Rhian Ramos was tapped to play Jodi in the Philippine adaptation of the Korean drama Stairway to Heaven almost 11 years ago.
Rhian recalls her first foray into drama erry donato
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2020 - 12:00am

“Well, back then, I was a teen actress. All of my roles were very bubbly,” replied Rhian Ramos when asked how the Philippine remake of Stairway to Heaven, a hit Korean TV drama series, advanced her career then on GMA 7, in a recent interview facilitated by the network’s corporate communications group. Yes, she was tapped to portray Jodi, the childhood friend of Cholo (played by Dingdong Dantes), almost 11 years ago.

“Tapos ginawa ko ‘yung LaLola (a fantasy-comedy) and I did comedy acting from there,” added the actress. “Perhaps it (doing Stairway to Heaven) was my first experience when it came to dramatic acting, and all the challenges that came with it.”

Early this week, the Kapuso network started re-airing Stairway to Heaven, which has given viewers a second chance at reliving Cholo and Jodi’s romance and their unique journey to love. Catch it weekdays at 3:25 p.m. on GMA Afternoon Prime.

“Thankfully, direk Joyce Bernal is an actor’s director,” recalled Rhian of her first foray into drama, “so she was very specific when giving instructions. We also had an acting coach, who is one of my favorite people in the world, Jay Cruz. I just really learned a lot from making that series.”

Stairway to Heaven was Rhian and Dingdong’s first team-up. To be attuned to their roles, shared Rhian, “We had a workshop because the story was very heavy and dapat may connection talaga si Jodi and Cholo. We had vulnerability and intimacy workshops. We stayed pretty true to the original character (Jodi), but I think I (my take on my role) was perkier, a bit more bubbly, very slight, but not a lot.” From then on, Rhian is known as the Pinay Jodi, while Dingdong is the Pinoy Cholo.

What were Rhian’s fondest memories on the set of Stairway to Heaven? “I remember yung mga times when my mommy would send us food,” answered Rhian, “nung time na ‘yun nag-te-taping kami sa Enchanted Kingdom. We shared (the food) to everybody and we ate together. (At that time,) we were the only people inside the theme park, pero ‘pag sinabi namin na gusto naming mag-rides, pumapayag sila. Siyempre bagets pa ko nun, that’s why I wanted to try the rides.”

As for her community quarantine-lockdown experience, Rhian said, “It would be improper kung may irereklamo ako because I have a roof over my head, nakakakain naman ako nang maayos, kumpleto (ang) tulog ko... but sometimes I miss going out (with family and friends), and this (community quarantine) is a big change in my usual life, which is showbiz, where I see hundreds of people every taping day, and I get to meet and know new people every day. (The community quarantine is a) very different (experience), but I have already adjusted to it. I also miss attending workout classes.”

Aside from acting, Rhian is also into creating vlogs, which she considers fun to do for she has reached a point, “where my audience is starting to tell me what to do. (At) ‘pag ginagawa ko, masaya, ‘yung mga challenge nila for me. (My followers) are very active in giving feedback. I saw a video (and the person in it) asked me, ‘Bakit po hindi kayo nagta-Tagalog?’ And I thought, ‘Oo nga ‘no.’ Kaya gumawa ako ng vlog na wala akong ibang pwedeng sabihin other than Tagalog words.”

In February, Rhian showcased again her acting mettle by playing Kelly, a former lover of Tom Rodriguez’s character Stefano in Love of My Life. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the taping of the said drama series, which also stars Carla Abellana, Coney Reyes and Mikael Daez, is temporarily suspended. Perhaps production will soon resume once the “new normal” is established. According to Rhian, she was also supposed to do a romance-comedy that she was very excited about “because I studied comedy in New York. Hindi kami nakapag-start, kahit screen test.”

Meantime, let’s watch Rhian as the Pinay Jodi every afternoon.

RHIAN RAMOS
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