How motherhood changed Rufa Mae Quinto’s brand of comedy

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
How motherhood changed Rufa Mae Quinto�s brand of comedy
Rufa Mae Quinto lends her flair for drama, horror, and comedy in Sparkle U: Ghosted, with Allen Ansay and Sofia Pablo in leading roles. The ace comedienne says, ‘Tinodo ko na po ang lahat (I have given my all),’ in playing the ghost teacher Agnes Gaspar, and enjoys working with new collaborators, including the Sparkle GMA Artist Center talents. With a wonderful family and a thriving career, Rufa Mae has a sense of completeness and contentment.

“(It’s) half-half. It’s still more on the Philippines.”

That was Rufa Mae Quinto giving everyone an idea of her current work setup, which sees the ace comedienne shuttling between the US, where her family is based, and the Philippines, where she continues her thriving career, in a recent virtual press conference.

Rufa Mae is in town to promote the Allen Ansay and Sofia Pablo starrer, Sparkle U: Ghosted, in which she plays the ghost literature teacher Agnes Gaspar, whose presence is felt at the school library. The character’s demise is shrouded in mystery.

Being a mom to Athena has helped Rufa Mae access feelings associated with drama such as care, love, empathy, and longing, to name a few, and a level of emotionality.

Also seen making guest appearances on GMA shows, Rufa Mae played Mommy Barbie to Uno, Dos, and Third (portrayed by Kelvin Miranda, Shaun Salvador, and Abdul Raman) in the GTV family sitcom Tols prior to Sparkle U. She also graced the fifth anniversary special of Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko on GMA.

“I’m happy to be working with people with whom I haven’t collaborated before,” shared she, “and I’m happy that we have done this. I’m happy to have worked with the new generation of stars.”

Rufa Mae was referring to director Barry Gonzalez, Sparkle Sweethearts Allen and Sofia, and Sparkle Teens Liana Mae, Marco Masa, and Princess Aliyah.

“I’m happy to have played a ghost,” shared Rufa Mae.

“Halos lahat kami dyan ay walang make-up. Nakakatuwa kasi may puso din habang nakakatakot, nag-drama na din ako. Sana nakakaiyak, ‘di ba? (Almost all of us there have no makeup. It’s interesting because although it’s scary, it has heart. I also did drama. I hope it )”

So, Rufa Mae’s flair for comedy and drama is shown in the weekend youth-oriented anthology series.

“Tinodo ko na po ang lahat (I have given my all),” said Rufa, reminding one about her trademark lines such as “To the highest level,” “Go, go, go,” and of course, “Todo na ‘to (I’m giving my all).”

“It’s enjoyable to work with the new generation,” said she. “Nakakatuwa, tas ang ga-gwapo, ang ga-ganda, at ang gagaling. Ang saya, saya sa set (I had fun working with them, who are good-looking and pretty, and very good at acting).”

At the time of the interview, Rufa Mae was on the set of a new project. So, fans have something to look forward to from the comedienne besides her stint in Sparke U’s second story.

“Talagang feel na feel ko na yung tears ko, kumbaga nakakatuwa pa rin ang itsura ko, basta ako feel na feel ko ang mga sinasabi ko, ang drama (I really felt where my character was coming from in those tear-jerking scenes. Regardless of appearances, I had this connection to every dramatic line that I said),” said she, acknowledging the contributions of writers and fellow actors in crafting and making those sequences work. Reading between the lines, one might guess her character’s true persona.

Being a mom has helped Rufa Mae access feelings associated with drama such as care, love, empathy, and longing, to name a few, and a level of emotionality.

“Kasi mommy na rin ako, kapag roles na mommy ako, talagang totoo yung tears (Now that I’m a mom, when I take on mommy roles, my tears are real),” shared she, adding jokingly, “Walang Vicks (to help me cry).”

Rufa Mae shared that she can do drama even if her expertise is comedy, you know making people laugh with her and laugh at her.

“Binigay ko yung best ko, so yun yung tingin kong kakaiba dito (I’ve given my best and I think it’s something new or different that I offer here),” added she.

Away from the klieg lights, Rufa Mae is a hands-on wife to husband Trevor Magallanes and mom to their daughter Athena.

“Siyempre ang showbiz No. 1 sa puso ko yan, pero ito yung isang side ng buhay ko na yung nagpa-kumpleto at talagang masayang masaya ka dahil busy ka sa kakaalaga at pagmamahal sa kanila, yun lang yung wala sa akin ng matagal na panahon (Of course, showbiz is still No. 1 in my heart, but this is one side of my life that completes me, and I am truly happy because I am busy taking care of and loving them. It’s the only thing that was missing in my life for a long time),” said she.

“I’ve been working in showbiz for 30 something years,” added the actress. “Masayang, masaya ako na kumpleto, may career, may pamilya at alam mo yun, na may abroad, may travel (I’m very happy that I have this sense of completeness. I have a career, I have a family, and I get to go abroad and travel).”

With that, Rufa Mae is a picture of a fulfilled, happy artist and woman.

(Sparkle U: Ghosted airs Sundays at 5:55 p.m.)

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