Love Team for All Seasons

CONVERSATIONS - The Philippine Star

Winter, spring, summer or fall. Correction, please! For Of All The Things, their third movie together (after Dahil May Isang Ikaw, 1999, and Pangako…Ikaw Lang, 2001), Aga Muhlach and Regine Velasquez survived three years of wet seasons and dry seasons before they resumed the long-delayed, rudely-interrupted shoot, and went through major changes in their lives. Doesn’t that make them a love team for all seasons? They are the local counterparts of Hugh Grant (before his encounter with a street hooker) and Meg Ryan (before her career-destructive encounter with Russell Crowe; although Regine is also likened to Julia Roberts, Hollywood’s rom-com icon).

In those three years, Aga has explored new horizons including jumping ober da bakod from the Kapamilya to the Kapatid Network (where he hosts the adventure show Pinoy Explorer), seeing his and wife Charlene Gonzalez’s twins Andres and Atasha (following in her parents’ footsteps initially by playing one of the Von Trapp children in the restaging of The Sound of Music at the Resorts World Manila last year) and venturing into the uncertain, murky political waters by running for congressman in the fourth district of Camarines Sur in the 2013 mid-term elections.

Regine has gotten married to Ogie Alcasid by whom she has a little son, Nate. To mark Ogie’s 45th birthday (Aug. 27), the family is spending a holiday in Singapore any time this month and, from Australia, they will be joined by Ogie’s ex-wife Michelle van Eimeren and her new husband Mark Murrow together with the ex-couple’s daughters Sarah and Leila. What a big, happy family!

So what can we expect from Of All The Things (theme song, sung by Regine herself, is included in her latest album), directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal (Aga and Regine’s buddy and suki who also directed their first two films) from a story and screenplay by Mel Mendoza-del Rosario for Viva Films and GMA Films? In the rom-com, Aga plays a “self-esteemed man” who meets Regine, an “over-ambitious, overbearing woman.” To find out what happens next, you have to watch the movie when it opens nationwide on Sept. 26.

Who shed pounds faster?

Regine: I think I did. It was Ogie who pushed me into working out. I was breastfeeding so I couldn’t go on a diet until Nate turned six months old.

Aga (Joking): Ako, definitely hindi nag-breastfeed! Kung puwede nga lang, eh…My weight is still adjusting to my age. (He turned 43 last Aug. 12. — RFL) If you miss working out for two days and you pig out, you tend to regain in two days the five pounds that you’ve lost in five days of working out.

Medyo tabain pa naman ang mga Muhlach, ‘no?

Aga (Looking a bit worried): Oo nga, eh!

Aga on Regine: As a singer, she’s tops; she has several awards to prove it. As an actress, she should win an award for her role in this movie. No other actress can match her performance. Ang husay niya!

Regine: If you ask me, Aga looks okay in his present weight kasi maliit ang mukha niya, eh. That’s his advantage — the shape of his face na pahaba. Actually, pareho kami. If you watch the movie, it’s not obvious na, you know, medyo pareho kaming may pagka-healthy.

Was, uhm, weight the cause of the three-year delay of the shoot?

Regine: Not really. It was more conflict of schedules. Hindi nagtatagpo ang schedules naming dalawa. I had to beg off from the shoot dahil nagka-soap ako (at GMA) and Aga was busy with something else. When I was ready to reshoot, GMA gave me a new soap, and then I got married so the shoot was again put on hold. Luckily, our roles didn’t really require us to look slim. As a matter of fact, okey lang kahit ano ang hitsura namin.

Do you look the same in the later shoot as you did in the earlier shoot?

Aga: There were only eight remaining shooting days, so I don’t know kung bakit hindi pa namin tinapos noon?

Many changes have happened in both your lives. Regine got married and is now a mother while Aga has embarked on a political career. If and when Ogie decided to also run for a public office, would you discourage him or would you cheer him right on?

Regine: Of course, I would support him in the same way that Charlene is supporting Aga. Whatever Ogie decides, I will be behind him, kasi kawawa naman ‘yung asawang may gustong gawin sa buhay pagkatapos idi-discourage mo. A wife or a husband is there to encourage and inspire his/her partner.

Are you going to campaign for Aga?

Regine: Oo…ng bongga! Pati asawa ko will campaign for him.

This is your third movie together. I suppose you have developed a harmonious working relationship.

Aga: At first, medyo nangangapa kami. But now, we have so much fun, sobra! Regine would bring food to the set kaya masaya!

Aga Muhlach and wife Charlene Gonzalez with their twins Andres and Atasha: Feeling eternally lucky for having married a lady who is supportive and ‘too trusting’

Regine: We had so much fun that even before we shot a heavy-drama scene, tawa pa kami nang tawa.

Aga: Even during our love scenes, hindi kami naiilang.

Regine: That’s right. Maski ‘yung kissing scenes hindi na namin pinag-uusapan; alam na namin kung ano ang dapat naming gawin. Alam mo, of all my leading men, I have to say that Aga is really my favorite. Love team nga kami, eh. Iba ‘yung chemistry naming dalawa. After our first movie, we became very close na.

Aga: She even sang at my wedding.

Regine: I had so much fun doing our first two movies that I was really looking forward to this third one. We have changed, pareho na kaming may pamilya, but we are still the same as we were in 1998 when we did our first movie together.

Regine Velasquez and husband Ogie Alcasid with son Nate: They make more than beautiful music together

What about your parenting style, also the same ba? Do you exchange tips on how to raise your kids?

Regine: He tells me that as much as possible, I should always be with my kid, dapat palagi kong kasama ang anak ko. Sabi niya, “Enjoy your kids. Before you know it, they are not kids anymore!”

What’s in Aga that reminds you of Ogie?

Regine (Joking): Aside from good looks? (Seriously now) Si Aga mapagmahal sa magulang; ganoon din ang asawa ko. Aga loves his twins so much, sobra niyang mahal ang kambal nila si Charlene; ganoon din ang asawa ko, sobrang mapagmahal sa (mga) anak. And also (adding again jokingly), I realized na matinong tao pala itong si Aga, ha! (Addressing Aga) I’m so proud of you, ha! (Adding, seriously) You know, we are in a business na maraming temptations and yet, hindi siya talaga…alam mo na.

And what’s in Regine that reminds you of Charlene?

Regine (Butting in): Bukod sa pareho kaming maganda? Hahahaha!

Aga: Marami! First, pareho silang supportive. They both trust their husbands. What I mean is that hindi sila ma-question sa asawa nila. You know, I think I’m lucky because my wife ay masyadong mapag-pasensya at masyadong trusting ang asawa ko. Kasalanan mo kung magloloko ka pa because, you know, nakapag-asawa ka ng ganoong kaganda pagkatapos…

You have won several awards. How would you rate Regine as an actress?

Aga: As a singer, well, everybody knows na napaka-versatile niya. As an actress, maybe Regine doesn’t do so-called “critically-acclaimed” films but if you notice, mahusay siyang umarte in all her films, including in this movie. Kailangan siyang bigyan ng pansin at mapansin dito ng mga award-giving bodies. Sa portrayal ni Regine dito, not every actress can do it as well. She deserves an award.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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