Jerry Donato – The Philippine Star

November 15, 2021 | 12:00am

Heart Evangelista remains connected with acting as her work in I Left My Heart in Sorsogon will show starting tonight.

Fans definitely miss her effortless beauty and amiable personality on the small screen. Heart fits any romance-comedy project, even with a dash of drama. It’s a sight to behold that Heart is again a part of a director’s “moving canvas.”

Her character Celeste, described as a fashion designer and socialite, is somehow close to her creative pursuits. Heart is known as a fashion icon that wears designer and luxury brands and a painter that captures images of women. At the core of it all, Heart is first and foremost an actress.

“I feel like it’s time din with my life,” said Heart of giving her nod of approval to the GMA romance-drama series in a recent virtual media call, “and there (are) things that I will be doing. I’ll be leaving also for a while, so parang I felt that now is the time. I just really wanted to do something for Sorsogon for GMA na ang tagal ko na ring di nagawa.”

Similar to how she approaches her every piece of art that could see her work on it for months and take a year to finish, Heart put her stamp of dedication to her comeback show. “You know, to come up with a project that I will really make sure I will give my 101 percent,” said she. “I don’t know if this might be my last, you’ll never know. I felt it was time for me to do one and to make it really, really good. I just thought it was just the perfect time.”

Heart, who is into creative collaborations, clarified that “(I’m) not naman taking a break (from showbiz), (but) just prioritizing a different angle in my career, I guess, in a way. And also personally, I’ve also been really working a lot and I feel that I just want to take a breather, a little bit lang, but I’m not gonna go anywhere. I’m still very, very out there. It’s just that I just want to concentrate on something.”

Soon, that artistic endeavor will be generously revealed by Heart, who is happy with how I Left My Heart in Sorsogon came to be.

“I was touched,” explained Heart why she got teary-eyed while watching the I Left My Heart in Sorsogon music video. “With the lock-in taping, you would see how the dynamics in taping (had been) changed by the pandemic and how hard everybody worked, we were all away from our loved ones. Talagang makikita mo yung pag-miss namin sa pamilya namin and how we’re all getting over that and how we’re all just working hard in this whole bubble. Ma-e-emotional ka talaga kapag nakita mo na maganda yung kinalabasan nang ginawa niyo. Nakakatuwa lang na iba talaga yung nagagawa ng group effort.”

Director Mark Sicat dela Cruz could attest to it and the collaboration that actors like Heart showed in the entire new-normal taping of I Left My Heart in Sorsogon.

“We were very collaborative,” said he. “I would ask (Heart), ‘How’s this?’ and if this is OK with her and she would also do the same. Yun yung ginawa namin para mas maganda yung portrayal niya as Celeste.”

Aside from the romance that involves Celeste, and the men in her life, Mikoy and Tonito, played by Paolo Contis and Richard Yap, respectively, the series will give viewers a visual tour of Sorsogon. “Pinakita ko yung mga magagandang places, not only the places but also kung paano magsalita yung mga Bikolano and also the food,” added the director. So, viewers are in for some “eat and love” kind of entertainment.

“I’ve worked with her many times,” said Paolo of his team-up with Heart. “Kuya nga niya ako sa pelikulang Trip. You really appreciate her professionalism, ang laki ng mina-ture niya as an actress and as a person. I didn’t expect her to be the leader that she (was) on set. She did little things for us that we all (appreciated).”

For Richard, who worked with the actress for the first time, had this to say: “As you know, when I first came to GMA, I always said I wanted to work with Heart. This is a dream come true to me… ang sarap ka-trabaho si Heart and of course, the rest of the cast. Ang galing niya.”

This speaks of the rapport among stars and the working team and the friendly environment they all created for themselves.

“Wala kaming stage na nangapa para sa akin,” said Paolo. “We had to thank Heart for that kasi siya yung nag-bi-bind to us. She (made) sure na OK kaming lahat, she (made) sure na nakakapag-usap ang lahat. Sobrang naging (ma)dali. She (was) the earliest (to arrive on set), she (was) always ready. Siguro malaking bagay na ang unang lock-in taping namin ay sa Sorsogon, talagang malayo kami sa lahat at naka pag-bond kami ng maayos.”

Richard also agreed with Paolo, saying: “Masaya kaming lahat on the set. I would like to thank Heart also. Since from the start, kahit hindi kami magkakilala, first scene namin, she made sure na hindi ako naiilang. She was very accepting, open and welcoming. So parang nawala na kaagad yung parang tension na hindi kayo magkakilala and first time kayong magkaka-trabaho. Dun pa lang nakita ko na how good an actress and how good of a person Heart is. It was so easy right after that.”

Like everybody in the team, Heart is excited to share the fruits of their labor, yes, with all her heart.

“With what I’ve been through in life, parang ngayon lang talaga nagamit ang lahat ng aspect nang pinagdaanan ko sa buhay ko and how parang meticulously all are (in place) when it comes to each scene, each character and every accessory, every continuity of the accessory,” said she, “everything, we’re all so in the zone. I’m nervous in a good way because I’m excited na makita nila how we’ve all leveled up our game in terms of our craft and in terms like of the details… Na-excite ako para sa kanila (I’m excited for the viewers to see) how beautiful this project is. I really must say that with all my heart, I feel like this is the best thing I’ve ever been part of.”

Heart indeed has never left acting. She just keeps on expanding her artistic horizons.

(I Left My Heart in Sorsogon airs after 24 Oras.)

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