what the younger ones taught Teresa. “Because everything I do, everything I say, everything I tell you, you pick up from. So I better be sure that I’m doing everything right? It’s a great responsibility on my shoulders as an actor, as a person and as an older person,” she said.

Seasoned stars (from left) Sunshine Dizon, Joko Diaz, Cherry Pie Picache, Lito Pimentel and newcomer Angelica Lao.

For Cherry Pie, who has been doing teleserye projects for more than 30 years, it was a “big adjustment for old school actors” like her in the showbiz industry. “There are so many things to adjust to now — the platforms, how you do things. Natutunan ko at pinag-aaralan ko pa. I don’t only get it from the young people but the whole industry (as well). The (entertainment industry) is evolving, you have to adjust and you have to adapt.”

Furthermore, Jett said there is always something new to learn whether from the novice or veteran actors and for Lito, it’s always about respect and discipline.

Meanwhile, Janine and Paulo shared that they have long wanted to work with each other.

“Paulo and I did a movie (Ngayon Kaya) last year or in 2019. Pero na-postpone siya (release date) because nag-pandemic. So I know Pau and I was really excited to work with him in this setting,” said Janine.

“When we did the movie, talaga namang nakakakilig si Pau. So, I was really looking forward na kiligin ulit. It was a fun experience so I knew that going into this, if there is anyone that I want to start my ABS-CBN journey with, it was really Pau,” she added.

Paulo thanked Janine for her sweet message and disclosed that the latter was eager to transfer networks beforehand.

“Janine was supposed to be here maybe a few years back tapos nagka-problema with something. Nabalitaan ko we have the same manager. I got this story first hand.  My manager called me, iyak daw ng iyak si Janine kasi hindi makakalipat. Matagal na talagang gusto ni Janine na maging Kapamilya,” narrated Paulo.

And when it comes to Janine, he feels that he is “someone who always needs to help her and support her all throughout her career.”

Paulo furthered that he is “always open for marriage if I find the right person and the right time comes,” adding, “or baka nasa tabi-tabi mo lang.”

Moreover, Sunshine and Janine are happily settling in as Kapamilya. The two transferred to ABS-CBN early this year and MMMY is their first teleserye.

Jake Ejercito makes teleserye debut.

“It’s heart-warming that they welcome me with open arms,” said Sunshine and expressed gratitude to ABS-CBN and Dreamscape for ensuring their safety while taping.

Janine was “excited and lucky” doing MMMY. “Naramdaman ko din talaga yung alaga ng Dreamscape from the start. Because tinanong ako kung anong gusto ko, anong hindi ko pa nagagawa at kung gusto ko ba ng light or talagang drama.  Sobrang na-appreciate ko yung nagma-matter kung ano yung gusto ko at kung ano pa yung gusto kong matutunan.”

Directed by Dwein Ruedas-Baltazar and Jojo Saguin, the series premiered last Sept. 11 on the iWantTFC app (iOs and Android) and on and airs at 9:20 p.m. on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z and TV5.

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