Itâs the battle of the sexes all over again!
Body Talk with Ian Veneracion & Iza Calzado, the stars of WeTV Originals’ new romantic comedy series B&B: The Story Of The Battle Between Brody & Brandy
STAR/ File

It’s the battle of the sexes all over again!

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2021 - 12:00am

Looking for a show that’s all about chance encounters and finding love? WeTV Originals’ new romantic comedy series — B&B: The Story Of The Battle Between Brody & Brandy certainly delivers on all the kilig feels. The question is, what will it take for magic to happen between its two lead characters? Find out when new episodes drop on WeTV and iflix every Saturday at 7 p.m.

In this series created by Mark V. Reyes V, Brandy is an idealistic and much-loved innkeeper who crosses paths with Brody, a handsome businessman who checks in as a guest in her B&B. While hearts start to flutter, sparks fly when they find themselves on opposing sides when it comes to business. Iza Calzado and Ian Veneracion play the two leads in this meet-cute kind of love story between two polar opposites.

With the role of Brandy being Iza’s first foray into doing a romcom, she describes it as a refreshing change from the heavy dramatic roles that she’s taken on in recent projects. In fact, she says it has long been her dream to play a character in a story that is light and just all about the happy feels. Ian is the perfect counterpoint in this story, as he tackles Brody with a lot of roguish charm to go with his swoon-worthy looks.

Joining them in the cast are Lovely Abella, Ketchup Eusebio, Ian Ignacio and Emmanuelle Vera. The series also marks another first, as Sunshine Dizon takes her place behind the cameras in her first co-directorial stint. (Note: To stream B&B and the very best in Asian Premium and Filipino Content, just download the WeTV app from the App store and Google Play, and start watching! A monthly subscription rings in at only P99, quarterly at P269, and an annual subscription is only P999. You can also download the iflix app from the App store and Google Play.).

Before the battle, Ian and Iza (also together in the Conzace commercial) agreed to engage in a Body Talk.

How do you take care of your body?

Ian: “Let’s say I am very active. Psychologically, I need to compete with something or someone — be it sparring, basketball, tennis — as long as there is a goal. I find it sobrang not myself when I catch myself lifting weights and checking in the mirror. Takot ako sa ganun. Showbiz na nga ako and you need to have a certain degree of narcissism. You have to maintain your low levels of vanity because of our job. I am afraid to fall into that trap.

“When I see myself nagbubuhat, I’m just ‘ugh, this is so not me…’ I’d rather play football, basketball, different kinds of sports even just with friends — kahit alaskahan lang or pustahan or whatever it is. You get to bond with other people, and that’s the part I enjoy.

Ian and Iza (third and fourth from left) in a fun scene from B&B with co-stars (from left) Ian Ignacio, Emmanuelle Vera, Lovely Abella and Ketchup Eusebio

“I wish I had the discipline of my daughter, for example. Every day, when she wakes up, she does push-ups and pull-ups and all her exercises. Siguro if I was that disciplined, Jason Statham na yung katawan ko.

“I know I have to go to the gym. Actually, I don’t really have to. I don’t enjoy it.”

Iza: “Kung pwede lang kitang ambunan ng disiplina ko at ng focus ko. You don’t have to go to the gym. You just have to move. You rock climb. Some people can’t even do that. You don’t have to beat yourself up about it. Not everyone will have that or prioritize it. And it’s okay.

“Now people are like, ‘Oh my God, I need abs…’ Abs are just a manifestation of, hopefully, a healthy lifestyle. But that’s not always the case. There are people with abs who don’t even eat as healthy as me.”

Ian: “Don’t get me wrong. I have abs. It’s just covered by a layer of bacon. (Laughter)”

Iza: “At some point you just have to live life.”

Same question, Iza.

Iza: “How do I take care of my body? I work out, obviously. I eat well. No matter how hard you work out, it’s all about wellness, a lifestyle, so the approach should be holistic. Eat whole foods, nutritious foods, as much as you can. I also believe that you have to allow yourself, without any guilt to indulge. Some people call it a cheat day, I would rather not, especially if it is something that is planned — you’re not cheating anybody.

“One aspect of my life that I have had difficulty with is resting or sleep, which is so vital to one’s health. Especially before the pandemic, our hours were really brutal. That’s also one of the reasons why I got COVID-19. My immune system was so down. I was working out hard, I was working hard, staying up late. I also wasn’t getting the nutrition that someone who was making puyat and the like was supposed to do.

“That’s one thing I have more now — regulated hours of sleep which is super vital because sleep regulates hormones and your weight. That’s how I take care of my body.”

How different is your pre-pandemic diet from your pandemic diet?

Ian: “Pandemic diet vs. pre-pandemic diet? Personally, for me, it’s basically the same. For some people, they have prepared meals, like if you’re on a specific diet, then during the pandemic, wala. You’ll have to cook your own sa bahay, since no deliveries. But for me, nothing changed.”

Iza: “For me, not much has changed. I still stay within the parameters of a primarily paleo-based diet, but I do allow grains now. And I really love popcorn, so that’s my weakness. I have adlai or quinoa. I am not as strict as I used to be.

“Sa totoo lang, I was stricter with my diet pre-pandemic — I did keto, etc. — but apparently, I had some signs of hyperthyroidism that we addressed just over a year ago. I think it helped. When I became more relaxed about it, and the sleep (became regular), I lost 10 pounds last year and that’s with working out less and eating a little more. But I am very particular with the way I eat at home — what oil to use, it should be grass-fed meat or free-range chicken, the eggs must be like this. Not much has changed.

“For my tapings — since I’ve been in and out of the bubble since July — and we lost our cook. I have this French friend who is a chef and she cooks healthily. She has a delivery service called Eat Matters. For every shoot that I have, she has been providing me with nutritious food made with all organic vegetables, gluten-free, etc. My dairy is low. Not much has changed.”

What is usually for breakfast, lunch and dinner? How about snacks in between?

Ian: “If I can only have one meal for the rest of my life — breakfast, lunch and dinner — it would be sunny side up eggs, bacon (crispy) and garlic rice. For life. I won’t mind. But hindi pwede.

“I don’t really have breakfast. Ma-lunch and dinner lang ako. Like today, I had steak and shrimp and mashed potatoes for a late lunch. Then I’ll probably have a burger for dinner. Obviously, I’m not so conscious.

“I do have to agree with what Mama E (Iza) said, dati hindi ako humihingi ng pagkain pag alam ko na diet food kasi lagi kong sinasabi ‘Ay ayoko yan. Lasang balikbayan box.’ Lasang karton. Pero now, ang sarap. Like Iza’s food during the taping — ang sarap talaga.”

Iza: “I’ve been on semi-intermittent fasting so I hardly eat breakfast nowadays. But if I were to eat breakfast or I’d have it for lunch instead — chicken tocino from Eat Matters PH. She makes them really good. I’d have it with adlai or quinoa or cauli-rice. I like having salads — basta I need to have gulay. Then every day I need to have my vegetable juice — a green juice or a red juice.

“I’m also a snacker. I love camote chips from this brand called THC cooked in coconut oil. And I love popcorn. I don’t eat meat all the time. Last night, we had Thai food, so it really all depends. Basta kailangan laging may gulay.

“There are certain things too that are hard to resist like Frozen Brazo from Las Paellas, but if I have made the decision not to have it, then I won’t.”

Ian: “(To Iza) Pasahan mo naman ako ng konting discipline mo.”

Iza: “I did hear what Ian said earlier about diet food — just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it should be tasteless. How can it be sustainable if you feel awful every day having your nutritious meal?”

Ian: “So psychologically, hindi masaya yung buhay mo. What a waste of life.”

Iza: “Exactly. For me, kailangan masarap. Some people may say it’s not as sarap. I mean I eat adobo — but I just have to make sure the adobo is made with gluten-free soy sauce. The laing should not have MSG. May parameters lang siya. But it still has to be flavorful. Food is life!”

What kind of workout do you do, and how often do you do it?

Ian: “I don’t regularly work out, but it depends on what you would consider a work out. Active ako, but it’s not a routine. Not unless I have to lose weight for a role, then I’ll go do the assault bike or the treadmill. Or if I’m preparing for something. Say my kids and I are going trekking somewhere and it will take a few days, and I have to be in shape, then I’ll hit the treadmill for that. But it’s not a daily habit.

“There are days when exercise for me is to hit the golf range for an hour and a half of hitting balls. There are days with totally nothing. I think I need to be motivated for me to be active. I prefer outdoor activities.”

Iza: “If I’m not taping, I would probably be working out six times a week, five if I am feeling very tired. The workouts that I do are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I do spinning, Zumba and Pilates once in a while. I also do strength and resistance training with Culver Padilla. I can also do yoga, so it really depends on what my energy levels are at and what my schedule is like.”

Part of your body that needs improvement?

Ian: “(No comment).”

Iza: “Since I am a self-love and body love advocate, instead of a body part, try to improve something about yourself — mind, body and spirit, maybe. It can be a strength that you want to improve — strength of the body or your health.

“Of course, we can go to Belo and do these things to physically improve, we can work out or go to the gym, but there are more important things than just a physical body part.”

Vulnerable part of your body?

Ian: “(No comment).”

Iza: “My heart.”

How much sleep do you get per night?

Ian: “If I’m allowed, I’d sleep for half of my life. I sleep for 12 hours. Pag hindi mo ko ginising or hindi ko kailangan gumising, I can sleep for 16 hours straight. But because of my obligations in this waking reality, I have to contain myself to about 10 hours lang. If it’s around eight hours, kaya naman, but di kayang ma-sustain. I can do that for several days, pero kailangan, may bawi.”

Iza: “If I’m lucky, I’ll get seven hours, eight hours of sleep. I do have trouble sleeping; still battling with insomnia and not proudly so. I hope one day, I’ll be able to sleep like a baby without having to take anything.”

Last thing you do before you go to sleep. First thing that you do as soon as you wake up?

Ian: “I meditate…to sleep. In a seated position. When I’m really sleepy na, I let go of the meditation, lie down and let myself fall asleep. Sometimes, it can be guided meditation or I just focus on breathing. It’s my way of dispersing. When I’m awake, I gather myself into this person, and when I sleep, I disperse. Parang yelo na natutunaw — that’s how I feel when I go to sleep.

Literally, your consciousness melts away when you sleep — your ego, your worries, this waking state. Natutunaw lahat. Pag ganyan, fresh yung pag gising ko. Then I assemble myself (and the world) slowly. Eto na ulit ako. Ready na ako for another day.”

Iza: “The last thing I do before I go to sleep is pray. First thing I do as soon as I wake up is thank God for that day, for being alive. Then I do oil pulling, and brush my teeth. After, I meditate and I’ll do my journaling. Then I’ll have my coffee and start my day.”

How do you unwind/cope with stress?

Ian: “Definitely meditation.”

Iza: “I work out. I watch movies and listen to a lot of music. I do meditation. A massage is always a good thing. And I dance, DANCE, DANCE.”

Favorite city or hideaway?

Ian: “I have a place in Coron. That’s my batcave. So ‘to the batcave’…”

Iza: “I don’t necessarily have a favorite city or hideaway. I do have a place that is special in my heart, that I feel is my sanctuary — The Farm At San Benito.”

Things in your bag when you leave home:

Ian: “Mouthwash and cigarettes.”

Iza: “A ton of things. Too much, but definitely lip balm, cheek tint, alcohol, face shield, mask, a comb, perfume and dark chocolate. Might be weird, but I always have dark chocolate. And Kamillosan — should my throat feel compromised.”

Present outlook in life?

Ian: “I am optimistic about the future and I am living in the moment. I’m not worrying too much about the future and past.”

Iza: “I am acknowledging where I am at in life. I am at a point in my life where I have accepted who I am, but at the same time, I am working towards becoming a better version of myself. Of course, I am very optimistic, I’ve always been. I always believe that even in the darkest of times, there is a light that shines somewhere there. Even if it is just a tiny speck of light, that light can grow bigger and bigger through time.”

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

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