Laurice on Nora: 'She's a survivor'

February 12, 2020

NORA Aunor doesn’t mind that GMA’s creative team has made many changes in the TV remake of her classic 1989 romance-drama, “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit”. “Siyempre, marami silang gagawing pagbabago kasi daily teleserye ito and kailangang i-update nila ang story para sa mga viewers natin sa panahon ngayon,” she says at the show’s launch last Tuesday night.

Ate Guy is now playing the role of Cedes, played by Perla Bautista in the original. “The role of Cedes is expanded for the TV version,” says Ate Guy. “Kasi si Perla, namatay 'yung character niya before as the mother of Magnolia. Sa movie version, I played dual roles. Una is that of Magnolia, which is now played by Mylene Dizon. At ako rin ang gumanap doon sa role ng Maggie, now played by Kyline Alcantara. Pero mas mahaba ngayon ang role ni Cedes dito. Mas madrama at mas pinakapal ang kuwento.”

In the story, she as Cedes and her husband Ricky Davao as Damian own a prosperous grape vineyard and their farmers are satisfied with their leadership. Their daughter, Mylene Dizon as Magnolia, falls in love with Anselmo, the son of a wealthy couple, Dante Rivero as Ramon and Isabel Rivas as Martina.

The scheming Isabel as Martina burns the vineyard of Cedes and Damian and her henchmen get to brutally kill Damian. Cedes is outraged by what they did to her husband and in a confrontation, she accidentally stabs Ramon to death.

She goes into hiding to avoid being arrested. Magnolia then learns she’s pregnant with Anselmo’s child but Anselmo abandons her. She gives birth to Kyline Alcantara as Maggie and raises her daughter as a single mom.

Also in the cast are Ina Feleo as Margaux, the classy but overbearing wife of Zoren; Candy Pangilinan as Connie, the loyal best friend of Mylene; Divina Valencia as Edith, a rich and kind widow who hires Cedes as caregiver and slowly helps her to recover from the setbacks in her life; Gabby Eigenmann as Arthur, a businessman who helps Magnolia in her own business; and Yasser Marta as the love interest of Kyline who doesn’t know he’s the son of Zoren and Ina, so they can be half-siblings.

Direk Laurice Guillen says she is very pleased with the cast and she welcomes the chance to work again with Nora Aunor. She first worked with Ate Guy as a co-star in the movie “Fe, Esperanza, Caridad” in 1974 and later directed her in a movie with Tirso Cruz III, “Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo” in 1980. Their most recent work was as co-stars again in the 2016 movie, “Whistleblower”.

“Natutuwa ako sa show na ito kasi magagaling lahat ng artista ko,” says Direk Laurice. “Alam kong magagaling sila, kaya lalo ko silang hinihingan to show something new, more than what they’ve shown before. I’m so happy to work with Nora again after so many years and she’s really a survivor. She’s a true professional. Kahit there are times na nakikita mong nahihirapan siya, hindi siya bumibitiw sa eksena hanggang matapos niya ito nang maayos. Grabe ang focus niya kaya hahanga ka talaga.”

Aside from “Bilangin”, Ate Guy has finished a new movie, “Isa Pang Bahaghari”, with Phillip Salvador, directed by Joel Lamangan. How did she feel when the movie was rejected by the last Metro-Manila Filmfest Screening Committee? “Siyempre, nasaktan ako,” she replies. “Masakit talaga para sa aming involved sa movie kasi lahat ng nakapanood, nagandahan. But then, igalang na lang natin ang decision nila. Baka may ibang mas magandang plano si Lord para sa pelikula namin.”