Ai-Ai wants to stay Kapuso until she retires
Ai-Ai delas Alas is now a certifi ed Kapuso after signing a fi ve-year contract with GMA Artist Center recently.
Ai-Ai wants to stay Kapuso until she retires
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2020 - 12:00am

Ai-Ai delas Alas amusingly recalled the moment she first stepped inside one of GMA 7’s studios to promote a comedy show in Eye to Eye many moons ago. She was then a budding stand-up comedienne, clueless that her guesting would lead to more fruitful Kapuso TV projects.

In a one-on-one Zoom interview with The STAR, the seasoned actress recalled how the late talent manager Cornelia Lee, a.k.a. Tita Angge, would reject requests of Nap Gutierrez and Alex Marcelino to guest her in the then No. 1 showbiz talk show.

“My friends Alex and Nap produced a solo show for me in Heartbeat, and they’re requesting Tita Angge, who was the talent coordinator of Eye to Eye to let me promote in the show because that time, Eye to Eye was No. 1. Dahil hindi ako kilala, s’yempre ayaw nila pero kakapilit nina Nap at Alex, pinaupo rin nila ako,” she shared. “Of course, I was so tense I didn’t know what to do pero natuwa naman sila and it’s most memorable to me because imagine na ‘yung isang show ay ayaw kang i-guest and then soon after, you would find yourself doing shows in the station (laughs).”

The late-night show R.S.V.P. was Ai-Ai’s very first project with GMA in 1991 and was best remembered for her character Cheenie La Chika. It was followed with co-hosting stints in the noontime show Lunch Date (1991 to 1993) and SST: Salo-Salo Together (1994 to 1995). The sitcom, 1 For 3, with Vic Sotto and Rosanna Roces, was Ai-Ai’s last project with GMA before going ober da bakod to ABS-CBN in 1998. In 2015, she returned to GMA and was warmly welcomed by Kapuso execs and stars.

Fast-forward to the present, Ai-Ai is currently one of the mainstays of All-Out Sundays and one of the judges of The Clash.

Ai-Ai humbly told The STAR that it’s “destiny, a gift from God” to remain visible in showbiz in spite of the presence of younger stars. Truth is, Ai-Ai just recently inked a five-year management contract with GMA Artist Center that “officially turned her into a 100 percent Kapuso” as how she put it on her Instagram post. The contract-signing coincided with the actress’ celebration of 30 years in the entertainment industry.

“I’m staying here for good kasi di ba after nine years with GMA, I transferred to the other network then I came back here again. Kumbaga, before I finish my five-year contract with GMA Artist Center, plus some more years with GMA, I am already a senior (citizen) kaya semi-retirement na ‘yung susunod doon so I want to stay here in GMA until the end of my career.”

If not for the ongoing community quarantine, Ai-Ai should have been taping for the drama series Oh, My Love, that she’s topbilling with Lovi Poe and Benjamin Alves. She also should have been working by now on The Clash Season 3.

“With the many roles that I’ve done, portraying a nun will complete the list kasi hindi pa ko nakakagawa ng full-length (role) na madre ako na pang-international ang datingan but not horror please, and to be with Ate Vi (Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto) in a movie is another dream of mine.”

As for the younger stars, she looks forward to working with Alden Richards in a soap as well as Miguel Tanfelix and Sanya Lopez. “Marami pa rin akong hindi nakakasama sa mga artista sa GMA and I am lucky that most of them know how to respect senior stars. So far, naman kahit sa kabila lahat ng nakasama ko magagalang.”

Respect for elders is what she also often reminds her children Sancho Vito, Sophia, Sean Nicolo and Seth Andrei to never forget. “Sancho is now also into acting and I would tell my children that if ever they want to be in showbiz, they should never act as if they are already popular just because I’m their mother. I remind them to treat everyone with respect and always answer with ‘po’ and ‘opo,’ especially to senior stars,” concluded the actress and TV host.

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