Sharmaine Arnaiz on hopes & dreams
LIVE FEED - Bibsy M. Carballo () - April 25, 2012 - 12:00am

It didn’t seem that long ago when we were attending a red carpet screening in Fukuoka, Japan of Milagros (1997), starring Sharmaine Arnaiz, directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and written by Rolando Tinio.

Marilou was at the height of her creativity; the Japanese loved her and would soon name her 2001 Laureate of the Fukuoka Prize for Culture & Arts. Sharmaine, or ShaSha to friends, had just come from a triple Best Supporting awards season for Saan Ka Man Naroroon with Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez, produced by Armida Siguion-Reyna and directed by Carlitos SiguionReyna.

That was more than 10 years ago, says Sharmaine, after which she got married, got pregnant, lost her dad, got pregnant again, was nursing a kid, and there was absolutely no time for show business. And now that her youngest son is two years old, she is trying to make a comeback. It is not that easy to return, especially when one is no longer a size “small,” but Jojo Gabinete managed to reintroduce her through several GMA 7 soaps, and now she is in My Beloved, her longest guesting so far.

In the past, she recalls how fortunate she felt to have worked with Hilda Koronel, Maricel Soriano, Dina Bonnevie, Eddie Garcia and the late Fernando Poe Jr., the King of Philippine Movies. “I was a sponge trying to learn from all of them, and now I find myself learning a thing or two from the younger actors as well. I guess that is really what an actor should do — adapt to the times.”      

My Beloved tells the story of Sharina (Marian Rivera) whose mom Perla (Sharmaine) elopes with Crisanto (Cris Villanueva), leaving Sharina and younger sister Monica (Jennica Garcia) with wicked aunt Elsa (Chanda Romero). A kind woman Lily (Rio Locsin) has left Sharina her properties on her death including a painting of a mysterious man she had fallen in love with. Sharina meets an accident and is saved by this mysterious man in the painting, an Angel of Death who loses immortality once he falls in love with a mortal. The Fallen Angel enters the body of a criminal Benjie (Dingdong Dantes) and the characters of Dong and Yan find themselves on the run to avoid being spotted by the authorities. After an absence of 10 years, Perla who apparently was imprisoned, is released, finds her daughters and asks their forgiveness for having abandoned them. Meanwhile, Benjie discovers that Crisanto is his missing father and the plot thickens. Perla and Crisanto try to undo what they have done in the past, but they know this will be for naught.

Sharmaine shares an emotional scene with Marian

Sharmaine today is energized by the opportunity of working with the biggest stars of GMA. “I am hoping I get to work with all of them again, from Dong and Yan, to Jennica whom I knew as a child, and director Dominic Zapata whose humor entertains us all.”

“Thinking of the future excites me. Who would have thought I’d have an electronic billboard, thanks to Paddocks Plus Size, so people see my ‘voluptuous’ body on EDSA? I hope to revive my career, portray characters with actors and directors I haven’t worked with, inspire the younger set like senior actors did to me then, to be included in an international film and finally, get to work with Vilma Santos, a dream I’ve always told her about.”

Robbie Tan of Seiko who had her as a contract star as a teener says that Sharmaine was “different from other actors who use various methods in acting. She is intuitive; she uses her heart, which comes out very natural.”

Marilou picked her as lead of Rolando’s Ang Kalapati which she had renamed Milagros. She tells us that both Rolando and Jessie Ejercito felt Sharmaine’s face had the necessary “enigma” that could deliver different messages at the same time. “My strategy for Rolando’s script was to give the cast as little instructions as possible,” Marilou continues. They just had to trust her. That was the only way to deal with existentialist material.

Tita Midz shares the hopes of Sharmaine to get back into the scene. She says, “I hope she makes it.” Sharmaine recalls “auditioning for the part in front of Tita Armida, and right after, she was in tears, and told me I got the part. Then, it was I who was in tears.”

E-mail your comments to bibsymcar@yahoo.com.

ANG KALAPATI DONG AND YAN MARILOU MY BELOVED SHARINA SHARMAINE
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