Princess Punzalan evolves from villain to victim in new international film
From left: Princess Punzalan as the evil Donya Selina in cult '90s TV series 'Mula sa Puso'; scene from her new US film 'Yellow Rose'

Princess Punzalan evolves from villain to victim in new international film

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - January 21, 2021 - 8:58pm

MANILA, Philippines — Actress Princess Punzalan is exploring new acting territory abroad.

The primetime kontrabida icon, forever cemented in Pinoys’ minds as the villain Selina in Kapamilya teleserye “Mula sa Puso,” stars as an undocumented Filipino mother living in the United States in the musical film “Yellow Rose.”

“'Yellow Rose' is the timely story of a Filipina teen from a small Texas town who fights to pursue her dreams as a country music performer while having to decide between staying with her family or leaving the only home she has known,” reads the film’s official synopsis.

It will premiere locally on January 29 through KTX.ph, iWant TFC, SkyCable pay-per-view and Cignal pay-per-view for P150 per ticket.

Princess looks forward to the film’s Philippine premiere as it has been viewed primarily by an international audience so far.

“Proud na proud ako na mapapanood na finally ng ating mga kababayan ang pelikulang ito dahil napansin siya dito sa America at sa iba't ibang mga film festivals internationally. And gusto kong makita rin ng ating mga kababayan kung ano ba itong pelikula na ginawa namin. So excited talaga ako na mapanood ng mga pamilya ko din diyan,” she said during a virtual press conference earlier today.

The actress said that the film’s premise will prove relatable for many Filipino immigrants.

“It is familiar dahil marami akong kilalang Pilipino na natatakot dahil hindi nga sila documented at kung anu-anong ginagawa para lang manatili sa America at hindi nagiging madali para sa kanila ang mabuhay... madalas nakikitira sa mga kamag-anak, kaibigan, at palipat-lipat ng bahay. Minsan para silang sardinas. Ang dami dami nila sa isang kwarto. So hindi madali, hindi madali ang maging undocumented dito.”

Playing against type didn’t prove too difficult for her since she had her personal experience to channel.

“Hindi po naging mahirap sa akin ang paghahanda para sa role na ito dahil ang role ko po ay nanay ni Eva (Nobledaza) dito, ni Rose. At meron na po akong anak ngayon, six years old na siya. At sa lahat ng mga eksena na ginawa ko with Eva, inisip ko lang na papaano kung 10 years from now, itong anak ko na ang ka-eksena ko at sinasabi niya sa akin kung anong sinasabi sa'kin ni Rose,” she said.

“So hindi naging mahirap po sa akin ang motivation para maging motherly at maging really involved sa mga eksena. I really felt 'yung fear, 'yung concern, 'yung anxiety. Papaano na 'yung mangyayari sa anak ko 'pag nawala na ako.”

The secret to acting, according to Princess, is drawing inspiration from real life.

“In everything I do, I try to really pull out some real memories, like real people, real characters who were involved in my life. Like if I was supposed to be mean, I try to pull memory from the abusive people who have hurt me in the past. And I just try to mirror and try to be like them,” she said.

“And now as a mother, I have so much love and desire to protect my own daughter. And that's where I pulled the feelings of how to become Priscilla. So in all of the things that I do, I always try to pull a real person, a real character who was involved in my life. So I just try to be real in as much as I can.”

For the time being, Princess said it’s hard to tell when she will return to the Philippines and take on local projects due to the pandemic. She admitted missing television series and working.

The actress is now a registered nurse in the United States.

“Although since nag-start po 'yung pandemic, I couldn't really work because wala pong yaya dito sa America. Kaya since my daughter can't go to school, I have to stay with her and homeschool her. So nakatali ako sa kanya ngayon. So nandito lang ako sa bahay,” she said.

Life is very different in the US, she said, especially since she’s known in the Philippines. But there are no regrets: “I'm very happy with my husband and my daughter. And I'm having the best of both worlds.”

Thanks to “Yellow Rose,” Princess realized she need not return home to return to acting.

“Bakit nga ba hindi ako mag-artista dito sa America? So doon na nagsimula. Kaya ako ngayon, ito na, nag-aartista na rin ako dito sa America.”

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