Angelica: An all-in-one package
(The Philippine Star) - December 18, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - As an actress, Angelica Panganiban gives you two options: To sympathize or empathize with her. Proof is a body of work (Separada, Ama, Ina, Anak, Santa Santita and A Love Story) that could qualify her as the next ABS-CBN’s drama queen, especially now that Claudine Barretto is on the other side of the fence.

“I did G-mik and I was boxed in teeny-bopper roles for the longest time,” offers the young actress when asked about her mature roles in recent years on the big screen. “Then, I had a thirst to do something else, to explore or expand what I can do as an actress and to see myself in a different light.

“When the (meaty) projects came in one after another, I told myself this is it. I had to be all out and gave my all. The feedback was good while others frowned at my change of image because they thought I was too young to handle those roles. I was thinking then, ‘If I want to learn something new, when will be the right time?’ I am happy that the people and the management accepted that biggest turn in my career. At 23, I am ready to do these roles. I am mentally, emotionally and physically prepared.”

Angelica is referring to her role as Liezl, who wants to experience true love and to be loved in Star Cinema’s I Love You, Goodbye, an official entry in the Dec. 25 Metro Manila Film Festival.

She is again pitted against a veteran — Gabby Concepcion. Angelica is expected to “make a scene” via big, dramatic sequences and intimate moments with the movie’s lead male actors. This is the actress’ second time to be directed under Laurice Guillen.

“I trusted my director and the people I worked with,” Angelica describes her sensitive scenes. “It feels great if you give your all and you trust everyone.”

Trust is also the reason why hers and I Love You, Goodbye co-star Derek Ramsay’s three-and-a-half-year relationship thrives.

“I’m proud,” replies Angelica about her reaction that big stars like Sharon Cuneta and Gretchen Barretto admire Derek. “I don’t see any reason why I should feel angry. After all, I’m the original. I’m happy and flattered. If some guys appreciate what I have, I think Derek will feel the same way.”

Her present relationship has made Angelica realize that women are the ones who make the little sacrifices to make the relationship work out. Although Derek does everything to make it good, a woman, shares Angelica, has to be understanding and patient. What is good about their relationship is that Derek and Angelica try to understand each other’s peculiarities and shortcomings. At the end of the day, they compromise. It takes two to tango.

“Derek is lucky with me. He won’t find a package deal like me,” says Angelica. The young actress is right. She is all in one, complete with beauty and talent.

Angelica’s Liezl meets the man of her dreams Dr. Adrian Benitez (Gabby). But she has problems adjusting to Adrian’s high-profile world. Making things more difficult for her is Ysa (Kim Chiu), the doctor’s daughter, who hates Liezl. Photographer Gary Angeles (Derek), on the other hand, gives the sense of acceptance to Liezl which she longs for. 

As Star Cinema puts it, Liezl is “caught in a web of secrets, truths and lies.”

Since Angelica first entered show business and has made a reputation for herself, some can’t help but think that Derek’s rise to fame is partly attributed to Angelica’s celebrity status.

“I don’t think nor entertain those thoughts,” she says. “Hindi ako bumuo sa pangalan niya. I wasn’t even part of it.”

Did she say “I love you, goodbye” to someone in her past?

“Just goodbye, without I love you,” answers Angelica.

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