Being Rufa Mae
Robbie Pangilinan (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - She has been rejected, defeated and ignored numerous times. She has joined and lost many contests. But, she never gave up. Finally, luck smiled upon her. She is now one of the rising comediennes in Philippine television. She is Maria Krista Aguilar, otherwise known as Rufa Mi because she impersonates Rufa Mae Quinto.

Rufa Mi auditioned for Pinoy Pop Superstar twice but did not make it.

She then joined Eat, Bulaga!’s impersonation contest but still did not win. In the same show, she tried her luck on the search for EB Babes but did not succeed again. Maybe it was not yet her time to shine.

One of the judges of EB Babes, Andrew de Real, gave her a chance to perform at The Library, a known comedy bar. And even if she did not win the search, she was invited to be a mainstay in Nuts Entertainment where Joey de Leon baptized her Rufa Mi. She likewise appeared in other shows like Tasya Pantasya, S.O.P. and SIS.

Looking back, the 22-year-old Krista revealed that she joined other contests before.

“I love joining contests, kahit anong contest where I can showcase my talent in singing and performing, sinalihan ko,” Rufa Mi says.

Her career as a stand-up comedienne started when she joined the Bikini Open held at Klownz in Angeles City, Pampanga. The judges commented that she had a striking resemblance to Rufa Mae so she started mimicking the actress which impressed everyone, including the owner and manager of the comedy bar. She performed in the said comedy bar and in many others. “Kaya lang nagsara na sila,” she jokes.

The young comedienne admits that impersonating Rufa Mae is her stepping stone to show business but that someday, she wants to be recognized for her talent in acting, singing, hosting and dancing.

Right now, she is focused on being Rufa Mi and does a great job at that.

“Nasanay na ako na every day, every night ako si Rufa Mi, kaya natural na sa akin yung pagsasalita at pagkilos n’ya,” says Krista who has personally met Rufa Mae. “Nung na-meet ko s’ya, sabi n’ya lang, ‘Ganun ba talaga ako ka-nasal magsalita?’”she shares with a laugh.

Krista, who has regular shows at Klownz, Zirkoh and Sitcom, is part of the fast-rising network TV5. She used to be a semi-regular in Everybody Hapi topbilled by John Estrada and Eugene Domingo, along with Long Mejia, Alex Gonzaga, Roxanne Guinoo, Matt Evans and Randolf Stalamaky. She now plays the sexy Mayor Donna of Don Joey de Leon in the family game show House or Not every Sunday where houses and lots are given away to lucky family winners.

The young rising star staged her first solo show after encouragement from mentor De Real, who also directed the live performance titled I Am Me, Rufa Mi.

Krista is enjoying her career, continuously improving her craft and aiming to reinvent herself in the near future. Someday, she plans of finishing her studies, saving up to start a business and having her own house. With the support of her family, the guidance of her mentors, and a fighting spirit that does not give up despite failures, Krista’s dreams are within reach.

As Rufa Mae and Rufa Mi always say, “Go go go! Todo na ‘to!”

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