Charice and Charlotte Hermoso aka the Lumen twins
All grown up, Lumen’s Twins return to the spotlight
Karla Rule (The Freeman) - March 8, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s, you might be familiar with the laundry bar commercial about Lumen and her family that’s a picture of Pinoy domestic bliss. Regardless of your interest in doing laundry (or lack thereof), you and everyone else had surely been invested in Lumen and her family’s adventures.

Let’s see: there was “Wais na Nanay” Lumen, her husband Lando, Lola Obang, and yes, the twins!

Ana and Maria became part of the Filipino household for years after twins Charice and Charlotte Hermoso auditioned among many pairs and had been fortunate enough to land the ad with a teleserye-like approach.

The Surf commercial opened many doors for the then five-year-olds and eventually Charice and Charlotte were seen in different shows such as the 2007 drama “Impostora.”

The twins went off the grid for a while. Years after keeping a low profile, the twins are finally back on the small screen as Hershey and Kisses in the upcoming Cebu-based teleserye “Inday Will Always Love You” which will soon be airing on the Kapuso primetime block (set to replace “The One That Got Away”).

Now 19 years old, Charice and Charlotte are thrilled with their official television comeback.

“Honestly, natakot po kami bago pinalabas yung episode ng ‘Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho.’ Kasi po baka sabihin ng mga tao na baka nag-iba na kami. Pero parang na-appreciate naman po nila at sunod-sunod na po, nagtuloy-tuloy na yung blessings,” Charice begins in an interview following a press conference at Golden Cowrie Lahug alongside their “Inday Will Always Love You” co-stars.

Charice, who is older by one minute, adds that they’re insanely thankful for the “KMJS” team for seeking them out, which to their surprise led to roles in “Inday Will Always Love You.”

In their brief stint as child TV commercial stars, Charice and Charlotte didn’t think they’d make the cut, knowing that there were “prettier and fairer” twins out there. They appeared in shows bearing goody two shoes characters, ones that won the hearts of viewers.

But the mean personas of Hershey and Kisses were what drew the twins  into taking roles in “Inday Will Always Love You.”

“Nung nalaman po namin na mean yung ipo-portray namin, tinanggap po namin. Iba naman po siya sa nakasanayan ng tao. Kasi noong bata pa kami parang sa ‘Impostora’ heavy drama, oh kaya yung Lumen’s twins. Ibang side na naman po ang makikilala nila. Kahit hindi pa naman kami magaling na magaling, parang gusto namin maisip nila na ‘Ah, pwede pala silang maging artista,’” Charlotte quips.

It was November last year when KMJS featured the Hermoso twins in a “throwback” episode that focused on good old nostalgia. In the episode, the twins were reintroduced to the public and were even reunited with their Lola Obang who was portrayed by Nina Medina.

In “Inday Will Always Love You,” Charice and Charlotte are Erica’s (Kim Rodriguez) cronies in turning Happylou’s (Barbie Forteza) life a living hell.

“Inday Will Always Love You” stars Barbie Forteza as the hardworking and optimistic Happylou, an expert lechonera who relocates to Cebu to support her family, as well as to find her father.

“Ako po yung medyo slow. Si Kisses po yung parang tatanga-tanga, yung parang hindi nakaka-gets agad, tapos si Hershey [Charice] naman po yung taga-gatong, yung parang ‘Hoy ayus-ayusin mo naman,’” Charlotte says.

“Sa role namin, gusto po nila [producers] makita na kambal kami. Hinahayaan naman po nila kami kung paano i-portray yung roles namin,” she adds.

“Hindi naman po kami masyado nahirapan,” Charice offers. “Hindi naman po kami pine-pressure ng mga boss namin, tapos andyan po yung kakambal ko, nagtutulungan po kami, and may teamwork po kami.”

Despite not going through acting workshops in a long time, their co-stars have been very helpful, welcoming and had been giving them pieces of advice here and there.

The twins admit that they’re pretty simple. With their soft features, and easy, almost shy, smiles, it’s apparent that the twins are not used to taking antagonist roles like that of their co-star Gladys Reyes. But the young ladies think it’s something they’ll get the hang of. With their little experience, they have picked up a thing or two from the actors they were able to work with.

The twins are now in their third year of college at the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, and had very recently found the window to make time for taping in between school. It shouldn’t be so hard, since their professors have been very supportive, so long as they ask for permission every time they have career engagements.

Charice and Charlotte both want to get back into the spotlight and hopefully after one more year, Charice, a hotel and restaurant management major, and Charlotte, a mass communication major, the girls get to graduate and find more fields to explore.

“Parang nalungkot po kami dati nung hindi kami nabigyan ng big break. Parang naisip namin na hindi na siguro kami bagay mag-artista. Kaya po sobrang thankful po namin sa ‘KMJS’ kasi nalaman po namin na na-appreciate pa rin pala kami ng mga tao, and they found a way para ma-contact kami. Yung ‘Inday Will Always Love You’, perfect show po siya para makita kami,” Charlotte quips.

For their television comeback, the girls admit that they’re much more comfortable acting alongside each other. There seems to be no problem when it comes to acting with your sister, even more so an identical twin. In fact, the two find it almost comforting to have each other to count on as they re-enter the industry.

For sure, they also know that they might take opportunities separately in the future. Charlotte dreams of being a broadcaster and reporter, while Charice wants to enter modelling.

Like other identical twins, it may become tricky to tell the girls apart. But Charice and Charlotte take no offense, and if anything, are willing to help you out should people confuse them for each other which happens a lot.

Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, “Inday Will Always Love You” will be their first acting appearance in years. Eighty percent of it is shot in Cebu since the story is based in the Queen City. For their first leg of taping in late February until early this month which lasted more or less nine days, the cast and crew got to visit a handful of sights. Among these were Basílica Menore del Santo Niño de Cebú, Magellan’s Cross, Sirao garden, Temple of Leah, and 10,000 Roses.

“Inday Will Always Love You” also paints the colorful lives of Cebuanos all the while highlighting the sensibilities of its people, its many treasures, and even the gastronomic adventures it provides with lechon de Cebu at the helm.

In their first visit, the twins got to see Cebu with brand new eyes. Until their next leg of taping (where Moalboal, Sumilon island, and Camotes are eyed by production), the twins are still at awe with the beauty of Bantayan island on the northernmost part of Cebu.

“First time po namin ng twin ko dito sa Cebu. Marami po kaming friends na nagsasabi na ‘Ah maganda sa Cebu, pumunta kayo doon’, kaya sabi namin na sige titingnan namin. Pagpunta po namin, hindi po sila nagkamali sa mga sinabi nila. Parang Manila po pala siya [Cebu]. Natuwa po ako sa Bantayan, ang ganda po ng view, and super linis, hindi polluted. Parang napa-isip ako na kunwari, bakit Boracay lang po yung kilala sa atin, bakit hindi rin ang Bantayan na similar naman sila, and maganda,” Charice recalls.

Directed by Monti Parungao, “Inday Will Always Love You” also stars Ricky Davao, Manilyn Reynes, Nova Villa, Tina Paner, Derrick Monasterio, Juancho Trivino and Super Tekla.

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