: THE FACE OF 2010 SALVADOR
By ANA KRISTINE B. VALENZUELA
MOD January- February 2010
PROUDLY, Maja Salvador proclaims that she is now a woman. The 21-year-old actress thinks so, not only because of age, but also because of the characters that she now plays. “Sa business kasi na ‘to ang dami ko na ding napagdaanan. Halos madami na rin akong roles na ginawang pa-tweetums. For me, ngayon challenging itong ginagawa kong mature roles na kailangan kong panindigan at ipakita sa lahat ng tao na kaya kong gawin,” she says.
She shares that she instantly fell in love with her character, Celine, in the afternoon soap Nagsimula sa Puso. “Malayo siya sa mga ginagawa ko dati. Challenging siya. Gusto ko kasi parati akong nacha-challenge,” she says. “Kailangan mo talagang ma-challenge para mailabas mo ‘yung best mo at para makita ng mga tao na mahal mo ‘yung ginagawa mo.”
Admittedly, she first found it hard to shift to a more mature role, but slowly, she became more comfortable with Celine.
She said it was all because of directors, Malou Sevilla and Darnell Villaflor, who gently not only encouraged her but also took care of her, especially when it came down to shooting the show’s more intimate scenes. “Wala naman pinapakita. Kumbaga, kissing scene lang tapos ‘yun na. Nag-kiss tapos higa na. Kumbaga alaga pa din,” she says. “Alam ko naman na hindi ako bibigyan ng project ng ABS na hindi ikakatulong ng career ko.”
What drew her more into doing the project was that the ‘90s movie it was based upon was produced by Charo Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN president
Unknown to many, Charo and Maja have a special kind of relationship as Charo was the one who discovered her. “Hinanap ko kasi ‘yung dad ko , tapos lumabas ako sa The Buzz. Swerte, dahil nanood si Miss Charo. Tapos parang may nagsabi sa ‘kin gusto daw akong makilala ni Miss Charo, ‘yung batang naghahanap ng tatay niya. After nu’n, meeting. Du’n sa meeting, sabi n’ya siya daw ang mag-o-open ng window para maging star ako,” she says.
A promise which
and ABS-CBN is now fulfilling as Maja is tagged a string of labels: Horror Princess, Dance Princess, and even Princess of Billboards. Santos
Maja says her career is just where she wants it to be. She says, “Kahit hindi naman ako bida binibigyan ng bida roles, nararamdaman ko na special naman ako sa ABS. Hindi naman ako napapabayaan, kasi pag walang show, may movie. Pag walang movie, may soap. Hindi ko nararamdamn na walang nangyayari sa career ko.”
If there’s one thing that Maja hopes for in her career, it would be longevity, like the one that people she looks up to in the industry--Vilma Santos, Maricel Soriano, Sharon Cuneta, and Judy Ann Santos--has. Where her career is going, she trusts fully in her handlers. “Management ang nagde-decide, tapos tatanungin ako kung okay sa ‘kin. Ayun, pag-aaralan ko kong kakayanin,” she says.
As for future projects, genre would never be a problem for this gifted young actress, who has a new show with Sam Milby this year. “Gusto ko ma-experience lahat, kahit action movies,” she says. And yes, she prefers challenging roles like a prostitute and would like to veer away from the generic type of protagonist—the poor girl that everyone pities. Instead, she would like to play a “palaban na character,” just like Celine.
Or just like Maja herself. As a celebrity, she has been a victim of intrigues, but Maja has risen above them all. She says, “Hindi ka naman magtatagumpay kung wala kang pinagdadaanan para maging strong ka para marating mo ‘yung kong nasaan ka man ngayon.”
With such strength, Maja will definitely more this year and in the coming years.
On love: “Dapat pinag-iisipan kasi pag pinasok mo ‘yan, hindi lang naman ‘yan ‘yung boyfriend-girlfriend na wala lang. Siyempre may mga responsibilities ka din na kailangang pagdesisyunan na todo-todo, hindi laro-laro lang. Pagpapahalaga din siya sa sarili mo at pagbibigay importansiya sa taong nagmamahal sa ‘yo.”
On making the first move: “Hindi, Maria Clara ako, eh. Minsan nga may magtatanong sa ‘kin, ‘O, lumabas na kayo?’ ‘Kiniss ka na ba n’ya?’ Ako naman, ‘Hindi no!’”
On kissing on a first date: “Hangga’t maari, hindi.”
On telling a guy that you like him: “Ay, hindi. Hindi ako nagsasalita. Masungit pa nga ako, eh.”
On her ideal Valentine’s Day: “Sa
. Gusto ko ‘yung simple lang.” Korea
On her ideal guy: “For me, mahalaga ‘yung may sense kausap.”
Maja on Her On-Screen Partners
Jason Abalos: “Energetic.”
Rayver Cruz: “Bro.”
John Pratts: “Dynamite on the dance floor.”
Carlo Aquino: “Friendship.”
Sam Milby: “Bulol.”