The Syota ng Bayan is back from ‘somewhere’

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
The Syota ng Bayan is back from �somewhere�
Then (left) and now (right), Priscilla Almeda hardly changed. She left showbiz while she was hot, a bona fide member of the so-called ‘ST’ (Sex Trip) stars built up by Robbie Tan’s Seiko Films. In an exclusive interview, she reveals why she left and why she came back.

Gone for 15 years, Priscilla Almeda (real name, in case you have forgotten, Abby Viduya) is back to resume where she has left off. Launched by Robbie Tan’s Seiko Films as an “ST” (Sex Trip) seductress, Priscilla starred in several films before she went “somewhere,” hardly leaving any trace of her whereabouts.

But she never left the consciousness of the fans who are kept updated, thanks to her starrers posted on YouTube such as Sabik sa Halik (1995, with Gardo Verzosa), Sutla (1999), Batang West Side (2001, directed by Lav Diaz with now-Manila Congressman Yul Servo as leading man) and especially Syota ng Bayan (2001, produced by Jesse Ejercito’s Crown Seven Productions, with Tonton Gutierrez and Eddie Garcia).

“That’s how many people remember me for,” Priscilla told The STAR in an exclusive interview over the weekend, several days after she came back. “They watch it on YouTube and girls that I meet tell me…syota ng bayan…and I kind of like it, hehehe!!!”

Now into her late 30s but hardly looking it, Priscilla explained why she came back and, yes, why she left as if vanishing into thin air.

Priscilla with her three kids ages 17, 8 and 4. ‘The old Priscilla Almeda is gone,’ she says. ‘What you will see is the new Priscilla Almeda.’
Photos courtesy of Priscilla Almeda

“I am back because I miss showbiz, I miss everybody,” she admitted, “and I want to try showbiz again,” sounding as if she’s a newcomer in the trade. I left quietly after a teleserye called Iingatan Ka which starred Piolo Pascual. I went somewhere.”

“Somewhere” was Alberta, Canada, where she settled down after, according to her, “traveling a bit,” and earned her keep by holding an administrative position at a company dealing with high- retirement living while raising three kids ages 17, 8 and 4 in a co-parenting arrangement with a partner that, added Priscilla, “is no longer in the picture” so she’d rather not talk about him.

While here, Priscilla left her kids in the care of her family in Canada, complete with a nanny.

“I wanted to lead a simple life in Canada, a life that’s very different from showbiz.”

As a private citizen, Priscilla has ballooned to 185 lbs. which was twice her “ST” weight.

“I was so huge, as in HUGE,” she disclosed laughing, “and you wouldn’t have recognized me if you saw me. I promised myself that I wouldn’t set foot in the Philippines unless I lost weight. So I trained under an expert who trained people for competition. I worked out three times a week. I tried fasting and intermittent dieting.”

With her weight fluctuating between only 105 and 110 pounds, Priscilla is set for the showbiz grind…ready, willing and able to accept any role. In January next year, she might be included in a teleserye. But before that, she will do TV guestings for warming up.

“So much has changed,” gasped Priscilla. “I didn’t recognized EDSA and even the building where I used to live. There are so many new actors that I watch on TFC (The Filipino Channel) starting a few months ago to catch up. They are so good-looking and so talented. I particularly like Kathryn Bernardo. She’s so talented and so pretty. I watched some of her movies including the last one (Hello, Love, Goodbye).”

Like Priscilla, her Seiko colleagues (Gardo Verzosa, Rodel Velayo, Rita Avila, Jennifer Sevilla, Jestoni Alarcon, Leandro Baldemor and others) are now also parents, playing father/mother roles.

Asked what her limitations would be, Priscilla said none.

“But, of course,” she hastened to add, “I cannot do roles that I used to do. It won’t be appropriate. The old Priscilla Almeda is gone. What you will see is the new Priscilla Almeda.”

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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